Erica Wheeler: inspiring connections between people and place

July 2012/Take 5 and Sense Your Place

July 2012Take 5 and Sense Your Place
In the feature article below, you’ll find a short, but powerful sensory experience I use in my programs. It works great with all ages, all levels of experience and even when you just have a few moments of time. It’s called Take Five and Sense Your Place.

Try it and let it help you slow down and experience your “sense of place” no matter where you are. It just takes a few minutes, and results in a refreshed state of mind, and a well of images and ideas you can use to create a story, song, essay and more about “your” place.

Take 5 and Sense Your Place
Settle yourself outside for a moment being quiet and still. Using the directions below, note five observations for each of your senses. What you discover can often be the start of a song, poem and more.

Number One
Cover your ears and count to ten. When you uncover your ears: listen.
What do you hear?

Number Two
Cover your eyes and count to ten. When you uncover your eyes: look.
What do you see? What colors? What light? What animals? What features?

Number Three
Cover your nostrils with your fingers and count to five. When you uncover your nose: smell. What do you smell?

Number Four
Close your mouth and count to ten. Then stick out your tongue: taste
What do you taste?  What is the weather like today? Can you taste it?

Number Five
Close your eyes and notice what you feel on your skin. What does your body feel? Can you feel where you are sitting? Can you feel the wind on your cheek?

Number Six
Close your eyes and put your hand over your heart, like the pledge of allegiance.
How do you feel in your heart? Happy? Calm? Sad?

Extra credit:
What does being here feel like?
Why does this place matter to you?
Why should it matter to others?

This practice is deceptively simple. It’s the counting to ten that really helps you slow down. Try it with your kids, or just yourself. When I do this with people, I write down their ideas and try and create a group song.  Let me know how it works for you!

updated: 1 year ago