I have always felt I have a heightened sense of smell. I can walk into a room and smell mold where no one else can. Cigarette smell, I find incredibly offensive. However, I am just as overpowered by the scent of lavender or any kind of perfume. Sage is another killer for me. On one of my Yoga, Art and Hiking Trips we visited Taos and almost everyone in my van bought Sage smudge sticks. It was one of the worst driving hours of my life. The next year, I gave everyone ziplock baggies to hold their smudge sticks and put them in the back of the van. Lesson learned!
I may be oversensitive when it comes to smell, but I am okay with that. I often categorize smells as good or bad or somewhere in between. Some smells have distinct memories for me, while others seem to be alerts.
In India, there were various kinds of smells mixed together. Many of the hotels used an oil with a very strong perfume smell to keep away the mosquitoes. Then there was the pollution and “people” smells. The smell of the food cooking all around us was also something I noticed that we don’t often encounter here in the US. When walking into a temple one could find many smells – incense, flowers, people and sometimes the smell of dampness.
I find myself very repelled by certain smells, automatically making judgments. I am trying these days not to judge it and just be with it. I’ll tell you, it is not any easy task. There are some smells that just make me cringe. Whether I think the smell is good or bad, I immediately make associations.
This is such a wonderful practice to cultivate just being with what is. I’ve also noticed that smells change as I stay with them. I wonder if I am just getting used to it or if it mellows and becomes more neutral when I don’t judge it?
With the holidays upon us I look forward to being with the smells of fires burning, food cooking and anything else that might come my way.
What smells remind you of the holidays and when you smell them, can you PAUSE and enjoy?
Until next week when we talk about Taste