Turning Into Your Senses

Turning Into Your Senses

Nov 29, 2023

A Sensibly Selfish Symphony


Our senses are the threads that weave experiences into memories. Each sense holds a unique key to unlocking the richness of existence. Perception isn't just about seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting but about embracing the evolving nature of these senses. There is power in our senses yet we take them for granted. It is time to re-tune into life with fresh eyes, ears, and an open heart.

The Power of Perception

Perception is the lens through which we view the world. As women over 45, our perceptions evolve, shaped by a lifetime of experiences. Embracing the changing nature of perception is pivotal—it's a key to understanding and navigating life's twists and turns. Our senses are not static; they're dynamic, offering new perspectives and insights.

Our brain receives thousands of messages all at the same time. These messages come flowing in from all our senses. All information has to be filtered in order that we can function. We learn to understand the world around us from the few messages we receive. When we question our perceptions, we may realize that we are missing important truths.

Task One: Have a conversation with a good friend and find out how they understand the world around them. If they come from a different culture, religion, age group, gender, or education system you can expect their answers to challenge all that you believe. Be open to exploring diverse options as this is where we grow in strength.

Vision - Seeing Life with New Eyes

As time unfolds, so does our vision. For women over 45, shifts in eyesight are not just physical but symbolic—a call to see life with new eyes. Whether adapting to reading glasses or marveling at the lines etched on a loved one's face, our vision becomes a guide to new ways of engaging with the world.

Below is a list of practical advice for your eyes. Take a look at what resonates, then step-by-step put a plan into action. By doing one thing at a time you are more likely to see things differently.

Regular Eye Check-ups: Schedule regular eye examinations to monitor changes in vision and address any issues promptly. An optometrist can prescribe corrective lenses or recommend other interventions as needed.

Adjusting Lighting at Home: Ensure that lighting at home is adequate, especially in areas where reading or other close tasks are performed. Use task lighting to reduce eye strain and improve visibility.

Consider Progressive Lenses: Progressive lenses can be a practical solution for those with presbyopia, a common age-related vision condition. These lenses provide seamless transitions between different prescriptions, addressing both near and far vision.

Eye-Friendly Devices: Adjust the settings on electronic devices to be more eye-friendly. Increase font sizes, enable night mode, and use good contrast settings to enhance visibility on screens.

Eye Exercises: Incorporate simple eye exercises into your daily routine to strengthen eye muscles. This can help reduce eye strain and maintain better overall eye health.

Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration is essential for eye health. Drinking enough water helps maintain the moisture level in your eyes, reducing the likelihood of dryness and discomfort.

Protect Your Eyes from UV Rays: Wear sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can contribute to age-related vision issues. While moderate sunlight exposure is beneficial for overall health, it's essential to strike a balance and protect your eyes during intense sunlight to maintain optimal eye health.

Maintain a Healthy Diet: Consume a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients beneficial for eye health, such as vitamins A, C, and E. Include foods like leafy greens, carrots, and fish in your meals.

Create a Vision-Friendly Workspace: Arrange your workspace to minimize glare and reflections. Position your computer monitor at eye level and ensure proper ergonomics to reduce eye strain and discomfort.

Be Mindful of Environmental Factors: Consider factors like air quality and humidity, as they can impact eye comfort. Use humidifiers or artificial tears if necessary, especially in environments with dry air.

Remember, each person's vision is unique, so it's essential to tailor advice based on individual needs. Encourage women over 45 to be proactive in addressing changes in vision and seek professional guidance for personalized solutions.

Task Two: Sit quietly in nature and take time to observe the world around you. Look into the distance and observe the colors and textures. Bring your vision to the middle ground and then to the foreground. Notice how color and textures change. Repeat the task with one hand over the right eye and again with one hand over the left. Did you notice subtle differences between your eyes? Imagine what it would be like if you were blinded in one eye, or color blind, how would nature look to you now?

Hearing - Listening to the Melody of Life

In the symphony of life, our sense of hearing plays a transformative role. As we age, it becomes more nuanced, and we have to listen more attentively to the melodies that surround us. We may even notice that we no longer hear some sounds at all.

Task Three: Active listening is a skill that involves fully concentrating. Put away distractions such as your phone or other electronic devices. Be fully present by taking a few deep breaths, closing your eyes, and focusing on one sound at a time. Whether it's the laughter of grandchildren or the rustle of leaves in the wind, this is the time to acknowledge them one by one. Our ears are conduits to a richer, more layered experience of the world when we take time to listen.

Touch - Navigating the World Through Sensation

The sense of touch, a powerful connector, undergoes changes as we age. Yet, its capacity to convey warmth, comfort, and connection remains steadfast. From the gentle touch of a friend to the feel of cool water on a warm day, our sense of touch guides us through the intricacies of human experience.

Task Four: It is time to celebrate the enduring significance that tactile experiences hold in our lives. Notice the transformative power of a reassuring hug, the gentle touch of a loved one's hand, or the soothing embrace of nature. Take a luxurious soapy bath or notice the feel of the clothes you wear, focus on the messages your skin is sending to your brain, and give gratitude for the experience.

Smell and Taste - Savoring the Essence of Life

The senses of smell and taste are gateways to a world of flavors and aromas that shape our memories. As these senses mature, they invite us to savor the essence of life in new ways. From the aroma of morning coffee to the taste of a favorite dish, our ability to appreciate the subtleties of flavor deepens with time.

What we call ‘flavor’ in the food we eat is actually the brain interpreting a mixture of sensations: smell, texture, and taste. About 70–75% of what we interpret as flavor actually comes from our sense of smell. Our taste buds can interpret only 5 basic tastes: bitter, sweet, salty sour, and umami (or savory). A person’s sense of taste can often be confused by comments or suggestions of other people or by mixed signals sent to the brain.

Task Five: Eat a meal blindfolded and notice the aromas in your nose and the flavors and textures in your mouth. Take your time enjoying each mouthful. Do your senses seem to be working overtime? What happens if you hold your nose as you eat? Is there something you have learned from this task that you would like to incorporate into your daily lifestyle?

Intentional Sensations

By understanding the changes in how we perceive and experience the world, by using our senses differently, we open ourselves to a more fulfilling and enriched life. It's easy to overlook the joy that sensory experiences can bring. Whether it's feeling the warmth of sunlight on our skin or savoring the taste of a favorite meal, the importance of being present and finding joy in the small, often overlooked moments that enrich our lives.

I invite you to regularly embark on a day of intentional sensations. Challenge yourself to consciously notice things you might typically overlook. Whether it's the texture of a familiar surface, the subtle sounds of nature, or the nuanced flavors in your meals, make an effort to engage all your senses.

Question your assumptions and explore the richness that lies beyond your habitual perceptions. By actively seeking new perspectives, you open the door to a deeper understanding of the world around you. Embrace the dynamic nature of your senses, and let this day be a canvas for discovering important truths that may have gone unnoticed. Share your experiences with others, and let the collective wisdom of evolving perceptions enrich our journeys.