Sinking into Sensual Pleasures

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Lately I’ve been in a very reflective inward mood. I’ve started a daily yoga practice again after many years, and I’ve been doing it for almost 3 weeks now. I can attribute this change of focus to that alone. But, honestly, I’ve been drifting here for awhile. I’m not sure why in the spring this is happening, but I’m going to go with it. Frankly, I love these periods of time when I want to slow WAAAAAAAYYYYY down and just be. A part of me questions whether I might be a bit depressed, but I don’t think so. I just think that when I slow down it is such a contradiction to my regular pace that it feels a little off.

I have discovered avocados. My friends JoAnn and Jessica eat them all the time, and they both talk about how nutritious they are. For a long time, I’ve tried to incorporate them into my diet but they rot before I figure out how to use them. I’m not a huge salad person, and I was sort of hung up on eating them on salads. I finally realized I could use them on omelets as a topper, and I’ve been eating them that way. This morning I threw a half one into a blackberry yogurt smoothie along with some cinnamon, cocoa and almond milk. It was divine. Avocados are so creamy. They are like ice cream without the freeze, and I adore ice cream. The other day I spread a half avocado on bread instead of mayonnaise and topped it with salmon. It was delicious that way, too, and I felt really healthy using such a healthy oil. I was reading about the health benefits last night, and they are just loaded with good stuff. I’ve noticed that it keeps my hunger and cravings at bay. Even though they are higher in calories than other fruit, it keeps me from eating other stuff that is REALLY high in calories. They are still a relatively low-calorie food. Every time I eat one, I feel so good because of the texture of the fruit on my tongue, the comfort of knowing that I’m doing something really good for my body, and the lovely soft green color of the avocado itself. I love the silkiness of slicing through it and spooning it out. It feels decadent.

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I used to think of sensuality as sex. I don’t know why. Somehow that was my definition of it. But, sensuality is so much more than that. It’s allowing myself to sink into the feelings that ride all of my senses. Touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing are those pathways that bring me to the very essence of being human and being in this world. Having a daily practice of yoga helps keep me grounded in my body, and, when I am grounded there, I can be more in touch with my own sensuality. Obviously, sex bundles a whole bunch of these senses together, but there are other ways to be totally sensual.

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Every morning for the past three weeks, I’ve awakened and gone immediately to my mat. I put it under the chair in my living room so it’s right there. I light two candles. I turn on a small lamp and let the rest of the room be dark. I put on Pandora on the New Age station, and I practice. I may only practice 20-30 minutes, but in that space I breathe deeply, I let myself feel every little tight spot in my body, and I open where my body tells me it needs to open. The scent of the candle burning, the gentle, sweet music, and the feeling of my breath moving in my body wakes me to myself. By the time I am done, I am so invigorated that I need very little caffeine – thus I’ve been without coffee – and I am relaxed. This morning I added a few drops of the essential oil mix Clarity to wake me up and get me focused. It’s licorice, minty aroma and the tingly feeling on my skin gave me a big grand hug of awareness.

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I decided to wear purple with a yellow tank just to get a kiss of springtime. I have this lovely little peace sign scarf that sort of pseudo-matches – it really doesn’t match – and I put it on. I’m in love with all of the azaleas here in bloom, and the sun shining through my blinds in the morning. I picked up an old beloved book on Yoga and Depression, and I read for awhile. It was comforting to see the highlights I had made so many years ago when I first picked it up, and I was bound in spiritless depression. I no longer related to the passages, and they seemed to be the markings from another woman. I felt grateful for my journey out of depression, and I was reminded how powerful my yoga practice was in elevating me from that pit. I feel in touch with my journey and the day and my soul. It’s such a comfortable place to be.

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