Sword of Damocles

Every day I receive offers of SEO support from web-savvy developers who seem to love rubbing my nose in the fact that my website ranks down in the dumps of google (and whatever those other search engines are called). Some emails are very polite and others are just rude and shabby. My responses are varied – delete or ignore.

Why? The answer is simple and yet, also a little bit complicated. I don’t want to force it.

Although I’m a prolific hand-maker of things, I lack ambition. I deeply accord with the healer archetype and not the hunter. I reject all that adrenalised hype and pressure of jostling for first place; my head is ill-shaped for the twitter crown of economic rationalism. Some of the hidden costs of top ranking include increased economic scrutiny via targeted attacks from scammers and hustlers and shonks – all of which have had a go at my expense, other websites claiming to stock and sell my products (they don’t) and many disgruntled Americans – ‘where do I get this in the US? or Waddya mean you DON’T ship to the US?’ etc). To which I reply… ‘there’s already so much natural (and *cough* unnatural) perfume in America. Here’s a list of well-considered brands for you to check out…Have a Nice Day’

I need to survive, but I’m not very sales driven. I realise that such a bizarre reluctance runs counter to the capitalist obsession with ‘get-more, have-more and brag-more‘. Yet, our planet is becoming a husk. A galactic tumbleweed. It is heartbreaking and terrifying to me.

Perfumes and CrystalSo, I’m happy to languish on level -055 of Google’s ranking race. I’ll continue to write socially acerbic diatribes at the risk of utterly demolishing my serene perfumer persona. Whatever reviews or positive endorsements may have come so fortunately my way are truly remarkable, and as they fade into the sunset, I will still be chugging along – stirring, sniffing and swooning to myself.

TRNP is my bliss; I hope to enjoy making small batches of beautiful natural perfume for as long as I have a nose. I’m deeply grateful that a few gorgeous human beings on the planet like (and even love) some of my creations. I deeply appreciate their patronage more than I can ever express.

The ingredients I use are precious and ecologically fragile to the point that I totally reject the concept of up-scaling just so I can gain more personal comfort and prestige. That’s not me. I’ll continue to learn how to craft my own luxuries. I’ve been blessed by the true luxuries of abundant creative inspiration, resourceful thinking, careful planning, blending skill and the extraordinary gift of time.

Next to clean water, enough food and safe shelter for my beautiful family, they are the greatest treasures I’ll ever know.

fantasy-bottles

 

-top photo from The Serpent’s Book of Lamentations a 3 act play written and directed by Teone Reinthal ©2016

– other photos of early, one-off fragrances (some in hand-painted bottles)

 

 

Core Values

In my twenties, I worked for an extraordinary company of psychologists and personal development trainers called Future Pace. The principals at Future Pace, Geoff and Mahni Dugan, conducted a vast number of personal development seminars and I was very fortunate to attend many intensives on the subject of values (among many other fascinating subjects). Much of their research built upon Levels of Existence theories of Dr Clare Graves, as well as conflict resolution theories and practices of Nobel Laureate, Roger Sperry. The Dugan’s research also dovetailed with the Neuro-Linguistic master practitioner training that Geoff Dugan was delivering in the eighties.

I learned that our core human values are the qualities that motivate us in life. They are generally gathered and established in our inner maps of the self by the age of fourteen and they are comprised of inherited and learned qualities – they are meta keys to determining our unique sense of success in life.

Some core values are culturally imprinted on our unconscious minds by the sorts of overarching world challenges (and corresponding conflicts, solutions and tools for change that emerge in the world). These are the social narratives we are exposed to at home and at school in our formative years. Cultural values are harvested from the first decade that follows our birth. In light of current global tends, some examples of cultural values might be:-

Industry, Success, Wealth, Prosperity, Conservatism, Power, Travel, Comfort, Luxury, Security etc etc – all values that fit within a world narrative that strives for economic expansion and monetary gain in order to seize and wield power.

Personal values are qualities that we hold as vital to our own quality of life. Some examples might be:-

Love, Confidence, Expertise, Beauty, Power, Wealth, Comfort, Friendship, Family, Health Peace and Harmony etc etc

2-men-and-palms

Core values give rise to our beliefs and subsequently shape our actions, which coalesce to become our experiences. It is a giant feedback loop.

It can go very wrong. Consider the boy who needs freedom above and beyond all other values – as a young boy he is disruptive in class and is reprimanded. He doesn’t heed the warnings and doesn’t do his homework and wanders off at lunch time to go home for a sandwich. He is put on detention at school and grounded at home.

As a teen he just wants to step out and see the world, be an independent adventurer, so he misses school or he leaves altogether and hitch-hikes around and even steals a car to feel the wind in his face as he hoons off into the sunset… only to be caught and charged and funneled straight into the youth justice system. His family cannot understand and now he is constantly monitored by everyone.

where are you going?

He moves out of home and gets a job selling door-to-door. He doesn’t show up one day for that dumb job that he hates, and goes instead to the beach. He’s fired and now has no access to money. He’s evicted, and hungry and he steals food and eventually commits a break and enter or a service station robbery that lands him in jail. His lifelong quest for freedom has cost him exactly that – his freedom. An alternative to this painful story lies in the conscious elicitation of one’s values, and the understanding that follows when one comprehends the hierarchy of one’s own values that support the key core value – in this case, Freedom. The process begins by making a list that is prompted by the question:-

‘What do I really need to feel good? ….and what else do I need?’ Ask yourself  what’s the next most important quality I need to feel good? For example:- Freedom -> Safety -> Support -> Understanding -> Friendship -> Fun and Excitement.

