The Smell of Freedom
I think freedom has a unique aroma. I’ve smelled it at different moments in my life and I know exactly what it is each time. There is a familiarity to the scent that triggers a feeling and before my brain can process it my body is already reacting to it. It is subtle and wild at the same time. It is recognized because of what I feel and have smelled that sets off a chain reaction of changes occurring everywhere around and in me.
The great thing about our sense of smell is you cannot see it. You have to sometimes even close your eyes and experience it. For me freedom smells of the heavy pine scent that I smell through my motorcycle helmet after I’ve been riding. I love to say I want to ride until I can smell the trees because that’s when I know my mind is relaxed, my body is attuned to nature and my spirit feels it’s freest. When I smell the southern pines around me I know I’ve hit that sweet spot of freedom I needed from every day life. I believe our sense of smell goes on sleep mode as we get busier in our days. We forget to breathe deeply and notice what is truly around us that is beautiful, wild and free.
Our noses contain the most powerful of our senses. Aroma triggers feelings, emotions, physical responses and memories in less than 20 seconds from when we smell something. Long before we recognize the aroma our cells are processing it and responding. They are waking up to produce responses like sweat, blood pressure changes, sensations in our stomach and heart. That same aroma is reaching our brain and adrenals to stir emotions like fight or flight, love, grief, happiness, contentment, and greater understanding. We are alive and free in the moment of realizing what we smell and what it is doing to our being. I know of no other sense we have that is as complex and strong enough to take over our mind, body and spirit in this same way.
The best part of this sense is its uniqueness to all of us. We each have aromas we love and ones that don’t mean much to us. We have different memories based on smells we’ve experienced in the past. We know which ones are good memories and which are not. For me smelling the pine trees while riding my motorcycle is a sensation that happened to me that let me know I’ve worked through whatever I was overthinking and needing to release. It causes me to be acutely aware of my surroundings and know that I am in unison throughout my body, mind and spirit in that perfect moment. It is also my acknowledgement that I’m strong enough to do what comes next. That is a very powerful sensation to me all while I’m riding a motorcycle!
It can happen at any time and in any place unexpectedly. We can be lost in our tasks and all of a sudden we smell something that tells us we are hungry or we need to call a loved one. Ignoring our sense of smell is sometimes impossible but sadly we tune it out more than we maybe should. It’s like ignoring the birds singing out your window in the mornings telling you its time to wake up even though its dark outside. We easily ignore it and go on about what we were doing. I believe disregarding this sense of smell prevents us from enjoying more in our day. We forget to take in the nature around us and know that we are part of something much larger than ourselves. We don’t see life unfolding around us as much when we are not smelling it through nature.
When I started experimenting with different diffuser blends with doTERRA essential oils I realized immediately how much my sense of smell had been on sleep mode. Sure I would notice an aroma here and there but now my mind was alive with interest in what else I could create that smelled wonderful! I noticed different energy and moods coming up for me all through this little diffuser and a few drops of oil. I was just looking for something to make the house smell good when I realized I was actually making myself feel good. I was changing how I felt through what I chose to put in that diffuser. I was influencing the energy and mood of my family as well. It was a gift of freedom through our noses!
I think freedom smells of trees. Their heavy musk laying on the hot humid day. It is the smell of sand around them and dusty asphalt crunching under my tires. I feel grounded and alive in that moment this scent hits my brain. Its like my eyes open a little wider and I’m noticing there were trees all this time around me. I feel free and at peace. My arms and legs work to balance my bike and I allow myself quick glances at the trees I know see as beautiful scenery that are supporting me on my ride home. It’s probably because of this experience I use so many tree essential oils in our home.
Cedarwood, Siberian Fir, Black Spruce, Cypress, Arborvitae, Douglas Fir and more fill my diffuser as I attempt to recreate that sensational feeling I had on my motorcycle. It is for those times I can’t get out and ride or I need that reminder that I am more than the label applied to me. I am strong and capable while being more than enough for all that I desire in my life. It is possible for me to move forward in grace on my journey to pursue my dreams and feel connected and rooted by nature along the way. All because I realized there were trees around me and they awakened my soul to freedom.