There has never been a spring like the 2020 one 🙂
I think that all of us are now experiencing an incredible adventure, albeit not the regular outbound trip, but for the first time in modern history an inbound trip (seems that the ‘in’ and ‘out’ motive is in the air).
Unexpectedly there is an opportunity to learn oneself, one’s capabilities, one’s imagination and creative potential, to gauge own psychological and emotional reserves, as well as the ability to adapt to the new reality. What is it if not a genuine adventure, when one doesn’t know what dangers lie ahead and what surpises will tomorrow bring.
The degree of happiness may also be related to the population density. That’s because in towns and smaller cities people are in general more happier than in megacities. There are some possible explanations – like being able to get to work and back home faster or affordable rates for quality living.
Even though there is no tv at our place, the information stream still flows in massively from social networks, news and media websites, etc. That’s why regular reset and self-cleansing from unnecessary thoughts, fears and what not is as absolute must for one’s head and brains. That’s where meditation helps a lot.
Besides, after such sessions your mind calms down, your emotional balance re-establishes itself, you start hearing your body and recognize its needs much better.
I meditate in the mornings or when I feel that I need some mental quietness. Now many communities do collective meditation sessions. People from all over the world arrange a certain time in advance, and – having created an intention – simultaneously immerse into meditation. Recently I’ve taken a part in one such event, intention of which was health, calmness and healing from coronavirus for the whole mankind. It sound like a fairy tale, but once you become a part of everyone’s flow, all doubts disappear and you start saving the world for real 🙂
Some time ago scientists have found out that our charming guts are impacting more or less everything that happens to us and our bodies. Since then it has became even more urgent and worthwhile to seriously re-consider what we eat. If science to be trusted, we need to bet on fruit and veg, moderate amounts of dark chocolate and coffee and, attention! – probiotics.
Our body, just like our mind, needs a big cleaning up from time to time. Environmental issues, food we eat, urban living and related stresses create conditions in which body accumulates so-called Ama (a very important concept in Ayurveda) – toxic contaminations that lead to illnesses. In ayurvedic practices Ama – with the help of slatherings and warming ups – is forcibly moved to the intestines and then expelled with a help of mild laxatives. This cleansing is better to be done in-between seasons, in quiet and calm settings. As you see, the stars have aligned and quarantine turned out to be a perfect time for a home spa.
Our much loved Pratima Raichur in her Absolute Beauty book provides a simple and elegant body cleansing method. I really love her nine day program, that any person can do at home. It’s important though to fully set one’s heart for it.
The program includes:
Days 1-3, preparation: slathering your insides with ghee, sticking to a light vegetarian diet, having more sleep and rest.
Days 4-6, external slathering and sweating – also very easy to do. Every day I take baths with our bath bombs. Their contents include sea salt, baking powder and essential oils that help to relax, properly warm the body and open up skin pores. I conclude each warming with a cleansing session – using “Lavender and Linden”plant-based body-peeling composition, and then massaging the body with the “Cornflower and Lemongrass” body oil.
Day 7: bowels cleansing and brief fasting. During the day I maintain complete rest, the cleansing is started with taking in castor oil (be prepared for its taste!), you also need to drink it during the day with a large amount of herbal teas. After the body has completely cleansed itself it’s very important to avoid any stressful activities, and especially work. Complete rest!
Days 8-9: tonifying and rejuvenation. These days are needed to pick a new diet for yourself, do seasonal corrections to your face and body care routines… and have some decent rest.
So, a major reco is to re-read or read – if you haven’t – the ‘Absolute Beauty’ book by Pratima Raichur and follow her advice – especially in-between seasons – to regularly do major body cleanse. The feeling of lightness, freshness and healthiness then will be with you for the whole new season.
Gua sha massage
My biggest recent discovery is the gua sha massage. I’ve met the fabulous Natalya Yasinskaya who literally enchants with her meditative educational sessions in the @beauty.inn.coach instagram blog. I’ve been always intrigued about ancient Chinese massaging methods – now, thanks to Natalia I’m so much into it. Turns out that one of the key things is the right angle and pressure when moving a scraper over lymph drainage pathways. I don’t own a special scraper yet, but, as Natalia suggests, it’s possible to start with a dessert spoon (I use a silver one for a stronger effect). Already after the first few sessions skin feels refreshed and the turgor is improved… I’m looking forward to get more.
It helps me to keep my tonus up, as well as to brighten my mood and spirits. Various scents have been accompanying my life and lives of my friends for a very long time, but now essential oils have become an absolute necessity. My home has diffusors everywhere and the favourite scents of the moment are ‘Lemongrass and Lavender’ and ‘Juniper and Fir’.
