Archive for March, 2016
With the remarkable recent upsurge in our collective urge to joyfully de-clutter the places where we live, there’s a revolution afoot! And I love to see friends and clients make that big leap, clearing out what is no longer loved from their homes in order to make room for what’s new, and trusting life to reveal the next chapter in these newly-opened spaces. What release and power! We can bring this exuberant cleansing drive into every aspect of our lives—especially now, supporting springtime’s upwelling of new growth with some therapeutic seasonal purification. On the physical level, that might mean choosing—even temporarily—a purifying plant-based diet that includes powerhouse foods such as artichokes, beets and avocados, all of which support the liver, our most important detoxifying organ. When the eliminatory system is overloaded, we can feel sluggish and dull, which is, in turn, reflected in the skin. But revitalizing our diets, we usher in a vibrant new energy that holds wonderful benefits for the complexion (especially when boosted by a purifying at-home facial protocol utilizing my award-winning Epi-Peel and detoxifying Purifying Luculent Masque). In the same way, on the emotional and spiritual levels, an accumulation of day-to-day stress can develop into the sort of negative build-up that holds us back, if we don’t take the opportunity to whisk it away. Many traditional cultures rely on the cleansing and protecting capacities found in a natural body of water to wash away such blockages. Spending time by a steam, lake or ocean with the intention of releasing any energies that are no longer beneficial to you can be a great support. Similarly, at home, you might take a purifying bath, steeping the warm water with a sachet of the detoxifying herbs we use in holistic medicine (1 to 2 cup blend of dried lavender flower, rosemary, mint and sage leaves), and then soaking while you hold an intention to release and re-energize. In your home, open the windows wide and let the spring breeze blow through, clearing away any stagnation. Cleanse the objects you use to keep you centered—stones, crystals, sacred jewelry or images—clearing their energy fields with resonating sound vibrations (as from a small bell) or with a natural water source, sunlight or moonlight. Really, there’s no wrong way to do it. Simply allow your creativity and intuition to guide you, and let yourself get swept up in this new and old-styled spring cleaning—inviting focus, clarity, freshness and happiness to all that we do.
Our skin has a rhythm all its own, echoing the wider rhythms of life, and when we tap into that pulse, we tap into deep beauty. On a daily basis, the skin’s natural regenerative cycle oscillates between two fundamental functions. During the daytime hours, skin actively protects us from environmental stressors, including UV light and toxins. But at night, its focus changes, and during the first half of the sleep cycle the skin works at full capacity to make cellular repairs, undoing the day’s damage. Time and again I’ve seen that when we give the skin exactly what it needs, it performs at its best, and especially when we boost the skin’s natural capacities with formulas that harness the Pure Living Energy®of the botanical world. I love the way skin absorbs botanical remedies so effortlessly. Getting in sync with the daily rhythms of this continuous cycle, a rich supply of natural antioxidants helps combat pollutants during the day, a phase that tends to peak between 7 - 11 am. At night, however, skin needs essential nutrients to rebuild collagen, ideally between the hours of 10pm - midnight, when the body’s natural anti-inflammatory levels are often at their highest. With this in mind, It’s easy to see how skin can become extra-stressed during travel, when jet-lag sets the natural cycles topsy-turvy. That said, healing is not an overnight affair. It takes intention and time, with our skin replenishing itself slowly over the course of about 27 to 35 days. Just as when preforming a cleanse, or joining a new exercise class, it’s useful to approach long-term skincare goals with this timeframe in mind. Some have found that linking up with the lunar cycle offers a sense of momentum. For example, according those who study our biorhythms, when the moon is waxing—that is, growing from crescent to full—it can be a great time to initiate rejuvenating and replenishing treatments. After the full moon, during the waning period, we can best tap in to the skin’s ability to detox, with exfoliating and purifying treatments. And yet, beyond all the practical benefits of stepping in time in this way, I think you’ll find that getting more connected with the skin—the body’s largest organ—just feels right, full of wonder and surprise, but also so beautifully simple.