Sense-Based Photographs

Jeep Lindsay uses her nose to connect with Eastern Sierra Wild Irises - June 2014. 

Jeep Lindsay uses her nose to connect with Eastern Sierra Wild Irises - June 2014. 

I use my body and my senses to connect to the Earth. It is a sensual activity and exercise. It is through my body that I make that connection and it is by becoming more connected to my body and its senses that I can connect to my larger body, OUR larger body, the Earth. So to a large degree, Returning to Earth is Returning to my Body - re-inhabiting this body which comes pre-programmed with a vast array of sense capabilities that enable me to sense and to feel on various levels. 

When I look at a tree or a rock or a low lying shrub, succulent or flower I am becoming more intimate with the body of the Earth. I am coming in for a Landing. Coming in for an Earthing. I do this also when I smell a Ponderosa pine and revel in the butterscotch or pineapple scent that I smell there, with my nose wedged into a cleft in the puzzly bark. I am connecting. The more senses I can employ in my connection and relationship the deeper I am able to go. 

An exercise: 

Go to a quiet natural place with your journal in tow. Pick a spot to sit that is appealing to you. Be still. Take a moment to just BE there. Is this the right spot? Change and move if you need to in order to find the right place to be. Find that place that feels right. 

Now awaken your senses and imagine yourself as covered (as you are)by tiny stomata - holes. The pores of your skin are these portals from the Earth's body into your body. 

Now, imagine that you are inhaling and receiving through all of these portals - that you are exchanging information with the Earth inside of which you sit - like a fish in an aquarium - you are immersed in and part of this larger life - this larger body.

Now take out your journal and list off the five senses with the word "I" in front of each one. 

I see...

I feel...

I hear...

I smell...

I taste...

and a sixth (which is my favorite) 

I feel in my heart...

Now finish these sentences and do so with as much detail as possible. Really get into it. Feel free to write multiple sentences -even a paragraph or two for each one. List ALL of the sensations that you are experiencing in that moment. You are writing out a detailed and specific description of what it is really like to sit where you are - it is like a photograph - a sense-based photograph that, when read in the future, will conjure the same feelings and sensations that you experienced while you were writing it in this mindfully chosen natural spot. 

When I do this journal exercise I notice that it takes me deeper in my connection. I methodically go through the senses and take note of each sensation that I am having. I draw threads of connection from my body to the body of the Earth. I am weaving a web. I mindfully list off all of the ways that my senses are connecting me to Nature and are enabling me to notice, to pay attention, to be mindful. This is observation. Being the witness. "the watcher" - one who notices and observes. This is a deeply relaxing and beautiful practice and I have noticed that it calms my heart and soothes my mind and body when I take the time to do it. Try it.