Finding Joy, Feeling Centered

Finding Joy, Feeling Centered

It can be hard to maintain a joyful mindset. Even if you have the cheeriest disposition, are thankful and joyful in the grand scheme of things, and commit to taking steps to find joy as a matter of everyday habit, all you need to do is go online where gloom, doom and negativity will flood your screen. Current events are volatile.  Local communities are struggling. Global affairs are tenuous. At times, it’s hard to know what to believe or to be blunt: what the hell is going on.

Talk about a buzzkill for feeling joyful!

Unplugging helps. Another BIG PLUS is decluttering anything in your life that does not bring you joy. (That is another topic, entirely!) But recently, I personally wanted something to stretch me even more.  So, I had to ratchet up my mindful game with some new tools — ways to not only re-focus and maintain joy, but also to help keep me centered.

I have my habitual toolkit: using my go-to essential oils, such as Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Frankincense, surrounding myself in nature whenever possible, and of course, taking warm, salty baths to relax me and help me unwind.  But this time I wanted something old school to add to the mix. I like journaling, which packs many surprising benefits – it’s a great way to evoke mindfulness, it’s helpful to stay present and even helps in the healing process. But I wanted something a bit more specific, rather than blank pages for me to fill up.  Something that could function as a kind of “assistant” for my mindfulness journey.  And there it was, spotted on a shelf in a NYC store…

a mindfulness journal

This incredible journal is the perfect tool to extend the centering and mindful message of our our Salty Bath mantra cards. A nifty, digest-sized journal, “Do One Thing Every Day That Centers You” helps guide me on my path for creating a centered, joyful life. This dynamo is filled with inspiration from poets, writers, entrepreneurs, athletes, scientists, authors, philosophers, presidents, saints and gurus and coupled with loads of prompts and activities to “help you grow in heart, mind, body and spirit.” This felt like my partner in crime, and I was happy to read the following intro:

The word “centers” in its use today, and even in the title of this book, is a slippery one, often defined by other intangible terms — mindfulness, gratitude, wholeness, groundedness, focus, flow, serenity, self-knowledge, and self-acceptance. The best definition, however, comes not from the heady realm of ideas, but from the hands-on-world of craft. Every potter knows how difficult it is to learn how to center clay on wheel.  It takes hours and hours and days and days of dedication and practice, until your hands “know” the clay well enough to center it. If you move ahead too early, your pot will be unsteady, fragile, and unattractive. But once you find the center, your pot – whatever your personal desire for it – will be balanced, secure and beautiful.

The imagery this conjured up really resonated for me.

For most people, creating a centered life, like molding that pot, requires dedication and practice.

Indeed, this handy little book stated its goal:

You will be urged to expand your knowledge and to edge it toward wisdom. You will appreciate the places, people, and experiences that give peace to to your body and meaning to your life.

As someone who not only considers herself lucky, I am also deeply grateful for the life I have (and all the people and experiences it encompasses).  At the same time, the idea of taking this foundation and expanding it, deepening it, excites me. As the English poet, Walter de la Mare said “Go far; come near; You still must be the center of your own small mystery,” we can all use a bit of inspiration and prompting when we are dedicated to being mindful… or going inward. It’s so easy to fall off our center in that process.

I love that the pages in the journal are unnumbered, it’s fun to flip to a page and land on something meant to stretch you, calm you, focus you, etc. and then you can always refer back to them when you need to.  Like this little gem, pictured below.

a mindful prompt

Ever have a day where, despite best intentions and plans, you feel like you are just having to react to less than ideal situations, or stuff pops up where you feel like a ship lost at sea? This is especially true for working moms and entrepreneurs who struggle with work/life balance, and for whom finding your center can feel more challenging than not. Daily life is hectic, and it’s often hard to find little opportunities to catch our breath, slow down, and get more introspective. This mindful journal is one way to help solve for that.

I also think we are way more resilient and creative than we give ourselves credit for. Having a sound body, and serene mind takes effort, sure, but exercises like this remind us that it’s also ok to recognize — celebrate, even — those times when we defy “bad weather.” It also allows us to not only feel a sense of accomplishment – but let’s face it, gives us permission to let off some much-needed steam too. That’s just one page, the book is chock-full of awesome stuff that will expand your awareness.

