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Aromatherapy In 2023: Putting Back The Emphasis On Olfaction In Aromatherapy Education With Amy Anthony

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy Education

“When in doubt, just smell the oil.” Olfaction doesn’t get the credit it deserves. People tend to forget that when we inhale essential oils, we are taking those vapors into our body, and we are reaping their benefits. There is so much disconnect from olfaction in the current paradigm of aromatherapy education. That needs to change. In this episode, Amy talks with Certified Aromatherapist and Artisan Distiller Amy Anthony. They cover topics ranging from making aromatherapy training and education more accessible, to how they both feel frustrated by the overemphasis on aromatic chemistry rather than olfaction, when it comes to aromatherapy certification training. Amy Anthony is the host of her own podcast, Essential Aromatica, and the founder of NYC Aromatica. You can find her podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/essential-aromatica/id1681863893. and her website here: https://nycaromatica.com/.

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Aromatherapy In 2023: Putting Back The Emphasis On Olfaction In Aromatherapy Education With Amy Anthony

I’m here with Amy Anthony, who is the Founder of Essential Aromatica and NYC Aromatica. NYC Aromatica is her website, blog, and practice, which she’s going to tell you all about. Essential Aromatica is her amazing podcast where Amy has been interviewing some fascinating and amazing people in this space of aromatherapy. I’m looking forward to having her share more about her journey as a podcaster. We’re here to talk about aromatherapy. I’ve known Amy for a long time. In fact, when I had the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, she was one of our beloved students. Amy, welcome.

Thank you for having me. You were my first official amazing aromatherapy teacher.

Thank you so much for that. I can’t believe it. We met in 2015.

When I was looking to become certified in person, you opened your physical school, which was three blocks from where I live.

That’s incredible. That was a while ago. There is so much that has happened since then. I’m super excited to have you here and feature you on an episode. There are a couple of things that I wanted us to talk about in this episode. One thing that I’m so impressed with what you’re doing, and I know a lot of people reading this are going to be inspired by your story, is how you have carved out a career as an aromatherapy entrepreneur.

You took your certification from school and started teaching. You then started doing private consultations, and then you’ve done some consulting with larger companies. You’ve started teaching at satellite locations around the city and even doing Zoom classes. In addition to that, you started your podcast. You also are a distiller. I’d love you to talk about what you’re doing as a distiller.

Talk a little bit about your journey as a neuro-aromatherapy entrepreneur because I know a lot of people who go into studying aromatherapy and getting their certification. One of the questions I get all the time is, “I got my certification, but now, what do I do? How do I make money from this? What do I do?” You are a great example of someone who put together an amazing business and career and has forged forward with aromatherapy as being your specialty and your passion. I’d love you to talk about your journey.

Thank you. It’s a long winding journey, but the crux of it is I grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York. I was always outside in nature, and I always needed that. Moving to New York City in 1999, I knew I was ungrounded. I knew I needed nature. There was always that lack, and I found a way to connect with nature by going to the botanical gardens and all that kind of stuff.

The essential oils found me, and I became obsessed. All of us become obsessed. We can’t stop being obsessed by them. I wanted to become certified, and you had your school. I remember feeling when level one was over, and especially level two, a deep sense of loss and devastation because your school was like a home to me. There were all those people that you got to meet and be with and love the plants. I was like, “I need this in my life.”

Working with you at the school, you were like, “You need a website.” Suddenly, these opportunities started to pop up. I remember sharing this with you because we were talking about this once. We have to take risks and say yes to things. That’s where it all started. I knew I needed to be with nature. The essential oils give me a way to exist in New York City. I want to share this good news with people. I’ve had two consultations with private clients. I’m meeting someone to drop off a product that was through a different thing at an event. That’s my story. It’s this need to connect with the plants. Doing what I do and what you do, we are connecting people with plants. That’s it.

That’s wonderful. I love that. What’s so amazing about what you’ve done is you’ve so organically built this little ecosystem for yourself. You’re a gardener. You’ve always been a gardener, and then that evolved into learning about distillation and then becoming a distiller. That is therefore connected with your obsession over aromatics and these volatile molecules. Being present for distillation and being part of that process only deepens your relationship with the plants and your understanding.

