This weekend just gone by I was in the centre of London.
I visited the London Aquarium, which is great fun by the way, and then took a long stroll along the south bank beside the Thames all the way down to the Tate Modern Art Exhibition Centre.
I do not know if you have been in that wonderful part of London on a weekend, I do strongly advise a visit.
This weekend, the sun was shining beautifully, the air was fresh with Autumn, leaves were just turning colour and falling in places along our route.
Along the south bank there were lots and lots of street performers and artists; some were hilarious and commanded big crowds, some musical, some dancing and some just a little bit crazy.
I was with wonderful company and at several moments during that day, all was truly well in the world with me.
My senses were filled with wonderment.
As author of the best selling self-hypnosis book and self-certified self-hypnosis junkie, I did tend to find myself deepening these naturally occurring trances and enjoying the moments of the suns reflection off the river, the general happy, friendly demeanour of all those people walking along and around with us, many smiling and saying hello, wishing each other well.
It really was a celebration of so many things that I love.
We stopped for coffee in the Tate cafe and I could not resist the chocolate brownies.
While scoffing down my brownie, I was asked what I was thinking.
When I explained that I was simply enjoying the way my senses were so engaged in my surroundings, I realised that it could possibly have sounded unusual.
I am guessing that not many of the people eating brownies and sipping lattés were telling each other of how their senses were engaged in their surroundings!! I initially felt inhibited with expressing what was going on for me, that I was joyous, verging on intoxicated with all that was going on around me that day.
So I kept it to myself and just enjoyed it...
On the train on the way home, thinking about it all, I realised that not many people actually often truly feel what it is like to be alive.
I know, I know, it sounds strange...
As I looked around the train and carried on with one of my favourite pastimes of 'people watching,' I noticed that although many people were busying themselves, or were absorbed in their thoughts or were chatting..
very few of them, in fact, none were actually giving me the impression of truly being engaged in what was around them.
Very few of them seemed to be truly alive within their senses.
I wonder if you truly take time to feel the oxygen pumping around your system, see the colours of everything around you, or look at the sunset with the awe of a young child..
So I decided to abandon all inhibition for this article and share with you a really nice, simple exercise for truly engaging your senses and reminding yourself what it is to feel alive and connected with all that is going on around you.
Now, this does not just have to be about self-indulgently enjoying the world, as it was for me, this is one way to prepare for meetings, to get ready for work, when meeting people, when wanting to achieve more and so much more besides.
Because when you do truly connect with your senses, you prepare yourself more richly than you ever imagined.
You have a heightened awareness; you can connect more easily with others and develop so much more while in that kind of a state.
When you come alive, so others around you do too, they feel it and respond accordingly.
I am sure that you can realise the benefits of being that way; it is not just me having an esoteric, new-age, hippy moment! So, here is a wonderful exercise for you to do to learn and teach yourself how to open up more and more of your own filters and to observe and perceive so much more of what is happening around you: Step One: Find yourself a comfortable position, it can of course be sitting or standing.
I recommend you do this sitting the first time, just while you find your feet with the exercise.
Step two: Fix your attention, all your focus, on one single point, very slightly above eye level.
Focus on that spot exclusively for a few moments, making some fine distinctions in what you see.
Step three: Now relax your eyes and notice the tendency for your vision to expand.
You can see the floor, the ceiling and the sides of the room at the same time.
There is no need to focus in on any particular thing.
This is often referred to as your peripheral vision.
Step four: As you notice your breathing beginning to shift, maybe becoming deeper and calmer, maybe more rhythmic, take this sense of visual awareness and wrap it around you and behind you like a velvety cloak.
You may not be able to see what is behind you, but you can get a sense of what that would be like.
Get a sense of being able to feel with your vision, of thinking that your vision extends all around you.
Step five: Now focus on your hearing.
Imagine your ears to be like a bat's sonar device.
Imagine your hearing stretching out in wider and wider circles.
Become aware of the things that you hear; people talking, the wind in the trees, the hum of the heating, traffic outside, your own breathing.
Step six: Now move to your feelings.
Imagine your feelings to be centred in your tummy.
Push your feelings out around you into the room like a sphere radiating from your tummy.
Get a sense of almost touching the walls with this expanded sense and of feeling everything in between.
Know what that feels like.
Imagine that you really are feeling the space that you are in.
Step seven: Finally, become aware of all three senses radiating from you like interlocking circles at the same time.
Rest in this expanded awareness for a while, absorb all that you can with your senses and truly get a feeling of what it is like to acutely sense that moment you are in: This is being alive! When you have absorbed as much of that as you can, then come back out.
Nice feelings, eh? You see how alive you can really be? A bit different from the usual way of being isn't it? You know what? I enjoyed writing that, I enjoyed imagining doing it and I love doing all of those things.
It is so simple, yet it brings your senses to life! I do this when I run along the sea front where I live and it makes for such a different experience.
This week, tune in to really using your senses, notice how when you connect more with all going on around you, how much more alive you can feel.
You can also see how that sense of feeling so alive affects people, places and circumstances in a manner of positive ways.