If, like me, your life is full and busy, you know all too well how easy it is to lose your center. Sometimes I think to myself, “why do I take on so much…I must be crazy!” But when I think about what things I should cut back on — I have 2 businesses, I’m an actress, and Mom of 3, plus 2 furry pups — I don’t want to give up anything, and especially relish my time with my kids, husband, pets and home life.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone while attending Accepted Students Day at The New School / Parsons School of Design where my son will go this Fall.  Turns out, in fact, that my son is not only attending my alma mater, but has also chosen the same major I studied: Strategic Design and Management. Sitting there that day in one of the breakout sessions, I was overcome with the most surreal joy I have experienced — reminiscing about my student days there 28 years ago was pretty intense coupled with my son’s journey ahead of him. But the program director mentioned the word “multi-passionate” as a word to describe the students in the program. It was that moment that centered me in a profound way…when I realized – hey! that is me! – and also why being centered can also feel so fleeting when you are passionate about, and equally engaged in, so many things. Even with the love and support I have, there are days that make me want to pull my hair out.

As the mindful journal mentioned, it’s a slippery slope. Even the most positive, creative, successful people need guidance, tricks and tools to SLOW DOWN, and stay on the elusive path to a centered life. Getting grounded and being mindful in this crazy world is powerful and it’s healthy. So, take time to honor that. Take time (even 5 to 10 minutes will work wonders) to do one thing to center you today. If that seems like a confusing, but intriguing, concept and you don’t know where to start, use the example in the photo above… or pick up the same journal I did. This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote from the book may also help inspire you to tune in to that inner voice. “Trust to that prompting within you.” Here’s to defying bad weather … and finding joy…together!

How will you find the joy today? How will it center you?

THE BATH SOAK: WHY SALTY BATH IS UNIQUE

THE BATH SOAK: WHY SALTY BATH IS UNIQUE


SPRING HAS SPRUNG! And, our March Box — Spring Cleaning: Body, Mind + Spirit — has shipped. Every item was selected for its exquisite ability to detox the body, relax sore muscles, ease stress + anxiety… rejuvenate your spirit, and get glowing, happy skin! Starting with our bath soak of the month: aptly titled, CALM DOWN, it is spring renewal in a jar!  Let’s look at our March Bath Soak in greater detail, along with each ingredient’s amazing properties:

WHAT’S IN IT? 4 THERAPEUTIC-GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS + OUR MNERAL-RICH BATH SALTS:

GERANIUM — A sweet, flowery and versatile oil that provides instant relief from anxiety, depression, moodiness and exhaustion.  In this formulation, we also activate its restorative and balancing properties by combining it with lavender and rose oils.

ROSE — An amazing natural stress-reducer!  Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive oils due to the extraction process — it takes 60,000 rose petals to produce just one ounce of oil! Rose Oil effectively reduces stress, boosts self esteem, confidence, and mental strength while efficiently fighting depression. (Clinical studies have shown that patients suffering from acute depression who were treated with rose oil saw a significant positive boost in their lives.)  This oil is widely used in aromatherapy and invokes positive thoughts, spiritual relaxation and feelings of joy, happiness and hope.

LAVENDER — Widely known and used for its calming, balancing and relaxing properties, Lavender oil has many effective uses, and is also an excellent treatment for the skin.  It works wonders for helping to promote better sleep as well.

FRANKINCENSE — A magical and exotic oil, with incredible medicinal and spiritual properties. Frankincense is a natural astringent which speeds up cell renewal and rejuvenation.  Because it also tightens and tones the skin, it’s fantastic as an anti-aging component when used to effectively reduce and smooth out wrinkles, as well as treat dry, rough skin. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest Frankincense deepens breath – which supports why it is widely used for meditation and spiritual practices. But it’s also great when used in a chest massage to help open the lungs, and alleviate respiratory issues, such as tightness of the chest, breathlessness, and restores health to mucous membranes.  We chose it for this soak because of its effectiveness in treating stress, anxiety and depression, and the very premise of what a Salty Bath embodies. The therapeutic aromatherapy benefits of Frankincense include:

  • Calms the mind
  • Helps balance mood
  • Helps channel excessive energy and heightens concentration
  • Has an organic, woody scent that is both grounding + uplifting
  • Allows you to experience the beauty of now, the present moment
  • Allows you to disconnect from unpleasant thoughts and mental chatter

DEAD SEA SALTS + MAGNESIUM SULFATE – Our salts are harvested from the Dead Sea, in a region with the highest concentration of minerals. Dead Sea Salts contain 21 minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, bromide, iodine, sodium, zinc and potassium. These essential minerals naturally occur in our bodies but must be replenished, as they are lost throughout the day. These minerals are known to treat, detoxify, and cleanse our bodies.

