Come to your senses

We all have our ways.
Things we do, think, say, or feel
that help us get present again
when we’ve drifted far into the murky waters
of worrying about what’s to come or what has been.

For me, it’s often tactile—
breathing in soft fur
working in the garden
splitting wood
paddling, hiking, biking
rich conversation
the call of an owl
the smell of a pine forest.

But what are we to do when we only have moments
to bring ourselves back to, well, ourselves
in settings that are not so natural or compelling?

Even our language struggles to hold this.
Being ‘grounded’ can sound like punishment
doled out to a wayward child,
as often as it implies being centered, present, whole.

“Come to your senses,’ according to dictionaries,
has come to mean becoming reasonable after being foolish,
when ‘coming to our senses,’ literally
offers a path back to presence from wandering minds.
It is indeed our best bet, when thoughts have gone awry.

To come to my senses.
To ask myself…
What colors do I see right now?
How many different scents can I pick out?
Which ones do I like and not like?
What am I hearing?
What does this space I’m in feel like?

Coming to my senses
brings an awareness of my surroundings.
Helps me feel my feet on the floor
my body sitting or standing
my heart beating
my lungs breathing.

All of this guides me back to my core,
reminding me that I am a living breathing human animal.
Wild. Alert. Alive. Connected.
And, yes, Present.

Chris Heeter Signature