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.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Different ways to try essential oils - you decide!

Try an oil sample for respiratory issues, digestive issues, help with sleep, help with staying awakre or with aches or headache
Figure 1. Single sample
Trying a new health care product isn't always that easy. Especially if it is unfamiliar to you and unlike anything you have tried before.

What if you don't use the product enough? 

What is you use it too much? 

What if something goes wrong?

How do I know if it is working?

This sometimes means that the products go unused and another opportunity for someone's health to improve is missed.

I don't want that to happen and not just because every sample I send out costs me money, time and effort!! I don't want that to happen because you could discover like I did, that these wonderful plant medicines can help you overcome physical, emotional and spiritual issues and are really simple to use.

Pick 1, 2 or 3!! or 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So let me share with you the various ways you can get your hands on some oils with whatever level of support you need to make sure those oils get used:

1. pick an ailment from Figure 1., request a sample using this form, get the sample, use the sample and keep me in the loop as to how it is going, have a chat about what to do next (attend a class, purchase some oils, etc.) 

2. sign-up to my ever-evolving course platform where I share my passion for essential oils. On there you get the option to book a tailor-made 121 with me to discuss how you can use natural solutions to improve your health and wellbeing. £33 gets your 60-minute session over zoom or on the phone which we book after you have watched the 25-minute video of me sharing how I use the oils and why  I business partner with doTERRA. You will also receive a free introduction set of oils (worth £25) posted to you and a set of samples including one from Figure 1. that best suits you.

Figure 2. 7-day trial
3. take part in a 7-day essential oil trial alongside all the other people on their trials and with support from a large number of essential oil users and me! 

This trial includes a pre-class trial that covers information about how to use the oils. Then there is ongoing support within a Facebook group or via Telegram, with further information shared about the oils plus chances to win oils prizes. Then during the post-trial class, we cover options on purchasing the oils.

These trails happen at various times throughout the year. Just let me know which trial suits you and I'll let you know when the next one is running.

4. just dive right in and buy a fantastic doTERRA kit of oils. Here is a great PDF that tells you about the different kits so read that, pick your savings and then dive right in and buy that kit here

You choose which works best for you!! Contact me if you would like any further information about any of these options.

Be in control of what you consume via social media

It is a well-known fact that reading the news and repeatedly accessing social media feeds can negatively impact our mental health. 

When you realise how much of what we see is controlled by others, for example when watching the docudrama Social Dilemma, maybe there comes a time when we must take back our control over what we see on the internet and how our data is used illegally or to manipulate us.

I'm been thinking about this for a while just because I have been aware of how much Facebook is blocking natural health solutions from being seen on its platform. I know that there are wild claims out there that 'such-and-such' cures cancer, etc. but even those of us who are ethical in our posts and suggestion are losing our reach or having posts removed for spurious reasons. 

There are various social media sites that are being used to manipulate us and seeing as it doesn't seem to be getting any better maybe now is the time to make better choices for ourselves. 

That is why I have been mentioning in my Facebook 'lives' that I am moving over to promises no ads, no spyware and was even mentioned by Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee here Interview: Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee thinks his creation is out of control. Here's his plan to save it - BBC Science Focus Magazine. When the inventor of the internet is worried about how his invention is being used you know that we have a major problem. 

I would rather be in control of censoring my own social media input without someone else deciding for me what I should be consuming about my health, my soul or what the 'facts' are. I am aware of checking my sources and although that seems to be becoming increasingly complicated it is still doable if you are willing to put in the effort. I also want to be able to share my experiences of natural health solutions and soul healing without fear of censorship. And I want you to be able to make your own choices about whether you want to see my content or not.

Join me if you would like

So come and join me if you want and make up your own mind about what I post and share. You don't have to agree with me, I will always respect your rights to have your own opinions and I know that you are an amazing human being even if we disagree on things.

I'm on here so come and connect and/or join me in my group Essentially Together with Viv on where I share tips and tricks about my life and passions. Then if you want to move away from WhatsApp I'm on Telegram as an alternative platform and I also have places on there where I share information about essential oils if you want to join me.

Here are some further recommendations

Forego YouTube recommendations; SUBSCRIBE to the channels you want to see and turn on notifications so you only watch the stuff you want to watch. You can even remove the recommended section using the Google Chrome Extension Unhook or move to a freedom first platform like BitChute.

Move to an AD free social media platform like where your data remains your own.

