Wednesday, April 23rd8.7°C
Feel Good

The sensual world

The first time I viewed Kate Bush’s video “The Sensual World”, it struck a chord with me (check it out on YouTube). We have five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, sound – but how many do we fully experience daily? Are you immersed in the joy of all you can touch, the flavours of what you eat, the subtle scents perforating the air, the sights around you, and what you hear? Life is a sensual adventure, if you choose to dance it that way.

Touch seems to be out of vogue, unless you’re a touch pad or phone. In our germ-phobic culture, hand shaking is almost cringed upon. Personally, fist bumping or sneezing into my elbow is not my thing. I learned how to wash my hands when I was three and we have immune systems for a reason. But seriously, if you hug at least one person a day, you’re likely to destroy any virus due to the warmth and intimacy a hug brings to your sense of well-being. Violence permeates our media, culture, and entertainment. Everyone could use a good hug.

Hiking the trails in the Okanagan offers an opportunity to listen to nature. People who are sensitive to constant noise surrounding us can take a vacation by noticing what they hear when it is quiet. Once I’ve shut off the incessant noise pollution in my head, I listen to the breeze rustling leaves, birds singing, the silence of no vehicle or electronics buzzing, and the satisfying crunch of dead leaves underfoot. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Alternatively, marinating in the hustle and bustle of city lights and shoppers is another feast for the senses.

The December holiday season is deliciously sensation-filled, and an ideal time to awaken your senses:

  • Inhale the scent of a citrusy mandarin orange, a minty fudge candy, or a fresh swag of pine – personal favourites that offset my Boston Terrier gassing us out of the living area.
  • Brew a decadent hot chocolate with Irish Cream or Kahlua, topped with a generous dose of real whipped cream, sit back and watch the snowflakes swirl like you did when you were little and had all day to daydream.
  • Put on headphones and enjoy a Christmas symphony or old school Christmas songs (Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis are good choices) and let the crooning take you back to Christmas memories of yesterday; hopefully not that time the Christmas tree fell over immediately after you placed the last decoration. Yeah, it happened.
  • Go for an evening walk to see your neighbourhood Christmas lights and listen to the crunch of fresh snow underfoot, along with the silence of the night. Or choose another area if yours is filled with large, muffler-less trucks continually roaring by.
  • Visit a skating rink and watch adorable toddlers learn to skate for the first time. Remember fondly that first time your skate pick caught on the ice and you had your very first bloody nose from the ensuing face-plant.
  • Indulge in Eggnog and Gingerbread – guiltlessly and joyfully, like the little girl I saw in a coffee shop recently, out on a date with her Dad. The glee on her face when her hot drink piled high with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle arrived was priceless.
  • Meditate on the lights of the Christmas tree. Forget about the Christmas to-do list until next year.
  • Have a meaningful conversation with a homeless person who asks you for change. Instead of avoiding eye contact and rushing by, look them in the eye and smile. Fulfil the need of someone who is simply looking for a little bit of warmth over the holidays. Ah, there’s that heart you forgot you had, Grinchy!
  • Bring friends over to share dinner, drinks, and a night of laughter – avoid any discussions involving work or politics as this is sure to put everyone to sleep.
  • Hold hands and give hugs away. Every day. Whether they want it or not.
  • Gather friends or family to tour a new neighbourhood and sing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs. Have a competition for worst caroler. Feel good for a change for losing.
  • Snuggle in front of a crackling fireplace and absorb the heat. The Yule log on cable will also do in a pinch. Big screen TVs really give off the heat, and all the stoking is left up to TV guy.
  • Share your favourite Christmas stories with loved ones. Marvel over how differently your brother remembers the snowball fight where you pelted him in the head and made him cry. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s how it went down.
  • Wrap up in the warmest, softest, thickest blanket you have and simply stare at the tree or candlelight. Fall into a deep nap like the bears do because hibernation is actually a pretty brilliant concept when it’s freezing outside.

When you practice focusing your attention on what sensation you’re experiencing in the moment, it enriches your world. Our senses can generate long forgotten memories, extraordinary creativity, and deep inner satisfaction. Feel, inhale, listen, taste, really look at your surroundings – feels good! Have a Merry one!

Read more Feel Good articles

About the Author

Tara is a published poet and children's e-book author. Article publishing credits include,, VidaYum online children’s magazine, and Homes & Land Okanagan. She currently spends most of her time discovering new BC restaurants and wineries, hiking with her dog, and writing. Her column is about positive living and coping skills for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Follow her on Twitter @TaraPanrucker.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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