Self-trust and Skin Care

How can I use skincare to practice self-trust?

When it comes to natural skincare there is no right or wrong way of doing it. You can’t get it wrong by experimenting. Trust your skin and trust your body. It’s the perfect opportunity to strengthen your self-trust muscles.

This weekend we had our Bee Sensual stall at the annual Mangonui Festival. It’s the one time of year that I get to enjoy face-to-face time with customers, hear wonderful feedback and also get some interesting questions. People often ask things like:

‘How should I use the products?’

‘When do you use this one, and can you use it with that one?’

‘Do I need the whole range for it to work?’

Those questions inspired me to write this post on trusting what your skin and body tells you. Take every opportunity you can to practice self-trust, because the stronger it gets the easier so many decisions in life become (from the big to the small). Each and every one of us is different. We have different genes, different internal health systems, different body types and all that affects what our skin enjoys. A 1-2-3 step routine might work for you, and not for me, or rich moisturisers might work for me, but not you. And that’s OK. That’s normal.

For example, people are often really surprised at how light our Rejuvenating Oil feels on their skin, and how it leaves no oiliness or residue, just a silky feeling afterwards. So, instead of thinking oil won’t work for your skin, try it out. See what happens. What does your skin tell you? Do you enjoy the feeling of using it? The texture of it on your skin? Try to dig underneath the concepts around oil that you may have had/been told for a long time to what your body is telling you.

Who’s really deciding what skincare you use?

It’s so easy to get caught up in what the media is telling us about how we should look after our skin, and what our skin should look like! You need x for this and y for that and z for the other part. I get it. It’s all around us, that sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype. I’m afraid to say though, that most of what they tell you is driven by the desire to entice you to want more. Their business relies on you thinking that you need more, because then your skin will look just so, and then you will have less wrinkles or pimples or blemishes… (but that’s a whole other blog on its own 😉).

I know, it sounds funny coming from me, because I’m also selling a skincare range. The difference is, I don’t want you to buy the whole range just because you think you should. I want you to buy products and use them because you love using them. Because you love the way they feel on your skin and also the way they make you feel. Or the ingredients sound wholesome and nourishing to you. I want you to notice the scents and enjoy them, maybe smile and breath deeper every time you use them. Or maybe you find yourself in just that one moment as the sensual experience brings you into the here and now. You might even feel inspired to send some gratitude to that part of your body.

I digress. I get carried away talking about this stuff and could go on and on, but the moral of my story is, what you use on your skin is another perfect opportunity for practicing self-trust. To tune into what your body wants. Not what someone else says it should want, or what you think you should use. But what do you want?

Simple self-trust exercise:

Let’s try it out now. Think about a particular product that you’re using. Picture yourself opening it, putting the mixture into your hand and then applying it to your face or body. How does it make you feel? To dive deeper, shut your eyes, take a deep breath in, and if you feel moved, put your hand on your tummy. Keep breathing and feel how your body feels. Does it feel flighty and jittery, rushed, ambivalent or calm and grounded.

Calm and grounded is one of the ways that your body gives you a yes. Or a smile, or some joy bubbles in your chest maybe. If you feel ambivalent or turn up your nose slightly because the smell’s not quite for you, that’s a no.

This short exercise is a simple, yet powerful way to tune into self-trust, that you can use next time you’re buying a cosmetic product (or anything for that matter). Are you buying it because of the great marketing, or are you buying it because it feels right for you? Right for the one and only unique and beautiful you? Only you can answer that question, and your body can help you with the answer.

Let me know if you’ve ever done this or ways in which you’ve strengthened your self-trust muscles when it comes to decision-making xx

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

The love stories we tell…

Self love training and love stories

I just signed up to a 40 day self love challenge – Choosing Me before We – and the first week explores the love stories we tell ourselves. It got me thinking…

So I talk about self love regularly in my blogs. Bee Sensual is about honest, natural skincare that inspires you to take time to be kind and gentle to yourself when you lovingly apply the products to your face and body. I talk about being conscious of focusing on the good bits – the parts we like. About coming closer and closer to that place where we can love ourselves and see our own beauty regardless of what we look like. Regardless of whether or not our skin is flawless like that model on the front cover of magazines we walk past at the checkout, have on our coffee table at home, or pick up in the Dr’s waiting room.