Move to an open-source messaging service like Telegram which unlike WhatsApp is not affiliated to Facebook. There's an alternative called Signal too

Be aware that you might not be seeing the information on Facebook that you want to so check in on your friends every so often. Favourite those people whose activities you want to see first and maybe move others into friend's lists on FB so that you can check in on people more easily. Maybe even pick up the phone to check on your friends as things are not always what they seem on social media.

Limit how much you read the news or even choose to read the positive stuff Home - Positive News - Positive News.

Bring awareness to what you are seeing online and stop scrolling if you feel it isn't serving your wellbeing.

Watch Social Dilemma - it seems to be free to watch on a fair few sites.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Essential Oil First Aid Kit

Here is a great list of essential oils that you can add to your first aid kit. I have given options so that you can choose your favourites. I have also colour coded where an individual oil appears more than once in the lists.

These oils are taken from Medicinal Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A. Johnson. I have only selected a few for each condition or use.

I have added a few doTERRA blends for specific purposes which contain the relevant oils listed as part of the blend.

Here is also the associated Facebook 'live' I did about this topic. I talk about making a kit for myself and one for my husband for when he is working in the woods.

If you want to ask me any questions about essential oils please get in touch.

If you want to be part of a channel where I post about essential oil facts click here and join me on Telegram (download Telegram here if you don't have it already -

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Poem about being essentially me

Compassion not division

Treacherous waters, rapids and stones unseen
The undercurrent, twisting and mean
Can I navigate these with no training
I feel out of my depth, afloat on uncharted waters
Should I stand and be counted, scrutinised at close quarters
This shit is so draining, explaining
I've done this forever, seen differently, acted outlier
Been a non-complier
But this isn't a thing, but it is
It doesn't make me different, but it does
I'm just me, I've always been me
I was never in a closet
I don't need to step out
But these words, these describers, these descriptors
Are holding me captive
Like a snake around my throat,
Do I really need to speak out?
Jump on a bandwagon that shouldn't even be there
Say who I am, declare
These words have trapped me, collapsed me
As I navigate an ever-changing vocabulary Undercurrents, treacherous waters
Too many shoulds, shouldn'ts, oughtas
And I'm left adrift
As a sense a shift
In me, that wasn't there before
That I just want to ignore, because
I abhor
That it has to stated - the need to show compassion and kindness
Which should just be a right for all, not a divider
Purely due to your gender, race, orientation or any other qualifier

Monday, 15 March 2021

Legacy is a circular thing & a wonderful acronym for life

During my core shamanic practitioner training I learnt to 'psychopomp' people. Psychopomp is derived from a Greek word that literally means 'guide of souls.' The shamanic ritual of psychompomping is therefore making sure that the soul of a deceased person gets to the shamanic land of the dead

This new way of viewing death and just the act of openly talking about death gave me a different view on where I am going when I die and how that fits in the amazing circle of life. Subsequent talks about:

  1. ancestors and those that come before and after my time on this earth in this body
  2. time and how in the spirit world it is not linear as it is on earth
  3. reincarnation and choosing to live on earth again as a different lifeform 
were just some of the things that got me thinking about my legacy but only really as a vague thought in my mind rattling around but not really taking up space enough for me to really formulate any ideas.

Nothing brings these ideas into focus more than the death of a significant person and so my Dad's death in January 2020 re-engaged my thoughts around legacy and what it means to me. I wrote about my Dad's legacy in a previous blog post here. My Dad wanted to finish writing his latest book once he knew he was dying and it is such a gift to have all his published books to look at as something that has lasted beyond his time on this earth.

What does legacy mean to me?

The word legacy is derived from the Latin legatus meaning 'ambassador.' The meaning has changed over time and is now more linked to what is left after your death especially in a will but I am taking the word back to its legatus meaning.

After my Dad died and with lockdown starting soon after his death I was given the chance to do some personal healing work by attending an ancestral healing shamanic course. I was able to heal some of my ancestors from all four of my grandparent's lines and bring them into my shamanic work as ancestral healing guides. It made so much sense that healing those who have gone before and making sure that they were safely in the land of the dead would have such an important impact on all those ancestors who have come after those relatives.

This is when it really hit me that being an ambassador is not only leaving the planet a better place for those who come after me (whether my direct offspring, those whose lives I have touched or even anyone who is here after me) but also that I need to be the best I can be for those who have come before me. So many amazing people are in my family tree - so many experiences, so many obstacles overcome; so much learning and growth; so many amazing gifts and sacrifices and that doesn't even include the miracle of my existence on this planet.

