Dreaming into 2017

Dreaming into 2017…

Wow guys, can you believe it’s the end of 2016 and we’re stepping into a whole new year, dreaming into 2017? I can’t believe how fast 2016’s gone! I am also very excited about the new year ahead and all that its energy holds. Do you feel the promise of new beginnings and much goodness like I do? 🙂

A novel way to move into the new year…

So often we rush madly through December, and come the 1st of January it’s all about New Year’s goals and to-do lists, for some there are also hangovers, a desire to eat less, drink less, exercise more, complete/start projects, you name it… “This will be the year that I finally…” And already we feel the weight of these on our shoulders. 

Often our goals come from a place of self-imposed pressure to do more, be more…that we’re not enough…haven’t done enough…that where we are right now is less than ideal. Let me just remind you before we go any further, you are perfect just as you are, right now! Plus – you seriously don’t need any extra pressure!

dreaming-into-2017-3-wordsWhat if instead of goals and MORE to-do lists, you thought about what you wanted to feel like in 2017 and made your decisions from there? What if, in the next week, you created some quiet space for yourself to reflect on 3 words that you would love to take into the year ahead with you? Then your dreams and desires for 2017 could flow naturally from them.

Goals vs Words

Say you felt inspired to choose the words FIT and HEALTHY for 2017. Then instead of the goals to eat more healthily and exercise more, for example, with those two words to guide you, wouldn’t you naturally want to eat more nourishing foods and move your body in ways that made you feel joyous? With fit and healthy as a guide, you might also decide to take nurturing time out so that you could fill your own cup, and from that space your body might want to move more anyway…maybe sometimes in slow ways like yoga or lounge dancing (I may have been doing some of that this evening), and on some days walking or push-ups!

Imagine all the things that would just come more naturally if you based your decisions on the desire to feel FIT and HEALTHY? You wouldn’t need the goals of eating healthily and exercising more, because instead of feeling like those were a chore, ‘must-dos’, more pressure…you’d feel inspired by your words of fit and healthy.

DIY dreaming into 2017

What you need
• paper/journal/cardboard
• pens, paint, coloured-pens
• your beautiful self (friends optional)
• some quiet space to feel into what you desire

What to do
1. Take a deep breath and feel into your body.
2. Let your mind wonder to some words that represent what you would like in 2017.
3. Write them down.
4. You can simply sketch them on a piece of paper as a reminder, or you can let your inner creativity have some air time with coloured pens and card, or you could rip pictures/words out of a magazine and stick them onto paper…let your imagination run wild.
5. you-are-doing-the-best-you-canPut them somewhere they’ll regularly remind you of what your guiding words for 2017 are!
6. Smile and move gently into the year ahead.

Then let your thoughts, words and actions be guided by them! And when you fall off the wagon…please, don’t beat yourself up! Instead acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can, and maybe you need a nap or some quiet time to reset!

My dreaming into 2017

This year end I’ve done things a little differently, inspired by my self-love trainer, Christine Arylo. It is her lovely end of year ritual that inspired the ‘3 words for 2017’ – for the full version of the ritual, click here. I have spent the last week or so completing it, and have to say it was a refreshing change for me to first reflect on the year been before I dreamt into the year ahead. Looking at lessons I could take forward with me and what I wanted to let go of and leave in 2016. And also just acknowledging how far you’ve come instead of simply looking at what else you need to achieve.

So my 3 words/phrases to guide 2017 for me are:
• Inspired action
• Vibrantly healthy
• Love and compassion

I’ll share my visual creation of them when it comes into being 🙂

And now, sitting on the deck watching the fireworks down at the beach revving up for 12:00, music in my ears, and a body that is ready for a soft bed in order to wake up feeling vibrantly healthy, I wish you an amazing, gentle step into 2017. May the year ahead bring inspiration, more love, and of course much laughter! xx

Feel More Beautiful: 3 simple tips to increase self love and beauty

Are you tired of looking in the mirror and believing that you are not beautiful enough? Wishing you were more beautiful? Picking on all the things that you want to be different? The wrinkles, the scar, the freckles, your teeth, your lips, love handles, tummy, legs…the list goes on.

