Accessing the memory bank

Across the month I’ve invited you to engage your senses individually and together to become more aware of our present moment experience and increase our capacity to focus.

Today the focus is on our sense of smell. Smell is closely linked to our brain’s memory centre and can often trigger powerful memories. Think about one or two of your favourites smells and then describe any feelings they trigger. Now think about memories these smells are associated with.

For me, the scent of pine makes me feel relaxed and joyful, and is strongly associated with the magnificent real Christmas tree that takes centre stage in my living room each December.

The invitation today is to take a few moments to soak up your favourite winter or christmas scent – it might be your tree or a candle, some pot pouri or a cinnamon stick, perhaps even snow or mulled wine.

Take a few deep breaths and then slowly take in the scent of whatever you chose. Slowing down and mindfully paying attention to the different aromas that come through will help you develop your patience and self-control. Stay with these scents for five minutes, noticing without judgement any feelings that arise and memories that are triggered.

Afterwards capture some of your reflections on this activity.


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