Touch is one of our fundamental necessities as living creatures of this planet. We share this principle with all other living beings, great and small. The mental and physical effects are many; touch bolsters our sense of community, lowers our common stress-response hormone cortisol, and actually increases our killer cells - the first responders of our immune system. As children, touch is an essential part of growth, both emotionally and physically. We first learn as we grow how to give and receive energy primarily through touch. Touch teaches us to trust - or not to trust. If something is dangerous, causes pain, or appears agitated or displeased through touch, we learn to give space and develop respect for boundaries. We are more inclined to explore things emotionally and energetically if we can first engage physically.
What does this mean while separated? The repercussions of distance between bodies can manifest as low energy, distractedness, or bouts of depression. However, there are several ways to still engage with touch in healthy, respectful, sensual and magical manners. One of these routes is through the love-the-one-your-with doctrine: intentional self-touch. We of course can and do feel our own bodies everyday through passive actions like itching our skin or doing our hair - but what if we tried viewing our bodies as true temples for a few moments of every day? To voluntarily offer attention towards how we engage with self touch can be almost just as powerful as receiving from someone else. Have you ever noticed the elegance of your own form? Have you taken time to explore your own landscape and fall in love? This could be in an action as simple as tracing your fingers along your hand. You could allow further exploration, in your own safe awareness. Watch how your skin moves, rolls, and flexes for you. What does gentle scratching feel like? Pinching? Rubbing? Squeezing? We often seek touch from others to feel cared for or witnessed. Take some time to offer this powerful attention to your own being. Explore your body. There are likely mountains and valleys of yourself that have missed you for a long time. Offer up some understanding and gratitude for the body that you are blessed to have. Feel the countless generations of ancestors who reside in your warm blood, and know that you're never truly alone. Have a ritual bath. As you lather your body, do so with tenderness. Employ sensuality if you feel so inclined. Pleasure is your birthright, available to you at any time.
These aspects of touch can be further inspected at home, with the more subtle lives and sacred forms you share space with. Take a moment to gently wipe away dust from the leaves of your houseplants, then feel how sensitive their surface is, much like your own. Share a moment of knowing. If you have a sweet four legged friend in your midst, repay their unconditional love with soft strokes and extra itches. Think about what it must feel like for an animal to be touched. Caress the surface of rocks, crystals or gemstones. See how each one has their own physical nature, whether cut, tumbled, or fresh from the earth. You'll find that even in isolation, you have caring beings around you - and you are one yourself.