This time of year is hard. We all feel it in some sense. The expectations, that, let's face it, we have put on ourselves. Maybe you set a precedent of making cookies and giving them away to your entire office, (like where's my toffee, Carole????) or you pride yourself on your handmade Christmas cards. Or, you throw a killer NYE party every year. (eek, I do all of the above)
Add in another expectation-My birthday is also in December. So, on December 9th each year there is a big pressure I place on myself. Maybe left over from my childhood - to feel SPECIAL. Celebrating in a big way. A trip, or a ritual of some sort. And these expectations are hard in a lot of ways. If I don't do something big, then, have I failed at the birthday in some way?
Like this shot of me on my 42nd birthday three years ago in Santa Barbara. I turned a birthday trip into a last minute photo shoot for my scent line, which was just beginning to spark at this point. Those of you that know shoots, know they involve a lot of work. (There may have been a dress handmade) But at the time, hard work felt like taking care of myself. Sort of. At least, it felt like what I had to do. I'm surrounded by the scents of home, those dry looking plants around me are Artemesia, the scent of Santa Barbara. This was the beginning of the scent journey, which I feel is important to share, as I finally created a product that was deep inside of me, to give to you, and to give to the girls of El Salvador. And the journey to embrace what I have now, which is so much.
So, to do this, this year, I celebrated simply at home. I didn't try to travel, or make a big deal of it. I wore my favorite dress and invited a few friends to have my favorite foods. (If you know me at all, you already understand that included guacamole) We had a roaring fire and ate tacos on the floor. My one extravagance was to hire a tarot card reader for fun, (thanks, for the rec, Fleur) and she did everyone's reading. There were lots of Agua Libre's (recipe to come) and laughter. My favorite text from the night came from Peg: Thank you for the marvelous evening of food, friends, fire and fortune!
What does self care mean? It can be something like taking a bath, or a nap, or washing your face, and those practices are really important. To nourish your body so that you have energy and health. For me this year, it was to give the cozy bday gathering to my friends, which also gave back to me with their laughter and friendship. But whatever it is that you do to take care of yourself, I think the essence of it is giving to yourself, while nurturing others. Which is the core and heart of our facial essence, 735 Flora Vista. When we give to our selves, we have the energy to give back, as 25% of all sales go to a small village in El Salvador for the gift of water.
So whatever you do to take care of yourself this weekend, think about how it fuels you to give back to the people in your life. For me, that looks like a little bit of online shopping to get the gifts done, some holiday baking, because I enjoy it. Cleaning my home, because a clean home makes me feel serene. And drinking a lot of lemon water, to nourish my insides.
I would love to hear what you do to take care of yourself in the comments!