Do you feel your self worth plummet when you compare your hair, legs, eyes, bum… with your work colleague, friend, magazine image or stranger walking down the street?

If only my bum looked like hers…then I’d be happier…

If you counted all the times in a day that you put yourself down in some way, both in your head and verbally, you might get a fright! Do these actions make you feel good about yourself? Feel beautiful?

louise-hay-approving-more-beautifulI dare say the answer is NO.

The following tips are not suddenly going to give you the ‘perfect’ shaped lips or the body that the media tells you you ‘should’ have. However, if you practice them, I can guarantee (from personal experience) that they will increase the amount that you love and accept yourself. And with increased self love comes increased beauty.

3 simple steps to feeling more beautiful:

1. Mirror mirror on the wall…
Every morning when you get up, head over to your mirror and greet yourself. You can say something like good morning [your name], you are beautiful, or good morning beautiful/gorgeous, and then smile at yourself. Or if that feels too hard you could start with a simple good morning and a smile. An acknowledgment of yourself without any criticisms. Let your focus move away from the bed hair, the puffy eyes or a pimple…

2. Comparison is the thief of joy…
Throughout the day, whether online, looking through a magazine, people watching, catching up with friends…notice every time that you compare yourself with others. Try your hardest for the next week to catch yourself every time a comparing thought pops into your head or comparing words want to come out of your mouth. They don’t serve you. Comparison is reinforcing that you believe you are not good enough, not beautiful enough.

When you begin to let comparison go, and instead love yourself for who you are, you will feel an increased lightness in your step and you will feel more worthy. More beautiful.

3. Be gentle with yourself, you are a child of the universe…
As Max Ehrmann says – you have a right to be here. You are worthy of your own love right here and now. Don’t put off self love until you’ve lost those 5kgs or saved x amount of money or started running 5 days a week or got your skin self-worth-wayne-dyer-beautifullooking flawless. Now is the time for self love. Now is the time to realise you are beautiful just as you are, because you are worthy. Just as a child struggles to flourish without love and encouragement, so do you.

We cannot flourish when we are constantly beating ourselves up. So this week, try to choose kindness instead. You may easily think up all the things you can pick on. This is a habit. Start today by retraining your mind. Create another habit where you keep looking out for all the things you’ve done well, for all the good aspects of your body…

No, it’s not necessarily going to be easy. We’ve spent years forming this habit of criticising ourselves, so it’s going to need a bit of conscious effort to change. However you can start today by consciously creating that new habit of kindness. You’ll be surprised at how much more beautiful you feel when you gift yourself with what you deserve…love, kindness, gentleness.

When you begin to increase the love you give to yourself, you become more beautiful, both inside and out.

If you meet someone who has a high level of genuine self love, they radiate beauty. Their smile is bigger and brighter, their eyes have an extra shine and you get the sense that they are completely at home in their own skin.

It doesn’t mean that loving yourself is going to remove wrinkles, or take away that scar that you think makes you look ugly. It means that loving yourself makes you realise that you don’t actually have to change anything in that moment to be beautiful. Physiological changes can happen simply by the chemical reactions that occur when you are happier in yourself…skin tone improves, hormones can become more balanced, body shapes can change and overall health can improve.

I’ve been down the road of self-loathing, beating myself up, wanting to change what I see in the mirror. It only ever brought with it dissatisfaction and sadness. For the last few years I’ve been practicing self love. I’ve been working on changing habits and becoming kinder to myself.

I’m not suddenly magically cured of comparing myself or finding flaws in the mirror. What I do have though is this beautiful gentleness with myself that I never had before. To be able to catch my eye in the mirror and say hello gorgeous and then smile, can improve overwhelm or frustration and make me feel more beautiful in an instant.

Give it a go, what have you got to lose?