You are a miracle

The proof is in this article here. The likelihood that you were born to the ancestors you have is truly a miracle: an event so unlikely as to be almost impossible.

So my challenge to you (and to myself) is to truly act like the miracle you. As one of my favourite artists Nik Kershaw sings in You Don't Have to Be The Sun - "you don't have to be the sun to shine on me, just the miracle you are!"

As a helping hand and because I love a great acronym feel free to use the following to help you be your truly awesome, miraculous being.

L = Love. Love yourself. Love everything you do. Love your life. Bring love to others you connect with

E = Everything. Do everything you do at 100% but that includes resting, failing, learning, loving and being with your friends (give them 100% of your attention!)

G = Gratitude. Find whatever you can to be grateful for. This isn't always easy but even if you can think of is that you are still breathing, thinking and feeling that is enough.

A = Authenticity. Be totally you! We have established you are a miracle so be miraculously you. Share your uniqueness with the world in whatever joyous ways you can. 

C = Creative. Find a place beyond your comfort zone and be creative with sharing yourself with the world via your friends, family or whoever you resonate with. Find the thing that makes you feel amazing about yourself.

Y = You. Remember you are the sum of your ancestors who came before you and will come after you. Take those gifts from them and thank them daily. Share those gifts with anyone/everyone. You leave your legacy with every person you interact with so make it a great interaction. 

If you want to hear more go and watch my FB 'live' about from New Year's Eve 2020. 

If you want to have a chat with me about any of my healing sessions whether it be about ancestral stuff, a lost loved one or anything else please book a free call. I'm always here to help if I can and if that resonates with you. [click button below]

If you are wanting any help with grieving over a lost loved one then there are also essential oils that are fantastic in helping with the process so a chat about that is also something I am more than happy to have with you. My free eBook and extra stuff are also available on my member site here

There is also a video I have done about essential oils and grieving here as well as two videos about using oils with emotions here and here.

Book Now button to book a call with me
I'm here to help

To be or not to be a woman, a man, non-binary, gender-fluid...

What do you do when it is International Women's Day and you don't necessarily identify as a woman?

As a child I was often mistaken for a boy even being accosted outside of female toilets and told I had been in the wrong one.

I was the first and only girl in a Church choir for over 3 years from the age of 6. I sang, as a boy, in Chester Cathedral Choir with no-one ever suspecting. I sang as a Shepherd Boy in my Junior School Nativity play as all the female parts were given to the girls but they forgot about me!

I spoke about some of these observations and more in my FB 'live' on 11th March having not written anything for International Women's day. You can watch it on YouTube here.

I find talking about gender / sex interesting especially now with teenage kids who have friends who are transgendered, gender fluid, non-binary, have chosen their pronouns, etc. In some ways my children and their peers see the world quite differently from the one I grew up in. However, there are many similarities with how I used to feel as a kid. I feel that growing up I never really identified with being a girl or woman. I just accepted it as something that was but didn't define me. Growing up with 3 older brothers and being mistaken for a boy so often I wonder, was I giving off a vibe of being non-woman or do I feel that way because of how I was treated as a child? 

What I have come to realise for me though is that it doesn't matter. I am Viv. If I really wanted to choose my pronouns I would ask that I be called Viv and not referred to as she or he or they. However, I am not going to ask that of people because deep in my soul I am me and what I am referred to by others will never stop that from being true. I totally understand how empowering making those choices can be and so applaud anyone who has thought about it and asked to be identified as what they need to feel empowered as themselves.

I didn't really go into this in my 'live' but thought it was an interesting observation that I have had over the years and seems to come to the fore when any sort of women's events occur or when there are obvious woman / man things happening around that trigger these thoughts in me. Hence my 'live'! 

What does being a woman even mean? What is it to 'be' a woman? Because my sex is female does that mean that what I do as that is what should be included in the arena of what all women do? Is there a level of woman-type activities that I have to do to qualify as a woman? I don't really know what any of this means as I can only tell you how I feel as someone who lives in a female body. I have questioned these things for as long as I can remember and I have no answer because I cannot live in your head or all the heads of people who are or aren't female or those who identify as womxn. And you can't live in my head either-even if I could decide what my gender is or whether I even need one.

What I do know is I am Viv. I have 2 amazing children and a fantastic husband. You can add any number of labels to me because of those facts but they will not help you get to know me.

I am Viv. I'm pleased to meet you.