Because of Heidi: Introducing Olaaf, the olfactory elf.

I meant to write about the PPD SpeakEasy support phone chat that is happening on Tuesday which happens to be Valentine’s day, but this came out instead. I’m a bit shy about it, but it really is time I told you about Olaaf.

He is an imaginary friend, but he is very real.
He goes wherever I go, and I would trust him with my life.
Whenever I do not heed his call, I always come to regret it.
And he can make me utterly miserable, but if I play my cards right, he brings me so much joy.

I can smell a magnolia tree in bloom before I see it. I know where the compost bucket it without looking. Having a strong sense of smell has it’s downsides. But it also means I have a powerful source of information, and also, thank goodness, a great source of comfort.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my olfactory sensitivities became so strong, that cooking became hard. Luckily the DH was going through his Raw vegan stage and I could get away with salads. We were living in NYC at the time, and that summer there was a period of a couple of weeks where garbage bags accumulated in the streets during the scorching days of August. Oy. My nose wasn’t happy. When my nose isn’t happy, neither am I.

Since then I have learned to make peace with my nose by becoming friends with Olaaf. He is a tiny one, an old soul in a small body only I can see. On a superficial level he looks a little bit like the troll dolls, wild hair, dark skin, sharp eyes, but he is beautiful.
And he can tell, by smell, when something is safe and nourishing, and when he wrinkles his nose, I pay attention.

He can tell when the milk is off, he can tell when the soup will give me indigestion, not because it is spoiled, but because one ingredient or another simply doesn’t agree with me.

He helped me chose the nursery school for the boys. The Ithaca Montessori school classrooms smelled like flowers when we came to visit, despite the fact that the toddlers are still in diapers so they do have a changing station in the bathroom. And of course that’s not the main reason we chose the school, but where the teachers care about how the classroom smells, and make it smell good with flowers rather than chemicals, well, that’s an indication that the environment I’m going to put my child in jives with things I find important.

And Olaaf reinforces my love for DH, who, after almost two decades together (scary long time!), still smells good to me.

One of Olaaf’s biggest strengths is mood shifting.
When I’m feeling sad or anxious, I turn to him for help.

So you might be surprised to learn, that I do not wear perfume. I own a few bottles, but they just gather dust. Because wearing perfume seems to through us, me and Olaaf, off.
My deodorant, dryer sheets, and most of the time my lotions, are scent free.
I turn to herbs and essential oils to make us happy.

Sage, mint, basil, and rosemary grow in my garden in the summer, and on my kitchen window in winter. (I can’t seem to keep the Basil alive indoors for very long, sorry basil.) And when I need a lift, I turn to them. I cook with them and steep them for tea, but when I’m having a moment of panic or sadness, I found that I can shift my mood by simply sniffing these herbs. I pick a leaf and rub it on my fingers and under my nose. I inhale deeply, I give myself permission to feel all that I am feeling, and I call on Olaaf and my senses to ground me back into the body to help me calm the PPDemons and my mind’s scary stories. It’s literally get back to my senses. Out of my head, and into the safety of the wise woman who lives in my body.

When I need to lick my wounds, or when I desperately need a pocket of comfort,  I take a healing shower with essential oils. I wrote about how to do that in my December Love Letter for Mom. And I adore essential oils, and unlike with perfumes, Olaaf is totally on board. But I don’t exactly understand essential oils, which is why I am kinda shy about talking about them. Well, that’s about to change. Because of Heidi.

Who is Heidi you might ask?

It’s the lovely and amazing Heidi Fischbach of The Aardvark Essentials Potions fame.
She makes magical potions out of pure essential oils, so Olaaf doesn’t mind when I wear them. In fact, he swoons (in a good way). My favorite, if you must know, is Sassypants. It makes EVERYTHING better.

Well, Heidi is teaching a teleclass about essential oils next week. On Wednesday, Feb 16. It’s called Essential Oils 1-oh!-1.
I was so excited about this, I signed up right away. $12  for the class and recording. I can’t wait to learn about the magic of essential oils, from my favorite scent magician. Join us? 

And the best part? Today is Heidi’s birthday. She wrote a sweet sweet blog post today. Go read it  or listen to it (a recording of her post! What a great idea! and she has the sweetest voice) and don’t forget to say Happy Birthday.  And it’s because of my love for Heidi and her birthday that I’m finally telling you about Olaaf.
I’ve been meaning to share him with you for a very long time, but it never felt quite right, until this morning, when I knew that in honor of Heidi’s birthday I have found the guts to tell you all about my beloved olfactory imaginary friend. And You are welcome to make friends with him too. I invite you to experiment and find scents and herbs that make you happy and to share your finds with me:

Comment Magic
Did your sense of smell also get so much stronger during pregnancy? Would you be willing to try sniffing herbs during your next anxious moment or panic attack?
If you had an imaginary friend, what would she/he be like?

As always, oodles of love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.

p.s. There are no affiliate links in this post (nothing wrong with affiliate links, and I will always tell you when a link on my site might generate income that can support my work). I’m sharing Heidi’s class and potions because I think they are the best in the whole wide world, and on her birthday, and every day, I want more people to know about them.

One Response to Because of Heidi: Introducing Olaaf, the olfactory elf.
  1. Heidi
    February 11, 2012 | 12:27 am

    Oh Yael, I am just thrilled to hear you turning to your senses, and most especially, your exquisite sense of smell, to help you with hard stuff… How fantastic that you are growing basil, mint, sage and rosemary in your garden! Wherever I live next Must.Have.Garden! But for now I have my essential oils.

    I’m excited for class on Wednesday (if a bit nervous, too). I’m so happy you will be there. And thanks for the shout outs.

    Heidi recently posted..Red: A Story and a Birthday Suit!

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