Our skin is amazing. Besides keeping us intact, and protecting us from the elements, it is also an exquisite sensory organ. And our hands are have the most nerve endings of any part of our bodies except our genitals.
But we are most used to using our hands, not sensing what our hands encounter. There is a practice I have been introduced to over the past couple of years called “Waking the Hands.” It is a part of the Wheel of Consent, which you’ll be hearing a lot more from me about in the future.
There is so much depth to this practice – but to start is simple – get comfortable, make sure you can be completely relaxed, and find an object near you. It doesn’t matter what it is. Allow yourself to notice how this object feels. What do you notice about it. Is it soft, or hard? Cool or warm? What is its texture? Notice what is pleasing about feeling the object. Notice how it feels when your fingertips touch it, versus how it feels when you touch it with your palm. It’s worth watching the video linked above.
Noticing the pleasure in simple touch – the touch of an object in your hands, or the touch of a friends hand on your shoulder, or a simple hug, opens up so much of our ability to really feel and experience pleasure in our bodies. And turning our compassion and curiosity to those times when touch brings up emotions, or feels difficult, continues to cultivate that ability in us to accept our bodies as they are, in this moment.