3332452839_87be7109dc_zSensualizing.  Sounds kinda sexy, doesn’t it? I guess it could be, but I mean it in the boring context where it refers to all sensory imagery regardless of the sense or combination of senses involved.  Visualization is the most common example of this. However, you also have access to and can utilize auditory, olfactory, tactile, gustatory (taste) and kinestethetic (whole body) imagery.

In her book, Awakening the Mind: A Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Brainwaves, Anna Wise, tells that practicing the art of sensualizing allows us to develop our alpha brain waves.  Alpha waves are present in the relaxed, peaceful, detached awareness of a day dreaming  mind.  Alpha is the intermediate ground between waking and sleeping and provides a bridge to the subconscious.  These brain waves allow for vivid, lucid imagery and can assist in creativity and insight.

Developing the alpha waves through sensualization can greatly enhance any creative process – no matter what the medium – for a writer, painter, sculptor, musician, cook, interior designer, architect, student, you name it.

Wise says that we usually have one dominant sense which tends to over power the others.  For example, think of a bell ringing.  Did you see it or hear it first?  Think of bread baking in a bakery. Do  you see it or smell it first?  You can use your stronger sense to access a weaker sense.  To do this, go ahead and indulge the stronger sense, but do not stop there. Go to another sense.  For example, if your strongest sense is visual, and you saw the bell first, now hear it ringing and, then, feel the vibrations and the cold, metal surface of it.  She says that the more senses you can combine to create a vivid internal experience, the more productive and meaningful your sensualization will be and the more accomplished  you will become at producing alpha waves.

Some practice images she suggests are: (Do these with your eyes closed.)

  • Feeling soft fur under your fingers.

  • Experience the gritty feeling of brushing sand off of your legs at the beach.

  • The sound of a jet taking off.

  • The crackle of wood burning in an open fire.

  • The smell of an outdoor barbeque.

  • The smell of freshly brewed coffee.

  • The sharp taste of pure lemon juice.

  • The sound and sensation of biting into a crisp, fresh apple.

  • Struggling to open a childproof medicine cap.

  • The sensation of walking down stairs in the dark.

An exercise she suggests to pull it all together is to sensualize what your life would be like if it were exactly as you wanted it to be.  What would it look like?  What would it feel like?  What would it sound like?  Even what would it smell and taste like? Have fun with it.

image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spjwebster/

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  1. I like these kinds of exercises. Interestingly, I’ve also read that smell is the sense most closely connected to long-term memory. Cooking smells and other things can apparently zoom us right back to times past. The only situation in which I dislike sensory association is when you break up with someone, and then some darn song follows you around reminding you of them. Fortunately, I haven’t gone through that experience in a while.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      I have heard that too about smell….that it is the strongest sense associated with memory I can still remember my brother’s distinct scent and, he has been dead for 14 years. I find it comforting.

      The associations do have a negative side as well. Never thought about that. I guess this is where we exercise conscious choice and thought reframing to make new associations.

  2. Debbie Hampton Reply

    Great article. Thanks for sharing. Synesthesia sounds very cool. Oliver Sack’s book “The Mind’s Eye” depicts several interesting cases of synesthesia of all different kinds. Synesthesia accounts for some amazing abilities. I have not read, but want to “Born on a Blue Day” by Daniel Tammet about himself, an autisitic synethesiate, who can learn new languages fluently in a week and perform extraordinary calculations. He memorized 22,000 digits of pi. Can you even imagine?

  3. Thanks for the info. I had the rare privilege of using the EEG mind mirror that she and hermentor developed to tap the subconscious world of the sensual when I did by doctoral studies so long ago now and then continued my education of her work in The High-Performance Mind. I will have to read the Awakened Mind to find even greater insights. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Oh, wow! What a wonderful opportunity and learning experience. I am sure it contributed to the path you have followed in your life and the tools you continue to share with others in The High-Performance mind. Good stuff!

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