Sniff out some gratitude
Gratitude practice is actually a sensory experience. Think about it:
We “see” the beauty around us.
We “hear” sounds of nature and loving words
We “taste” powerful food that connects us to the earth.
We “feel” power, health and even the breath in our body.
But what about “smell?” When have you associated scents with gratitude? I promise, you are missing out if you neglect this sneaky sense.
Last week, I was on a walk in a town I do not live in. So I was highly attuned to the sights and keeping alert to where I was going. I was not in my automatic routine so zoning out was not an option.
When, all of a sudden, I smelled the beautiful, sweet scent of jasmine in the air. It caught me by surprise as it often does, wafting into my space as I walked by a beautiful yard. I smelled it and smiled. Jasmine is one of my childhood loves. It reminds me so much of my home in India and it can take just a small scent of it to put me into a dreamy, childhood state. In our language, the name for jasmine actually means “queen of the night.” And that she is. You can see how the sweet memory and smile it brought to my heart could have been enough. Really.
But I had the awareness that day to stop and walk back to the scent. I stood at that yard for a few moments more, closed my eyes, and smelled that sweet scent longer. And I gave it gratitude. Yes, I sent the jasmine gratitude.
Gratitude for its sweet memory.
Gratitude for its magical scent.
Gratitude that it gave me the opportunity to stop and just be.
Or have you ever smelled the evocative scent of beautiful food being cooked as you walked by a home or a restaurant? At times, it can remind us of a nurturing food from the past or at others, can be an invitation to a new food scent that piques our taste buds and cooking mind to how we could invite this into our kitchen.
And I know, especially for my Seattle readers, many of you have full body reactions of joy to the scent of freshly brewed coffee.
Gratitude is a complete mind-body experience.
And scents are a sweet way to stop and give gratitude. For memories, for new interests, for allowing us to use all of our senses. For reminding us we are alive.
So this week, look for scents of gratitude.
And when you find them, STOP.
Stop and give gratitude to the scents themselves...
To the gardeners.
To the cooks.
To anyone who brought you this experience.
I promise you, your nose can be a way to connect you deeper to the world around you.