Around the back end of the summer last year (2016) I started hearing mention of something called Aroma Freedom Technique, or AFT for short. Dr Benjamin Perkus, a US psychologist and Young Living member, had found a way to incorporate some sound psychological concepts with YL essential oils, with some pretty impressive results. People were breaking through mental barriers and achieving results which they never they never thought possible. I had had some great experiences using the oils up until that point, had read Carolyn Mein’s book “Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils”, but I filed AFT in the ‘Interesting…must look into that at some point’ category.
However, the universe has a habit of repeating messages until you eventually take action. It was the same with essential oils; it took me almost 10 years after first hearing about Young Living through a podcast presented by my friends Kim Bloomer and Jeannie Thomason to eventually experience them and buy some! So AFT kept popping up too – Dr Perkus was doing AFT clearings online, and more and more people were getting wonderful breakthroughs. So, in May this year I bought the book, read it at snail’s pace (as I do) and realised for myself how straightforward it was as a process.
In July this year I took the step to train to be a certified AFT practitioner. I was doing this to a) find out more about the technique for myself b) feel more confident in sharing AFT with others c) maybe find a way to offer AFT as an add on service to my YL business, but working remotely. I was struggling at that point (again) with the whole being in Germany, not being able to share and grow my business without good grasp of the language, plus my Mum had been in hospital after a massive heart attack. It was an interesting summer, but one which I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone!
I should say that I hadn’t actually gone through the AFT process myself by then, and the first session I did was during my first week of training. I had difficulty with some of the steps, but the advice from everyone was to go ahead and guide other people through it, as sometimes it’s easier that way. I needed a few people to use as case studies and friends and acquaintances came forward.
At this point I should explain a bit more about what AFT is, and perhaps more importantly what it isn’t. First you start of with an intention, a goal, a dream and objective. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to call it, but it’s something positive that you want to get to. It should also be something which you’re having difficulty getting to. It can be really broad, for example, being a positive role model to your family, being a confident speaker or something really specific like preparing for an exam. We then look at how possible it is for you to obtain, and how that makes you feel. We pinpoint an area in the body where you are holding that feeling, and you focus in on memories which had the same effect on you. Then the good old oils come in. The olfactory bulb lies at the very top of the sinus cavity, and it detects odours when air rushes past it carrying aromatic molecules. It is a direct extension of the brain and extends into the limbic system, which is where we process emotion.
You smell some specific YL oils and within a short period of time, most people start to gain a new perspective on that memory and what they want to achieve. There are generally a few more steps that we do, and we finish off with an affirmation and an action plan to move you forward now those mental blocks are out of the way.
It isn’t all woo woo stuff. Essential oils and psychology have been around quite a while now. You can look up studies on the positive effects of both. Putting the two together seems like a clever match.
Some of the friends I have helped with AFT were pretty skeptical about what would be achieved, but they are lovely people and wanted to help me with my course. They have also had some of the best results!
Some of the things I’ve helped folks with so far:
The training was fun and I’ve “met” new friends online and in person who have helped me, and I’ve helped them. There is a growing enthusiastic community of AFT practitioners across the world.
I qualified back in October and now I’ve started to really share what I’ve learnt, and I’m continuing to learn. I’ve even done AFT for German friends. I’m building my AFT business and AFT is also helping me to move forward and be better in all aspects of my life. It’s still new for me, even though I’m certified, so I have to remind myself that I have this extra technique in my kitbag to help with life’s ups and downs and occasional blind alleys.
To schedule your own AFT session with Kim, send us a message. You can purchase a session here.
This post was originally published on Sarah's essential oil website, here.
My life has been a whirlwind over the past few weeks. I went to Croatia, met some wonderful people, and one in particular who has turned my world around.
I'm in the process of making the move to Germany. It's not easy, as I'm also running my dog training business in the UK and looking for someone to buy that. A foot well and truly in two camps. In my dusty brain I am prising words from pre O-level classes and a particularly boring evening class where I messed about far too much. I never thought I could learn a language but I will now. I spend far too much time driving in my current job and so podcasts will be playing -- if anyone sees me chatting to myself on the M25 that's what I'm doing.
I'm learning a lot about myself. I've made mistakes and hurt people I care about, never intentionally but I have. I'd like to say here and now how sorry I am for that. However I have a new life that I'm building now. I'm proud to be with my new partner and refuse to feel guilty about it.
Friends have been a revelation. Some close friends aren't going to be close any longer and others I thought I'd lost touch with have been a source of such support and love. They have shared their own stories and it's amazing how many people have gone through the same experience. Spare beds have been offered, sage advice given, Kleenex at the ready.