Some common ailments that are effectively treated using Dead Sea salt include:

Magnesium: Promotes quick healing of skin tissue and provides the skin’s surface with anti-allergic elements. Also essential for cell metabolism.

Bromide: Soothes skin, relaxes body muscles, and calms nerves.

Iodine: Important for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland and is aids in the body’s metabolic exchanges.

Sulfur: A natural disinfectant (constituent of certain vitamins). Known as a powerful detoxifying agent, as it works closely with the liver to rid the body of toxins.

Potassium: Helps balance moisture in the skin and body, aiding in the reduction of water retention and in the nourishment of cells. Potassium also regulates the nervous system.

Calcium: An essential mineral, known to strengthen bones and teeth. Also strengthens cell membranes and cleanses pores.

Sodium: Relieves stiffness and muscle cramps. Sodium is also a powerful detoxifying agent, helping cells retain nourishment and expel waste.

Zinc: When applied topically, it is known to protect the skin against sunburn and windburn. Also known to boost the immune system. Internally, it is a key factor in enzymatic regulation of cell proliferation.

Our all-natural, custom-formulated bath soaks are unique and special not only because you cannot find them anywhere else, but because they are effective in helping you leverage nature’s purest ingredients for your total well-being. We carefully select each ingredient for its effect on the body and mind. That means no artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals, and a mindful bath experience that will relax, restore and renew you all over.  Each monthly delivery is packed with everything you need to elevate your ordinary bath into a mindful spa retreat! By committing to a good salty soak a few times a month, you are taking charge of your health – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally, which has its benefits to helping you live a happier, more positive life.

 

 

 

 

 

A Look Inside The Salty Bath LUXE BATH BOX

A Look Inside The Salty Bath LUXE BATH BOX

Self-care is a journey of self love that can be challenging for so many people. But it doesn’t have to be. We want to help you thrive and be your best self, without feeling selfish, or guilty, because you are more than worthy of love — especially your own!

Just imagine the convenience of having the highest-quality natural ingredients delivered directly to your home.  Every Salty Bath Box includes a custom-formulated bath soak based on recipes we have developed, an essential-oil aromatherapy blend, and assorted self-care goodies.

Spotlighting the LUXE BATH BOX

Every Salty Bath box comes packed with all the essentials you need to have an organic and relaxing spa experience right in the convenience of your own bathroom.  I’m going to break it down for you so you can get an idea of what’s inside each box. (And you can read about what one blogger had to say about our Luxe box she received, here.)

One of the things I am most proud of is that we offer the highest quality and most luxurious natural products that you would expect to find in the most expensive spas in the world.  But, the beauty is that you get all the benefit of the experience without any of the hassle.  Think of us as your personal spa concierge, working behind the scenes to bring you an experience that you can’t get anywhere else.

Key Benefits of Our Monthly Holistic Self-Care Service:

  • Convenient monthly deliveries right to your door.
  • Completely affordable, all the luxury benefits for a fraction of the “luxury spa” cost.
  • No hunting around or figuring out the best products on the market – no harsh chemicals, cruelty-free, all natural and organic.
  • We give you a complete ritual that you can practice all month long, whenever you need to recharge, in the privacy of your own home.
  • The savings add up, and value of the box is always higher than what you pay! On average, over $50 value in a Luxe tier box. The subscription price is $34.95.
  • You’ll love it!

