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Life is a sensual environment.
Last week, at an Intimacy Workshop that I taught in Ireland, someone spoke about creating a sensual environment in their relationship. This is great and important. The phrase stuck with me.
At almost every workshop, I talk about creating a sensual space for experiences, for connection, for pleasure, for deep communication, for ritual.
I talk about the elements of this space—warmth, music, candles, maybe incense, flowers, shells, crystals, whatever it is that’s important to you. I talk about how preparing the space, whether it’s simple or ornate, is the beginning of coming to the experience with deeper awareness and more presence.
Over time, I’ve heard from many people that this has become really important to them. It allows a moment to be present as a lover, to drop into the intimate space, which, in many ways, is not only about sex.
Many people have shared that the space becomes like a sanctuary, a space for them to communicate emotions with safety.
The word sensuality is interesting in that it has many meanings in our world. Sensual space is often connected to sex, to pleasure. And this is the context that many of us use sensuality.
But there’s more. A lot more.
And this is where life becomes a sensual environment.
Sensuality is how we experience life, each other, the world—in, with, through our senses.
We see, we smell, we touch, we taste, we hear, we feel, we talk, we sense, we move—these are all sensual experiences.
And in this, sensuality becomes a path of awareness, of consciousness. We learn, through awareness practices, to become more present in our sensual life.
As an example, when having your first coffee of the day—or any coffee—take a moment to breathe.
Hold the cup in your hands.
Feel the weight.
Feel the warmth.
Look at the coffee; maybe there’s milk, foam, black, crema.
Smell the aroma, breathe it in.
Take a sip, hold it in your mouth for a moment; taste.
Feel it in your body as you swallow.
Take a few moments of sensual awareness.
Then, drink the coffee as you normally would.
Think about how many moments like that there are in your day—every moment is filled with possibility. In this expression and experience of sensuality, there’s intimacy. Intimacy is also a word we’ve connected to sex, but it’s a heart expression, in the moment.
So, sensuality is a way for us to become more intimate with all of life.
This is so important on journeys of healing, growth, learning, spirituality, and conscious sexuality because so many of our issues are linked to separation and disconnect—from parts of ourselves through stress, judgment, and traumatic experiences.
There is such healing, softening, and opening in intimacy.
It’s a vital element of healing.
It’s a vital element of growth.
It’s a vital element of our bodies, our hearts.
And in the awareness of the sensual moment, we are intimate.
We can’t not be intimate. We don’t try and make it happen. We don’t do it. It just is.
And in the sensual moment we slow down, we become still, we become quiet.
There can be many moments of meditation in the day. This is meditation in life, with life—not just sitting with our eyes closed.
Yesterday, we went walking on the boardwalk by the sea. It was chilly and windy and deliciously sensual.
Our intention was to have coffee at the end of the beach, then walk back. All the places were closed.
One of the stores was doing renovations and the door was open. We asked where we could have coffee, the guy told us everything was closed, and he offered to make us tea. Delicious tea. Warm. Sensual. Intimate.
Life is a sensual environment. And every moment is filled with possibility.
From waking up and taking time to feel our bodies, to eating, drinking, laughing, crying, talking, orgasming, breathing. It’s all sensual.
Even in sadness, in aloneness, there’s a sensation, a feeling. When we take judgment off of it, when we can just feel it. We can feel the quality of what’s there.
That’s the sensual environment of life.
Here’s another way to experience the sensual moment with a lover:
Look into each other’s eyes. Bring as much of yourself as you can into this moment.
Breathe deeply; in and out.
Bring your lips close together but not quite touching; so close that you can feel each other.
Breathe into the feeling, the energy, the anticipation, the awareness of their face, your face, their lips, your lips.
Slowly, slowly, come together.
Let your lips meet theirs—softly.
And in that moment, the world is in your kiss.