Exploring your location with the sense of touch is one of the surest ways of truly embodying its essence. The skin is our largest organ and with its millions of receptors, has the amazing ability to capture the elements of our favorite location, sealing them into our memory. When those “feel” elements are recreated in your home spa sanctuary, you will be whisked away to your favorite space again and again.
Capturing the touch and feel of your location involves employing what we massage therapists refer to as “listening touch.”
From your centered and aware state, close your eyes and focus all your attention into your hands. Touch the landscape around you. Hold loose items in your hands. Feel for specific aspects like temperature, texture, form, density, weight. Then write any descriptors that come to mind in your journal.
Things I touched while on Assateague Island:
When you feel that you’ve captured all the items you’ve touched in your journal it’s time to broaden your awareness to how your location feels to your whole body. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your skin. Feel for details like temperature, wind, pressure, movement, etc. Journal any details that come to your awareness.
Things I felt:
Sea breeze: While difficult to capture with my camera, this element was first and foremost in my awareness. It ranged from cooling to warming, depending on the time of day. It blew bits of sand and surf so that I was usually feeling a “sprinkling” sensation. It ranged from light breeze to steady force and rustled my clothing and hair.
Once we’ve captured the sights of our location, it’s time to listen.
From your centered and aware state, close your eyes and start bringing sounds to your attention. Listen without judgment since everything you hear is part of the essence of the location you’ve chosen.
Some sounds will be easily noticeable. Write down in your journal the first sounds you notice. Journal everything you hear. Once you feel you’ve captured the superficial noises, try listening deeper. Isolate background noises and those that blend together to create that delicious “white noise” that so many of us use to meditate or fall asleep. Just what makes up that white noise? Is it wind blowing through the trees? Is it street noise? The hum of an air conditioner or fan? Write any details that come to mind in your journal.
I found it helpful to capture the sounds of the beach on audio. Here’s what I heard at Assateague:
I’m so looking forward to sharing this topic! Spa design is something very dear to my heart and I can’t wait to help you create your own beautiful spa sanctuary in your home! Creating a spa sanctuary is about capturing a feeling, then transforming that feeling from the ether to the physical.
When I design my sanctuary spaces, I get my inspiration from visiting locations that evoke feelings of peace, tranquility, safety, wellness, freedom, beauty, gratitude, joy, love…whatever emotions I want to infuse into my physical space. For me, this means natural settings, but you can choose any location close to your heart.
My favorite way to capture the feel of these locations is by grabbing my camera and journal then going on an all-senses “treasure hunt.”
I am so fortunate to have experienced the restorative beauty of the East Coast recently, so I’ll be using that gorgeous seascape as my example. But don’t worry, you won’t need to go on a fabulous vacation to capture the spa essence. I have had equal success in unearthing spa-bliss “booty” from the flowers and trees in my backyard and even from the views from my car.
The spa feeling comes from slowing enough to be present, aware of and grateful for the beauty around you–wherever you are. So choose a location that evokes the feelings you’d like to invite into your home, gather your camera and journal (and possibly bug spray), and in the next blog, we’ll get to work!
This is my favorite flower. This beautiful indigo iris was given to me by a coworker when we first bought the house ten years ago. At the time, flowers were absent in our back yard, and we had few resources to invest in landscaping. We relied on generous donations from friends and family, of cuttings from their own gardens to populate our landscape with flowers.
Over the years this iris has been divided, replanted and spread throughout the yard. It has grown from one cluster to many planted in little tufts throughout my back yard. It gives me joy every year. Whenever it blooms it reminds me of the generosity of my friends and family and how much I appreciated the gifts during a scarce time in my life.
Since that time, we’ve both moved forward and we no longer work together. I wonder if she knows how much that one small iris has spread over the years and how much I still love it. I doubt she realizes that her gift has made such a lasting impact on my life.
WEED: FEELING I DON’T HAVE “ENOUGH” TO GIVE
SEEDS TO PLANT: GENEROUS GIVING–EVEN ON A SMALL SCALE