In summary:

  1. Greet yourself in the mirror each morning with words that feel comfortable to you.
  2. Quit comparing yourself to others.
  3. Be gentle and kind to yourself – work on creating a new habit of gentleness rather than criticism.

I would love to hear how it goes for you. Please share with me so that I can cheer you on and remind you how awesome you are!

PS: Nourishing your physical body is all part of self love and feeling more beautiful! So think delicious healthy nutrients on the inside and natural skin care products for your beautiful skin on the outside 🙂

The Difference Between Self Love and Arrogance

Words like up yourself, conceited and vain may come to mind when discussing arrogance and self love. That’s what we heard adults saying around us when we were younger, we may have heard our peers say these things and we ourselves may have said that about others.

But remember there is a difference between self love and arrogance.

I believe arrogance is often a mask worn to hide the insecurities running deep inside. Or a cloak to hide the shame or the sadness or our perceived inadequacies. Arrogance is clothing, adornment on the outside to protect or hide the inside.

self-love-nurturesSelf love on the other hand is the veins, the cells, the life blood that courses through our bodies. Self love is a deep contentment and kindness towards ourselves that nourishes our very existence. That brings more joy. That brings more contentment. That heals wounds arrogance may at some point have tried to hide. Self love hides nothing. Self love has nothing to prove. Only a reverence of yourself. An honouring of the greatness that you are.

I don’t want to lose you here, because you think this is a little over the top. You actually are great. You may not believe it, or you may not fully feel it yet, but you are. I know it for sure.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

Max Ehrmann (Desiderata)

Acknowledging your greatness from a place of self love.

Don’t be afraid that by loving yourself more and acknowledging your greatness that you will become arrogant. When you come from a place of arrogance it can often manifest as a struggle to prove your worthiness. In extreme cases others are put down, deflated or found unworthy.

However, when you acknowledge your greatness from a place of self love, you don’t feel the need to prove your worthiness to anyone. Once you have your own sincere approval, you don’t need others to validate your worthiness. You develop an inner contentment that fills up your cup with self love and nourishment. As it fills and overflows, you naturally inspire those around you and lift them up with your joy and happiness. It is infectious in the most beautiful of ways.

Simple self love exercise.

If you have access to a mirror or a great reflective window, please go and loudly proclaim, whisper or silently say to that friendly face looking back at you: I am open to seeing your greatness. You are worthy of my love.

If that feels too hard right now, simply take a deep breath and consciously send that extra burst of oxygen as a gift to yourself. We all have to start somewhere on this journey of self love.

Inner confidence: do you lose your mojo when you compare?

Walking along the beach and I feel the flow of inner confidence…summery, barefoot, in a light singlet dress (that I’ve owned for too many years to even confess to), Millie following beside me and the evening light leaving the sand glowing a creamy pink. I feel good. My hair is tousled from days of sea swimming and it touches my back, just. I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin.

evening-swimming-inner-confidenceI get back to the ute, put my bikini on and run down to the water. I’m the only one swimming and I have the warm(ish) clear ocean to myself. After body surfing a few small waves, dodging some wayward crabs, floating around on my back watching my toes poke out through the water, in the flow mindfulness and sensuality, I go back up and put a towel around me, ready to drive home.

I look in the rear-view mirror. My inner confidence drops.

My hair’s wet and plastered onto my head, I don’t feel the flow anymore and I definitely don’t feel sexy. I run my fingers through my hair to get it a little less flat but by this time I’ve noticed all the freckles that summer has blessed me with and I’m feeling down on my skin now too. In such a swift moment of basking in the glory of the evening I suddenly feel uncomfortable in that same skin that a few minutes earlier I felt fantastically confident in.

Why?

Because I looked in the mirror?

No.

Because of the immediate cascade of thoughts that follow. The comparison. Comparing what I see to what I wish I saw. Comparing what I see to how I felt a few minutes ago when I wasn’t in front of a mirror. Comparing myself to pictures, magazines, movies and other women.

