Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using My Senses

I picked up my half sandwich wrapped in paper and walked outside. I’d been thinking about how nice it would be to eat my lunch on a bench at the park. Sandwich in hand I stepped outside to see the cloud-laden sky. My mind was on my lunch as raindrops tapped the sidewalk. About that time the smell of rain hit my nostrils. I had my sights set on my destination, and I was ignoring all of my other senses.

In an interview with Wired Magazine, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explains the importance of using all of the senses to increase creativity. Walking outdoors increases brain activity, but it also helps get you in touch with your senses.

“I found that if a painter relates to objects only through vision, his work is much less original than a painter who walks up to the object, smells it, throws it in the air, and manipulates it. The variety of sensory inputs allows you to create a visual image that has all kinds of dimensions bubbling up inside it.”
I was amazed that I could walk two blocks today before I even noticed that it was about to rain. I was seeing, but I was not using my other senses. I ate my sandwich at home, and then went out in the evening. This time I immediately noticed the sky, felt the breeze on my cheeks, and felt my nostrils flare. I want to fully capture the many dimensions of my life and experience the moment that I am in.

50 minutes walking

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