While out walking this morning, I passed a lady going the other way and immediately recognised her face, yet couldn't quite place her.
In a split second my visual memory was overtaken by a familiar scent. And then it dawned on me - she was my playgroup teacher. She still wears the same perfume!
Suddenly a feeling of happiness, safety and warmth comes over me, and it's hypnotic and captivating. I'm still walking and I can't remember her name to call after her.
I continue with the steady rhythm of my footsteps, and come upon another memory that floods my senses - the dark green conifers at the bottom of the road where I grew up. It's a herbal, heady scent with a slight sweetness.
My senses have transported me back 40 years. It's as if I'm 4 years old again, playing hide and seek with my friends, in amongst the narrow tunnels of creosote fences which have a pungent aroma that lingers, yet is pleasant.
Next I come upon a concrete slope with steps down the side. I'm imagining myself on my Raleigh Eighteen, gliding down the slope that seemed daring at the time, as if it's a BMX track. It's actually only about 4 feet high but my memory stays the same.
As I make my way through the last part of the path, the horse chestnut trees appear. Those trees which I gazed up at as my Dad deftly threw sticks up to dislodge the conkers for me and my sister to scrabble through the crunchy leaves and release them from their lime-green, spongy casing, revealing the shiny, varnished beauty within.
I'm overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude and deep connection from a happy childhood, safe places to play where the neighbours looked out for us, water fights in the garden on long, hot summer days, picnics in the tree house which felt a world away in my imagination, but was close enough for my mum to call me home for tea.
My senses have transported me to these wonderful memories and have connected my younger self with who I am today.
Sensory awareness is very powerful in coaching techniques and can be significant in discovering and anchoring resources. For example, taking yourself back to a time when you felt most confident, or happy, or whatever way of being that you want to re-create.
NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming - provides us with structures to explore and discover these resources, and I'm delighted to be launching an NLP Practitioner training programme in September, in Linlithgow near Edinburgh.
We'll be exploring and learning lots of powerful techniques together, and discovering what makes you YOU.
Find out more about my early experiences of NLP and book your place via my event page.
And if you would like to have a 1:1 experience, please contact me for a complimentary chat.