Monday, 24 May 2021

Why the sense of smell is so important

Diffuser necklace with essential oils
In Series 4, Episode 15 of the tv series House, Gregory House uses his sense of smell to help his memory. 

13: "Where are you going?"

House: "To smell a bus, obviously"

13: "Why are you smelling the passenger's clothes?"

House: "Smell is the most powerful evoke-erator of memory!"

I love the tv series House and I remembered this when reading up about why essential oils are so amazing and quick-acting. According to basic human biology - there is a direct connection between your nose and your brain's limbic system which is the area of the brain associated with memory and emotions. 

Smells can transport you to memories, for example, walking past a bakery can transport you to childhood when there was fresh bread ready for breakfast or when freshly mown grass reminds you of playing football with your siblings after the lawn was cut. The sense of smell involves far more receptors than with other senses, meaning you can discern lots of different aromas and be transported to many different places. 

But there is also the emotional side of it because smells (and therefore essential oils) can directly influence a person's mood, stress levels, anxiety levels and even depressive symptoms (from my favourite book Medicinal Essential Oils.) This is helped by the fact that the sense of smell is the only sense that has a dedicated, direct connection to the brain via the olfactory bulb.

So how does smell affects the body?

  1. Aroma is inhaled
  2. Odour molecules travel up the nose
  3. Aroma molecules attach to the olfactory bulb receptor sites
  4. Impulses are transmitted to the limbic system (a complex set of structures including hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala and limbic cortex)
  5. In response to the aroma, the limbic system causes physiological responses in the body via hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals that influence body functions such as:
    1. pain perception
    2. appetite
    3. metabolism
    4. libido
    5. wakefulness
    6. body temperature
    7. sense of well-being
    8. stress levels
    9. motivation

Amazing isn't it? How smell can impact our physiology and emotions.

Want to research it yourself?

If you want to know more about your amazing sense of smell go and read some doTERRA blog posts about essential oils and stressthe power of aroma or do some cool experiments here

Searching for more information via the internet, you too can find lots of people realise how amazing the nose is like this amazing poster about the quantum nose or these amazing TEDx or YouTube videos about smell:

1. TEDx Talk - Smell, Your Least Appreciated Sense. Rachel Herz talks about why you shouldn't take your sense of smell for granted and how it is so important for survival or even being attracted to someone. Active smelling has been shown to restore lost olfactory neurons [15:42] and your sense of smell is so important. [16:23] Use aromas to enrich your life - a scent is worth a thousand pictures.

2. Why Smell is More Important Than You Think. In this TEDx Talk, Holladay Saltz talks about how smell is so important including why cleaning products include certain smells. For example, citrus equals cleanliness; fruity smells increase feelings of comfort and floral equates to maternal love and care. Beware of marketing stuff as these things aren't natural products, unfortunately.

3. Here are some articles about How Smell Works and Psychology and Smell including the importance of smell in affecting emotion and in our memory recall.

4. Khan Academy - I love this site for information about everything. Here's a video from them about olfaction - the sense of smell. It is an in-depth video!!  

5. TEDx Talk - The power of the sense of smell. Donald Wilson talks about the massive importance of the sense of smell.

More stuff from me

I am starting to create my own repository of essential oil information on my MemberVault account here where you can find out more about me, my business partnership with doTERRA and you'll soon be able to find out more about my other work too. Go and find out more at my Essentially Shamanic MemberVault site now.


Thursday, 20 May 2021

Signifance versus owning your shit

I have to admit I find people strange sometimes. I believe that no one likes being told that they have got something wrong, misunderstood or royally cocked up but I also think that no one has ever died from being told it either.

I regularly get things wrong for my kids and my husband and sometimes for my friends. It is not done maliciously (99% of the time!!) but whenever I am picked up on it, it upsets me. However, I still want to know when I have got or done, something wrong otherwise, how am I going to learn and grow as a person?

One of the 6 human needs is growth 

1. certainty

2. variety

3. significance

4. connection / love

5. growth 

6. contribution.

As a fundamental need, growth demands that we learn from our mistakes. Why do so many people I know not want to be told when they make mistakes but instead want to blame others for their 'failings?' I put failings in quotes there because we all make mistakes; we all fail; we all get things wrong but what we do about those mistakes is what is important. Hiding behind someone else; taking no responsibility for our actions or even worse, pointing the finger at someone else just doesn't make sense to me but it happens so flipping often.

