Self-Love

No Winter Blues Lavender-Infused Oil

Today has been one of those bitter cold winter days that make me feel homesick and dream of warmth, sunshine and sand in my toes. To fight the winter blues I decided to play in the kitchen. I spent all morning making soup, juices, lotion, kombucha and straining some lavender infused oil I had made some weeks ago. Just smelling the oil made me feel good! There's something about lavender that's so comforting and warm, perfect for late February in NY. 

I use the oil in the bath, as moisturizer, to make lotion and soap. I also mix it with water and spray a bit in my pillow if I am having trouble falling asleep. I love the smell of lavender and its many healing properties, especially when it comes to relaxation.

Want to tune into the lavender love and get rid of these winter blues that seem to be so contagious? To make the oil simply:

  • Use 1 oz of dried lavender to 4 oz of oil by liquid measure
  • Get rid of all the stems and use a mortero to crush the herbs into a powder
  • Place the freshly crushed herbs in a 6 oz glass jar and pour 4 oz of cold pressed olive oil
  • Stir until the herbs are saturated and close with a tight lid
  • Shake the jar daily and allow to steep for 3 to 6 weeks
  • When ready strain the oil using a strainer or a cheese-cloth. The more you squeeze and press the more oil you'll get but expect to have about a 20% loss of liquid

The herbs should look and feel very dry after you finish squeezing the oil out. I usually save them and use them to make a face/body scrub but you can also use them for a facial steam or add them to a warm bath. 

New black moon-supermoon, wood sheep & lent

Have you been feeling an energy rise today? Or perhaps you're feeling a little down and overwhelmed? Or a bit hesitant about your path? Or you're happy and full of energy? Or a mix of all? I have. 

A whole lot is happening today. There's a new moon which also happens to be a black moon and a supermoon. It's also the start of the Chinese New Year or the year of the Wood Sheep. And Ash Wednesday or the start of lent for Christians around the world. 

Let's start by talking about the moon. It's the closest new moon of the year which is why we call it a supermoon. It is also a black moon, or the third of four new moons in the current season (December's solstice to March's equinox), meaning it is almost the last new moon of the winter (yay!). It's an opportunity for a clean start, a very fertile time that allows us to birth new projects, or babies, or dreams and adventures. A chance to let go of what doesn't serve us anymore and tune into our creative spirit. Diving into the darkness of this black moon allows us to come out on the other side revitalized and ready for the spring and its infinite possibilities. 

Today is also the beginning of the year of the Wood Sheep which happens to bring a feminine Yin energy. It relates to the Western sign Cancer, associated to the mother and nurturing force. It invites us to develop more intimacy with our family and friends (like a sheep in a flock), and to cultivate gentleness and sensitivity. It opens our hearts to love and kindness and  encourages creativity and team work. 

Lent is the season for renunciation and sacrifice for many Christians. It begins with Ash Wednesday, a ritual of putting ash on our foreheads to symbolize a commitment to prayer in preparation for Easter. The traditional purpose includes penance, repentance of sins and almsgiving. Even for non-christians it can be a time of letting go, a time to feel more grounded and connected to nature. Perhaps a time to focus on meditation, or on a creative project like writing or learning a song, or dancing more often. 

Today is a good day. A lot is happening and it's up to us to tune into it and make something out of it, to welcome new beginnings.

Start with a ritual, maybe meditate or say a prayer, light a candle, take a bath. Do something that makes you feel good, scream, cry, hug someone you love. Dance your face off. Take a walk. Take a deep breath. Take another deep breath.

“If nothing saves us from death, at least love should save us from life” Pablo Neruda