Skin Care Meditations

IMG_1842We can live a more elegant life by turning everyday routines into special rituals. You probably do some type of skin care every morning and evening. If you’re like me, you often rush through the process without giving it much thought. Routine skin care can be transformed into a twice-a-day meditation that cares for your face as well as your soul.

Vicky Tsai, founder of the luxury skin care line Tatcha, said, “Skin care is self-care.” She claims her own skin care discoveries came at a time when both her skin and her heart were broken. Our skin can react to stress, worry, and heartache with acne, rosacea, dermatitis, deepening wrinkles, and other unpleasant conditions. It can be a vicious cycle of stress causing skin problems causing more stress.

No matter what products we choose to use, most skin care routines include cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Let’s turn each of those steps into a calming and centering meditation morning and night.

Morning Skin Care Meditation:

Cleansing ~ Cleanse your face slowly and gently the way an esthetician might do during a facial. Picture starting the new day with a clean slate. Set intentions for your skin, heart, and mind to stay clear throughout the day. That might mean eating clean foods, shutting down negativity, and sending pure, wholesome thoughts to yourself and others.

Exfoliating ~ Most experts agree skin needs regular exfoliation to help skin cell turnover, which slows down as we age. Regardless of the type of exfoliator you use, the goal is to make skin more luminous and vibrant. In the morning, picture the process giving your skin a healthy bright glow, which you reflect in your attitude throughout the day.

Moisturizing ~ In the morning, take time to pamper your skin with a moisturizer suitable for your skin’s needs. As you massage it into your skin, focus on the product soothing and protecting your skin from the ravages of the day. Make a promise to do all you can to treat yourself and others gently.

Evening Skin Care Meditation:

Cleansing ~ At night, as you wash away make-up, dirt, and oil, imagine stress from the day going right down the drain. As you rid impurities from your skin, breathe deeply and focus on clearing your heart and mind for a good night’s sleep.

Exfoliating ~ Evening exfoliation is a time to meditate on every cell in your body resting and rejuvenating. As your skin lets go of dead skin, consciously let go of old thoughts and ideas that aren’t serving you. Begin to move more slowly and intentionally to let your body know it’s time to wind down and benefit from the healing, restorative properties of sleep.

Moisturizing ~ Use your moisturizer and your fingers or tool to give yourself a relaxing facial massage. Gently smooth away wrinkles and worries. Before turning out the light, take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror with love, gratitude, and compassion. Go to sleep feeling beautiful, because you are. §

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
~Mandy Hale

Featured Art ~ Mary Cassatt, “Woman Bathing (La Toilette)” 1890-1891

Less Garbage More Love – a short story written by my son

This story was written by my son, Mac Griffin, who kindly let me share it here.

Again, I forget to take the trash to the curb, so I begin the recurring process of taking it to the dump. I pull the trash cans from the backyard to the driveway and heave them into the back of my truck. By this time, self-defeating thoughts pile up in my mind like the trash spilling from the cans.

Driving to the dump, the negative voices continue. You idiot. How hard is it to remember to take out the trash? My dog, Maverick, sits in the passenger seat. I bring him along for emotional support. His head hangs out the window, drool flying out of his mouth.

I realize Maverick is having a great time. So why is it so terrible for me? The trip to the dump takes only thirty minutes and brings me out for a ride in the sunshine with my best friend. As we pull around the corner a couple of blocks from the dump, I begin to toss the rubbish from my head and allow it to be filled with the sounds of Led Zeppelin blaring through my speakers.

On the corner an old man sits in a lawn chair and waves to the cars passing through the intersection. As I approach the stop sign, I raise my hand in a subtle hello. The man gives me an exaggerated wave, like a person waving to loved ones from the deck of a boat in a cheesy romantic comedy. As I pass he yells, “God bless you!”

On most days I would have responded differently to this man. I’m not religious. Your words have no meaning to me. On this day, however, I feel gratitude. Why disregard love just because it comes from an unfamiliar place? Here’s a man taking time from his day to spread kindness through his community. His belief about the source of love doesn’t really matter. Love is real, and he is sharing it.

This positive mindset is unusual for my brain, which usually hovers between cynicism and criticism, as a hummingbird hovers between two gloomy flowers. I like this feeling. I enjoy stripping the man’s words down to their essence and accepting them graciously.

The man doesn’t seem to care if anyone reciprocates what he has to offer. He cares about giving his neighbors something we need – solidarity, support and love. No, his words don’t erase the pain of losing your job or the fear of not knowing how you’ll pay the rent, but they remind you you’re not alone.

Especially during this uncertain time, I realize we really are all in this together. Perhaps we’re not in the same boat, some having yachts and others barely staying afloat on a piece of driftwood, but if we recognize we are navigating the same waters, we can begin to conquer the waves together.

After I dump the trash, I climb back in the truck, give Maverick a pat and turn up Zeppelin, grateful to be carrying less garbage and more love. §