#4 Dr. Arinn Testa, PsyD : Route Five
Everyday + Sacred + Alchemy
This is a really tough question for me to answer because it's ALL the things - all my life to this point distilled into cobalt blue bottles and printed on white linen paper. It's many years of neuroscience research, my own spiritual journey, and a tapestry of all the smells, textures, visuals, sounds, and tastes that left everlasting traces in my mind and body.
I realized a little while back after I wrote a blog on the Natural Pleasures of Smell that I wanted to share more than words with my clients and readers - I wanted the people I connected with to play with their sensory systems and experience the rapture of their own human life - all day and night long. As a Neuroscience professor, it was the lecture I was most requested to repeat and the one that seemed to bring all the complex concepts we'd been studying into an accessible, vibrant format. It's the actual smells, tastes, touches, sounds, visuals that created the alchemy.
It's the shift towards engaging our attentional systems, largely located in the frontal cortex, so that we can linger on a smell, stretching out the moment to connect DEEPLY with it viscerally, that turns merely smelling into a dance between our conscious and unconscious realms, giving rise to an enhanced cascade of mood chemicals through our systems and potential to heal our lives and/or expand our consciousness. The results go from simply tapping into our olfactory system in order to identify a smell - to actually feeling and allowing the smell to transport us forwards and backward in time.
We smell all day long, we see all day long - but REALLY smelling and seeing provides a completely different experience in our mind, body, and spirit. The most sophisticated pharmacy is located in each one of us and I LOVE that we have infinite potential to create what we want in life. We just need the tools to make it so.
All of it! I love Research and Development - which is actually on-going, and I love formulating, smelling, touching and playing with all the materials and concepts that alchemize together.
I work full-time as a psychologist and researcher and I'm a mom of three so time has been my biggest challenge. I LOVE creating these so I'm constantly motivated - it's all I want to do in my free time because it brings me such joy. I've also found some great ways to invite my kids to contribute to different aspects. Each piece they've contributed to is more beautiful than before and an added bonus - they've gotten to learn the end to end process of creating your own business.
- My family has been really supportive, I can't imagine how I could do this if they felt I was being selfish or considered it "cute" hobby.
- My daily spiritual practice is essential!
- You, Elizabeth, have been my ace in the pocket. Being able to brainstorm and get honest feedback from someone that is also on this journey - someone that I ADMIRE to the ends of Mother Earth and Beyond and I can trust to hold my passion with such respect - priceless!
- Also, the owner of The Eleventh House, Lili, loved what I was doing with the oils and prayer cards - originally I was thinking small, that I would just share them with my private practice clients, and then she encouraged me to make them in larger batches to share with everyone.
At first, I reached out to too many people for help because I was full of doubt that I could enter into the world of offering a product/good. I'd been a service provider all my professional life, from a forensic psychologist, to researcher, to private practice, to professor. I was the product. I didn't know the first thing about bringing a product to market - or so I thought. I didn't realize that so much of it is the same, really loving what I do and taking the risk to invite others into my joy.
Nature, prayer, connecting with family and friends, AND of course, tapping into my five senses.
Yes! This has also been a lifetime in the making. I'm a collector of old vintage vinyl and clothing. I currently have a few albums on my website for sale but soooo many more that aren't up yet. The used clothing is curated over many years and I continue to add new pieces. They're not on the website yet either as I'm doing all the work to get them in the best shape possible for you.
Both of these products are also designed to elicit the pleasure of your senses - visual, touch, sound - maybe even some smell (old record smell, Mmmm).
Mahatma Gandhi said, "Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it."
Do YOU love it? Are you doing what you love in a good way? Our world needs more of that! xo Arinn
Learn more about your five senses, Sacred Alchemy and Dr. Arinn here
- routefive.org -