It is then by connecting with your clients, whether it’s in an event, a presentation, or one-on-one, and then finally evolving into your podcast where you can connect with so many more people in a way that you are not able to in a one-on-one format. You’ve taken those opportunities and continued to share, grow, and develop.

Talk to us a little bit about distillation. I know this has become a new passion of yours and a new thing that you’re doing in your place out on Long Island. I’d love for you to talk about that and why you see that as such an important element of aromatherapy. I want to take this conversation and start digging deep into both of our interests in olfaction and how it starts with the distillation process. I’d love you to talk about that.

I’d love to. The first distillation I did in 2017 was out at my house. I remember as being a student of aromatherapy, it was important to me to understand the oils and the plants. I could be wrong, but a lot of people see the bottle and they forget it comes from a live plant. I feel that to be a student of aromatherapy, if you don’t understand the distillation process, you’re not fully getting it. You’re not understanding distillation. You get to understand the chemistry of essential oils in solubility, volatility, and how that works. It’s integral to the process.

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy Education
Aromatherapy Education: As a student of aromatherapy, if you don’t understand the distillation process, you’re not fully getting it.

I started distilling because I wanted to understand. It was for my knowledge. As a teacher, it was important to me to make videos and show people, “This is what a still looks like. This is how it’s done.” We need to be connected to the plant. I know you’ve been to distillations. When you are in that distillation room and you see the plant material being prepared after it was harvested and you realize how long it takes to distill something and start to smell the volatile molecules coming off the still, it’s magical. It transports you. The whole room changes because the air is perfumed. You start to get to understand the personality of the plant by being surrounded by all those chemicals. I could keep going on, but I’d love to chat about this with you.

What you’re bringing up there is such an important element of aromatherapy. You and I have talked about this a lot. What gets lost in a lot of the discussions that we see online and in mainstream media when it comes to essential oils is there’s this real emphasis on therapeutics physiologically, like what it’s doing to our skin or how it’s clearing our lungs. There is all this stuff without real discussion or an in-depth conversation about the transformative power of the aroma and the scent.

What you are talking about in the distillation room is that we are reminded again in that space about how our sense of smell is so integral to our overall health and well-being and our own personal transformations and self-development in a way. As we watch the plant transform into these vapors, that is almost like a symbol or a message for us to think about the power of scent.

Our sense of smell is integral to our overall health and wellbeing. Olfaction is 90% of why essential oils work. Click To Tweet

You said it changed the whole room’s vibe. You get the personality, spirit, and vibe of the plant through that. It’s not researching the chemical constituents, looking in a book, or doing research studies on its efficacy. It’s about being bathed in the aroma and letting that aroma shift your consciousness in a way. That’s an important part. Olfaction is probably 90% something of the power of why essential oils work in a way.

The thing that you’re touching on and I want to emphasize is it’s the holism of aromatherapy and the holism of essential oils. There’s a lot of physiological stuff or stress, but essential oils are mind-body connectors. I remember as a student and as a teacher, something we always have to emphasize is mind-body, and that’s the whole person. When we’re thinking about a toenail fungus, we’re like, “That’s great,” but it is like, “Why did you get that toenail fungus? What’s holistically going on?” When you can work with emotions through olfaction and we’re breathing the chemicals in, it’s a reminder.

This is the thing I find frustrating as a teacher, as a student, or as anything. When I talk with the general public, a lot of people don’t think vapor or aromas are something that goes inside of us. People think it’s something outside of them that we’re not breathing in. They’re like, “I like the smell of lavender.” It’s like, “That’s good. Let’s work with that, but realize when you’re inhaling and you’re breathing this in, you are changing your chemistry on so many levels.”

A lot of people poo-poo olfactive aromatherapy because they don’t realize how deep it is. Before, you said when you’re smelling that oil and you’re touching the plant and smelling it, maybe you drink a tea of the plant, you are taking that information in and getting the information. You could read all the books and research studies, but if you’re not experiencing it, what good is that? We need to experience. I’ll never forget you always being, “When in doubt, smell the oil.” That’s always stayed with me. It’s a good lesson you’ve taught.

