Tuesday, November 11, 2014

recalling scents to change reactions

How do you deal with the demons inside your head? What are you coping mechanisms or how do you neutralize the insecurities that get the better of you?

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. 

While I wouldn't say that I'm neurotic or even extraordinarily insecure, I definitely let my overly analytical nature get the better of me, far too often.  The voice inside of my head tears things apart, looking at all the cracks, all the flaws, all the ways that it went wrong.

Clearly this is a problem.

My most recent gander down the insecurity train of thought parade had to do with a public speaking event I was asked to participate in. If there is one thing that you should know about me, it's this: while I can public speak, I hate it. Expressing my ideas or thoughts in front of others just kind of kills me. It fries my nerves and turns me inside out.

Sometimes this is because I am unprepared. Other times it's because, while I can think on my toes, I don't like expressing my ideas on my toes in front of a crowd. Other times it's because I'm scared my ideas will sound too simplistic and I'll come across like an idiot who is repeating the obvious (hello academic imposter complex). And maybe, sometimes, though I'm not sure that I'm aware of this one per se, maybe I think who am I to express an opinion, why would they even care about my thoughts?

Ready for the even bigger problem with this insecurity? I work in education.

Yeah. I'm a glutton for punishment.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well this: Yesterday I participated in a panel about technology and education and I went home kicking myself over some of my comments. Comments, which truth be told, no one else likely remembered. But comments, nonetheless, that I woke up in the middle of the night to chew on (ok... Baby Faye woke me, then I started chewing on them).

And try as I would, I couldn't still the beast.

I knew that I needed to just let it go. But here's the thing. I'm kind of shit at just letting things go. It's not my forte. I know that. Everyone who knows me knows that. You dear readers, may have also figured that one out too by now.

So instead of just telling myself to stop thinking about it, I did this:

  • Focused on my breath. 4 counts in, hold 4 counts, 4 counts out, hold 4 counts
  • I remembered the smell of Frankincense. Why, you ask? Because that is the smell I associate with my daily practice. With meditation. With remembering who I am and my divine nature.  And more than anything, this is what calmed me and allowed me to not only remember, but also to know and trust that I said what needed to be said in the moment, and that it was ok.
It was awesome. And I was so thankful that instead of fixating on the beast, I was able to draw on years of dedicated meditation practice to come to my rescue. And that my exploration into using essential oils and scents for changing emotional patterns taught me this as a tool because it worked beautifully.

Some days I feel like the work never ends. And it doesn't. But every now and again, I get these lovely break through moments where I see how my practice is supporting me in my daily life and shaping who I am and how I react in the world in simple but positive ways. And that's a beautiful thing!


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