Nourishment. It’s not just food or sleep, it’s also mind-body-spirit self care that can change the way we experience life and interact within the world. When we are nourished, we are better able to give. When we are nourished we are more connected to our true selves.
Loving ourselves and recognizing our innermost truths and dreams begins when we connect with ourselves, taking a few moments each day to realize that our lives are calling to us to be more present and fully aware so that we may live within the world in a way that is aligned to our highest calling, our highest selves. It’s tapping into that part of ourselves that longs to be more than a job title or any of the hundreds of things we judge ourselves for each day - the details that don’t even begin to come close to who we truly are on the inside.
We come into this world alone and no matter what, we leave the world alone, each housing within ourselves the memories, experiences and feeling - the energy of our lives. So how do we know that we are living our best lives? How are we truly nourishing and taking care of this one, wild and precious life we’ve been given?
We know by how we feel and how aligned we are to what feels right for us. Each of us is different and so our lives cannot be compared to each other. I ask myself not only what I want specifically, like a house or a vacation or a job, I ask myself how I want to feel and what is it I want to experience in this lifetime. What I find more often than not is that the feeling of being loved, at peace, happy and content is something that I’m able to cultivate and create each day, in every moment when I decide to take a pause and settle into myself, being fully present and aware.
I used to work 60-80 hours a week, dedicated beyond reason, working from home while I was sick, barely able to lift my head up, my determined personality just kept going, going, going. Until I couldn’t anymore. Until my body said “stop!” and I got so sick I had to rest.
This pattern continued throughout my career and while I was very successful and often rewarded for all the work I did, I wasn’t always finding work-life balance. Yoga helped me to center myself and become more aware of how much energy I was expending and how I wasn’t resting or replenishing myself enough. I found how simple it was to take an hour out of my day to breathe, stretch, be fully present and I would leave each class feeling like a newly energized version of me.
Yet, even with yoga, I didn’t fully learn the lesson of self care. I continued to work crazy hours, so much so that when I moved home to Hawaii from Europe, the long hours in yet another job took it’s toll on me, and my skin literally started to peel off! My skin got so dry and broken out that I didn’t know what to do. This had never happened to me before and was a major wake up call. Our bodies are always trying to guide us back to a state of homeostasis and balance, if only we would listen.
A month or so later, I was invited to a Zenziva group scrub at the beach. I was excited about spending time with my friends at the beach and sitting in a sacred circle, giving ourselves the time to unwind and relax. The body scrub part? I wasn’t so excited about it. I hated body scrubs. Like literally did not like them. If I ever went to a spa, I would never do a body scrub. To me, they were messy and you had to clean up afterwards - I did not enjoy them at all. But something happened, we shared in this amazing experience at the beach, full of the love of taking time to exfoliate and take care of our skin, the bodies we put through so much each day.
I massaged my thighs and my legs, remembering how unkind I had sometimes been to them, always pushing my body to be thinner or paying attention to the parts I loved while ignoring the parts I didn’t. Yet during the scrub, I cared for and nourished every single part of my body and it felt amazing. I lovingly nourished my hands that served me so well as a writer. I noticed how the Hawaiian sandalwood, chocolate and coffee, how all of these ingredients felt on my skin, the softness that remained long after our incredible day at the beach.
After the experience of releasing what no longer served me and shedding, literally old skin, I felt alive and refreshed. I felt new again. Like with yoga but on this deeper level where if I didn’t have time to do anything else, there was always time to use the chocolate scrub instead of shower gel or soap. It would only take a few moments to take in the chocolatey, aromatic goodness and breathe. Feel the love I have for myself as I am forced in a way to acknowledge each part of me, the body that is connected to the spirit, that is connected to the mind that gives birth to this life.
It literally took me no longer to take a shower than it had before, but integrating the Chocolate Body Scrub into my everyday routine literally felt like there was always one time each day I acknowledged myself, mind, body and spirit. The body that houses this one wild, precious life.