Also, on that note, where I try to communicate this as best I can, is that aromatherapy is truly about scent and aroma. If we wanted to use the plants and ingest them, rub them on our bodies, and use them for any kind of physical shifts and changes, then we’re using the plant material through the lens of an herbalist. It’s an herbal application. It’s an application that involves different delivery methods to the body, like topical, ingesting, or other ways whereas the olfactive element is what is so unique about essential oils and is what holds their power. I do skincare with essential oils all the time. I’m not saying that’s a bad delivery, but we always have to keep in mind what the aroma is communicating as we use it topically.

Aromatherapy is truly about scent and aroma. When in doubt, just smell the oil. Click To Tweet

One of the things I know I get so frustrated sometimes with my students, and I’m sure you feel the same way, is they’ll often create a blend and are doing it thinking of the aroma as a secondary benefit. They are like, “I want to get rid of that toenail fungus, so I’m going to look at these oils because of their chemical constituents and how they work together.” They’re not thinking of the whole aromatic experience of that remedy. That’s where we’re seeing a big division even within the space. I’m noticing even within this space people are so focused on the research and the chemical constituents and their efficacy and physiological effects on our physical body. They’re almost ignoring this olfactive direction.

It’s unfortunate because the olfactive direction is subjective. It can’t be proven the way that “research studies” can be proven. I have a whole other conversation about that for another time about all these crazy research studies. I’m sure many readers might be rolling their eyes, but this is what I feel. I’d love to talk about why you think within the space of aromatherapy or the world of aromatherapy there is such an emphasis on the science, research, and chemical constituents, and the olfactive seems to be almost a secondary benefit. Have you noticed this?

Totally. We were talking the last time we met in person. I’m sighing because essential oils are so lovely, subjective, and powerful. Each plant has its signature personality that comes through that aromatic chemistry. I have to get on my soapbox of that we know how much plant material it takes to create an essential oil. We know. We study it and research it.

With olfactive aromatherapy, you could have a little bottle of essential oil, an inhaler, or some delivery mechanism, and smell 1 drop for 3 or 5 minutes and get the therapeutics. That is eco-friendly. It’s more sustainable. With what you are saying, I appreciate how you’re saying the topical application and the internal get to be very herbal. We’re using a lot of essential oils. We’re like, “5% dilution. Let’s make a cough syrup with essential oils.” That’s a lot of essential oils.

Many of the herbalists I know look askance when they talk to an aroma therapist. They’re like, “That’s wasteful. That’s a lot of plant material.” I love to speak with other herbalists. I am a trained foundational herbalist. When I meet herbalists, I stress the olfaction and have them sit. This happened at a workshop. I had an herbalist. She was blown away. This happened twice in two workshops. She’s like, “This is how you work with essential oils.”

I hope I’m being clear. It’s a lot of plant material. Let’s think about sustainability and how olfactive aromatherapy brings so much power in such a little amount. When people see that it takes so little, they might think that’s not enough. They’re like, “I need a product. I need more.” I don’t know. What do you think about that? That’s how I feel. That’s what I see.

I love what you’ve brought up. What you’re bringing up is this idea that the real power of aromatherapy, and where we’re going to see the most change and the most benefit for our health and our well-being, and ultimately contributing to the overall change in the world to make it better is through smelling. By smelling and oil, you don’t even need so much material. You need a couple of drops to be able to experience that and to make a real difference in your health, your well-being, and the well-being of others.

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy Education
Aromatherapy Education: The safest way to use essential oils is to smell them. You don’t even need so much material. You just need a couple of drops to make a real difference in your health and wellbeing.

In addition to that, as I’m sure you’ve seen online, there’s a big discussion about, “Essential oils are not safe. They’re dangerous. They’re so harmful. They’re toxic,” and all this stuff. Essential oils are highly concentrated. There are some essential oils with chemical constituents that you should never put on your skin 100%. The issue is the question of safety. Truly, the safest way to use any essential oil is to smell it.

Come off this show, everyone, with the two most important things. The most sustainable way to use essential oils and the safest way to use essential oils is to smell them. That scent, aroma, and olfactive experience hold the key to our overall health and well-being. I don’t know what it is. I don’t understand why people want to keep dumping bottles into their diffusers or using so much of it in all these ways. Maybe it’s this Western mentality of, “More is more.” Who knows? It could be, “Bigger portions are better.” I have no idea.

