Every Monday, we post a manifesto from someone who has completed The Dig. During The Dig, each participant discovers the one word that best describes their purpose, and they write a manifesto about it. This week’s Manifesto was written by one of evoso’s own, Shannon Costello. An experienced, dynamic, and diversified communications strategist, Shannon is a writer, multimedia producer, and public speaking coach. Read more about how Shannon’s word, sense.
Sense, by Shannon Costello
A scientist will tell you a definition. They will say sense is a specialized function or mechanism by which an animal receives and responds to stimuli.
A preschool teacher will show you a chart with pictures, point to your orifices and body parts, and have you recite with them; sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.
A scared person will look at this country, and say they have a sense of danger. They will explain that they have a vague awareness, the impression of insecurity, of fear.
A confused person standing beside them will simply shake their head and say they are just struggling to make SENSE of the whole thing. Meaning, they do not understand. They want to make sense of it. They want a rational, conscious awareness of the issue.
Luckily, the scared person and the confused person are riding in an elevator with a comedian, who possesses one of the greatest senses there is; a sense of humor. The comedian explains to Mr. Sense-of-Danger & Mrs. Trying-to-Make-Sense that a sense of humor—a discerning awareness and appreciation—allows one to take this whole damn shit show in stride.
I like all these definitions. Sense is all these things. It has multiple meanings. True, we come into this world with five rather specific methods of perceiving it. And these traditional 5 senses, many of us are lucky enough to be gifted innately. We probably take for granted, at some time in our life, just how lucky we are to have them. We probably take for granted just how spectacular and revelatory the sensory world can be.
At the base level, all of these definitions of Sense are right. But they are not complete.
When someone tells me to use all my faculties—they may be implying I’m not accessing all that is available to me. Usually, in our culture, we praise mental faculties above all else. We think that person is implying we’re not maximizing our intelligence.
But when I’m not using all my faculties, it means I’m not fully sensing, to the best of my ability.
Sense is more. It is not simply our capacity for effective application of the powers of the mind. is a feeling, but it is beyond emotion. You can feel happy, sad, angry, peaceful, joyful, even empathetic, and still not necessarily sense. Sense is more. It is felt, but unseen. Sense is intuition. It is an ability to perceive, beyond the 5 senses, beyond the mind, beyond the feelings, at a deeper level of consciousness. Sense occurs at the level of the soul.
I believe, to have a sense of oneself, you must have spent enough time in this this world with your eyes, your heart, your ears, your mind, and your soul wide open. Sadly, too many people won’t ever get a sense of themselves, or of others, for they can’t open all these critical areas of receptivity.
I believe that to know, and to sense, are often two very different things. They don’t have to be in conflict—in fact they can be in alignment—but too often they are not. Too often knowledge exists in a one-dimensional plane, and sense never had anything to do with it.
For me, something can not be known until it is sensed. And while a sensing doesn’t always imply a knowing will follow…. I know I’m heading in the right direction when I begin to sense.
Sense is my inner compass.
Sense is my invisible antennae & my inaudible sonar. It is my superpower and my kryptonite.
Sense is My Gift & My Curse.
My greatest asset, My Achilles heel…
Sense is My Armor, Sense is my most permeable vulnerability.
Sense is what makes me who I am. Sense is what shapes who everyone else is to me.
Sense is what elevates me—My sense is always on. But I’m not always tuned in.
It is my way of perceiving the world, but only when I am open to it, does it bear fruit.
The greatest gift of sense is when I apply it not as selfish means to a selfish end, but towards the betterment of others.
When I use it to see and reflect to others that which is within them, in a way they are not capable of sensing themselves.
When I use it as a creative weapon—to channel sentences to a page, words to a mouth, images to a screen, smile to a face, love to a heart.
Sense is a force for good. But it can be a lot. And to numb it is a real temptation. It is potent, it is beautiful, and it can be draining. It requires time, attention… attunement. It is an orchid in a field of dandelions. It can not be ignored.
Nurture it, Listen to it, Embrace it, Trust it, and it will never, ever lie to you.
Sense can only lead you to The truth.
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