A Nourishing Bedtime Ritual: Lavender Foot Massage for Gentle Sleep

New Moon. A Self-Care Ritual. 

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At the end of each long and tiring day lies a sacred opportunity. An opportunity to come home to yourself. To reconnect with the inner life of your vibrant soul and to embrace and reconnect with your body.

One way that I’ve learnt to do so (under Carrie-Anne Moss’s mentorship via Annapurna Living) is by the developing a nurturing relationship with your feet through a simple bedtime ritual. A simple practice that will leave your body feeling relaxed and your soul feeling nourished.

The Nourishing Bedtime Ritual: Before bed, get some lavender infused oil, a calming lavender foot balm or foot cream to rub your feet with (lavender aids peaceful sleep). Centre yourself, take a few deep breaths, empty your thoughts and just release the day’s stress. Massage your feet, gently rubbing the calming oil/balm into them. Feel yourself relax, becoming more peaceful and present as you do. Connect with your feet, your body and your inner self. Visualise your tension melting away a you unwind and open up to deep connection. Express gratitude for your feet and your body. Send love and soothing positive energy to yourself and let yourself feel nurtured by the practise.

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To Make Lavender Infused Oil: Fill a clean glass jar with dried or fresh lavender flowers. Then top the jar with jojoba or olive oil. Close the lid tightly and place the jar in a cool, dry and dark cupboard for 4 to 6 weeks to infuse. When the lavender oil has infused for long enough, take it out, strain it out to separate the oil from the flowers and then transfer the oil back into a clean glass bottle and discard the flowers. You can use the oil as is or use it as the basis for a lavender balm as I have done.

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To Make Lavender Bedtime Foot Balm: For my foot balm, I melted 1 tablespoon of mango butter, 1 tablespoon of beeswax, removed it from the heat, mixed it with a ¼ cup of my lavender oil infuser and then added 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 8 drops of geranium oil for scent, as well as a few drops of clary sage. I stirred it together thoroughly and then decanted the mixture the pretty vintage trinket box I got from my mom (I love using that particular trinket box for my bedside balms.) It’s up to you what kind of container you would like to store your balm in. Once decanted into its contain, the balm cools and hardens in 10 to 20 minutes. Here are a couple of lavender bedtime balm recipes if you would like to try making your own: Soothing Sleep Balm Recipe and Lavender Sleep Balm to Ease Your Dreams.

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A Heart-Centred Pause to Honour Your Essence

Waning Moon.  A Time to Exhale and Release.

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Sisters, gentle hearted, fierce and wild.

I ask you to carve out a few moments to be at peace with yourself today. And within that, just a moment to stand in front of a mirror, look deep into your own eyes and to bear witness to your profound essence.

See yourself completely, from a place of gentleness and love.

Cast aside the lenses of judgement, discontentment, self-criticism and shame. Empty out the cacophony of thoughts, the mental load, the weight of life’s demands on your shoulders and just breathe for a moment.

Honour yourself. Honour all that you embody, heart and soul, the wholeness of your inner light, your strength, your power and your courage to show up in the world even when it feels as though the odds are stacked against you.

Place your hand over your heart space and send loving light and gratitude inward. You are worthy. You are whole. You are enough. You deserve this moment for yourself. Breathe it in, lean into it and then exhale and let all else out.  Let go, release and  surrender.

“We are not responsible for what our eyes are seeing. We are responsible for how we perceive what we are seeing.”

~ Gabrielle Bernstein

Lavender Flower Chai Tea

Full Moon.  

A gentle spiced tea recipe to soothe your soul and bring you home to yourself at the end of a long day.

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To make one pot of lavender chai tea you’ll need (Recipe from Flowering Within book):

2 to 3 tablespoons of black loose leaf tea
1 teaspoon of dried lavender or 2 to 3 fresh sprigs
6 cardamom pods
4 star anise
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
10 peppercorns
6 whole cloves
A pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Raw Honey or condensed milk to sweeten

Directions: Add three or 4 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Then add all the chai spices and lavender to the pot. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool for a few minutes before straining it into a teapot or heat-safe container.

Sweeten to your taste, add milk if you’d like and then enjoy a nice cup of lavender chai tea to soothe your soul. This recipe should make enough for about 3 servings.

To make a single cup, mix enough ingredients to fill a tea strainer. Place the tea strainer in your cup and top with hot boiled water. Let the tea steep for 3 minutes.

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“We make tea in an empty vessel and then we become a vessel to receive it. The practice of maintaining this emptiness runs through all the world’s mystical traditions.”
~ Frank Hadley Murphy