We are always creating new products to include in the Salty Bath experience.  Here’s what LUXE subscribers received in a past box:

THE SACRED SOAK: All our bath soaks are custom-formulated based on recipes we have developed.  This soak has a high concentration of minerals – featuring a mix of Dead Sea salts, sourced from Israel, along with Magnesium Sulfate – and a deeply therapeutic blend of essential oils: Sandalwood, Peppermint, Thyme & Frankincense. This soak is excellent for removing toxins from the body, alleviating fatigue and reducing stress, as well as uplifting mood, fortifying your immune system and grounding your spirit. You emerge completely restored and rested, so it’s an ideal way to end your day for a much better, more restful sleep. Luxe subscribers receive a 9.5 ounce jar, good for typically 3 to 4 soaks, depending on how much you like in your bath.  All you need is a warm, 20-minute SACRED SOAK to feel revitalized, it is that amazing!

TOTAL DEFENSE ESSENTIAL OIL:  Discover aromatherapy in every box. This incredible oil blend is legendary, and protects your health and effectively supports your immune system.  This powerful protective blend, which consists of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, rosemary, and eucalyptus radiata, is derived from a Medieval oil called Thieves Oil.  For our Salty Bath subscribers, we take this oil found in the Royal English Archives to produce a modern version that surpasses all others. We call it TOTAL DEFENSE. It’s your first line of defense against germs and bacteria. Luxe subscribers received a roller of TOTAL DEFENSE that can be easily applied on pulse points, the bottoms of the feet, as well as along the throat. We use organic jojoba oil as the carrier oil in our rollers.  These beauties are a great way to experience aromatherapy and its therapeutic benefits on the go, and beyond the bath.

BLACK TOURMALINE + MOONSTONE HEALING CRYSTALS: One of the spiritual aspects of the Salty Bath experience is to incorporate healing crystals into the bath ritual. Crystals are a powerful way to connect to you and the world around you, and use that energy to support positivity and manifestation in your life. Every box has at least one, and sometimes two.  Black Tourmaline is a powerful grounding stone, electrical in nature, known for dispelling negative energies or destructive forces.  Highly useful in purifying and neutralizing one’s own negative thoughts and internal conflicts, turning them into positive, usable energy.

Moonstone is a fantastic stone which allows the flow of intuition and understanding.  It can assist in times of change, and is often used for protection in traveling. Moonstone is also known for good fortune, self-discovery, insight, dreams and new beginnings.  We love working with this stone when bathing and reflecting on our deepest desires. Luxe subscribers received both stones in their box.

Creating a sacred space to renew body + spirit.

THE MANDALA CARD:  The mandala is an iconic Salty Bath element. Mandalas represent wholeness, and thus reflect the “whole body” experience that is at the center of what we create for you. Our boxes feature a series of custom-designed mandala mantra cards.  Each card accompanies the monthly soak to help you set an intention and affirm abundance and self-awareness in your life. The mantra for the month in this delivery was “I am light. I nourish my body, mind and soul.” When we practice self-care, we are tending to our needs – emotional, physical, spiritual and mental.  And doing so enables one to live optimally and more present, from a place of power and intention.

THE BUDDAHEAD ARTISANAL CANDLE: Luxe subscribers received this candle, made by artisans in Bali.  We love including candles in our boxes for two reasons: it helps you to remember to be the light in the world you came here to be, and also, we want to inspire your spark within.  We call this “mindful bathing,” as you soak in the salty, aromatic water, along with your crystals, mantra, and glowing candle, you can have a deeply rewarding experience – to just “be.”

THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE! Every box, regardless what tier you subscribed to, will always have a surprise or two inside.  Luxe subscribers received a generous 4-ounce bottle of our luscious COCONUT MILK + HONEY CLEANSER made of organic aloe and of course, coconut milk and honey. Gentle foaming, it heals as it cleans and moisturizes. And we included organic tea to sip while in the tub or after for an added spa touch!

THE CONVENIENCE OF A CURATED EXPERIENCE. That’s 8 full-sized amazing items in one box, expertly curated, with a retail value of over $69! Luxe subscribers pay $34.95 monthly (plus shipping). Where can you enjoy a month of spa experiences for that price? We truly offer a relaxing and rejuvenating spa retreat in one box. Many of our subscribers tell us they appreciate the beautiful packaging and the pure ingredients, but also that they now have a ritual they can enjoy knowing it’s good for them, and their optimal well-being.

