My 3 Summer Self-Honoring Rituals

In a couple of weeks summer will be here, and while it may or may not feel like it where I live (you never know until you know in the Pacific NW!) I’m looking forward to partake in some of my favorite self-honoring rituals for summer.

If I could encapsulate the feeling of summer in one word it would be joy. The days get longer, blooms are exploding into their prime, and the radiant sunshine gives everyone reason to be outside and be active. Fittingly, play and work become equally important as we plan our summer vacations and find ourselves thinking of any excuse to leave work early. These rituals are designed to enliven and soothe the body so that I can continue enjoying the fair weather as long as it lasts.

Here are three of my summer rituals that I do to make the most of it:

Peppermint Tea Bath

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I enjoy this concoction when I’m feeling drained from the excessive heat. Especially during Ramadan when I’m fasting, I love taking this peppermint tea bath to help restore balance and energy. Peppermint is naturally cooling, chamomile is calming, and lavender is perfect for summer. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of peppermint tea or leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chamomile tea
  • 1 circular piece of cheesecloth
  • string
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil

Tie up the tea leaves into a giant tea bag, taking care to leave enough room to allow the leaves to circulate within. As you fill your bath with hot water, drop in the bag and the lavender oil. Let your tea bag “steep” as the water cools down to a comfortable temperature. You may get tempted to stay in until the water gets cold, but dry off to a comfortable temperature and feel relaxed yet energized– not cold.

Take a Hike

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I am definitely not the outdoorsy type, but I still take time to release the expansionary energy that flows out of me during summer. Hiking doesn’t always need to be deep in nature; beautiful landscapes can be found in urban environments. My favorite spot is to walk down to the pier in Seattle during my lunch break and find a spot where I can enjoy a wide and far-reaching view. I’m fortunate to work in such a beautiful city so I love finding ways to make the most of it during the summer months. I focus on breathing deeply, feeling the cool breeze from the water, and feeling the warm sun from the sky. If you don’t already, find time to do some relaxing yet physical activity this summer in the big outdoors. It’s invigorating and balancing!

Fragrant Pillows & Handkerchiefs

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This one is so simple: apply 4 drops of lavender essential oils to cotton cloths and slip them in your pillowcases. The lavender is cooling and calming, which is perfect for those warm summer nights. For a daily afternoon wake-up call when I find my mood slumping, I love inhaling into my white, embroidered handkerchief that has been infused with a few drops of orange oil. Any sort of citrus essential oil will perk you right up, so I invite you to find the one or combination of oils you prefer!

These are the a few of my musts during the summer because of how alive and happy they make me!

What are some of your favorite rituals?

 

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3 Ways Elegant Women Remain Collected

We all want to feel more in control when things go awry. I’ve never met anyone who enjoyed feeling nervous and helpless and I’ve also met some women who seem to defy all characteristics of normal human reactions when it hits the fan. It made me wonder what this quality was and if I could learn it too. After some study of their behavior, I realized that this quality was “elegance”.

Now, elegance is not snobbery and high tea with lace fans and finger sandwiches.

Elegance is a state of mind and therefore anyone can be elegant — strands of pearls and diamond rings are not compulsory. What elegant women share in common is their mind. They are focused, clear, and decisive in their thoughts which leaves very little room for them to feel “off”, worried or hysterical. After much study, I’ve reduced their behavior down to these three ways to that use to stay calm, cool and collected.

1. They know their priorities

If you ask most women what is important in their lives, you’ll be inundated with an avalanche of things which is no wonder most women feel like their running on steam much of time.

Elegant women are not super-human. They have the same amount of time and energy as anyone else, but they know where to focus it and not give it away to unimportant people and things.

To feel in control, you need to be able to constantly decide what is truly, deeply important to you and be at peace with your decisions. There is this phenomenon called “FOMO” today. That stands for the “fear of missing out” and that has no place in an elegant woman’s life. If you find yourself at the mercy of FOMO and afraid to cut off things and people, just remember that if everything is important to you, then nothing really is.

2. They abhor drama

In a world where vulgar, outrageous personalities are gossiped about, emulated and celebrated, elegant women take a step away from these people and prefer to acquaint themselves with those who uplift and inspire others to our highest ideals. Choose the high road all the time and soon you’ll find yourself among others who have done the same.

There’s also the drama that women create within themselves by giving away their feelings self-worth to other people. How many women do you know always think about what someone else is thinking about them and base their decisions on what someone else thinks? These women torture themselves which shows up as social anxiety by trying to know the unknowable — and frankly, the not worth knowing. Elegant women are truly confident in themselves, not confident in what others think of them. There’s a distinction there that makes all the difference.

