This week’s exercise was to notice your hands when they are busy doing something and watch them as though they belonged to a stranger. I think the point of this exercise was to get some distance from your hands so that you could appreciate all that they do that you normally take for granted. Even as I sit here typing, my hands are doing something very quickly that I am putting almost no conscious thought into. It’s really amazing when you stop and watch and think about what they are doing.
Our hands are capable of doing many, many things without much direction from us. We trust our hands to dry a china plate without dropping it, and they almost never do. When we stumble, our hands automatically reach out in front of us to break our fall. Our hands protect us and care for us.
As I watch little Adeline learn to use her hands it gives me even more appreciation for what my hands can do. At first she really couldn’t do anything at all with her hands. Then she discovered the fact of their existence and managed to get them into her mouth. Progress! Now she pulls toys out of her toy box and puts them back in; she picks up food with her thumb and forefinger and, most of the time, gets it into her mouth; she lifts her hands up towards me when she wants to be picked up. She can use her hands to entertain herself, feed herself and communicate some of her needs. Yet she’s still such a very long way from being the adept hand-user that an adult is. She’ll get there eventually though.
This weeks exercise is “When eating, just eat: enjoy what you are eating and use all of your senses to appreciate it.”