Body Love

I recently came across a book that had been given to me by a friend and then promptly shoved in a dark corner for many years. I flipped through it expecting to toss it in the thrift store pile, but was completely surprised by the helpful, compassionate, practical info it contained.

“Drop-Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics” by Kim Erickson.

She offers a ton of fun, easy home alternatives to everyday self-care basics – shampoo, conditioner, face toner, perfume. At the end of the book, in the chapter called “Beauty from the Inside Out”, there is a really nice section called “Body Love”. Waking up today, I needed a reminder about self-love and being gentle and kind on myself when looking in the mirror. And I found it! Erickson writes,

“Your face is the canvas on which your emotions are painted and gives the world a glimpse of who you are. Each scar and wrinkle tells a tale. Your arms comfort and express love with their embrace. Connecting us to others are our hands, giving us the power to touch, heal, and create. No matter their size or shape, your breasts contain the capacity for pleasure and nourishment. Your belly is the center of your being. Like the fertile earth that brings forth life, your belly is the origin of humanity. Your hips are the cradle for this miracle of birth. Supporting your entire being, your legs and feet ground you to the earth and all life…”

“By routinely assessing yourself in new, more living ways, your begin the gradual process of accepting your body as it is. As we learn to accept, appreciate, and love our own bodies, we discover this attitude spilling over int other areas of our lives. Our self-confidence increases, giving us the courage to explore the unknown. We become less fearful of growing older and find ourselves deliberately taking time to celebrate our bodies and our lives.”

Ahhhh, thank you! Me and my body needed that little reminder today.

Self Nurture in the Storm

Incline Village, NV

I am talking about a literal storm. The wind is ripping through the sugar pines with a furor that rivals that of a jealous lover. I am contemplative, as I often am when the weather is stormy, and desirous of self-nurturing.

So I make up a little list, of 5 ways I can make this spring storm the perfect excuse for some existential pampering.

1. Create the space. Light a candle, build a fire or turn the heat up a little. Wash your face and brush your teeth (trust me, its much more pleasant to lounge when clean) and put something cozy on.

2. Take your vitamins. Take your vitamins like you are taking holy communion. Stop and think about it, give thanks for your body, your life. Chase with a big glass of filtered water.

3. Water your house plants. Dig your fingers into the soil like five-pronged plows and aerate the soil. Gently wipe the cobwebs and dust off the foliage. Congratulate them on making it through another winter.

4. Call an old friend and putz around your house in slippers while you talk. Swap new product suggestions, gripe about boyfriends, swoon about boyfriends, gossip (but only a little). Tell your friend you love them, remind them that they have a cheerleader in life.

5. Turn the humidifier on. You can buy a humidifier at any drugstore for $30. If you live in a dry climate, a humidifier is the perfect trick to help alleviate chapped skin and a dry respiratory system. Try putting a few drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil in the water. Close the door once the humidifier is on and let your skin acquire a temporary sheen.