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Hooked on a Feeling

I love the way the sunshine makes me feel. I particularly love it if it’s properly warm out and I can absorb all the tingly, deep-down cosiness of it (slathered in factor 50+ of course) but even just bright-golden-lit-goodness is enough to inspire the same feelings. More than that, it has a knock on effect – it makes me want to listen to particular songs, smell particular scents, wear particular clothes and, yes, revisit particular books. For a long time it was a fairly unconscious process, and one I was largely oblivious to, until I was introduced to the term for it (at the book festival, as a matter of fact, and subsequently through the Lush massage!): synaesthesia.

Making Connections
I think even a bit before this, I’d started to make conscious choices. I started making a point of listening to certain albums when I knew I was going to get the full benefit of a beautiful day – I thought of it as ‘charging up’ the effect so that, when I needed to feel that way again, I’d have as recent an association as possible to evoke (invoke? either way) the same feelings if I was ever a bit low and feeling in need. It’s not dissimilar to going to your favourite whatever when seeking comfort, but kind of the next step along; creating something that you know you can fall back on if you need it.

Magic Moments
In magical practice of course many do this consciously or unconsciously anyway; using a particular incense, set words or ceremony or ritual, music, drumming and so on to get ourselves into the ‘right’ headspace. It’s basically the same thing and it’s easy to elevate to some sort of ‘sacred’ or ‘special’ status, and to forget that it can also have a simpler, broader application that can benefit us more generally. A sunshine-y day is a particularly easy one to start with because the associations are fairly obvious, easy to assimilate, to build on and very likely to be much needed through the deep dark to come!

So pick a song, a smell, a book and use it to anchor an experience, a sensation so it’s there for you next time you’re in need of a boost!

(And on a related note, two amazing synaesthesia books that really evoke strong feelings are Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane [particularly if you were a bookish kid growing up in the UK] and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [which is perfectly suited to the autumn months])