The Scent of Grannie’s Kitchen

a.k.a how to access your subconscious  

Toilets can be a never-ending source of inspiration! (Here’s another one I came across) It might seem strange, but that’s what happens when you keep your eyes and mind open.

Have you ever experienced entering a room and a fragrance (or even an odour) has suddenly sent you back to a long-forgotten place or brought to mind somebody from your past?

On a recent trip to the toilet in a cafe (Kofarna Kafe) I noticed these scent sticks and the motto printed on the container resonated strongly within my coaching persona.

One beautiful fragrance can create many beautiful memories / Jedna krásná vůně může vytvořit mnoho krásných vzpomínek

We have a tendency to rely on our conscious mind, but by doing so we miss out on a multitude of different stimuli and perspectives. Our brain actively pushes aside information in order to satisfactorily process all the sensory and other information that we have to process every second of every day.

Our senses, however, are a deep, if albeit somewhat hidden, source of inspiration for the conscious mind. And we can use that to our benefit.

Try it out for yourself.

All you need is 5-10 minutes in a quiet place without interruptions

  1. Sit comfortably or stand up.
  2. Calm your breathe and concentrate on it, close your eyes if this helps you.
  3. Allow yourself to dream: imagine that you’ve jumped in time and you’ve already completed the goal that you had in mind.
  4. Enjoy the feeling of having completed the goal, stay in the moment. What can you see? A scene in front of you? Or a picture? Concentrate on each sense in turn: can you smell something? Taste something? Can you hear a voice or a noise? Are you cold or warm? Keep exploring, don’t hurry.
  5. Now turn your attention slowly to the here and now. What can you do now to achieve your goal? What are the next steps to move you towards the path?  
  6. Open your eyes and keep hold of those thoughts, but don’t start analysing them. If possible, go and carry them out straight away while they are still fresh. If that’s not possible then write them down along with a day and time when you will actually do them and then do them at the allotted time.  
How did that work for you? Let me know in the comments below 👇
How does it work?

A neurologist could better explain it scientifically, but basically it’s like this: the brain only keeps in the conscious mind information that is useful to the current task at hand and/or is in line with our convictions and beliefs. It doesn’t delete the excess information, but instead buries it in our subconscious. Essentially, we store all sensory information within us, but we are only conscious of a small amount of it.

From time to time our subconscious perks up and suddenly we are aware of the unexpected – our subconscious has thrown up into our conscious mind something from the very depths of our person.

It could be a few bars of a favourite summer hit from our first romantic experience. Or the texture of the fabric of a cuddly toy we shared a cot with as a child. Very frequently they are olfactory impulses, that is to say our sense of smell. In my case, a certain type of sweaty socks smell takes me straight back to boarding school dormitories!

A certified, trained coach might make use of the senses during the coaching process. The technique is called VAKOG (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory). It can help the client break the hegemony of the conscious mind and frequently empowers the client to have different, more authentic thoughts. It helps the client to define a goal in other ways than with words. And when the client can feel, hear, touch, taste, see and smell an objective then this can help awaken unexplored ways of achieving it.

Have your tried the VAKOG technique yet? Give it a try, scroll up for the 6 steps!

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Let me know what you think!