Feels like love

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Our senses are like little doorways that can take us back in time.⁣

I think I'm going to keep coming back to our senses for a little while, as there are so many iterations of this concept that keep rolling around my head. Being an HSP (highly sensitive person - google it if you’re interested, I think it’s pretty fascinating) my acute sense of smell is a blessing and a curse. I literally gag at the smell of anything unpleasant (I'm not going to go into details). On the flip side, however, certain scents bring about really positive connections within me. I'm not always great with remembering people, or names, but scents seem to settle inside. (sidenote - essential oils get a huge thumbs up from me for helping these positive brain connections too!). ⁣

Today would have been Dad's birthday. I'll keep talking of him in here, as his death helps me process his life, and keeps me connected with him. My dad lived on the other side of the world from when I was 10. That was hard. But when I did get to see him, he gave me the safest, strongest, gentlest giant hugs that a man can give. His gift. And within this gift, was the gift of his scent. ⁣

Dad was always immaculately clean and smelled of aftershave, with a gentle whisper of whisky in the evenings. So the only thing I asked for after his death was the name of his aftershave. And the thing about this gift of his scent that I now have, is that I wear it every day on the inside of my left arm. Hugging doesn't come easily to me, but it's helping me learn to hug myself, and it helps me feel safe. For me, I get to feel love in a bottle of XS from Paco Rabanne. This may sound strange to you, but for me it's the most incredible gift.⁣

I received some gorgeous messages on Sunday's post, and Brenda shared with me that she 'feels' her mum through baking her recipes (smell and taste) and the music she used to listen to with her (hearing), and through holding sacred objects she used to touch. Isn't that incredible. I love that we can tune into this incredible feeling of love, and home, through our various senses. ⁣

So, here's a big one... what does love, or home, smell like to you?

Seeds of Love

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There are other ways to love, and be loved.

I have always shied away from Valentines Day. I find it overwhelming, and outward expressions of emotions often make me a little uncomfortable. I have never loved cut flowers, and tend to just feel super awkward in restaurants.

And yet… what I do find truly lovely, is finding ways to love myself and those around me a little more. So when I read an article yesterday by @jenngranneman on the highly sensitive refuge about how to love an HSP a little lightbulb goes on in me, and that I want to celebrate. I realise that I’m not unromantic, cold and distant (which over the years has often been what I’ve thought I was), I just need things to be a little softer, a little quieter.

So instead of shunning Valentines Day this year, for finding it too brash and pretty grotesque, I’m going to practice listening in more. Finding out how best to love, and be loved is insanely important, and worth celebrating… but not always in a loud way.

Like Christina over @zeonicreations reminded me yesterday, ‘consistent whispering speaks louder than noisy megaphones’. And once we truly feel love, for ourselves and for those around us, the seeds miraculously start spreading…

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice
These darker days invite you to rest well; remembering the gold and the nourishment held within.
Winter teaches that nothing can be outward all the time, nothing can be forever spring; growing, young and outward.
All natural beings need rest in order to sustain themselves.
We need this time to go into our dark richness. Into the places we may fear inside ourselves so we can turn them into medicine through love and kindness of who we are.
This is a time where deep nourishment is called for in the form of good wholesome foods and tender love of our own hearts. Reminding ourselves that through the darkness comes the light, that this time is not only necessary but needed.
Just as the baby becomes whole in the darkness of the womb and the seed needs the black quiet earth to ignite what is held within.
This time of quiet darkness mirrors the beginning of all things.
And so this time is the invitation to begin again, to grow in your darkness so you can be rebirthed into the light of spring more alive and stronger than before.
So light the fires and the candles in your hearth, honour the gifts your heart and the heart of others can bring.
Create a nest you can rest in, love yourself in and journey in.
Write and dream.
Eat well and sleep well.
Winter is showing you that this is the time where you are the embryo in the womb, the seed in the darkness.
This is the time where nature asks- what do you need to heal, to feel safe enough to become whole, to become who you deeply are.
What needs attending to so you can feel peace in your body, what needs loving so you can grow well in the light that is to come.
— Brigit McNeill