Sensuality: An Antidote to Stress

Yesterday for no good reason, I was kind of nasty towards Brian. There was nothing he did, nor could I pinpoint anything specifically that pushed my buttons. This happens to me from time to time and it’s generally for the same reason. I get locked in “survival mode,” which is my way of handling responsibility and stress. Brian also gets lost in his own “doing world”  and goes into his own version of handling stress. When this happens we feel miles apart and I hate it. 

It’s been a long week. Without going into the details, suffice it to say we’ve been busy, caught bad colds and there’s been some illness in our extended family. We’ve been preparing to leave for a teaching trip, and finishing up all the stuff one has to do to travel and work. Although we are very excited about where are going (Australia) we have both been knee deep in preparing ourselves for the trip.

Brian and I are both prone to dealing with responsibility, illness and stressors by withdrawing and getting “busy.” We try to divide and conquer everything on our plate, but we do so without connecting to our own selves and one another.

Last night, after several days of feeling really pissy, I broke my own survival spell by taking a bath and doing some stretching to music. I lit a fire, some candles and a stick of incense. It helped a lot. But it did not quite help me to bridge the chasm I felt with him until I realized that I needed his touch and compassion. In other words I wanted a sensate experience with him.

Sensuality is a powerful force that allows us to enter a realm that ushers us out of survival. Sensuality is felt through the senses of sight, smell, touch and hearing. We can enter this state at any moment, but oftentimes we do not, because our survival instincts take over. Sensuality is the antidote for stress. Sensuality is a state we can drop into simply by slowing down, noticing our bodies, taking deep breaths, moving gently, smelling the air, or feeling our feet on the ground. In a relationship, touch and compassionate communication can help us come back to our bodies and our sensate selves.

I miss Brian when we do not engage in sensual connection, which by the way, is different than sex. When our edges become tense and brittle, I resent him because a young part of me wants him to rescue me from myself. My real need however is not to be rescued, but to let him know the state I’m in and open myself to physical and emotional connection with him. Sometimes making that shift from doing and thinking to being in the moment is difficult. Parts of us want to hang onto the control of getting things done and we resist stopping and surrendering into nourishing sensuality.

It is vital that we devote time in our day for sensuality, whether you are with a partner or not. Sensuality emerges from within and is not reliant on having a partner to bring it forth. If you are with a partner, it’s a gift and blessing to share it. I know it always breaks the impasse between Brian and I and makes life juicy again. And miraculously I stop hating him!

Here are some tips:

  1. Know when you are maxed out on doing and thinking, and take a break.
  2. Slow down, slow down, slow down!
  3. Ask yourself, “What would feel yummy for my body?” Some suggestions are taking a bath, sitting in your garden, smelling flowers, doing some gentle movement, touching yourself gently and kindly or listening to soothing music.
  4. Create a sensual environment for yourself.
  5. Shout and cry to release tension.
  6. If you are with a partner, invite him or her to bask in some delicious-ness with you.

We would love for you to resond and share some ways that help you and/or you and your partner feel sensual.

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