Nourishing the Soul: Sensual Living

Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

A blind pursuit of what we perceive as happiness may only lead to the opposite - sure, you might have graduated college with honours, got yourself a stable job with a substantial income, purchased your own apartment, splurged on an expensive car, and yet something is missing.

Admitting to yourself that you aren't happy might take quite a lot of effort, questioning your own decisions, everything starts to sound so grim.

"i am not happy"

Why is that? At first glance, valuing happiness should lead to positive outcomes, pursuing your goals and achieving them should leave nothing for you to desire. And yet again, something is missing. Should you set a different goal? Is there some internal conflict? You might mentally knock yourself into this proverbial brick wall again and again, but nothing seems to be the answer.


Close your eyes and recall a time you have watched a toddler or a baby explore something new...

They would examine every sides of the box, in and out, scrutinising the print or even the dirt, if there is, on the box. They would touch and feel the texture, and even hit it hard to hear the sound it can create. The excitement of the sound will sure to keep them occupied for quite a while. And when the adults aren’t watching, they would bring their noses closer to the box, smelling, sensing and soon tasting it, sinking their little two front teeth into it!

that, is sensual living

It is how each and every one of us learn from the moment we are born. The single-mindedness in one object. The use of all our five senses; hearing, smell, taste, sight and touch. Experiences that fill us with awe and wonder, doing things that society would deem as "not normal" or "non conventional" - as an adult, we would think that eating a Lego brick is insane, but to a baby, they would try it anyway.

A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature.
— Maria Montessori

So, what happened to us as we grew up? How did our learning change?

As we start to read and write, learning becomes visual and auditory only. The use of the other senses reduced over time. We no longer put things into our tummy, we place them in our heads. Is there any wonder why life gets boring as we grow up? We no longer taste life. We watch life from a distance. We learn to keep a safe distance from life itself!

We start to question ourselves, we start to feel insecure. We start to wonder if we truly belong.

We start to read all kinds of books, we learn to quote Rumi, Kahlil, Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde. And yet, we feel empty, and still, we do not feel happy.


So take action!


1. Learn to be okay with who you are

We are taught that if something is "not normal", it is not okay. The education system puts us in little boxes, our family gives us pre-determined goals from young - be a doctor, a lawyer - our teachers, bosses, everyone in the world tells you to do a certain thing a certain way, but if that doesn't align, something in us sparks the sense of "this isn't right".

You have to learn to be fine with the way you look, what you enjoy doing, what you dislike, and what your passions are, even if they turn out to be something that no one else in your circle of friends enjoy - your likes and dislikes are what make you, you!


2. A sense of belonging and purpose

Once you start being yourself, people that accept you for who you are will start flocking to you, and those who don't will start communicating less - and that's okay. When we are truly understood, recognised, and affirmed by friends, family members, partners, colleagues, and even strangers, we start to feel like we belong to a community. A community that accepts you, and loves you.


3. Live life

Perhaps most importantly - Spend more time doing things that give you pleasure. Some have lived so long in the heads that they forgot how their hearts feel - but we were made to feel it. That’s why this feeling exists.

But it is safer not to feel. Life makes more sense when we live from a distance, in our heads. Everything is rational and predictable. And we became comfortable with love and spirituality because these too stay in our heads.

And yet, a day will come when you realise and learn to live from our hearts instead of our heads. Let go of any of your preconceived notions about pleasure, and begin living a life that is filled with beautiful pleasant things and activities. It’s worth it, even if you can only give it a few minutes each day. Five minutes is better than none.

Become conscious of the beauty in the world

May you see, hear, touch, smell and taste all of life - A life of Sensual Living; living with all senses fully engaged!