It’s so easy to compare. I get it! Not only that, but it’s been years and years of these subtle trainings picked up from parents, family, society, media, school etc. The love stories that we absorb. What we’re meant to look like. How to be beautiful, how to body-image-bee-sensualbe sexy, how to be lovable. All implying that we’re not those things right here and right now.

So in case you’re wondering, I still look in the mirror and see flaws. I see creases in the skin around my eyes or blemishes on my cheeks or freckles in random places. And then sometimes I wish that they weren’t there. The only difference is I am very aware of doing it now. It’s no longer an unconscious conversation of discontent. I’m aware of when it happens and then I steer the internal conversation towards the sparkle in my eyes. I tell myself I’m beautiful and worthy anyway.

Fake it till you make it right? 😉

Back to the love story training…

So I began the course this week, and it turns out it’s more challenging than I expected. It’s supposed to be I realise, but I just thought I had a fairly good grasp on the whole self love thing and that it would be relatively easy. Turns out there’s plenty of room for me to grow here! I know, we’re always evolving more into our own goodness…it’s about the journey after all. Just good to have a reminder!

love-stories-bee-sensualOne of the challenges in the first week is to look at all the love stories that we’ve picked up through our life and that we tell ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously. Stories that may not be so helpful or conducive to really receiving or giving love from/to ourselves or others. Maybe it’s that we have to look a certain way to receive love. Or that we have to be a certain way in the world, with a particular purpose, to be worthy of love. Perhaps it’s that once someone else loves you, then you will be happy. Then you will be able to love yourself?

The next step is to get down and personal with the mirror. You look yourself in the eyes and tell the stories that you’ve been telling yourself. It’s pretty intense, but good! Lastly you tell the love story you’d like to feel is possible with yourself and others by the end of the 40 days. Not a dreamy fantasy one, but one that feels really real and grounded in love. It’s interesting what comes up telling these love stories, but also holding eye contact with yourself for a few minutes!

Can you think of any love stories that you might be telling yourself, that you learned somewhere, that may be hindering your own journey of love – with yourself or others?

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!

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

Do you know where Valentine’s Day comes from?

I wanted to reflect on Valentine’s Day this week and what it means to each of us, and so I decided I had better have a look into its history. I was quite surprised at the rather heart-sore story that I found!

In the third century AD a roman emperor made it law for all Romans to worship 12 gods and made it punishable by death to associate with Christians. A Christian martyr, named Valentinus, was so dedicated to Christ that he could not be stopped and was therefore arrested and imprisoned.

Since Valentinus was a learned man, the jailer sent his young blind daughter, Julia, to listen to his stories and his tales and see the world through his eyes. One day when Julia asked him whether God heard her prayers he replied in the affirmative. She asked if they could pray together for her sight to be returned. After some moments of silence during their prayers, a bright light shone into the cell and she could finally see.

On the eve of his death, Valentinus sent Julia a note encouraging her to stay close to God. He signed it ‘From your Valentine’. The next day, on February 14, his sentence was carried out. It is believed that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.

To this day the almond tree is a symbol of abiding love and friendship, and now, onalmond-tree-love-affection February 14 each year, messages of affection, love, friendship and devotion are shared around the world.

I believe that marketing and the media has taken Valentine’s Day and created the expectation in people that it is a day of being showered with flowers, chocolates, elaborate cards and lots of love. And this is what the day is like for some. For others, this is not always the case. And many are OK with that, but I bet there are many who are not OK with it. For some it may be a day that stings its reminder that you’re still single, a fact that you’re not comfortable with. Or, if you’re in a partnership, it may make you feel less loved and worthy on the day if your significant other forgets to celebrate it. There are all number of reasons why this day, for some, can often be a sad one.

My proposal to you for Valentine’s Day, and what it means to you, begins with two questions:

Who is the most important person in your life?

Many of you might answer, my kids, my husband, my wife, my mother, my father, my sister etc…

What about you?

Surely you are the most important person in your life? Surely your cup is the one that needs to be filled to the brim with love so that you can share it with those other significant people in your life? Don’t rely solely on others to fill you up with love.

self-love-valentine's-dayOn Valentine’s Day this year I challenge you to do something fabulous for yourself that fills your cup with love. Enjoy all the love and affection that others share with you and enjoy sharing that love with others. But please, do not hold back on love, while you wait for someone else to give you flowers or a beautiful card. Instead treat yourself to something special as a symbol of the love you have for yourself…after all, you are the person in this world who you spend the most time with!

Please share with me what ideas you have in mind, I can’t wait to hear 🙂