One of my favorite smells is fresh homemade bread. It brings back fond memories of my childhood and warms my heart. It also tells my stomach it’s hungry…but we won’t talk about that part. Our senses have a powerful influence in our life and play an important role in helping our bodies understand its surroundings. Senses are such an innate part of who we are that we often go about our day without thinking about them.
I believe that if we are more aware of our senses, we can use them as a tool to shape our spirituality and create an environment that brings greater peace and connection to God. Let’s learn how.
Connection of Body and Spirit
Your body is the home of your spirit. The two are intimately connected; if your body is feeling sick or injured, it will affect your soul. And vice versa: I’ve noticed that when I’ve neglected my spirituality, my body feels sluggish. Working on your spiritual wellness is invigorating and energizing. Your spirit and body share a special bond.
If our senses are tools to help our body, certainly they can help us understand our souls as well. Sandra Tunajek, author of “Making Connections: Unifying Mind, Body, and Spirit”, shared insight about this interconnection: “We experience the physical world by means of sensory perception. Sensory awareness is enhanced by memory, imagination, emotions, thoughts, and intuition. It is also the part within you that chooses to be aware and experience “who you are” and be simply here in the moment. It is the “self” in the word “yourself.” By adding other concepts like serenity, harmony, attitudes, intentions, and thoughts, can we not begin to see the potential for the positive attributes of goodness, truth, beauty, reality, creativity, balance, patience, and wholeness as a sense of spirituality?”
Both your senses and your spirituality are attributes used to discover the authentic you. Let’s take a look at specific ways your senses can help create an environment that will help you tune in to your spiritual identity.
Senses and Spirituality
Sight: I love to fill my home with art that brings peace and invokes emotion. Inspirational quotes. Pictures of nature. A cool collage of sheet music behind my piano. Whatever it is that brings you calm and quiet, share it. Create a space that visually invites peace. It will help fill your spirit as you catch a quick glance. And sometimes, I just sit in the stillness and soak in the beauty of art.
Sound: Music has a way of reaching our souls unlike anything else. When you’re feeling down or depressed, the right song can get the tears going for a cathartic cry. If you’re unmotivated, an upbeat Spotify list can get you up and moving. Music is a reminder that your soul and your emotions are intricately connected.
Smell: Over the past few years, I’ve tried a variety of essential oils. I’ve learned that the sense of smell can be truly healing to our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Combining positive smells (diffusers are great!) with deep breaths is a powerful way to start a meditation session or to relax before bed.
Taste: Because my body houses my spirit, I want to treat it with respect. Find a way of eating that makes your body feel its best. I’ve had many instances where I’ve given in to too many sweets or overindulged at my favorite restaurant. And when this happens, my ability to listen to my inner voice decreases significantly. Your intuition—inner voice, conscience, whatever you call it—is a vital part of your spiritual identity. Use your gift of taste in moderation so you don’t drown out the quiet nudges from within.
Touch: The gift of touch allows us to show love to others. We are all spiritual beings, longing for connection. Holding the hand of a significant other or hugging a family member is so much more than physical touch. There’s another layer—a bond that awakens your core and fills you with compassion.
Try to tune in to your senses more frequently. They are truly a gift to help you better understand yourself—both your body and your spirit.
Your Sixth Sense
Merriam-Webster Dictionary refers to the sixth sense as “a keen intuitive power.” It’s also described as an “unconscious awareness.” As you are more aware of your senses and use them as spiritual tools, you will better understand your intuition and how it can be a guide in your life.
Following your intuition is important in decision-making—a major part of the work environment, relationships, and goal setting. You can learn all about something or someone and your brain will tell you one thing. But sometimes, listening to your gut proves to be a better guide through life. Tap into your inner voice and learn to recognize your sixth sense.
All of your senses will help make your journey more enjoyable. Take time to smell the flowers. Learn to listen with love. Give a hug. And thank God for the beautiful tools you’ve been given to love life and yourself more each day.