Write down whatever comes to your mind. Make a list of up to 20 qualities (of course it can be more, but it’s a good idea to start with somewhere between 10 and 20). Examine the order of your values list and move certain values up or down in a way that just feels right. Really check out how you feel about the order. If something is amiss – move it.

Our values are the meta drivers of how we know ourselves, how we conduct ourselves and they may well be vastly different to the values of those around us.

Look at your list. Does the order flow for you now in a way that just feels right? Make a small and simple defining statement next to each value to explain what it means for you.

This is a great exercise to do with a partner. Each person in turn asks the other ‘What’s the next most important value? Is Money more important than Freedom?  Is Comfort more important than Winning? Be prepared to trust your first instinctive response even if it surprises you or goes against logic.

Suspend all judgement about how you order your values. Just play along with the process and trust yourself to answer from the instinctive sense of what works.

There is really so much more to be said on the subject of human values, and how working directly at the level of meta drivers is used in conflict resolution and in seeding successful project initiatives. The self-understanding that this cognitive technology brings is profoundly rewarding. The opportunity to become consciously aware of what I specifically need and desire is one of the most empowering tools I’ve ever encountered. By far the most enjoyable step in eliciting my own core values (as they apply to any aspect of my life) is being able to effectively determine a new order based on current needs and requirements. Organising my thinking to flow in a pleasing new hierarchy of core values powerfully changes the way I am and how well I function.

I’ll finish this piece by sharing with you the current list of values that I hold to be crucial to my success and happiness as a perfumer.

Freedom – doing it my way, not bound by anyone else’s demands or expectations, trusting my instincts.

Creativity – Following the What-ifs? of my Products, Concepts, Marketing, Innovation, Inventions

Resources – Having the means and access to obtain High Quality Raw Materials and Packaging, Good working relations with my suppliers, Ease of delivery.

Synergy – Allowing things to work effortlessly, naturally and easily – not forcing any of it

Inspiration – Waking up every day excited to be and do…

Learning – Discovering new ways and better ways and staying open and receptive

Connection – Knowing that my art brings happiness & makes a positive contribution to the lives of others. Transacting and communicating with like-minded people.

Acknowledgement – Receiving Positive Feedback and Return Customers with an Invitation to succeed.

Reward – Accepting Money for my Time and Art as fair day’s pay that allows me to Live and Flourish and provide for my survival needs and those of my family.

Satisfaction – Running a Calm and Ethical business practice in order to know balance

Sustainability – Giving back and supporting others. Being safe and secure in all my business dealings. Reciprocity of well-being and pleasure.

Integrity – Demonstrating Transparency and Ethical decisions

Trust – Listening to my instincts and absolutely following my gut

Generosity – Giving more than I promise. Receiving more than I expect.

Love – Delighting every day in what I do

 

MISSION STATEMENT: Freedom is the full permission I grant to my creativity, knowing it to be the highly driven task-leader and project manager of my commercial ecology.

The ebb and flow of my creative impulses is a natural rhythm that functions within its own sense of time and space. I am at peace with that way of living and being. I am motivated and able to act upon the inspirations as they arise. In trusting my own process, I easily find the resources and raw materials needed to achieve conceptual and physical cohesion of my ideas.

The more I trust, the better my work flows, and the results are that more customers acknowledge my work with enthusiasm and repeat business. I am safe in business.

I gratefully receive a steady flow of income from the sale of my products, and I express my gratitude by generously rewarding my customers and supporting others.

I love my work.

 

photograph above of Bee and Snapdragons by Steve Reinthal ©2009

 

Salon or Sauna?

We don’t have air conditioning. Our house is ridiculously hot, but we reckon it’s probably better for us in the long run to try and work with nature than to burn through the biosphere at a rate of knots. Nonetheless, it’s a very hot house and it takes some getting used to the Brisbane funk.

Two gorgeous young ladies from Japan visited me today to buy some fragrances to take home to Tokyo in a few days. We were all politely sweltering in the lounge-room, so I brought out my treasured collection of Balinese fans. I have 50 or more bamboo fans covered with batik and I use them to show my fragrances in the salon (lounge-room). I spray the fan, wave it a few times and then offer it to my guest to smell. It’s a beautiful ritual and we had so much fun.

Yuki and Kana

My visitors sniffed a vast number of perfumes, and I truly admired their fortitude and etiquette to soldier on. I really loved hearing their unique expressions in response to sniffing so many fragrances… it was delightful! So many non-words burst forth, guttural ‘woooaaahhhs’ and high pitched squeals and even growls. It was divine.

Kana on back deck

They chose 3 each – Yuki chose Ritual, Bodhi and Tea Rose Mimosa, and Kana chose Lyonesse, LiLi and Dragonboat. We sipped Longjing tea from my hand-thrown tea cups and it was truly like stepping back in time. The humidity, the colours and aromas and the unique chance to play ladies in the perfume parlour with 2 gorgeous Japanese guests left a delightful impression that will last a very long time.

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