Each month, we have a new theme and products for you to discover as part of that experience.  For March, it’s SPRING CLEAN: Body, Mind and Soul, and we give detox a whole new meaning.  This is one detox experience that you will love, and you’ll be glowing all over! We will be debuting new products that you will not want to miss. And as usual, the Luxe March Box will be packed with essentials to help relax easily but also help you enjoy a natural glow that comes from within, all hand-picked and created by us…for you!

Ready to experience higher vibes and claim your Luxe Box? Join us now to reserve your March box, which will ship around 3/24.

Feeling Like A Sloth?

Feeling Like A Sloth?

I don’t know about you, but by March I’m feeling a steady combination of being sluggish and restless, and wanting to shake things up to feel more vibrant and energized.  You know, like that feeling you get when you go to the beach. Why is it that we associate the sea with feelings of relaxation, serenity, and being alive? Is it a coincidence or is there more to it?

Turns out, there are proven health benefits to going to the beach. The air is especially packed with health boosters that affect our mood and energy, and seawater is the ultimate healer – here are a few highlights:

The sound of the waves are relaxing + sea water is rejuvenating: according to research, the sound of crashing waves changes the wave patterns in our brain, lulling us into a deeply tranquil state. When we are relaxed, our mind and body rejuvenates. Also, when floating in water, your blood gets pumping and it brings more oxygen to our brain, making us more active and alert.

Sea air boosts the immune system: according to a study conducted by the University of California, the sea air has a lot of free electrons that neutralize free radicals in our body, and the negative ions in it kill bacteria. That makes for a healthier immune system as you inhale!

As this article points out, there is no greater healer than salt water. Swimming in the ocean enhances the immune system, hydrates skin, and boosts circulation. Seawater that is rich in magnesium also has been shown to relax muscles and helps induce sleep. Plus, the salt water is a miracle treatment for mild acne and wonderful for a deep cleanse.

Salt air combats depression and mood disorder – speaking of the negative ions in salt air, studies show they are also beneficial for improving one’s emotional state, especially those suffering from mood disorders or depression.

Fresh sea air boosts our ability to absorb oxygen: Those negative ions balance our serotonin level, a body chemical that affects mood and stress in the body, making us more relaxed, yet alert and energized.

The sun helps heal skin and also relieves stress: lying on the beach is a great way to reduce stress.  The heat of the sun on our skin affects our endocrine system.  This secrets endorphins in our body — and that makes us feel less stressed and more relaxed too. Plus, the UV rays are beneficial to people who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, as they help make skin dry and flake faster, allowing for new, healthy skin to form.

If, like me, you love the beach but can’t get there on a regular basis, you long for that feeling of being submerged in the salty water and enveloped in its healing, rejuvenating properties. But lucky for you, you are reading this! Because that euphoric feeling is at the heart of the Salty Bath soak. When you can’t get to the sea, we bring it to you in one neat little box packed with all the essentials you need for a blissful experience. In fact, our salts are sourced from the Dead Sea in Israel and part of our proprietary mineral salt blend formula designed to restore, relax and rejuvenate you – body, mind, and soul. Many of the healthy benefits that you experience by a dip in the ocean, you can experience whenever you want right in the convenience of your own bathtub.  The best part? It’s an affordable, hassle-free luxury you can access anytime. Bye-bye, Sloth!

ESSENTIAL OIL SPOTLIGHT: ELEMI

ESSENTIAL OIL SPOTLIGHT: ELEMI

Canarium Luzonicum Tree, grows in the tropical forest in Philippines

I have a confession to make. I am head-over-heels in love with Elemi Essential Oil.  Its scent is garden-fresh with top notes of lemon and sweet cooling base notes that uplift and rejuvenate, and its powers have me spellbound.

Before modern medicine, civilization relied heavily on the powers of nature to heal, restore and uplift. Turns out, Elemi is a rare and precious essential oil that has been revered for centuries.

Elemi Essential oil comes from the Canarium Luzonicum Tree found in the tropical forests of the Philippines and its neighboring nations. It is in the same botanical family as frankincense and myrrh. Elemis are evergreen trees that produce fruits the size of plums with nuts inside. The resin of the tree is put through a steam distillation process to capture the pale-yellow essential oil.

