How do we slow down in a fast world? This is something I’ve been contemplating for years as I’ve worked to balance my professional life as founder of SpaRitual with my personal priorities as a wife and mother of two kids. My "Slow Beauty" philosophy was born from this.
"Slow Beauty" is a beauty that endures. It is permission to slow down to remember our own essence. It is an opportunity to unveil the wisdom of true beauty—radiant, spirited, compassionate, and strong. I’ve been practicing "Slow Beauty" my entire life, yet it wasn’t until seven years ago, after I experienced what is known in Zen as a Satori moment, that I put a name on it.
The phrase "Slow Beauty" came to me after my son’s class pet, Torti the Tortoise, came to live with us for two weeks one spring. I observed him daily and became enchanted by his slow, deliberate walk. It was as if he was in a constant state of meditation. These observations, coupled with a synthesis of a perspective I had been testing and molding for as long as I can remember, gave me a platform to express how I view beauty and the aging process. The following are some basic principles of "Slow Beauty":
1. You are constantly becoming more truly you.
The beauty industry has turned our beauty into a commodity. They have us fighting against the aging process and pursuing quick fixes and instant results. Unfortunately, we tend to buy into the hype. However, real beauty is multifaceted and inherently spiritual. If you want to slow down, enjoy life, and be well, the "Slow Beauty" philosophy will help you. It will allow you to discern, engage, and amplify your creative processes and become your most beautiful, healthy self!
The main guiding principle of "Slow Beauty" is sustainable self-care. When we care for ourselves in deep and meaningful ways, we are best able to care for others and the world. "Slow Beauty" is a practice and philosophy of wholeness in direct response to a lifestyle that has become too fast. The "Slow Beauty" philosophy is both simple and deep, and it is a personal choice about to how you would like to incorporate it into your life. "Slow Beauty" is the process of becoming more wholly you, and that is ongoing. This involves reframing our ideas and ideals about beauty, thereby expanding the definition of beauty to include being healthy. It also includes the development and designing of our inner lives as well connecting to our own unique rhythm.
2. You are your own guru.
You don’t need to leave your loved ones or worldly possessions behind in search of a guru to experience beautiful enlightenment. This is the time and place to experience your own beautiful enlightenment. It isn’t hidden in the Himalayas. It’s hidden in plain sight. Wake up to it, sleeping beauty!
3. You are (w)holy in a hectic world.
How do we become enlightened? We leave the hectic world behind us in favor of being (w)holy by making time and space to set ourselves apart from the daily grind. You become (w)holy by engaging in practices that allow you to live your life holistically. These practices will make you feel whole and create moments of sacredness or (w)holiness. When we slow down, we use our intuition more, which is our highest form of knowledge. That is what gives us access to our most beautiful self.
4. You make time for holistic rituals.
My "Slow Beauty" practice has developed over the years and continues to deepen and evolve. It includes daily meditations, using my SpaRitual sugar scrub, self-massage, yoga, seasonal cleanses, monthly professional services targeted to calm the central nervous system, and gathering. I gather with girlfriends each new moon in a circle to share blessings, state intentions, and celebrate the month ahead. Those are just a few of my favorite "Slow Beauty" rituals.
Follow these directions for a self-massage with oil:
1. Warm the oil by running hot water over the bottle. Use about 1/4 cup.
2. Using small circular strokes, massage a tablespoon of oil onto head and scalp.
3. Gently massage your face and ears, paying attention to temples and behind and under your ears.
4. Massage front and back of neck.
5. Massage your arms, using a circular motion at the shoulders and elbows, and back-and-forth motions on the upper arms and forearms.
6. Massage your chest and stomach, using a gentle clockwise circular motion over the abdomen and a straight up-and-down motion over the breastbone.
7. Apply a bit of oil to both hands; gently reach around to the back and spine and massage them.
8. Massage your legs vigorously using circular motions at the ankles and knees, back-and-forth motions on the long parts.
9. Spend extra time on your feet. Massage back-and-forth, over the soles of feet and toes using the open part of your hand.