“Feelings aroused by the touch of someone’s hand, the sound of music, the smell of a flower, a beautiful sunset, a work of art, love, laughter… all work on both the unconscious and the conscious aspects of the self, and they have physiological consequences as well.” Bernie Siegel
Hello everyone! I am so happy to be connecting with you again and am truly touched and encouraged by how many of you (old friends and new) stopped by, liked. pinned and followed whilst I was on holidays. Thank You-I’ll be stopping by to visit soon!
I have so much to share with you after spending a few weeks back in Hawaii on Kauai. Talk about soul food for the senses. From Hanalai to Hanapepe this is the little island that could. As an until-recently- maui-girl, I have to say that I am ready to island hop and you’ll never guess the reason. After all who would expect there to be a first class independent bookstore on a little island in the middle of the pacific? Talk Story is just that and more and I want to live within 30 minutes of its shores!
However in honor of Valentines and with the idea of Be-ing our own true Love in mind, I am getting touchy-feely instead and sharing my favorite (G rated) way of touching myself with all of you beautiful peeps!
This delightfully sensual and nourishing practice of self-massage is the perfect Valentines day and every-day way to engage the senses while nourishing and nurturing your body, mind and soul. It only takes about 20 minutes and feels delicious. It is a great way to relax before bed, or if you have time in the morning it is a wonderfully grounding way to start the day.
Like all Yoga and meditative practices the benefits build on themselves. Best practice is to set aside 15-20 minuets 2-4 mornings a week. But some is better than none- so do what you can. Traditionally sesame oil is used, but for daily use, I really like how light and easily absorbed the Hawaiian Kukui Nut oil is and that it doesn’t stain or saturate my clothing.You can warm the oil right in its bottle in a mug of hot water, or you can invest in an oil warmer like the one pictured below.
I had looked high and low for a small, portable oil warmer before finding out that my dear friend, Ralf Moler, the hard-working-visionary behind AromaLand had already created it! In the mornings I boil the kettle and use the water to make a cup of tea and to preheat the oil warmer. Once the oil is warm take a little in the palms of your hands and then begin at your feet massaging between the metatarsals and circling your ankles and other joints gently but firmly. Continue moving up towards your heart. Use long pleasurable strokes on the straights…Experiment with what feels good to you. The basic method is to start at your feet, using long vertical strokes on your limbs/muscles, and small circular rubbing around the joints. So circle,circle ankles, strokestroke shins and calfs, circlecircle knees etc.
Benefits of applying oil to the body in this way are many: It imparts softness, strength and color to the body, decreases the effects of aging, bestows good vision, nourishes the body,increases longevity, benefits sleep patterns, benefits the skin,strengthens the body’s tolerance,imparts a firmness to the limbs,imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body,stimulates the internal organs of the body and increases circulation!
When you are finished wrap up in an old robe and pair of socks and drink a glass of filtered water (infused with orange or lime is especially nice and so easy to do). I let the oil sink into my skin for 20 minutes while I meditate or journal before having a shower and getting dressed.I have received so much pain relief from this simple practice that I wonder why I ever resisted. Lately I’ve been silently thanking my body it for all its hard work as I massage.
So now that we’ve got the outside of you covered, how about trying this “Touching the Beauty Within” practice. Choose an object that symbolizes Beauty, Spirit or the divine, something small enough to comfortably hold in your hand. It could be a leaf or flower, a stone or shell or a small statue.
- Find a quiet place to sit close your eyes and bring your attention to your heart center. Slowly feel the weight and shape and texture of the object in your hands. Note any sensations colors, associations or images that arise. What words come to mind to define how it physically feels and how you feel as you hold it?
- As you notice how it physically feels and how you feel consider how this relates or not to the way in which you don’t or do hold yourself accountable for giving your body senses and soul the the love and the loving touch we all need.
- If self love has been scarce or stop and start start now: forgive yourself and ask your heart to tell you what it needs to be healthy and strong. Be open to whatever comes..The answer might be more time spent reading, or forgiving yourself for ____, or going for a bike ride, or eating less candy and more fresh fruit or eating small servings of the best quality ice-cream once in a while instead of low fat yogurt once a week. Thank your heart for the message and promise it you will act on what you have learned.
I am going to leave you today with three of my favorite poems. Engagingly Yours, Sabrina xoxo
Three Times My Life Has Opened
Three times my life has opened.
Once, into darkness and rain.
Once, into what the body carries at all times within it and starts
to remember each time it enters into the act of love.
Once, to the fire that holds all.
These three were not different.
You will recognize what I am saying or you will not.
But outside my window all day a maple has stepped from her
leaves like a woman in love with winter, dropping the
Neither are we different in what we know.
There is a door. It opens. Then it is closed. But a slip of light stays,
like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor, or the one
red leaf the snow releases in March.
Lal Ded TRANSLATED BY JANE HIRSHFIELD
“I Want to Breathe”
you in I’m not talking about
perfume or even the sweet odour
of your skin but of the
air itself I want to share
your air inhaling what you
exhale I’d like to be that
close two of us breathing
each other as one as that