Recipes. Thoughts on simple living. Cat hair.
Well, OK, no discussion or further comments on cat hair. But about the other elements, yes.
I spent last week isolating, at home alone. I watched a lot of films. I did some work. I was not feeling well. I even had a fever. But I’m still not sure whether or not I actually had a contagious virus or was just run-down. Much of the problem, too, stemmed from my negative thoughts, which focused on uselessness, purposelessness, pointlessness. Nihilism.
As a result, I was useless, without purpose, and life seemed pointless. So I let myself be sick.
Maybe I needed that time, because today, right now, life is rich, rewarding, meaningful. I am thankful, and I am paying attention.
Nothing really has changed, except for my perspective.
My perspective is broadening, lengthening, growing. Emotions and rogue thoughts no longer automatically wind me up tight, like so many straitjackets.
When I stopped drinking, I not only gained sobriety, but I was finally given a method and specific things to do that would help me grow toward maturity, help me create a meaningful life. What a gift.
Over the years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on shampoo, skincare products, and cosmetics, expecting them to “fix” me, to make me “right.” This is, of course, assuming there was something inherently wrong with me in the first place, which there is not. Finally — FINALLY — it has sunk into my brain somewhere that nothing external will or can change anything about me. Improvements such as I was seeking start on the inside.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still believe in good, regular skincare and overall hygiene (please consider using only non-animal-tested products with short lists of mostly organic, safe, natural ingredients). But, as I mixed up a fresh batch of face and body scrub yesterday, looking forward to using it later, rather than slathering up my skin with suds in a hot shower because that is what “everyone else” does, for the first time in my life, I found myself relishing and feeling satisfied with simpler living. No expensive products needed. I can make most of what I need for my daily toilette, and for the rest I can seek out merchants with values that match mine: No animal testing; pure, safe ingredients that are fair-traded; empowerment for artisans and workers in struggling economies.
Feeling satisfied with it is the key here. I can tell I am growing, because finally I was not seeking redemption from skincare products. As I prepared the body scrub, a kernel of some positive energy deep inside me, released when I got sober, began to sprout. I returned expensive products that are nice but that I do not need and cancelled orders of yet more products that also are nice but that I do not have to buy. Not anymore. I will be OK without them.
This recipe is both moisturizing and cleansing, and it also is suitable for the face (just do not rub too hard to avoid tearing skin).
- Coconut oil (organic, extra virgin)
- Sugar (refined white or brown)
- Honey (optional but adds extra healing and moisturizing benefits)
- A few drops of essential oil of your choice (optional, but adds cleansing benefits and serves as a natural preservative)
Mix up smaller batches at a time. Yesterday, I used roughly 6 to 7 teaspoons of coconut oil, and 6 to 7 teaspoons of white sugar.
Spoon out the coconut oil (it is solid at room temperature) into a bowl. Add sugar. If using honey, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently press and stir the ingredients together until they are well-mixed.
I added 8 drops of essential oil for a whiff of lovely fragrance, added botanical-based benefits, and mixture preservation. It is best to store this scrub in a glass container to avoid the chance of chemicals from plastic containers seeping into the mixture.
I also plan to start making my own cleansing conditioner for my hair out of bentonite clay and coconut milk (thank you, Minimalist Beauty, for this great idea). I am currently using a mud-based hair cleanser that works great but is, well, costly. If I can buy ingredients that will make up multiple batches of an effective, safe hair cleanser, then why not make it myself?
It’s the idea that I am worthy to do this, that a product I mix up myself is as good or better than something I could pay $50 for in stores or online.
Living in a simpler way, consuming less and creating more, strengthens life energy. It is giving rather than taking. It is appreciating and paying attention. It is being grateful and using what you already have to make an entirely new thing that you actually need. Less wanting. Less wanting. Less wanting…