February 15, 2016

A Choosing of Senses. {Poem}

Mindfulness, meditation, mindful, breath, relief, pause

Most of us are blessed with the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. And we use these senses as a personal navigation system throughout our life.

Most of us are also blessed with a life that includes passion, responsibility, opportunity, hardship, growth and love—which means we sometimes can’t hear anything outside of our own thoughts or see past our current situation.

Along with a fulfilling life and all my senses, I’ve been blessed with a knack for overthinking and anxiety.

At the age of four, my mom was pregnant with my little brother and we moved from the only place I knew as home. As an attempt to calm myself, I began pulling out my hair. I would slowly twist a small section of hair into a tight knot, grab ahold of it and pull it out until the knot sat in the palm of my hand. This caused my parents to worry and every time they told me I needed to stop, I’d burst into tears.

I don’t remember any sort of pain from pulling my hair out. It felt good, it served a purpose.

There are times we find ourselves in the middle of life unable to process what our senses are telling us. Times when we don’t hear clearly, don’t see clearly, eat mindlessly and pull out our hair. We lose touch with our center and all that we have to be grateful for.

The thing is, when we begin to inhabit our bodies and our minds, we can consciously choose our experience. When we can’t hear anything beyond our own thoughts, it is time to focus on our other senses: what we see, what we feel, what we taste. These senses give us something concrete and positive to focus on mindfully, which transforms our entire experience.

I choose to breathe deeply, connect passionately and always try to re-center myself with the little things in life. I choose to feel the world around me, reveling in the beauty, the sorrow and the growth it provides.


I can feel the gravel beneath my feet,

but can’t hear my footsteps.

I read when seeing stars

under moonlight in the mountains.

Warnings and sirens,

music sweeps

into a drummer’s beat,

one I can see but cannot hear.

Humming lightning and thunder

in bone marrow.

Sandy toes on the shore of a

void ocean, silent shells.

I still appreciate a warm cup

of blueberry elderflower tea

with just a touch of cream.

Oversize knit sweaters

and bright warm fireplaces.

The way it smells when it rains

on luscious fall evenings.

Getting lost in tracings of

fingertips on lips and hip bones;

interlocking knees and elbows

at midnight.

The beauty of smiles

and watching things grow

I feel the world, I see it.


Author: India Allen

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: Minoru Nitta/Flickr

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India Allen