In my last column, I wrote about meeting a friend for brunch, discussing some of life’s current challenges — my friend, needing to make time to be kind to herself; and me, needing to communicate more effectively — and then wandering into a local shop where the owner offered us a chakra reading.

Intrigued, we accepted the offer and proceeded to sniff random combinations of essential oils until we each identified the scent that was most appealing to us, while the shop owner observed our reactions and took notes on our findings.


Standing stoically side-by-side to hear the results, the owner explained that the scent my friend was most drawn to was associated with the heart chakra, indicating that my friend needed to nurture this particular chakra.

The owner then went into greater detail about how, in light of my friend’s results and personal energy, it was obvious that my friend was a nurturer who spent a lot of time caring for others (my friend does, indeed, work in a healing profession) and not enough time taking care of herself, that she felt other people’s burdens as her own, that she was compassionate and cared deeply, but that it was costing her personally.

The owner then turned her keen gaze on me and my chin nearly dropped to the floor as she explained how I had identified the scent associated with the throat chakra, which is the chakra for communication, and therefore I was likely experiencing an inability to communicate, that my words were not coming out right, that I might feel a lump in my throat as if the words were stuck there, that this would create frustration and misunderstandings.

As I do tend to carry a healthy dose of skepticism — sometimes not quite believing things I can’t see, being more of a follower of science than blind faith — my first thought was that this woman must have been sitting at the table beside us at brunch.

She must have overheard the conversation my friend and I were having where we’d discussed these very things. But I knew that wasn’t the case.

The whole experience was as creepy and unbelievable as it was spine-tingling and awe-inspiring. Needless to say, I left the store that day with a small roller of my chosen fragrance, with instructions to apply the scent to my wrists, temples and collarbone as needed whenever I struggled to communicate or felt misunderstood.

I keep this roller in a prominent spot in my house where I can see it, where I remember to use it. Because this little blue bottle — aptly named “Cat Got Your Tongue” — comprised of lavender, clary sage, and palmarosa essential oils, and designed to assist and enhance self-expression, truth and communication, does indeed seem to do what it’s supposed to do.

How or why it works, I can’t quite explain nor do I even really want to know.

What I do know is that whenever my throat chakra feels out of balance — whenever I’m feeling frustrated or misunderstood or not finding the words I need to express myself — I apply this scent and, suddenly, I’m living the lyric made famous by the Beastie Boys: “Let it flow, let yourself go, slow and low, that is the tempo.”

And the words I need are suddenly there.

Columnist’s note: This column is the second column in a three-part series about chakras.