At the same, that is a belief that we need to bust. We also need to encourage people to pay attention. Simply, pay more attention to smelling stuff and recognizing the aroma that is around you. Our culture focuses on getting rid of odors. We don’t want to smell Febreze or Glade plug-ins. Let’s get rid of smells to mask smells and unfragranced products. Everything is about no smelling. That’s a real disservice to our own self-development, emotional maturity, and level of compassion. It’s affecting all these ripples outside of ourselves.

That’s a good and deep point. It takes a level of sophistication, if I dare use that word, to be in the world and realize that there are smells. The smell is information. That’s a big lesson I love learning and I’m still learning in my continued studies. This is information. One thing I find challenging, and you probably do, too, is when you have someone, student or client, it doesn’t matter, or someone you are passing on the street, and you are like, “Smell this,” and they’re like, “I don’t like that,” you’re like, “Could you take that and go a little deeper?” Scent is neutral. Scent is cultural. When I understood that and started to appreciate it, it’s easy for me, how many years in, to sit and smell something even if I don’t like it.

I love this myth. Some people say, “If you don’t like it, that means your body needs it.” No. Maybe you had a bad memory and you don’t remember it, but it’s in the subconscious. You’re like, “I can’t go there. That makes me so uncomfortable.” Let’s honor that as aromatherapists. If you’re a little like, “I don’t know,” we should be like, “Can you sit with it and get the information?” It’s important for an aromatherapist to practice this.

I love how you say you’re getting information. It’s another level of paying attention. In our culture, we’re scrolling and scrolling. When something captures our attention for a nanosecond, then we’re on to the next thing. We need to understand to still be present, pay attention, and let that information come in and log it or experience it in some way.

I wish, especially in this space within aromatherapy, that there was more emphasis on the olfactive and people who are talking about this more. It also is a part where people will dismiss it as not being science-y proven or any of this. They say it’s so subjective, not real, or we can’t qualify it or quantify it in real space or numbers. That’s a shame because one thing that I always mention to everyone whenever I’m talking about olfaction or if I’m teaching a little workshop or anything is that scent or aroma is invisible. It’s an invisible sense. Sight, taste, touch, and sound are all more physical. Scent is invisible.

What’s so powerful about this invisible experience is it moves the invisible part of ourselves, which is our emotions. Those are invisible. Someone can’t touch our emotions. Someone can’t touch what we’re feeling. We can express what we feel, but that feeling is ephemeral. It’s there, but you can’t find it in your body like you can find your vein or your muscle tissue. It’s this invisible part of ourselves, and it’s connected to the part of ourselves that’s unconscious, which is our unconscious mind or our spirit.

Scent is invisible. But what's so powerful about this invisible experience is that it actually moves the invisible part of ourselves – our emotions. Click To Tweet

Certainly, the ancients, when they were so much more connected to plants on a daily basis, understood that scent was the vehicle to communicate with the divine. They understood that because they knew, “As a human being, I have this invisible thing inside of me. I smell the plant, and that’s invisible in the plant.” By connecting to this invisibleness that’s in the world, we’re connecting to a different plain or a different level of being. It connects people in that way. If you’re someone who believes that human beings have a spirit, emotions, and thoughts that are these invisible parts of themselves, then understanding aroma and its power shouldn’t be such a harder leap. I don’t know if I’m articulating it very well.

You said it beautifully. I’m a part of Spirituality Week coming up and I’m doing a workshop on this, what we’re talking about. I want to share something that goes back to my previous life. I was a market researcher. I love that. I love the data. I had my foot in quantitative research, like survey design. People get degrees in that stuff. I also did qualitative research that a lot of people poo-poo. That’s the focus groups and the one-on-one depth interviews, talking about feelings or observations. A good researcher knows you need both.

When we’re talking about essential oils, we’re trying to be academic. We’re like, “What’s the molecule? What’s the research? Give me the placebo double-blind studies to prove this.” It is what you’re saying. We have this marriage. Aromatherapy is the marriage of the qualitative and the quantitative. I realize this is why I’m drawn to it. I love qualitative research and quantitative research. How you see how those two marry, you are articulating it beautifully. Scent is the chemistry. It’s the invisible that can turn concrete. It’s like, “Guess what? I could work with my emotions and work with my skin condition.” It’s wonderful.

