What Are Your Restorers?

What restores you? What brings you back to wholeness when you are utterly depleted?

A warm bath with rose petals
A steaming cup of chai tea
The therapy of watching the rain from your window
Reading beautiful poetry
Dappled light dancing on your face
The romance of stargazing from the porch on balmy evening

Your restorers are simple things, soothing things. They are things that rebuild your tired body and mend your soul. They are gentle healing touchstones that resuscitate your inner life. They say that ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’, which makes it easy to reach for the destructive things that could send you further down a spiral of negativity. But, do you know how to reach out for the things that restore your balance or refuel your inner juices instead?

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What do you turn to at the end of a long day?

A hug

A heartfelt conversation with a friend
A healing crystal

Dancing to your favourite song

A vase of flowers on your night stand
Beautiful soft cotton linen
Lavender under your pillow

The more I explore conversations with women around self-love, self-care and depletion (especially during times of extreme emotional turmoil), the more I see how we don’t create space for the sacred ceremony of restoration. Instead, we wait until we reach the messy edge of quiet desperation, a place that all too familiar. A sentiment constantly reinforced is that there are so many things that demand our energy. We are the givers, lending our hands and hearts to those who need us. We are the hard workers, pouring everything we have into the beauty we wish to create. We lose ourselves in the process. We forget to nurture ourselves back to fullness and so we run dry. But why should it take takes reaching breaking point to heed your soul’s call or for you to remember to breathe easy, be gentle, nurture and restore so that the chambers of your heart fill up with the energy, light and inspiration your need to keep going?

If there is one profound lesson that reaching back to life from the edge of burnout, of dealing with lost pregnancies and those taxing moments midst of my fertility journey has taught me, it’s that  – I need to be my own nurturer. Sometimes, it’s harder to choose what serves my well-being over what will cause more harm, because those bumps in the road can become excuses for all the wrong things (overindulging in sugar, not exercising, not meditating, relinquishing important commitments, etc). This understanding inspires me keep asking questions about how I allow moments for restoration daily in order to nurture my well-being and where I can integrate self-care rituals so that they become a natural part of my life that continues to raise my vibration or keep me both spiritually and emotionally grounded.

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I’ve found these two questions are powerful anchors that guide me back to myself and I encourage you to explore them for yourself too:

What is the most healing or nurturing thing I can do for myself right now? and What restores me?

Take stock of whatever your restorers are. Remember them, write them down and keep them close to your heart. Make room for them at the end of each day. They will serve you. They will heal you. They bring you back to life when you are on the brink of falling apart. And if you do fall apart, because sometimes you need to, they are the balm that will piece your fragmented soul back together.

 

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How to Fill Your Own Cup: 3 Rituals to Restore Your Soul

 

Waxing Moon.

Quench your thirst. Restore your soul.

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How do you fill your own cup? When your body is aching and your heart is empty, how do you reach beyond that place of depletion to restore your tired soul? When the world has disappointed you and you lose sight of your path, how do you carve out the space to come home to your sacred self?

Our modern world is made up of over-scheduled and frenzied lifestyles, so much so that it becomes difficult to heed the heart’s call to slow down. It’s so easy to give to others – to pour your heart, your love and your entire being into the things they need of you or into the tasks that demand your time. But when it comes to filling your own cup, does the giving come as easy? Too many of us put ourselves last, often at the expense of our own well-being. In the end, the ‘deep river within’ (as Abby Seixas describes it) runs dry.

Despite the fact that words like ‘self-care’ and ‘self-love’ have become common place, the deeper I go into conversation with women, the more I see just how many of us are still begging for permission to care for and restore ourselves. It’s a common theme that seems to crop up around this time when so many reach the end of the year feeling overwhelmed, overworked, completely depleted and desperate for a break from life.

We constantly need reminders that ‘Me-time’ is a necessity, not a luxury. Creating breathing space is not just an act of self-love, but also a means of self-preservation. It serves your well-being and your highest good, which in turn sets up a positive effect that trickles down into your work and relationships.

With this in mind, here are three ideas for simple + soulful self-care rituals to nourish and refuel your soul:

The Cup of Restoration: Create a list of things that you need to fill you up: Things that restore you, things that help you breathe easier, things that make you feel supported, things that inspire your and things that bring you joy.  Write each individual item on a small piece of paper and then place the bits of paper in a cup. This is your cup of restoration. Visit your cup once a day (or at least a couple of times a week) and pull one piece of paper out. Then do that one thing to nurture your soul and fill your own cup. Keep refilling your cup of restoration from time to time and make sure that it stays full of ideas and prompts to nurture your soul with.

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 A Cup of Light: Get yourself a teacup candle (or simply place a small candle in a teacup if that’s easier). Light your teacup candle once a day and take some time out for yourself. Meditated, unwind, listen to soothing music, read something that you love or just do something fun and relaxing. Do whatever makes you feel most nurtured.  When you feel you’ve had enough breathing space, then blow the candle out. Return to your cup of light daily to for some time to yourself.

A Teatime Ritual: A teatime ritual is one of my favourite daily practices. For this ritual, make yourself a pot of cup of your favourite tea either in the morning when the world is still calm and slowly waking up, in the late afternoon or at night when you have a moment of quiet before bed. If you like, you can light some candles and just find a quiet spot in your home where you can be alone for a little while. Or you can find a relaxing spot in the garden, surrounded by beauty. Sip your tea mindfully, taking in the aroma and taste. Feel yourself relax, breathe easier and visualise yourself quenching your soul’s thirst for replenishment and your inner well filling up with each sip that you take.

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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.