I ponder this thought as I drive back home, noticing that suddenly I’m not watching the light on the trees as closely or how my wet hair feels so refreshing on my neck. I observe myself, wondering how it is that as women we are so quick to judge. So quick to criticise and so quick to wish for something different than what we have.

In my search for deeper self confidence I’ve been practicing shifting this self-deprecating tendency for the last few years.

inner-confidence-self-love-mirrorIn the bathroom at home, ready to rinse off I stand and look at myself in the mirror. I look at my freckles, I look at the marks and fine lines and even though criticism is lurking in my mind, I smile. This is my trick these days. When I start getting a bit heavy on myself I smile at the face in the mirror and then I say something nice like, “You’re awesome” or “Look how much fun you’ve been having”, or I just wink at myself.

After all I am my steadiest companion, I am my oldest, most loyal friend, so to keep that relationship healthy I need to focus on the good and feed it with goodness.

Mindfulness, sensuality, being in the moment, not comparing and having tricks to snap you out of that quickly spiralling self-deprecating voice that surfaces = growing inner confidence, contentment and a good relationship with number one – yourself!

Here’s to the journey!

Taking a moment to be present…

taking-moment-be-present

Time to just be present

There are always long lists of to-dos and ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’, but today’s Saturday and it’s pouring with rain outside. I decided to give myself a little bit of time out on the couch. Millie is curled at my feet. I had just baked some gluten free bread while listening to an amazing talk by Anita Moorjani, on her near death experience and how loving ourselves is the most important thing. I felt it was time to put down my phone, tuck my feet under Millie for some extra warmth and then just be present.

It’s quite delicious when we make that decision to give ourselves permission to simply be present in that moment. No thinking about ‘what next’. No brain busy with a million lists and scoldings…instead mindfulness and being wholly present in that moment. I don’t find myself doing this often enough. To be present brings with it a beautiful sense of calm, because there is no space for your brain to monkey around and jump from one task to the next. You’re right here in that moment, with a sense of peace…

be-present-moment-mindfulness

Presence in what’s around us

What caught my attention first was the rain drops running down the ranch slider. They’d land, like crystal balls, join with more droplets and then run down the pane. Their tops reflected the green from the metal and the bottoms were clear, each creating a half moon affect. It was quite mesmerising and I felt so peaceful and relaxed (you should try it 🙂 ).

Do you find that you spend most of your time hounding yourself to do certain things? To complete certain tasks?

Does that stress you out? Feeling like no matter how much you do, it’s never all going to get done?

In these moments, see whether taking a deep breath in through the nose and slowly releasing it out the mouth helps. Try doing that 3 times. Feel the sensations of the breath in your nostrils, your lungs expanding, the air over your lips. Feel your body relaxing ever so slightly.

Take notice of the room around you, the smells in the air, the sounds coming your way. Feel that moment right here and now. Give yourself permission to stop, even if only for a few seconds, nourish yourself and reset.

If you allowed yourself, just for a minute to be present and let go of all those busy thoughts, what could you give yourself permission to do right now that would nourish you?

 

Pleasure In This Moment…

pleasure-autumn-leaves-mindfulnessBreathing in I calm body and mind, breathing out I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you get pleasure out of your daily skin care routine?

Do your many daily routines bring you pleasure?

Pleasure…that sensual feeling of being right there in that moment, enjoying, feeling, with every sinew and cell of your body, luxuriating in it, and bubbles of gratitude fizzing up through your insides. That to me is pleasure, savouring this moment that we have right now.

I walk outside and the sunbeams fall on my face. The wind tousles my salty hair and I hear that piercing sound of the cicadas. Immediately I am right here in the moment. Right here with my feet on the grass, savouring. Every sense is awake and I feel that gratitude fizzing…for experiencing this moment, for having all my senses to be able to luxuriate in all that the world is offering me right this second. I breathe in deeply and as I breathe out I smile. Hello pleasure, I am here with you, hearing you, enjoying you, taking note of you, thank you! Thank you!