I certainly wish more people were thinking in this way. Maybe more people will. They will, in some way perhaps.

We’re not going to shut up about this stuff. Having the podcast sphere has been amazing to reach people and meet people. Your audience is probably like, “I can’t wait to smell and connect with something and think about my emotions and play with that.”

You mentioned your podcast. I want to talk more about this. Your podcast is Essential Aromatica. Give us a little history about how it started and some of the people that you were so excited to interview and talk to. I’d love to hear what your favorite conversations have been on your podcast so far. Give us a little breakdown.

Thank you. A lot of people, when the pandemic hit, were like, “What’s going on in podcasting? Let’s try that out.” I have a backstory to the podcast. It’s about making aromatherapy accessible. You and I have already touched on what makes it accessible, which is the smell. We can smell something. I was giving a few workshops at a high school in Brooklyn and a girl came up to me at the end of one of the times there. She said, “I thought aromatherapy,” or it was essential oils, “were only for rich White women.” Without missing a beat, I said, “Plants are for everybody.” That has always sat with me. I was like, “I’m glad I had this interaction with these students and especially her because we need to change that.”

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy Education
Aromatherapy Education: Aromatherapy and essential oils are not just for rich white women. Plants are for everybody.

Maybe you can’t afford essential oils. What can you do? You could go into your kitchen. You could go get a cinnamon stick. You could go make cinnamon tea. You could cook with the stuff. You could go outside and run your hands along a mint planter. There are lilacs and blossoms. How do we make aromatherapy accessible? That’s the backstory.

It’s always sitting with me because not everyone can go do ABC Carpet & Home and buy their $90 stuff. What can we do? It’s about getting in touch with nature and getting in touch with the plants. I’m always stressing about, “Let’s go outside. Make the tea.” That’s a way to stress aromatherapy or essential oils. It’s a lot of plant material. How do we have this balance and respect? Olfaction is awesome.

All my guests have been amazing. I’ve loved connecting with people, sharing people’s stories, and having great conversations. One was with Hana Tisserand. She articulated something. She helped change my definition of essential oils. I remember her saying that they’re artificially concentrated substances. I was like, “I love that.” We always talk about concentrated, but we are artificially concentrating them by taking kilos of lemon grass and putting it in a distillation unit. It’s like we’re intervening. We’re the intervention. We’re taking what is in a plant at 0.01% and taking 100% concentrated oil. That’s a lot.

I was appreciative of her sharing that. I was like, “Thanks for changing my definition of aromatherapy.” You might have said this because you were my first teacher that your definition of aromatherapy can change, and it should. Mine has changed to include, “Go outside, rub the mint plant, and smell your hands.” To me, that’s aromatherapy.

Go outside, rub the mint plant and smell your hands. That's aromatherapy. Click To Tweet

Her definition is interesting. I also work within the clean beauty space and do a lot of product development. I’m coaching new clean beauty entrepreneurs. One thing that we discuss is that number one, we can’t use the word natural as we’re discussing our products. That is because any ingredients that we’re using, it’s not like we’re going out to the backyard and plucking up soap or a carrier oil that is sitting there on the ground. Everything goes through a mechanical process in order to make that ingredient. Everything has to go through this transformative process to get that ingredient.

It’s a little bit different than food where we can go out and pick an apple off the tree. Even with grains, for example, you can’t make bread by going out and plucking a piece of grass. What do you have to do? You have to get the little grain out. You have to dry it. You have to grind it. There are all these processes in order to get that substance out of what you need. People have to remember that. Especially when they’re touting the 100% naturalness of it all, it’s all coming through a process.

I know you love talking about chemical constituents. There are even chemical constituents that don’t exist in the plant. They only exist in distillation. The actual combination of the heat, water, steam, and everything else creates these unique molecules that then end up being in the essential oil. There’s this whole transformative process that happens. That’s really important to recognize. I love the definition that Hana shared.

