Pruning Your Sensory Garden

Ah, fall. I love it. A time of transition, change. Shorter days and cooler weather as we move toward winter.

Since we relocated to Long Beach last year, I have had the opportunity to take some gardening classes and assist in tending to gardens that grow food for folks experiencing food shortages.

In the fall, there is a practice of culling the summer crops. Pulling all of the old tomatoes and melons that thrived in the summer heat, eating them up or giving them away, and planting seeds of carrots, starters of lettuce, broccoli, spinach.

Getting the garden ready for the seasonal transition.

In the same way we are intentional about our physical garden, we can also be intentional and thoughtful about rotating the garden of our sensations. We can become very skillful in taking out the seeds/ plants/ weeds that are no longer nourishing what we want to harvest.

When we have pain for a long period of time, after surgery or injury- our sensory signals adapt to become more sensitive to finding danger in that area. They become like car alarms getting set off with a strong wind.

Let's use the case of my right hip. My sense receptors (the beautiful internal stethoscopes of our body: our mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, chemoreceptors) monitoring my right hip have gotten finely tuned and STRONG through the years. They listen for the slightest change in status quo, and when they sense a change (in the presence of a long hike, a deep stretch, a heavier pack) they raise the alarm bell in my brain.

We want to be aware of the felt sensations in our bodies, and we do not want to practice being hyper vigilant or dulled to sensation.