It might be that first cup of coffee for some that brings pleasure in the moment...what is it for you?

It might be that first cup of coffee for some that brings pleasure in the moment…what is it for you?

Maybe for you it’s that morning coffee you dream of as you roll out of bed. First that smell hits your nostrils and a slight smile plays at the corner of your lips. Next you hold the cup in both hands and the warmth drifts into your skin. Your shoulders drop and your breathing slows ever so slightly. You’re letting go of some of that morning madness. You take a slow tentative sip and that hot liquid swirls around your mouth and disappears down your throat. You’re in these moments, savouring, enjoying them, letting them play with your senses and feeling this dose of pleasure dissolve the tension in your body.

Finding pleasure in skincare

As I have written before, Bee Sensual, as well as being natural skin care inspired by our bees and their delicious honey, is also about sensuality and mindfulness. Over the years I have worked on changing my attitude to my body and the way I speak with it. I try to be more conscious of the relationship I have with her, and of making it a special one. My skincare rituals are all a part of this shift. I wake up in the morning and wander over to the basin, splash my face a few times with cold water and then pat it dry. On the days when I’m open to the sensual pleasures around me I delight in the sharp contrast of cold on my warm sleepy face. As I pat it dry I look at myself in the mirror and think ‘you and me, we’re going to tackle this day head on, with joy and enthusiasm.’

Depending on what I’m up to for the day I take the Gel Toner and pump a little into the palm of my hand. I love the hint of geranium, and it’s often enough to stop me and remind me to quit thinking about what I didn’t do yesterday and what I should be doing this morning. So busy racing ahead and forgetting this moment. I gently massage it all over my face taking pleasure in the texture and the dewy feeling it leaves on my skin. If I start to look critically at the smile lines hinting at the corners of my eyes, I pull myself up. I remind myself that my face and I, we’ve done some things and we’ve seen some places, and don’t you bet we’ve had some bloody great laughs. So, if I have a few lines around my eyes it means a life of much laughter. What a gift.

Slowing down

Basically I believe that pleasure is all around us all the time, waiting for us to slow down and notice it. It begs us, it plays with us, calling from

The heavenly scent from an unfurling rose = pleasure in that moment.

The heavenly scent from an unfurling rose = pleasure in that moment 🙂

the tops of a fence post in the form of a flitting fantail, gently reminding us as a rose unfurling, releasing its heavenly aromas into the air. Or quietly teasing, as the wind tickling our face with our hair. When I say slow down, I don’t mean quit your day job and go and live in the bush. I simply mean slow the pace of your mind and open up a little to the pleasure waiting for us in every moment.

Try it next time you’re moisturising your body. Make that one minute your sacred time of flinging the windows wide open for pleasure to fly in. Let her sit softly in your hands as you feel the strength and great support that your legs give you each day. Feel your skin softening from the moisturiser. Your muscles gaining a little extra oomph from your gentle reassuring touch. We’re a team after all, us and our bodies! Give yourself a big, loving smile for the day in that mirror 🙂

What is bringing you pleasure in the moment?

A little sunkissed?

Honey on face

Manuka honey on my face 😛

Gentle after sun care

You have good intentions right? There’s sunblock in your handbag, beach bag, and maybe one in the glove-box of your car. There’s always a hat somewhere too. Problem is, sometimes you just get caught out in the beautiful hot sun when you didn’t expect to. No sunblock, chatting for longer than you expected, or simply caught up in what you’re doing… Before you know it you look in the mirror in the evening and your skin is hot with a bit of an after sun glow.

One of my goals in summer is not to let myself get burnt, especially on my face. However, none of us are perfect, and the other day out on the yacht, the reflection of the water caught me out. I was all nicely covered up with no direct sun on my face, but I didn’t reapply enough and come evening… warm pinky glow. It wasn’t too bad, but I couldn’t help reacting with a slap on the wrist. I immediately tried to rectify that by looking at myself in the mirror and saying ‘It’s OK, it’s not the end of the world, it happens…your skin will be fine.’ This of course was in my attempt to be kinder to myself and more mindful of the comments I gaily throw around at me.

