We perceive over 10000 different odors and an seemingly infinite number of combinations. And with each breath we smell the scent combinations of whatever is around us. Though we don’t notice all the smells, we are making decisions about them all the time. Decisions beyond like and dislike. We assess the health and safety of all that is near to us with our sense of smell.
Before we taste, we smell. If something smells bad, we won’t taste it.
Our smell sense links directly to memory. We love familiar smells. We immediately know our blood relatives through smell and feel at home with the smells of our culture.
Smell takes us on adventures. If we smell something we love, we will follow the smell to its source. If we don’t like a smell, we will move away from it as far as necessary. Because smell comes with breath, it tells us good smells are about life and bad smells are about death. We seek life and avoid death and smell is our guide.
Likewise, smells soothe us and stimulate us and offer a healing action for our bodies and souls. Those who have lost their sense of smell feel life has been taken away from them.
The soul’s sense of smell tells us about the health of an idea, the complexity of a mood, and the safety of an intention.
When you reflect on your inner life build your awareness with metaphors of odor and smell. I suggest you spend a few minutes everyday recording perceptions, thoughts, feelings, intentions and actions and then put a scent metaphor next to each one.
As I write this I am thinking about the childhood associations with Ivory Soap. Something about the scent of Ivory awakens a sense of clean – of being about 3 years old in the bathtub and getting scrubbed, feeling/smelling new and fresh. Why would that memory/metaphor appear as I write this post?
Well, I want you to be inspired to seek in your inner life a fresh, clean, newness through this exercise. Does that smell good to you?
But look at the soul experiences that don’t smell good to you, too. Look at the ones that feel like perfume covering up stink. What about the one’s that have no smell – did they ever have life?
Sometimes as I am doing research on an aspect of the Inner Year, or working with a painful memory from my childhood, or working with a client on a critical questions, I smell a faint odor that gives me a sense that something is almost near enough to taste or see or touch. These “soul smells” pull me forward. I become like a bloodhound following a scent of thoughts, of feelings or of intentions.
If you practice this “smell” attention, you will find you have a nose for what’s right for you!