Patchouli: my new teacher

I love pizza. Like, could eat it every day love it. Especially thin crust. I do not love patchouli. If Coco Chanel herself came back from her fabulous after-life, and handed me a bottle of perfume with notes of patchouli, I would probably say thanks, but no thanks. On Friday those worlds collided.

My man and I took our moms to a restaurant we’ve wanted to try ever since we heard it was opening- at least a year. They finally opened! Cocktails in hand, we chatted and waited for a seat. We were laughing, getting to know each other, and having a great time. Then someone wearing patchouli walks in. Offended by their choice of scent, I harshly judged him, or her… I honestly didn’t know who it was.

We sit down, we order, we start eating. And then my sweet patchouli friend sits down at our community table. I felt a definite shift in my attitude, and my body went rigid. And that’s the thing about judgment: it will come back to you. Fight it, focus only on the negative, and it will come back to sit at your table. Full circle. Having bathed in patchouli.

But if you acknowledge your judgment and try to look past it, you may end up realizing it’s not as awful as you think. Judgment holds us back from potentially great experiences or people. We spent the final minutes of dinner chatting with our new friends. I realized when we got home, that after I got over the fact that he was wearing patchouli, I didn’t smell it anymore. The happy memories are stronger than the scent.

I’m off to yoga, where I will possibly practice next to someone doused in patchouli. And that’s where the real work happens, the place where I’m greeted with something different or unpleasant. I have a choice about how I respond. I’m going to choose the positive because, well a little patchouli is a whole lot better than missing out on new friends. Namaste y’all.