Anyway, so what to do when this happens…

Cream Cleanser hand

Cream Cleanser for after sun care 🙂

Here’s my after sun routine:

  1. be kind to myself.
  2. say thank you to my skin for being so wonderful and always protecting me
  3. wash all remaining residues of my zinc-based sunscreen off with our Cream Cleanser (it’s lovely and soothing because it cleans pores while still leaving your skin feeling moisturised).
  4. when my skin has been patted dry I follow with some honey (manuka mostly, but let’s be honest – any honey is brilliant) – I rub some between my fingers and then gently massage it into my skin in circles. Leave the golden deliciousness to do its thing (read more here about manuka) for about 10 minutes while you unpack your beach bag or make yourself a tea.
  5. rinse, dry and then follow with Rejuvenating Oil. I’m a little in love with this oil I have to say – it smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so soft and nourished…it has helichrysum essential oil in it which is emotionally and physically regenerating, but I’ll be writing a post on it’s wonderful healing properties next, so stay tuned…
  6. although Rejuvenating Oil is my number one, Gel Toner follows hot on its heels, especially as an after-sun skin soother. It’s packed with organic aloe and cucumber which are so wonderfully healing and nourishing. If you don’t have anything like this in your bathroom, go and forage for a fresh aloe leaf, remove its skin and smooth the gel onto your face and neck.

    RO and GT

    Rejuvenating Oil or Gel Toner

  7. finally…relax and be thankful for the sun and the wonderful day that you had.
  8. smile 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your summer (for those in the southern hemisphere), and if you do get burnt, please be kind to yourself first and foremost!

And please tell me, what is your favourite after sun skincare routine?

Sensual – sen•su•al

Sensual…

sen·su·al (sɛnsjʊəl) – relating to or affecting any of the senses

Right, I figure January 2015 is as good a time as any to start my first blog! So sensual it is 🙂 I have spent the week creating goals, brainstorming, putting lots of coloured pens to paper and I feel ready for this year ahead.

I’ve decided to start with our name, Bee Sensual. Of course it’s clear where Bee came from: the hard-working girls in our hives who are so busy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, collecting exquisite honey, kindly sharing it with us to eat by the spoonfuls and put in our skincare. Sensual on the other hand is one of those almost risqué words! It’s so often associated with sexuality, evoking erotic indulgence. Yet in its true form it simply means relating to the senses. I see it as an awareness of the sights, tastes, smells, sounds and physical sensations around us. This to me equals mindfulness…being fully present in that moment in our life.

This is what attracted me to the name, Bee Sensual: to be mindful and present in as many moments as you can. So often, as we’re rushing in the morning (and all day really), we splash our face with water, roughly dry it and then grab the closest moisturiser container, scoop some onto our fingers and hurriedly rub it into our face. We’re thinking about everything we need to do. What hasn’t been done. What we’ll cook for dinner tonight. As we glance in the mirror to make sure there are no white streaks left we mentally comment on the dark rings under our eyes or a wrinkle we hadn’t noticed before. We berate ourselves for not looking ‘good’ enough.

Bee-ing Sensual

Day Cream, orange blossom and rose geranium

A dream

My dream is for our Bee Sensual products to be a daily reminder to you to stop for a moment, slow down and take it all in:

  • let it start as your eyes find the container you’re looking for
  • take in the texture of the frosted glass as you hold the jar in your hand to scoop out some Day Cream
  • become aware of the scents that reach your nose, the subtle citrus with rose geranium undertones
  • look yourself in the eye in the mirror and find at least one part of your beautiful face to rejoice in
  • in that moment give thanks for what you see
  • breathe and smile

If Bee Sensual can increase your mindfulness (and self-appreciation) by even one minute a day, that will make my heart very happy 🙂