What’s Sensational Living, you might ask?
I’m glad you did.
Sensational Living is reconnecting with your sensational body (your senses, feelings and intuition) in a way that you feel safe and supported.
Basically, you are creating your own Sensational Oasis. Slowly. That’s the key. Take your time. Go sense by sense. One feeling at a time. Trust your instinct.
Once you’ve reconnected and made friends with each of your senses in your own time, then you are able to invite others into this magical space. It’s like they say on the airplanes, “Put your oxygen mask on first.”
If you are a parent, a teacher or a caregiver, this may be a hard thing for you to do. It is crucial that you take time to take care of you and your body. Once you do that, you really do become a fountain of love and care for the other people in your life.
Do you want to try it?
Find a quiet space. It may be the back of your pantry. It may be your bathroom with the lights off and the door locked. Whatever option you have to not be disturbed for two minutes.
All you’ll need is your favorite bite-sized treat. Hershey’s Kisses work well for this exercise. I also love Sweedish Fish or you could even use a small marshmallow or a spoonful of ice cream. If you are lucky enough to have a box of fancy chocolates or macaroons, grab that and go to your quiet place.
Are you safe inside? Find a comfortable seat.
Unwrap your treat. If you are sitting there with a spoonful of ice cream, no unwrapping required. Just sit there and take a few deep breaths. If there are layers of existence between you and your treat, enjoy freeing that sweet. Take your time. Let the wrapper itself, the crinkly sound, the feel on your fingers, let it all be part of the process. Let it all be a part of this special time.
Once it’s just you and the treat, see if you can smell the sugary goodness. Maybe just a little lick. Take your time. Is a lick enough to get the sweet feel on your taste buds?
Now take a bit. Just a little bite. Really take your time as you slowly and fully chew this bite. Even if it is iced cream or whipped cream from the can make sure you spend some time with it … tasting it.
When you are ready and the treat is down to a good size, let it sit on your tongue. Maybe don’t chew it. See if you can let the dessert dissolve on your in your mouth. This may take some time. While you are waiting, just enjoy this quiet time. Breathe. Feel good about this gift you are giving yourself.
When the last sugar speck has dissolved and the treat is gone, it’s still not over. Sit with this peaceful feeling a moment longer. Remember it.
Here’s your big decision. Do you call to the kids? Invite them? Show them what you’ve learned and all experience the sweet stillness together?
Or do you have another one all to yourself?
Whitney is a visual artist. I’m a writer. We are both moms with kids in grade school. When we first met, we were each volunteering at the same school to teach yoga in our children’s classrooms.
We were instant friends.
Day one, we were the kind of friends who would dominate in Charades or Pictionary. You know those types of friends – the ones who finish each other’s sentences and seem to use ESP as much as words.
We share so many of the same interests and see the world through a very unique yet similar rosy, pink sparkly way as if each of us were looking through our own lens in one pair of cheap sunglasses.
Four years ago, we started meeting regularly to see how we could join forces and help bring more mindful moments to the teachers and kids at our neighborhood elementary school. With only two of us, and dozens of classrooms and teachers, we decided the best way to do this was to create a toolkit for the teachers.
We would hand over our favorite exercises in a mindfulness handbook. We’d share our best practices from our collective years teaching yoga to kids and families.
Kids need to settle down after a wild and crazy recess? Here’s an idea.
The class needs to focus in preparation for a test? Try this one.
Tension is running high? Relax with this exercise.
Open to any page and there’s something you can do right now to feel better. No heavy explanations with lots of fun. Kids yoga helps children navigate their senses and emotions in safe ways. The more children practice, the more they are able to learn to trust their bodies and themselves.
Whitney and I would roll around concepts for hours. I’d scribble out a plan. Whitney would sketch for further description and inspiration.
Pretty quickly, we realized our brainstorming sessions were leading to something with a further reach than our little school.
We began to see that we could dream bigger. We stepped into a space where we could Be Sensational.
Be Sensational grew from that toolbox. Very soon it will be available to the world. (Spring 2019!) It’s no small task to bring a book to market and we’ve stretched beyond our roles as yogis, as writers, as artists, and as mothers so that soon YOU can have a copy of Be Sensational in your very own hands.
You see I’ve always wanted to be a published author just like Whitney has wanted a larger format to share her artwork. For a long time, I expected somebody else to come along and shine a light on my work – to take a chance on me. Just when I was beginning to think that wouldn’t ever happen, somebody did.
It was me. And Whitney. We’re taking a chance on ourselves. We are laying it on the line and putting our work out into this great big world because we believe in the message of Sensational Living. We just know that there are teachers, parents and kids out there who want to Be Sensational.
We’re starting out hyper-locally. We live in Old Greenwich, Connecticut (known simply as OG here in town). We’d like to invite you to help us bring our vision for Sensational Living to the world. It starts small. Buy a book. Come to a signing. Contact us for a workshop. Read our blog. Follow us on Instagram @besensationalbooks.
Soon, we’ll have stacks of books in our garage, but not for long. At least, that’s what we’re hoping.
It helps to believe in yourself when you have a friend who is right there beside you believing too. If you start believing in us too, then I just know we can do this.
We send the book’s file to the printers next week. I feel like my skin is the only thing holding me together. I might burst from excitement (and worry and fear and joy), but that is all part of the fun. Stay tuned.