I want to get back to your point about accessibility because I agree. This is something that I have been very passionate about in communicating and in line with that student who said she thought it was for rich people. Unfortunately, the aromatherapy in, I don’t know what you want to call it, the market industry, especially within the educational space, is making it less accessible for people to learn. With the essential oils, you could find them on the checkout line at TJ Maxx. The question of whether or not they’re authentic or not is another story.

Everybody is selling them is my point. Everybody’s talking about them. They’re in the media. Everybody’s selling them. You’re finding diffusers everywhere. This is not an outlier weird thing that hippies out in the woods are doing. More people are bringing this into their homes and in their lives. With that, more people need to get the proper education about what they are, their safe use, how to use them, what they benefit from, etc.

Unfortunately, when they look for information, there is amazing info that’s available free online, but if they desire to go deeper and understand more, it’s much harder for them to get the info that they need. That is becoming an accessibility issue. Some of the programs are priced so high. Some are priced not so high. People then are like, “Why is this so expensive? Why is that?”

There’s no standardizing of the education where you understand why this is so expensive and why that isn’t expensive. It can be very confusing for the person who wants to learn. It’s important that we make the information as accessible as possible. It doesn’t mean that everything we’re going to do is free, but it needs to be enough that they can get the info that they need and then they know where to get more information.

I want to share that I’ve been on a podcast journey. I’m on your show. I’ve been finding myself being on other people’s podcasts. Part of it was me getting out there, but I realized I am doing a service to anyone that’s listening to those podcasts. I’m talking about safe use and what an essential oil is. I’m talking about, “Check out the Alliance of International Aromatherapists organization for information. Check out NAHA. Guess what, the general public? There are organizations that have standards and your school is aligned with these.”

There’s a need to let people know there are professionals out here. It’s like you were saying. How do I find good information? How do we vet these teachers or these places? I’m finding that I often talk about the AIA and NAHA when I’m on a general public-type wellness podcast. I didn’t see myself being that spokesperson for free. I’m not getting paid to do this, but I’m like, “Guess what? This is my role right now, which is to spread awareness about what oils are.”

People need to feel like the cost of their training and education is not a barrier for them to learn more about it. It shouldn’t be. They should be able to find accessible material to deepen their knowledge and use the plant safely. My ultimate mission is I want people to get more deeply connected to their sense of smell. I want them to recognize that our sense of smell holds the secret to our health and our well-being and ultimately to making real change, like shifting consciousness or a paradigm shift change in the world. This may sound like a huge dream, but I believe if everyone connected with their sense of smell more and understood how it worked, I do believe people would be more compassionate towards each other. I know that.

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy Education
Aromatherapy Education: If everyone connected with their sense of smell more and really understood how it worked, people would be more compassionate towards each other.

It’s true. You’ve seen this. I see this. When you engage with someone with an aroma, especially the concentrated essential oil, they transform in front of you. I’m known to go to a restaurant and I could have a blend in my bag. I’ll be like, “Smell this.” I’ve never had someone say, “Ew,” to something. You see how they look at you. Their eyes light up. A smile generally comes on their faces. This happens over and over again. It’s like what you are saying. Pay attention. I don’t say that to them, but I’m like, “You get that. You see what you’re feeling. You could do this again throughout the day.” It’s a shift. I appreciate you reminding me of the phrase, “Pay attention.”

It’s really important.

It’s like, “What’s going on?” The sense of smell, even though we can’t see it, it’s that information that we have to pay attention to and how it is impacting us. Part of working with people and aromatherapy is when you get to do that training with them of smell. Let’s say you do a body scan. We’re like, “What’s happening in your body?” It’s the emotions, but emotions manifest physically. We’re like, “Is there a knot in your stomach? Is there a tension there? What’s happening? Can you breathe into that? Is the oil touching that?” It’s important and cool stuff that we need that time, not the quick sniff.

It’s interesting, I interviewed Clare Licher on my show. She’s married to Max. They are artisan distillers in Sedona. On one trip I took out with them years ago, Max said something to a group of us when we were in the woods. He talked about paying attention to the plants around us. He talked about being in relationships with people and being in a relationship with anything or anybody.

