Sunday, April 8, 2012
Reset Sunday: Wet Earth, Lemons, and your Sense of Smell
Smell is very direct and often psychologically powerful. At the end of you nasal passage, behind the nose is a cluster of neurons about the size of a postage stamp that's exposed to the air. These neurons are covered with cilia, hair-like structures that increase surface area. Molecules from everything that you can smell float into your nose, bind to the cilia, and send a message through the neuron. This is how you smell that fresh baked bread, that spring of wild rosemary, and everything else.
This week, for Reset Sunday, I propose we tune in to our sense of smell and experiment with its affects on our mood and mind-set.
5 Ways to Use the Sense of Smell for Self-discovery and Healing
- Tune-in. Take some deep breaths through out the day and notice what you are smelling and how you are feeling. See if tuning into the smell changes you how you feel. Maybe it simply pulls you out of your head and into the moment. When you walk to your car in the morning, smell the air. It will put you in direct contact with your surroundings.
- Smell your food before you take a bite. Enjoying the aroma of our food can help slow us down before we start eating. It can initiate a mindful attitude and tune us in to the quality of our food. Notice the feeling, memories, or sensations associated with each smell. This process will enrich your meal and it can provide insight into your food choices.
- Rose Water. If you have never had a mister of rose water on hand, I suggest you pick one up and enjoy it's magical powers. :) If you wake up feeling groggy, grumpy or anxious misting yourself with rose water can instantly transport you to a lovely garden where fairies frolic and elves dance. Even if it doesn't swoop you into fantasia, rose water helps break up a negative thoughts and reminds you of the good simple things in life. Use it when you are feeling angry, sad, bored, scared, or just plain blah. You can find rose water at health food stores or online. The rose water I have on my bedside table is Heritage Products Rosewater. I love it and spray it daily.
- Burning sage and/or palo santo. Both of these you light with a match and then blow out the flame, letting it smoke. You can carry it around your home, smudging your rooms with the smoke. Traditionally, the smoke is said to clear darkened or stagnant energies. I personally find that smudging with palo santo and sage combines a meditative ritual with a wonderful earthy smell that is calming and grounding.
- Experiment with essential oils. You can find essential oils at natural food stores or online. I like the Young Living Essences a lot and many of the Aura Cacia essences as well. I like to carry Lavender essential oil in my purse when I go into the office. Whenever I feel stressed or disconnected, I pull it out and take a moment to smell it. Somehow, it helps me relax and keep my projects and deadlines in perspective. Offices can be devoid of nourishing scents. These sumptuous aromas can reinvigorate and bring a smile to your face even in the dreary land of plastic, metal and fluorescent lights.
I suggest you choose your essential oils by actually smelling them and seeing which ones have the most noticeable effect on you. Usually, there are testers in stores. If you are still not sure which ones to get or need to buy them online, you can also use this aromatherapy chart to help you decide.
My current favorites from the Young Living line are: Lavender, Peace and Calming, Theives, Lemon and Peppermint. The essential oil my boyfriend can not live with out is Wyndmere Joyful Spirit. Another favorite from my best friend's essential oil collection is Aura Cacia Pep Talk which is the amazingly sunshiny combination of orange and peppermint.