Asleep at the wheel is an expression that can too easily become an accurate description of how we move through our days and show up in our relationships. Our senses become dulled and we don’t smell or taste what we consume, we hurry through the simple practices of hygiene never feeling our hands running across our own bodies in washing. It’s no wonder that so many sex lives turn into a rut of repetitive actions enclosed with ever narrowing boundaries of acceptable. Breaking out of our own internal prisons is a bold act of revolution and whether it applies most to your work, your relationships or your sex life the following list of tips practiced consistently will shake your internal chains free and wake you up to a life that will surprise you.
1. Take risks. Living on the edge of our own comfort zones is prerequisite to both truly appreciating what you have and opening up to new possibilities. Not knowing what might happen next is edgy and in many ways more exciting than watching a scary movie because the consequences are yours. The rising popularity of reality TV shows reflects an unquenched desire in most of us to dare to be great. You can start small- maybe trying a new kind of food or going to a new place to grocery shop. Placing yourself in the midst of not knowing what will happen next wakes you up to what you do know.
2. Move your body. The statistics on the number of people who are relatively stationary even in sex is appalling. How we learn about whom we are in the most primary way from the time we are born is through our ability to move. Little babies spend their entire waking life reaching beyond their capacity to experience the world. Tap into that little baby still living somewhere inside you and be willing to risk the physical discomfort of arduous exercise, longer walks, and new sexual positions. Truly the pain associated with using your body fully is way more interesting than the slow atrophy of sitting on a couch.
3. Use your senses. Be deliberate about learning more about your capacity to see, hear, feel, smell and taste. Adopt an attitude of savoring, which will add at least a couple of moments to every sensory experience. Look at colors around you and imagine what it would be like to paint them. Start listening for the subtle noises around you; it will entrain you to hear the quieter voice in your own mind. Take the time to taste the individual ingredients when you cook. Slow down the eating process and linger over a single bite. Smell the air where you are. Try to remember the last time you smelled a summer evening just like this one. Really feel how it feels to have a hand trace slowly up your back. Stay longer in a hug and feel the weight of someone leaning into you.
4. Build Better Habits. We are what we do every day. Choose to be challenged by your daily activities, which could be argued goes against human nature, but also elevates our human nature to our best selves. Developing daily practices that heal us become the framework for everything else that happens to us. Add a few minutes of meditation- any kind of meditation- to your days and be amazed how turning your attention inward focuses all the noise around you. Exercise routines that become habitual are harder to break and the sense of accomplishment associated with strengthening the body travels into everything else that happens.
5. Make Love More. Any kind of love. Explore and expand the pleasure centers in your own body. Give things away. Pay full attention to whoever is interacting with you. Allow people to be who they are and take that permission for yourself. Feel the visceral truth of gratitude even for the smallest life experiences. Get over yourself and ask for more love. Look for the love coming at you every day. It will wake you up.