And my family.... have gone above and beyond. My mum has welcomed her 47-year-old daughter back to her spare room. My sister has been brilliant as always, but acted as a go-between when matters got really nasty. I'm so lucky to have them. I know that isn't always the case.
I never thought I would have kids. I had an early menopause and the one past relationship we discussed it in was never an appropriate place to bring children into. However there are happy faces in Germany, tantrums, hugs, school pickups and weird board games where I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. Not a replacement Mum or Dad, but a little help to both.
I have left my own 4-footed kids behind. It's been one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I know they are truly loved with my ex and that she will give them all that they need. I will see them when I can.
Because Sarah and I met through the oils, I have been reticent about talking about them of late. That may sound strange but it's true. Like they are some evil force which breaks up marriages. The truth is completely the opposite of course. They support your systems and allow you to see clearly. I wouldn't be writing this now if it wasn't for them. So thank you Joy, Deep Relief and many others too!
It's strange how life takes a turn. Sarah and I have had all sorts thrown at us over the past few weeks. We are coping....no, more than that....we are getting stronger. The time away is hard. Thank goodness for Wi-Fi and Skype at service stations!
This started out as a blog about the differences between the UK and Germany. Well, that can come later. This one was important....
This post was the beginning of the tale of Woof & Fancy. It from Sarah's original blog. It was posted on May 11, 2015.
First of all, I do have to apologize for the length between posts of late. I'm going to be brave here: very brave. I'm gathering all my courage to share what has been going on in my life and what is in my heart. Get ready.
In my last blog post, I vaguely referred to changes in my life that I needed to make. I talked about my friends and the things I saw inside myself that weren't quite right. During my time in Croatia, with the help of my essential oils, I finally took the time to look inward and start acknowledge something I hadn't quite managed to admit over the past twenty plus years of my life: the fact that I am gay. Yes, I've identified as bi in a dark corner of my mind for a long time. But over the past few years, that voice has gotten louder. Those who know me have seen how often I post about issues around gay rights and discrimination and feminism on Facebook. I've been a feminist since college and have been vocal about my support for gay rights since I started at the University of Michigan more than twenty years ago. I had crushes on women. My best friend Leah and I once spent an entire rugby tournament chasing around on one of the US Eagles national rugby players. So this wasn't completely out of the blue.
So what happened? I always wondered myself when people came out after having been married for a while. I didn't doubt the authenticity, exactly, but I did wonder why it took them so long. And then I ended up in the same boat. I'm not sure why I didn't go in this direction long ago. Maybe it was the evangelical Christian upbringing and the guilt that was associated with sexuality. Maybe it was fear. My younger sister came out when I was in my late twenties. Even in my college years, I knew I felt most at home and comfortable in a community of lesbian women. I just never took that small step that would have taken me in that direction. But I somehow always fell into relationships with men. And I married them! First one, then the next. In between my two marriages, I dated a woman for a little while. It didn't go anywhere (probably because she didn't want to get caught up in the drama of a "straight" woman with two kids) -- and then I met Jan. I fell in love again, and mostly forgot about the woman thing. Thoughts popped into my head every once in a while. I knew what kind of woman I found attractive. I seemed to fall into friendships with gay women quite often. But I stayed where I was.
And then came Croatia. I met all these amazing women. And I took the time to find my why. Why am I here? What do I want in my life? Am I happy? I knew that I had been going through the motions in my marriage for a long time. We had talked about it before. We tried counseling when we lived in Ireland. But the distance kept growing. I hadn't been able to find my way back and I felt like I was living with a roommate rather than a husband. We bickered a lot, and we seemed to be constantly in state of stress, but otherwise, things were okay. I spent a lot of time feeling like I had to conform to some other version of myself. He is an amazing father and an amazing person. How could I possibly leave him? He even does the laundry. I knew people wouldn't understand. But something inside of me gave way to something else when I was away. I opened my mind and my heart...and someone was waiting for me. The connection I have with her is like nothing I have ever felt before. Maybe it took me twenty years to find my path because she was waiting at the end of it.
Now comes the hard part. I have to unravel my life with my husband and take extreme care with my children. We are being very careful to make sure they feel safe and loved and wanted. I am living five minutes away and we are splitting the school runs and the dinners and the rest. There is no fighting and there is no drama. He knows why I had to leave and he is being supportive and helpful and the kind of man I always knew him to be. I am eternally grateful that I chose this man, even if it is not the right path for me. He will be able to find his way, I know that. And I appreciate his goodness and loving care every day.
So to Jan, thank you for being you. And to Kim, who is there waiting for me as I come out of the woods and into the light.
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