god in the details

Sometimes we encounter  a blog so fine, so redolent of life and longing and the sweetness of being present, we must share. This time, we’re sharing a blog written by physicians, simply processing the astonishing, unknowable experiences they have as healers and humans. There is so much heart here, so much naked truth, one must wonder and be altered in the reading.

click here: The Nocturnists

crescent_moon_by_aurrum-d4hnf4e

You’re welcome.

 

Santa’s Kitchen

 

gingerI got into the holiday spirit last weekend and whipped up a batch of the most amazing gingerbread ever. Seriously. You haven’t had gingerbread until you’ve had this gingerbread.   (Spoiler alert: the secret ingredient is a cuppa Guinness. Duh.) If you gotta have it: HERE’S THE RECIPE

aroma

But that didn’t satisfy the need to create, so I also stormed the kitchen to stir up some  organic sea salt scrub made with coconut oil, salt, and a generous helping of peppermint essential oil. After stirring up a batch, I scooped generous dollops into jelly jars, topped them with festive tissue and raffia, and voila! I had flagrant, healthy, soul-satisfying,  gifts to give to friends and colleagues. The beauty of these charming little hand-crafted gifts is a fait accompli. A short list of benefits includes:

  1. Cost – which is minimal. Salt and coconut are easy to come by. Don’t pinch pennies on the essential oil, however. It’s the magic ingredient.
  2. Aromatherapy. It’s good for you! And who doesn’t love the lovely, bright fragrance of peppermint?
  3. Moisturizing oil. In winter, skin takes a beating. Baby, it’s cold outside, hot indoors, and as the body’s first line of defense, skin gets dry, flakey, and cranky.

MAKE YOUR OWN DELICIOUS SCRUB:

  • Two cups coconut oil 
  • Two cups course sea salt
  • 30 drops peppermint essential oil

Bring the coconut oil to room temperature for ease of handling. Mix in sea salt and stir to evenly distribute. Add essential oil and stir, but don’t overmix. Scoop mixture into containers for sharing. If you double up the recipe, you’ll have a ready supply of festive hostess gifts at the ready for those last-minute invites.

USE: Treat knees, elbows, heels with combination exfolliating/moisturing scrub and sail through the winter months with smoother, happier surfaces. Don’t wait; raid the kitchen cupboards and whip up your own magic winter skin treat!

 

 

 

Bring the Spa Home

 

Persephone

Winter is the time when we turn inward, stay indoors, feather our nest. This morning I was enjoying the amber morning light and feeling a little witchy, and a little under the weather, so I whipped up an at-home spa treatment to help loosen a stubborn chest cold. My little alchemical brew worked so well, I had to share it here.

When you can’t get away to a “traditional” spa, there’s no reason you can’t transform your bath into a luxurious spa with a little aromatherapy magic! Try this little goddess-girl two-step alchemy to chase away the winter blahs.

First, make a cold-care chest balm to slather on before bed, bath, or shower time. It’s pretty potent, and that’s the idea, so you won’t want to take this treatment before heading off to the grocery or office holiday party.

Step One.  THE BLEND:

  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil (optional)
  • 30 drops organic peppermint essential oil
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • Dash cayenne pepper, if desired

Heat the coconut oil to soften and ease the blending process. Combine all ingredients to form a smooth paste. The peppermint and eucalyptus oils lend cooling high notes to the recipe, which will help open airways and ease breathing. Pepper adds a little heat. Jojoba will make the blend more creamy, but the recipe works as well without it. Mix all ingredients and then pour into a jar for storage. This yummy, bright, cold-care chest poultice is guaranteed to chase away any lingering winter blahs!

Step Two.  THE BATH:

To make an amazing spa treatment, draw a hot bath. Add 2 cups Epsom salts to the water. Light a candle if you feel like channeling your inner priestess. Add some music to lend atmosphere. Set an intention for a healing bath. Add unscented bubble solution to the water if you are fond of a little froth. Add 10 drops peppermint oil to the water. Rub a little of the cold-care poultice on your chest before slipping into the peppermint-scented bath. Breathe deeply. Let the essential oils do their magic. While the Epsom salts draw toxins out of your body, notice how the cool peppermint contrasts with the hot water. Imagine healing whatever ails you. Go to your happy place and stay there until the water begins to lose its heat. Drain the bath, then shower off. Afterward, apply your favorite body lotion and savor the sensations of cool and warm that will continue for 30 minutes of more. Repeat as desired.