The interesting thing about these human needs is that if your top need is for significance then there is a problem. As this business article states "the issue with significance is that no matter where we look we will always be able to find someone who is more significant than us". Tony Robbins, who came up with the idea in 2006, takes it further. He says to be significant it is easier to tear others down to get to the top. Even better though is to create a significant problem. This gives status that doesn't compete with other people like success does. If that significant problem aligns you with others who you connect with whilst tearing others down, even better!! You have significance, connection and very little chance of rejection. If you want to see what this looks like go and have a look over on Twitter!!

Anyway back to me!! 🤣

The last time I royally f*cked up was with my daughter. I cried on and off for a day before the deep feeling of shame passed. It was unpleasant, I lost sleep over what I had inadvertently done and it even affected my appetite but I am still here. I learnt a valuable lesson and the pain I felt means I am more likely to not make the same mistake again. My daughter knows that I felt guilty and upset over the pain I caused her but she forgave me, I apologised and I hope that I modelled to her that it is ok to get things 'wrong.'

So why do I see so many incidences of people not taking responsibility for their actions?

Why do I see people who have cheated on their partners, pointing the finger at their partner for their lack of emotional support or whatever fecking excuse being the reason it was ok for them to cheat?

Why do I see people claim abuse against their partner whilst ignoring their issues from childhood which have never been addressed and they're 'transferring' onto the partner? Why are these adults happy to pass those same issues on to their children as unresolved patterns

Why do I see children being used as pawns in broken relationships even though they never chose to be here?

Why do I see friends falling out over minor things because one side has to be wrong so the other person can be right?

It's not like someone is keeping score. It's not like you win a trophy for being the best divorcee who didn't cause any of the issues in the marriage. I won't ever win Friend of the Year if I always have to be right. I might actually lose some friends that way!!

I regularly apologise to my children for the 'issues' that I am still dealing with since my childhood. I am 4000% more whole having done shamanic work, spiritual healing, bodywork, emotional therapy, dreamwork, etc. but I still have bits of my personality that need upgrading. But a lot of that work has been since having my kids as they are that perfect mirror to reflect stuff from my own childhood!! Unfortunately, that means that they were impacted by who I was before I did that work. Although that's not fab for them, at least I am willing to take responsibility for that. 

As I said I don't jump up and down when people point out my flaws but at least if I acknowledge them I can decide what I do with them. If I pretend that I don't have flaws, they are still there somewhere affecting my life like gremlins hiding around the corner waiting for another opportunity to jump out. 

If your childhood left you feeling unlovable, ugly or 'wrong' in some way, those things need to be looked at and resolved so that they are not brought into any relationships whether friend, lover or parent. If you have feelings like low self-esteem, low self-worth, unlovability or any negative feelings about yourself and you think that your upbringing was part of the issue then I would highly recommend dealing with as much of that shit as possible before your parents die!! Trying to deal with it afterwards can be done but it isn't as easy.

So my advice is to own your shit whether you are sometimes shit as a friend, do shit things as a parent, or treat your partner like shit occasionally. When you see it for what it is you can avoid it because no one really wants to walk in shit and ignoring it doesn't make it any less shitty. 

The thing is:

you can't grow if you don't learn

but you can't learn if you take no fecking responsibility. 

Why would anyone want to be purely a victim of circumstance? Is it just that, as Tony Robbins suggests, victimhood makes you part of a significant group? 

If that is it then I hope that these ramblings of mine can maybe show that won't necessarily lead where you want to go in as healthy a way as owning your shit, learning from it and growing as a person. If it isn't then I still hope that these ramblings can help in some way.

Growth including learning from your mistakes

Connection & love and maybe believing we are all connected (watch filmmaker Tom Shadyac's reflective documentary I AM about how we can improve the world to find out more) &

Contribution beyond yourself: sharing your unique gifts with the world in a positive way are much better ways to go.

If you want to know more about the work I do to help you be more yourself and regain the power you might have lost as a child please book a session or book a call.

If you want to find out your dominant human need do this quiz here and if you want to listen to Tony talk about these needs go here and/or watching his TED Talk about it.