Lastly, an elegant woman does not create negative thoughts in less than ideal situations. She understands that things will happen that are beyond her control and all she can do is remain level-headed and make the best decision with the knowledge she has. These last couple of weeks have not been the best: my husband got in a car accident (thankfully he’s fine even though the car is totaled!), my car has some sort of electrical issue that even the car shop can’t figure out so that car can’t be driven until they bring in an electrician, my husband’s job interview did not go as he wanted and they chose another candidate, and due to all of the car issues there are going to be some hefty, unexpected bills coming our way soon. With all of these events, it is very tempting to succumb to the stress and anxiety and begin to weave negative thoughts into my days, but an elegant women sees the facts for what they are.

Have these last two weeks been an anomaly? Yes.

Does that mean my life is falling apart and that nothing good will ever happen to me ever again? No.

Can I handle this with grace and not let it affect my overall happiness? Yes.

Life happens and there’s nothing that can stop that. Sometimes what seems like a bad thing can actually end up being good for you. It was time for a car upgrade anyway.

3. They are disciplined and intentional

Like I mentioned before, elegance is a state of mind and the mind is an incredible thing. It takes a lot of discipline to control your thoughts and actions, most people just let the first feeling that comes into their brain decide their actions. An elegant woman knows that life is just a series of decisions between what is right and what is easy.

On the same line, if something is important then you have to truly intend to do it. An elegant women does this by putting it down in a calendar. This can come in many different varieties and can be electronic or old-fashioned pen to paper (my preference). For example, if you decide that writing that novel is truly important to you (this is key) then you will write in your calendar the steps required to accomplish that:

  1. Write the novel
  2. Research the best publisher for you
  3. Find an illustrator

All that’s left to do is to tap into your discipline to believe in yourself and do those steps.

Of course, elegant women have their days when they feel stressed out, get angry, make some drama and commit themselves to something that they don’t truly feel is important to them. No one is perfect. But they don’t stay in that space for long, certainly not long enough to ever make a real impact on their lives, but if you are ever feeling that like, just remember these 3 methods and get back to being and living your fabulous elegant self.

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5 Self-Care Tips for Fall

Hello Ladies,

Fall is upon us! I can’t express how excited I am for fall this year. There have been a lot of great changes that happened in summer that I will be able to finally settle into and I can’t think of a more perfect season to be experiencing right now than fall. It was uncharacteristically hot this summer for Seattle and I do not do well in hot weather! That coupled with a lot of traveling and moving has left me in an exhausted daze which is why it is an absolute necessity that I give myself some TLC as the temperature starts to cool down into my favorite season.
One of the top things I hear women talk about is wanting more self-care. The next comment that inevitably follows is that they are too busy and don’t have the time or the money. I’ve definitely fallen into this type of thinking before, but it doesn’t last too long because I know that this is not just a want, but a need for me and no matter what you tell yourselves, I know you need it too!
When we don’t take care of ourselves, not only do we feel it, but our family, friends and colleagues feel it too. I know that I am better at home, work, and life when I give myself time to honor and love myself.
On that note, here are my 5 self-care tips that will leave you feeling energized, relaxed and ready to live your beautiful life!

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1. Schedule a ‘Self-Care Sunday’

Sundays are my days that I dedicate to self-care. This does not mean that I neglect myself the rest of the week, but setting aside one day helps me to schedule it and not let other things get in the way. I like to schedule a massage and something fun like shopping to treat myself.

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2. Move in the morning

Even before I leave the bed I love to stretch my body for 3-5 minutes and wake up my muscles. Now that the weather is getting cold, our bodies may need an extra nudge to wake us up from those last layers of sleep and stretching is such a simple and easy way to give ourselves that extra boost.

 

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3. Lay in the sun

Yes, even in fall and winter our bodies need sunlight! Just because it isn’t beach weather doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the laying down in the sunshine. I lay down on my deck in the mid-afternoon for a few minutes to feel healthier, lower depression and maybe even slip into a cat nap!

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4. Bring out the nail polish

Now is the perfect time to enjoy your warm brown and deep red nail polishes. The process of cleaning and painting my nails leaves me feeling so chic and put together. Whenever I see a woman with clean and polished nails, I see a woman who takes time to honor and care for herself, so take 20 minutes and do the same for yourself!

 

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5. Candlelight dinner at home

I’ve already written about my ritual of preparing a candlelight dinner, but I encourage you to try it for yourself as well. Take time to think of something delicious to prepare, enjoy shopping for the ingredients and finally cook up a gorgeous meal to share (or not!) by candlelight. I guarantee you’ll feel so pampered and relaxed that you won’t want to dine any other way!
I encourage you to choose one or two of these and include these in your week. You don’t have to do all of them or even any of them! Maybe you don’t care about your nails but you like sleeping in and staying in bed. Self-care is not a chore or assignment and is going to be something different for all of us. The important thing to know is that when we take care of ourselves, we bring out the best version of ourselves to us and others – and that’s worth taking time for. What does self-care mean for you?

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