Roger Harty: Come To Your Senses

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rsz_roger_hartyMY father used to say that “the thing about common sense is that they gave it the wrong name!”

Then he’d go on to say “because it’s not really that common at all.” He’d walk away and give a big laugh.

Connecting with our senses is absolutely necessary for our survival. What we see, hear, taste, touch and smell gave our ancestors the essential gifts that enabled them to survive, especially in times of danger.

Let’s picture ourselves as ancient man circa 20,000 years ago living close to a very dense forest.

In order to get the ‘rich pickings’ of food, berries and wild animals, he had to forage deeper into the forest which was accompanied by great danger from attack by wild animals or tribal enemies.

He was out of his ‘comfort zone’. Let’s now examine the role that each of the senses played in aiding and abetting his survival.

If we ask the question “which of our senses is the most important for the survival of ancient man?” The answer lies in the fact that each of the senses in its own right plays a vital part in the survival of ancient man.

Let’s examine the role that each sense plays out individually. In order to create a picture in the mind, imagine ancient man deep inside a forest.

Sight: If he sees a tiny leaf falling in the distance it could be a matter of life and death. Is it a dangerous wild cat or is it a harmless bird?

Hearing: If he hears a twig breaking in the distance – Is it a dangerous wild boar or a squirrel?

Taste: By barely tasting a plant in his mouth can it indicate if it is poisonous or not before he begins to feed on it?

Touch: By touching the faeces of a wild animal on the ground he can tell if the animal is nearby or afar by the heat of the faeces.

Smell: By staying downwind he can smell the presence of a wild animal e.g. a bear or that of easy meat, for instance a deer.

Our senses are absolutely vital to our survival and are even more important now than ever before as they help us to connect with our emotional gut instinct.

It is very important to be aware of our senses and it is even more important to practice paying attention to them individually and collectively.

We pay attention by giving the time to be present with our senses. This could involve doing very pleasant things like lighting a scented candle or going for a walk in the local wood’s but instead of talking and being on the mobile phone to take the time to experience the joy that our senses can bring to our lives.

Gratitude for the moment is always a very powerful tool to have in your toolkit but more of that at a later stage.

Next week I will write about how our senses are a porthole into ‘The Now’.

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email 


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