Elemi is very popular in skincare applications for its incredible ability to reduce fine lines and to tone and soften weary and aged skin.  I’ve been adding it to my moisturizer, and can definitely see a difference in the folds of my neck, and jawline.  Amazing!

In Arabic, Elemi means “as above so below.” This speaks to the strength of its balancing properties in aromatherapy. It is said to open the door to hidden emotions providing the opportunity to come to peace with them.

I’m so happy to have found Elemi and excited to be bringing it to our monthly subscribers soon. It’s wonderful in a diffuser, added to a bath, or used topically with a carrier oil, like my favorite, organic jojoba oil.

February Is A Perfect Time To Fall In Love With Yourself

February Is A Perfect Time To Fall In Love With Yourself

i-am-mine-before-i-am-ever-anyone-elses-in

 

Do you ever forget to take care of yourself?

We have been talking to hundreds of women about self-care.  The good news is that more and more women are aware that they need to take better care of themselves, and getting better at it.  The not-so-good news is that many are still struggling with how to find a self-care routine.

One theme that comes up a lot is: guilt! Women still have issues with taking the time they need for themselves because they feel guilty or selfish for doing so.  But only when we first help ourselves can we effectively help others, and caring for yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Yet it is so easy to forget to do!

Women who neglect their own needs or forget to nurture themselves often become unhappy, have a low self-esteem, and feel resentment. They become completely worn out and run down. The stress can be overwhelming.  Simply put, self-care means that you value yourself, and that you are deserving of your own love.

But it’s not a one-time deal. It’s the way you approach balancing the ongoing stress of daily life, and develop habits that help to soothe you – emotionally, physically and mentally.  It’s any activity that nourishes you, and that is nothing to feel guilty about, because if you are a caretaker, then you will be in a much stronger position to take care of your spouse, kids, and all life’s obligations, when you are at your optimal health. That last point is important – soothing yourself with a pint of ice cream when the kids go to bed is not self care! Self care is about identifying your own needs and taking the steps to meet them – it’s about nurturing you, and being kind to yourself.

The key is to start to regularly include a little self care every day, and at very little to no cost, to affordable luxuries that nurture your body, mind and soul, for the longer term. Here’s a list of self-care ideas to get your juices flowing… Isn’t February a wonderful time to kick-start the new habit of loving yourself more?

  • Listen to music.
  • Take a nap.
  • Read a book.
  • Visit a museum or art gallery.
  • Talk with a friend.
  • Socialize with family.
  • Unplug for an hour; silence all your devices, and enjoy unstructured, uninterrupted time.
  • Breathe! Take a few minutes for some mindful, deep breathing exercising. Be aware of your thoughts, your feelings, and any sensations.
  • Declutter 5 things from your life that you no longer need.
  • Take a nature walk – look at the clouds, listen for sounds, birds, squirrels, running water.  Connect with the earth and the world around you.
  • Do something just for the pure pleasure of it. Be selfish – if it makes you happy, do it!
  • Take a warm bath. Warm water is very soothing and relaxing for tight muscles, tension, and for quieting the mind. Better yet, make it a spa at home experience, light a candle, drink some tea and lounge in your robe afterwards, reading a magazine or a book.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Inhale an upbeat smell.  Peppermint, Grapefruit and Lemon are all very uplifting scents.
  • Crank up the music and dance! Get your blood pumping.
  • Drink more water.
  • Commit to better eating – make one small change that you can handle for a week — eat more veggies or cut out processed foods, wherever you can add balance, add it.
  • Try a new class – cooking, yoga, pottery, or a new language. Anything to get you out of your comfort zone, or trying new things just for the fun of it.
  • Check in with your emotions. Whatever comes up, recognize it and honor it, without judging it.
  • Cook your favorite meal.
  • Connect with strangers, offer help.
  • Exercise – all it takes is as little as a 20 minute walk, 3 times a week.
  • Plant a garden, or buy yourself some flowers.

So, rejoice in the simple pleasures. Each day try a little something just for you, and when you can, schedule time with yourself on your calendar. The benefits of nurturing yourself are huge and deeply rewarding.  Which one will you do today?