Where love and respect come from is when you pay attention to the other person. You know what they need. You know what they want. You observe when they’re uncomfortable, when things are pleasant for them, or when they’re happy. That’s the test or the glue that holds together a good relationship. It is that you pay attention to your partner and they pay attention to you. They know when you’re sad. They know when you’re happy. They know when you’re hungry. They know when you can’t sleep. You are in sync by paying attention.

We need to take that same focus in looking at our natural world. We are, in fact, in a relationship with them, but no one is paying attention to the plants. You’re a gardener so you already do this by nature. Many of us are not paying attention to that, so we have no relationship. We can’t expect to deepen that relationship without paying attention. When he brought that up, I saw its ripple effect in so many ways in our lives aside from our relationships to the natural world but on so many other levels. I thought that was inspiring.

You could say gardener, but one thing that I try to be mindful of is paying attention to who shows up. The earth doesn’t like bare land. Who shows up to that spot of bare land? There’s a spot where violets started to show up on our property. I was like, “I know violets like moist and dark.” You could look into soil pH and all that stuff. It’s like, “Pay attention.” Don’t try to get rid of them. It is like, “What is happening here?” The plants show up where they’re needed. I remember learning that from Clare. I was like, “Let’s pay attention to that.” There’s a lot of information by observing and asking these small questions. They are big questions but there are insights.

Tell us a little bit about what you do. If anyone was inspired by this conversation and wanted to meet you in person, how could they do that? You were saying a little bit ago that you have clients one-on-one and that you teach. Tell us about all the different ways people can connect with you.

Thank you. First and foremost, I want to give a shout-out to a project I worked on for over a year. It’s on my podcast called Luna Aroma. This is still a project about observing nature around me by moon time and selecting an essential oil to complement that. I take you on a guided aromatic encounter. You’ll have to tune in to see what that means. That’s called Luna Aroma on my Essential Aromatica podcast. That’s a baby of mine.

Something I want to share with you and your lovely audience is when I was doing this project, it gave me permission to experience. I found myself trying to look for information. You’ll start with the Farmer’s Almanac and that stuff. I was like, “You’re an adult. You could observe. You could write down what you’re seeing and feeling.” this was a project of me saying I don’t need to look at other people’s work. I’m looking at my experience and resting on my learning. This was incredibly empowering for me to share with the world. I’m excited about putting that out there.

I want to give a shout-out. Spirituality Week is coming up in New York City. We’re giving a workshop at Gaia NoMaya in Brooklyn, with myself and a bunch of other practitioners. It’s going to be fun. How do you find me? Follow me on social media and check out my website. I’m not you. You have foundational classes and certification. I see myself as a springboard. If you’re like, “I’m interested in some of the plants,” I have my articles out there. I have plant talk videos. If you want to geek out with me and plants to start to get to know their personalities, that’s what my website is there for. It’s for inspiration to start peppering if someone’s curious about essential oils.

As a business person, I was like, “I don’t want to be the school. I love being a teacher, but I don’t want to take on that responsibility. I’ll be the springboard.” Go to NYCAromatica.com and check out my posts and data. I am a qualitative and quantitative person. I want to find that marriage and offer that to people to be like, “Here’s Goldenrod. Have you met Goldenrod? Let’s talk about it. Here’s Spearmint. Here’s Patchouli. Let’s get in there.” That’s where my passion is.

I love it. I look forward to continuing this conversation. We have so much more to talk about. Maybe we could plan on another episode sometime soon. Thank you so much for taking the time and chatting about what we feel passionate about and reconnecting. Thank you so much.

Thanks for having me. You’ll always be my teacher.

Thank you.

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About Amy Anthony

CBW 19 | Aromatherapy EducationAmy had a passion for plants as a child and continued to seek out nature as much as possible when moving to NYC in 1999 (e.g., hello Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and planters on my fire escape!). After a fulfilling career in market research, she decided to pursue what is closest to my heart: working with plants.In 2012 she became fascinated with and interested in pursuing an education in Aromatherapy. After a few years of self-study she sought certification. Luckily, she lived close to the New York Institute of Aromatherapy (NYIOA). Upon earning Level 1 and Level 2 Aromatherapy certifications from the NYIOA in 2015 and 2016, respectively, I opened an in-home practice.Amy is a distiller, podcast host, gardener, consultant and practitioner seeing clients in NYC.

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