Natural home perfumes also help greatly to maintain one’s connection with nature, they sanitize air and cheer you up. Another help for aroma therapy are the solid perfumes and oils with antiseptic properties – tea tree, pine, eucaliptus. They serve as medical emergency in many situations.
We wish everyone to spend the current moment usefully for yourselves – especially with nature as usual being very much willing to help.
We’ve gotten very much into Viggo Mortensen. There was an interview with him – turns out Viggo is a gallerist, composer, poet – not just a classy actor. He photographs a lot and supports young photographers.
Viggo says that life is full of unmissable moments, which one needs to focus on and read into. Camera, even if it’s resting inside its case helps Viggo not to lose the sight of life, to have a close look of it and to memorize every detail.
That skill of zooming in and out came very handy this spring, and many our rituals are aimed to feel something new, warm and fabulous in the daily routine.
Outing with a hammock!
All ingenious is simple – some time ago Lena gifted me a compact hammock to take along for the walks and short retreats to nature. This hammock doesn’t take space at all, it’s easy to hang. Overall a super accessory for spring and summer glamping 🙂 The bag containing the hammock also has a book and a thermos cup in case an escape without kids is a possibility.
We’ll never cease to repeat that spices are agents of good, are natural antiseptics and antibiotics. Apart from turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, cardamom and rosemary which we regularly buy to cook with, we also have a windowsill-based herbal plantation. My husband uses a Click and Grow smart garden to cultivate oregano, thai basil, tulsi (aka holy basil) and few chili varieties. At any moment I can check in into our veggie plot, pick a bunch of herbs and turn ordinary Asian soup into a bowlful of fire, passion and opulence. Here’s the smart garden link just in case: eu.clickandgrow.com.
New Activities! New Apps!
The genuinely cool thing about the current moment is the volume and quality of lifehacks, of trusted knowledge sources, of tops and charts of everything, but especially books, that we are sharing with each other. As a result our family library turnover has multiplied many times. Libraries now work in a special mode, books can be ordered online, and then picked up with absolutely no contact with the library people. What we’ve read and enjoyed: ‘Deptford Trilogy’ by Robertson Davies,’Dyagilev: A Life’ by Sjeng Scheijen, ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. As for the family reading, the absolute number one is ‘Atlas of travels and explorers’ by Isabel Minhós Martins – it is simply an antidote against forced homestaying – imagining the worlds and lifes of renowned travellers makes it easy to come with own travel plans and their visualizations 🙂
New apps we’ve started to use are Insight Timer & Just Dance Now. The former is all about meditations. The app has different skill levels, various languages and many groups to join for meditations. There are also meditations for kids which in our case leads to quiet soulful conversations. Evening time, relaxed guru voice, warm blanket – when combined that can bring even the most inexhaustible kids into a quiet and contemplative state. Just Dance Now is a pure body joy… with swimming pool not available at the moment, my body really needs more muscular exercise and the app is so helping to make me jump, dance, release endorphines.
New Skin care Accessories!
This time it’s a muslin napkin. Muslinis a cotton fabric with threads of varying thickness, some are thinner and softer, while some are thicker and rougher. It is easy to wash and it is highly breathable. Right now it’s very windy and dusty, so when I come home, I wipe my face with a wet muslin napkin, apply oil, and wipe with a napkin again – using light massaging pats. It’s a very natural method for facial cleaning and light peeling. We are already looking around for muslin suppliers and hope that soon there will be muslin napkins by Botanic Garden.
New Skin care Oil!
«It’s all about sun-kissed skin» is the name. Contents include unrefined organic oils of sesame, carrot seeds and passionfruit. This oil improves complexion and elasticity, restores thinning and drying up skin. Offers photoprotective action and is perfectly suitable for catching the first rays of spring sun. Cornucopea of vitamins – B, C, D, E, A – that forms a great duo with the muslin napkin.
Linens and clothes drying up on the rope in the yard!
Yes, one can easily fall in love with one’s bed linens – after drying them outdoors. Sunlights desinfects and whitens, and if you live by the sea, out of town or surrounded by a quiet and green courtyard, then spring scents and wind will impregnate your linens so irresistibly, that falling asleep will get much more nicer and sweeter. And deep sleep and good dreams these days are a fabulous, mindful and super-entertaining activity.
Wishing good health to everyone! Don’t forget to activate your inner photographer and start observing fabric of existence 🙂