Through all relationships, remember your true nature: I Am Love.
The art of self-care is supported by our connection with the natural world and the vibration of love within us. Through our relationship with the elementals, through the plants, through touch, through prayer, we are able to penetrate deep into the core of our being and remember our true nature: I Am Love.
My personal practice of self-care deepened when I truly understood how caring for myself directly influenced the well-being of Mother Earth. I love these words by Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, which reflect our oneness: “Dear Mother, you are present in every cell of my body. My physical body is your physical body, and just as the Sun and Stars are present in you, they are also present in me. I promise to keep the awareness alive that you are always in me, and I am always in you.”
Below are four rituals we practiced during our FP Escapes retreat to Spain. During the Self-Care Ritual Workshop at the local Hammam, the group sought — and found — harmony within body/soul and Mother Earth.
Ritual One: Garshana
Garshana is the Ayurvedic practice of dry skin brushing towards the heart. Using a soft, natural bristle brush, begin at your feet and work your way up the body with long sweeping motions toward your heart. Taking deep inhalations, allow yourself to let go and release stagnation as you move upward to connect with the cosmic energy of the stars, sun and moon. This ritual supports movement by stimulating your lymph system and detoxifying our largest organ, the skin.
Ritual Two: Baño de Florecimiento
This ritual supports the Andean practice of a hot water soak with fresh flower blossoms and medicinal plants. From the surrounding Andalusian landscape, we harvested flowering jasmine and olive leaf, which we added to a bath as warm as we could stand. Soak for 20 minutes — in whatever flowers/herbs you have available — and allow the vibration of the element water to purify your subtle body and allow the energy medicine of the plants to heal you. Bring into consciousness your dreams and the wishes you would like to blossom. Drain the bath and collect the plant matter to place outside upon Mother Earth.
Ritual Three: Abhyanga
Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of a grounding, warm oil self-massage. Through touch we are able to extend the energy of love from our fingertips to the rest of our being. Place both hands over your heart and invoke the vibration of love. Apply a generous amount of an organic, plant-based oil into your hands and then massage gently into your scalp. Work your way down the body all the way to the soles of your feet. Come back into your heart space and feel yourself grounded and connected to Mother Earth.
Ritual Four: Offering to Pachamama
Introduce the element of fire to your favorite incense or sacred plant, like palo santo. Allow the smoke to fill the air around you and offer a prayer of gratitude for your life and the healing you are receiving through Pachamama, our Cosmic Mother.
Photos by Jillian Guyette