“When we dwell in the senses, we downshift from a rushed pace into the slower pace of organic life.
Emotions and mind come into resonance with the deep rhythms of the body, promoting integration and well-being.
We notice the beauty around us, and we use it to grow.”
—Bonnie Gold Bell
Good morning! I hope this winter morning finds you warm, comfortable, and safe if you live in the Northeast United States. I am dealing with a frozen pipe this morning. It got very, very cold here overnight, and despite my best efforts to protect my pipes, one still froze. Aargh. I am awaiting Roto Rooter as I type this. Wish me good luck!
I have a special article for you this morning, by mandala artist Bonnie Gold Bell. She and her artist husband, David Todd, have been creating beautiful mandala imagery for over a decade. I know Bonnie because I have sold her lovely mandala art prints at SoulfulLiving.com’s online store, The Mandala Collection for many years, and she has been kind enough to contribute some very lovely and meaningful articles to SoulfulLiving.com over the years.
I have just “officially” reopened The Mandala Collection overnight, after a store redesign and redevelopment. Many of our long-time subscribers will remember it. The store opened in 2001 and thrived for a number of years, but I was forced to close it during the recession, because, well, people just weren’t buying gifts and healing tools during that time — me included. I am excited to reopen the store today, and I hope you will visit and have a look around. I’m still adding products, but, for the most part, it’s open for business! Hooray!
I think you will love this article by Bonnie. She is a very intuitive and soulful woman and this is a deeply touching article about how she used her “senses” to help her heal from stage 4 cancer and “become new.” I hope you find it as touching and meaningful as I have. May it help empower you in your progress of moving forward toward your goals and “becoming new,” too!
“Becoming New: Using Your Six Senses to Empower Your Progress”
by Bonnie Gold Bell
You have powerful tools for making progress right in your own hands—and your eyes, nose, mouth, ears and heart. By actively using all six of your senses, you can harness great energy for moving forward and be filled with pleasure in the process. Whether you need to make progress in healing or in realizing other goals, your senses are your inborn allies.
I say this with confidence because my own recovery from advanced cancer has been so empowered by engaging my senses. They have worked like keys to unlock deep resources and capacities. From my cells to my spirit, I have been blessed by my interaction with the living elements around me. In the face of intense challenge, they have helped me to become new. I hope this brief celebration of the senses will support you in your own exploration.
How Does It Work?
Using your senses to become new involves drawing in the beauty-essence of the natural world through each sensory channel. For instance, you can take in the sight of a colorful rose, inhale its scent and touch its soft petals. The uplifting beauty-essence of the flower is really the active agent, and your senses are the means by which you absorb that essence. Input from the senses triggers the organic messaging system that activates responses in your body, mind and spirit. Both modern science and sacred science confirm this effect. We are constantly responding to the sensory stimuli around us. When what we take in feels good to us, it alters our state toward health and optimum functioning.
I use the rose as an example because I have gotten so much healing pleasure from that specific plant. When I first got my diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer, I knew I had to gain space from the doom that seemed to represent. I had been working with essential oils for some years and was aware that rose oil has perhaps the highest vibration of all the essences. The smell of roses has the capacity to truly lift the spirits and ease the heart. Whenever I began to feel stuck in negativity, I opened the bottle on my desk and breathed it in deeply. I had been lucky to receive a bottle of rose oil as a gift. Since it is extremely expensive, I mostly just smelled the oil. But if I felt overwhelmed, I would put a tiny drop on my heart.
I grow roses on my deck, so I also spent time outside with the flowers. Their visible beauty gave me new life through my eyes, while their scent comforted me. I further worked with the roses by creating images out of them. My husband, David Sun Todd, and I create healing art sourced in natural objects. In this case, we put our rose blossoms directly on our digital scanner and turned them into vibrant mandalas (see “CenterPeace” below). This way, I could gaze on the beauty of the roses all year long and draw on their restorative essence. The roses, many other plants and flowers, the animals and the rocks around me have been my active allies in making new art and a new me.
My senses were, of course, only part of what restored me. I want to acknowledge the incredible help I got from family and friends and especially my husband, David. He evolved a whole system of healing just to help me. I was graced to find my way to wonderful healers of every persuasion and treatments that supported my recovery. I renewed a very deep soul connection with the many-formed Goddess and other spirit allies. But, without a doubt, one of the reasons that I am so well today is that I used my senses to feed on the beauty of life.
Make no mistake, beauty is strong medicine. Like love, its emotional counterpart, beauty is a force of positive change. Our hearts and bodies are awakened in its presence. Even when nothing else can penetrate our suffering, we can be moved by beauty’s touch. It arouses us in ways that benefit both body and emotions. It turns on cascades of chemical support to the cells. In its embrace, we can walk past limits that otherwise seem too daunting. So when I say that taking in beauty through my senses helped me move forward, I mean that most literally…
Copyright Bonnie Gold Bell. All Rights Reserved.
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Wishing you a beautiful new day!