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Here is why having a beauty ritual will help you love yourself

Sep 6, 2018 | Love |

When was the last time you actually took the time to beautify yourself and created a ritual around your self-care or beauty routine?

If you feel like your just going through the motions, now is a good time for you to start to bring some mindfulness to your beauty/skincare/self-care regime. The benefits are so worth it! 

I believe there is so much power in taking time every day to beautify yourself. 

When I say beautify yourself I don’t necessarily mean putting on makeup or doing anything super high maintenance, although it can be that but it’s more about using this time to connect with yourself in a different way. To give yourself love, to cherish yourself and to bring your inner beauty out! It’s such a great way to start the day because it puts you in a high vibrational state.

When you totally love and accept yourself, you raise your vibe and you feel more positive. Self-love definitely puts a spring in your step, we all know that feeling good about yourself makes you happier, more accepting of others and more relaxed. 

Being self-loving it isn’t something that comes naturally to most women and men. It takes conscious awareness and practice to really anchor it into your way of being and to see yourself differently. We spend so much time often unconsciously hating on ourselves, wishing something about us was different, not fully appreciating our own glorious and unique beauty. It can be super hard because we are socially conditioned to want to change ourselves. I beleive if people loved themselves completley the economy would collapse! In fact, it has become the norm these days. White supremacy has us believe that the beauty standard is eurocentric. A form of social conditioning. Read more about that here. 

Companies make huge profits from this incessant need to change ourselves. Now more than ever are we seeing so many influencers popping up, selling us an unrealistic and unattainable beauty ideal, keeping us in a constant state of feeling like we need to change, fix, plump up etc. Feeling like we aren’t enough the way we are.

Here is an interesting article called capitalism wants you to hate your body 

So, as an act of resistance to patriarchal capitalistic beauty standards that keep women feeling small, undesirable and obsessed with changing how they look, I can’t think of any better reason not to love yourself. DOnt ever forget that we get to choose how desirable we want to feel. We get to choose how much love we give to ourselves. I see radical, unapologetic self-love as a form of resistance. Also, know that I am not at all shaming women who opt for surgery or treatments, I certainly have had surgery and treatments and in the future, I may get more, who knows! But, there is a difference in where you’re coming from. Enhancements and feeling good about yourself sometimes does include having the choice to make a change, but where do we draw that line? When does the occasional filler become an obsession and turn into body dysmorphia?

When do we say enough is enough! Now, I choose to love and accept ME right now in this moment for exactly who I am and how I look. Because the truth is, if you can’t show up and love yourself completely, right now in this moment and commit to loving yourself as much as you possibly can in EVERY moment, than your just going to feed the machine until one day your old and grey, looking back on your life and your youth with regret that you didn’t truly enjoy it because you were so caught up in the story that your not enough-ness, the story that your not sexy/pretty/desirable/skinny/curvy enough. 

Fuck that!  

We need to find balance with our vanity. How much energy are we spending obsessing about our appearance and body when we could be putting this energy to things that truly matter? I love getting my lashes done and I get them done every two weeks, It makes me feel good! I can take it or leave it, but my choice is to have them for now. 

There is also the opposite where some women actually feel guilty for putting effort into their appearance. They feel as though they aren’t deserving of spending time and money on themselves. These are both different sides of the same coin, which is an unworthiness wound. So, having a beauty ritual in place can really help to heal this and support a woman in reclaiming her beauty and pride in herself. 

When your hating on even just a small part of yourself, that part of yourself is not aligned with the truth of who you are. For example, I got a bad hair cut and I have been hating my hair. Every day in the mirror I would scold it.  Making the choice to hate my hair makes me feel bad about myself yet it’s a choice I am making.  I know it won’t help it grow out beautifully when I hate it. So, now instead I now run my hands through my hair and tell it how much I love it. Instantly I feel better and even my hair is responding well. Our body responds to how we think/feel about it. When your whole being is in the vibration of love than you align to your true essence/power.  Even if there is just the tiniest part of you that you haven’t made friends with yet, this part of you is out of alignment. So this entire process of self-love is about bringing yourself into total alignment with who you really are. Into alignment with love. 

It is also important to know that self-loathing creates stress in the body, releasing stress hormones negatively affecting our health and our libido. We must break the cycle!

I believe that the ancients knew this, too.

Hence why they were so big on having beautification rituals and why they spend a lot of time and energy on creating lotions, potions and oils derived from nature to enhance their beauty and preserve their youth. So, it’s not a new thing to be into hair removal and face masks and perfumes and even anti-aging (or should I say rejuvenation)

We have been doing it forever! 

They knew there was a deeper purpose to this and it wasn’t just about the physical. 

Their belief was that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and that our bodies are to be honored as our bodies are the bridge between the nonphysical, all that we can’t see, and the physical. Keeping ourselves pure vessels for the divine to be able to come through us in our expression. Adornment and beauty is how they accessed that divinity. 

I believe that everything we do can be made into a spiritual practice when we do it consciously and unrushed. Obviously, some of you are mothers with jobs or just have extremely busy schedules. I get that it is not always easy but the truth is being mindful doesn’t take that much effort or time, it’s just a mental shift and different state of awareness. It is literally just bringing full attention and consciousness to what you’re doing, when you slow down, you will notice that time actually seems to slow down too. When you rush around, time speeds up! This is what I love about mindfulness practice. 

