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With spring and summer, comes inevitable busy-ness. Longer hours of daylight mean more time to savor and enjoy these joyous seasons, and we are usually living life to the fullest. Extra activities like gardening, family vacations and regular backyard BBQs take up much of our free time and we are often left with lingering to-do lists and an abundance of work to catch up on. During these busy seasons, time seems to speed up and the practice of personal time isn’t high on our lists. Living in a world that demands every ounce of your energy and attention requires radical self-care.
Self-care not only builds our reserves and keeps our systems healthy and well, but it also de-clutters our mind and allows for more positive thinking to take place.
I have a monthly New Moon circle with a wonderful group of woman and it’s the cornerstone of my self care ritual. We sit together in circle, listen to each other and share deeply about what’s happening in our lives. It’s self-care for the soul and deeply healing. We do breast massage and yoni steams as a way to love and care for our bodies. It’s powerful being with a group of women who come together to take deeper care of not only their bodies but their spirits, hopes and dreams. urbanmoonshine.com
Early morning is my favorite time of day for prayer and meditation. When I first awake I place my hands on my heart and say “May all beings everywhere be happy, healthy, peaceful and safe.” Then I arise and go outside and stand quietly for 10-20 minutes in a particular place facing east. I listen for birds, watch the early morning light shift and pray aloud for the safety and well-being of pollinators, plants, elemental beings, my beloveds, and all sentient beings living on our Mother Earth. I bow to the 7 directions, also recognizing the influences of the Cosmos. I breath in light and love and ask my Ancestors to help me be present, kind and compassionate towards myself and all who I interact with throughout this new day. avenabotanicals.com
Uterus massage is my all time favorite for beauty and self love. There are many tribal techniques out there that are about bringing healthy blood flow to the lower lymph and uterine area. Some basic ones I do very regularly is doing a circular massage with loose fists, rotating inwards. You move the the fists in circular rotation all over the lower belly, and then you continue onto patting softly to activate the lymph. And last but not least! I apply a Pau D’Arco + Turmeric clay mask to move any energetic stagnation in the lower belly area. animamundiherbals.com
I spend time every day during every season connecting personally with the foods & plants in my garden and really nurturing my garden soil. As a nutritionist and herbalist, I completely believe that we have a profoundly deep connection with the world around us through the foods and medicines we eat. Creating space around my home to nurture and sow organic fruits, veggies and herbs is 100% self care for me and brings me so much joy. I also feel like garden soil is much akin to our gut microbiota, filled with bacterial critters, nutrients and energy that require all the same sunlight, clean water and fresh air that human beings crave too – so you’ll probably see me outside barefoot in my garden, soaking in the soil under my fingernails and giving it lots of happy compost! gingertonicbotanicals.com
Sourcing, preparing and consuming nutrient dense, healing foods is by far my most radical self care practice. I love going into my garden or to the local farmers markets, co-ops, and farm stands to select nutritious foods to fuel my body and health. The type of food we eat can be so powerful in either making or breaking our health and I’m enthralled with using food as medicine. As someone living well with an inflammatory bowel disease, the time I dedicate to food preparation and cooking, ensures that I continue to enjoy a thriving life, doing the things I love everyday.
While I love working with herbs and tarot as self care, my most oft-practiced radical ritual is simply connecting with the wilderness. Every day I take time to walk through the woods to the Little River, which runs behind my house, and put my feet in the sandy beach and the wild, rushing water. There’s so much connection that happens when you visit a place daily; you can see the tracks of the animals that drink the river’s water and watch as every single flower blooms. Slowing down enough to notice is how I take care of myself.
While I have a lot of self care rituals that could be considered very radical, when asked to share one, I decided to choose a ritual that is radical in how easy, truly accessible to all & profoundly effective it is. Indeed, this may be the single ritual that gives you the biggest bang for no buck. I call it “Laying on the Earth Mama”. As you may gather, all it takes is going and finding a piece of Earth to lay on. Preferably, you can find a quiet spot with just the sounds of nature, but if you live in the city, a park and really any stretch of grass will do. Lay down, close your eyes, and sigh out the tension in your body. Lay there breathing and relaxing, and you will notice after a few minutes that you are going deeper and deeper into a state of true relaxation. You may notice that there is tension leaving your body and mind that you did not even know you were holding a few minutes prior. If you started on your back, turn around, and lay down on your belly. Continue breathing and resting on the Great Mother’s body. 10 minutes will already be deeply balancing, grounding, calming and restorative. 20 minutes will leave you feeling refreshed, re awakened while deeply peaceful. It is profound! And radically simple! thegreenwoman.com
Radical self care is about connecting to your wild woman nature, rekindling what has been extinguished, and engulfing yourself in the flames of what sets your soul on fire. To me, this is the physical connection to the natural world, immersing my body in the delicacies of what the earth mother provides. One of my weekly rituals I would like to share, is using an exfoliating natural face soap, also known in our shop as Traditional Cleansing Grains. Simply spoon one tablespoon of grains, mix with a bit of spring water, gently massage into the skin, working away the dead cells, taking time to learn the curves of your face, and it is as if your face has been reborn – you’re revitalized, refreshed & renewed. True plant bliss. moonrisecreek.com
Spring is when we awaken from the cocoon of winter, a time to enliven the senses, draw in inspiration, and make space for a more lively rhythm to flow in. Creating herbal teas and infusions and is a nourishing daily ritual for me that enriches my connection to calm. This grounding, sensory experience is a gentle practice that incorporates self-love and self-care into my routine.
It’s a lovely way to ease into the day, gently nurture my system and take mini-moments of meditation. Generally, I start the day with several glasses of water (sometimes with lemon) & sip tea, while connecting with my love. I’ll sip infusions midday and afternoon plus another tea before bed to wind down.
Favorite herbs for spring include Nettle, which is wonderful for increasing iron and staving off seasonal allergies. Lemon balm, which soothes my excited nervous system & Dandelion root that helps to gently cleanse my liver. I mix it up by adding in Ginger for digestion, Goji berries for blood cleansing, and rose for beauty. Holy basil and Spring Dragon tea are also always in rotation. They all work to keep my blood sugar stable, my liver cleansed and my skin radiant! Once summer hits, I love making sun tea and topping with fresh herbs like mint, basil & cilantro. (photo credit: Alexa Gray) dahlhousenutrition.com
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