There you have it. You just brought the spa, home. If you give this recipe for bliss a try, let us know how it goes!

 Yours Sincerely,

The Girls at Seph’s Salon

 

(Fair warning:  Be a smart goddess. Do NOT touch your eyes with any of these blends on your hands. Do NOT apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin. When in doubt, test on a small area on the inside of your arm.)

 

 

 

 

relax, baby!

peac of mind

One of the greatest gifts you get from yoga is that it gives you permission to relax, to really really let everything go as you sink into a yummy pool of bliss. What’s not to love! At the gym where I practice yoga we end our sessions with a sweet period of savasna. Most times, I grab a towel to drape over my eyes because I can’t truly relax under florescent lights. What could be better than relaxing after a healthy workout. . .unless it’s being bathed in the sweet fragrance of lavender blossoms?

Our friends at Oregon Plum Brand have developed an aromatherapy eye pillow filled with a blend of lavender and flax seeds and are offering it for a limited time to our WordPress friends. Be one of the first 25 people to order an Oregon Plum all-natural lavender eye pillow, and get a deep discount on your purchase!  Bonus: these make a great gift — get a jump on your holiday shopping and give the gift of relaxation.  Click here to order.

Namaste!

2OPpillo

 

write now

journaling It was the most amazing, powerful, insightful, fabulous Yoga and Creative Journaling Workshop for Women, well, ever! We got your Crow, your Eagle, your Down Dog. Plus, we got your expository writing to not only knock off any proverbial socks, but to actually take you to that place you’ve always wanted to go but didn’t quite know the way. Yeah, it was like that.  And just to prove it, here is a little creative journaling sample:  I

n my tribe I am  loved, appreciated, and seen. There is no apology no room for shame, for what-ifs, if-onlys, no be seen not heards. This is a party palace, baby! This is where I am the celebrated and the celebration. I am the fireworks and the parade! But wait —  is this the same as hunkering down with syrupy sychophants? Oh, no my dear. My tribe both supports me and calls me on my philosophical slight of hand, my fancy emotional tap-dancy work. My tribe loves music and animals and sustainable living. It appreciates beauty, even the most imperfect beauty. This is a tribe of passion and compassion. This tribe has good taste and isn’t afraid to use it. Oh, Tribe of my dreams, I would climb into your mouth and sleep in the shadow of your teeth. I would brush your hair 100 strokes before tucking you in for the night. I would make you hot chocolate from scratch with baby marshmallows for breakfast and I would cut all the crusts off of every piece of toast in the world for you. My tribe speaks like a Windigo from Love Medicine. My tribe has eyes so deep you could drown in them. Namaste, peeps! — Cynthia G.

suspended in blue

bellinghamWhen I meditate, the big things fall into perspective. When I sit and let my body relax, I can feel my bones and muscles, my blood and tissue, letting go of all the big ideas, the big worries, the Big Bad (as Buffy would say). My breath deepens, my shoulders drop. I would like to say that I let my worries go but it is really the other way around. When I fall into the sweet relaxation that mediation opens in me, worries let me go and my consciousness expands and rises up into the sky like a soap bubble. From that high-deep place the “big things” that occupy so much of my waking life seem as small as marbles in the dust and I wonder how they ever seemed important at all.

It took a couple of whole-day meditation retreats to reach this place. I like to think that I have meditated for years, but now I realize, I dabbled. I would do it when the timing was right or the moon was aligned or if I had not hit the snooze button and rose naturally, and meditation was a yummy doorway between dreaming and awake. But I never did it for more than 20 minutes. Tops.

I began attending a weekly Satsang in Napa and got to practice 30 minutes sessions. They were challenging, but I got the hang of it. Then, I did a couple of full day retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre.  These took a little more concentration, a little more physical discipline. I struggled at first, but when I stopped efforting so much. . .and when I forgot to try, it happened.  The world and everything in it (including me) simply expanded and I found my mind floating in a sparkling pool of iridescent blue. I call this feeling Suspended in the Blue and it is completely, utterly, and deeply delicious. I won’t pretend that I get there every time, but now that I know how, it has become an unfolding, and I appreciate the practice as much as the experience.

Big worries? Meh. I breathe in, I breathe out. Everything else is optional.