So, I will share my beautification routine with you but first,

Let’s explore different ancient beautification rituals and where they originated from so we can get more of an appreciation for our modern beauty regimes….. 

Ancient Greece

The greeks were big lovers of physical beauty. I myself am a big lover of physical beauty and I have no shame in spending time on beautifying myself, as I don’t believe it’s vanity when you’re coming from a different place.

Aphrodite, the Olympian Goddess of love and beauty, created a quintessential beauty ideal among greek women. This goddess symbolized true femininity and grace, which perhaps influenced Greeks prestigious ancient beauty rituals. This is interesting because it shows that there have always been beauty ideals and even perhaps conditioning, as the favored light complexions, which they maintained using white lead. This was later replaced by chalk powder (around 1000 BCE) due to the many deaths caused by slow lead poisoning.

Crushed mulberries were used for lip and cheek stains, as was clay and red iron for lip color. Dark eyeshadows were also favored, made using a mixture of charcoal and oils. Fake, thick and prominent eyebrows were made with the hair of oxen. Often times, women even preferred connected eyebrows (unibrows), as this was admired in their culture. Both honey and olive oil was used in many cosmetic and anti-aging preparations. It is said that the wild olive tree originated in ancient Greece, so this tree, along with its plethora of beauty benefits, was considered sacred. Women anointed themselves in olive oil to protect their skin from environmental stressors, and it was used in facial masks to promote a clear looking complexion. Honey was also mixed with olive oil to help lighten the appearance of skin.

Today’s beauty formulators definitely learned a thing or two from Greece, considering olive oil and honey are still heavily used in natural skin care treatments.

Roman Rituals Hopping over to Rome, specifically around early 100 AD, the Romans from this era and those that followed loved their bathing rituals. In fact, the Romans created such opulent bathhouses, they are quite comparable to our modern day spas. The bathhouses were beautified with mosaics, paintings and intricate ceilings flooded with natural light. In these gender-segregated oases, bathers engaged in contrast bathing therapy, also known as hot/cold immersion therapy. Bathers would then follow their treatment with the use of an instrument referred to as a ‘strigil’. This curved metal tool was used to scrape dirt and sweat from the body before steam therapy, body scrubs and massage and what was a bath to an ancient Roman without fragrance to top it off? Perfumes were very popular and were formulated using a variety of flowers and herbs like saffron, almonds, rose petals, lilies, myrtle, laurel and jasmine.

Egyptian Beauty

Not only was ancient Egypt one of the most advanced civilizations to grace the earth, but also the creator of many sacred luxuries that are still used widely today. Egyptians were undeniably known for their “bling” and were, without a doubt, stylishly avant-garde.  Adorned in exotic jewelry, headdresses and hairstyles, Egyptians took fashion and beauty quite seriously. Sulfites (kohl) and malachite minerals were used as eye enhancements and liners, while lip color was made with purple and red dyes from seaweed, iodine and carmine beetles.

Uncovered burials have provided us with artifacts and knowledge that beautification rituals were revered in Egypt more than in any other culture. For example, burials and tombs have been discovered with remnants of cosmetics inside. The application of makeup was so important to ancient Egyptians and pharaohs that their beauty rituals served as an honor to their gods and goddesses.

Ayurveda

For thousands of years, Indians have believed that the body is a temple. They worshipped the earth and it’s elements, understanding the connection between nature, health and beauty.

Ayurveda is the science of life and India’s 5,000-year-old holistic health care system. This complex, yet practical system is based on the belief that optimal health is achieved when your mind, body and spirit are aligned with the universe.

It’s no wonder that Indian women are of immeasurable beauty; their focus on balance and well-being mirrors their physical beauty.

Ayurvedic beauty rituals included bathing and oil treatments, which promoted physical and spiritual cleansing. Ancient Indians believed that if you couldn’t eat it, it didn’t belong on the skin. So, basically, their skin care was edible and derived from the most nutritious herbs and oils around. Herbs like neem, tulsi, turmeric, sandalwood, saffron and Amla were incorporated into masks, creams and the widely used sesame oil. Indians were also keen on oil pulling for dental hygiene, and dry brushing their skin for exfoliation and lymphatic stimulation

Unlike today’s tan-hungry beauty culture, 18th-century Europeans favored pale, almost white skin. A tan meant you were a hard labourer who worked outside, where a pale complexion indicated a higher level of class.

Ladies created a toner out of strawberries and wine and slathered it on their skin to help keep their complexions pale. There are many ancient cultures that are not mentioned here, respectively. From the Far East, to Central and South America and Africa to Polynesia, all of these cultures defined their own authentic forms of beauty.

In this pivotal time in the beauty industry, manufacturers and consumers are becoming more educated and conscious when it comes to skin care. We’ve been through a vicious cycle of industrial chemicals in our self-care products and we’re happy to see people making the switch to more botanical based lines inspired by ancient practices. So let’s give thanks to the founders who intuitively employed earth’s abundance.

In a way, it connects us all with a healthy vision of beauty.

Source www.annmariegiani.com

So, it is very interesting to know that beauty ideals have always been something we have conformed to and enhancing our physical attributes is something that throughout history has been practiced.

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