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Stop to Smell the Sweet Peas



Sweet Peas are my absolute favorite flower. They’re delicate and beautiful and bunches of them together form a messy abundant looking spray of color. But the thing I love most about them is the smell. The sweet perfume from one small bunch can fill a room.


I have a few raised garden beds in my backyard and three years ago we planted all sorts of peas including Sweet Peas. Well, this is the second year in a row we have grown “wild” Sweet Peas (meaning I did not plant them, they just appear on their own each spring).


As I was creating my bouquet this morning, I was struck by the delight of the intoxicating scent, and it got me thinking about smells and smelling.


Many of us don’t use our sense of smell deliberately in the day. And it’s a shame because smelling wonderful scents is a pleasurable act.


As we learn to demote food as the major highlight of our day, adding pleasure through our other senses becomes essential.


Pleasure can help balance our moods thus giving our bodies the opportunity to calm down and equilibrate. We have the best chance to notice hunger and most importantly not hunger when our bodies are calm and centered.


Our senses can be portals of delight, so let’s decide to use them with intention each day. Here are some ideas for each of the 5:


Smell: Inhale beautiful scents you love on a regular basis for the pure pleasure of it. Extra points if they evoke pleasant memories. Simple ways to enjoy your favorite scents include lighting a candle, using essential oils or scented lotions. Try citrus, florals or earthy scents.


Taste: Take pleasure in the foods you eat at every meal. No need for special treats here—even just the regular foods you eat have pleasurable tastes associated with them. Slow down and enjoy.


Touch: Think about your sheets at night. The shower water on your skin. Pets come to mind here. Getting a square of preferred fabric or a soft stuffy to reach out and touch every once in a while may go a long way to brighten your day.


Hearing: Play music you enjoy. Go to a concert. Listen to a waterfall or river. The rain.  Birds chirping. Finding a quiet place without buzzing electronics can do wonders for your nervous system and even out your busy day.


Sight: Natural vistas, pictures, colors, flowers (Trader Joe’s has bunches for $3.99!). It’s spring, after all. New life is all around. Take a walk and see what you see.


Using the five senses with intention will bring joy and pleasure to your day. That sense of wellbeing can preempt a stress reaction at the end of the day and may save you an afternoon or nighttime binge.


Plus, who doesn’t love a bunch of flowers??




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