I recently shared on Instagram about my personal journey with self-care: how I bounced from no self-care routine to a subtly self-sabotaging routine, then back to no routine, finally to land where I am now, with a preciously crafted self-care routine that allows me to feel vibrant, radiant, graceful, and sexy. In the comments, a gorgeous conversation sparked that got me thinking about the numerous scripts that women are given, dictating how we should be or what we should be doing at any given moment.
By far the majority of my life thus far has been spent catering to these scripts, often without my intention or awareness. I was obsessed with beauty from a young age because I felt it always evaded me. Layers of makeup, expensive chemical products, toxic perfumes… these were my security blankets, my personal addiction. I pressured my parents to let me wear makeup before I was ten and, once they caved, there was no going back. Or so I thought.
After a decade of being covered in both makeup and insecurities, something broke in me. Or maybe it was me breaking open to the world. Either way, I gained the sudden conviction to stop wearing makeup, to stop wearing contacts, to stop doing my hair, to stop shaving my body, to stop wearing any scents. I used only Dr. Bronner’s soap on my skin and nothing else. I wanted to be completely bare, completely natural. And my body ultimately was grateful for this period of rest after a decade at war. For the first time in my life, I fully faced myself and slowly began to appreciate who I saw. I began living by the moon and pampering myself on auspicious days, yet didn’t spend much time on myself or with myself on a daily basis. Stripping myself down made me feel authentic but it didn’t make me feel sexy, so I often avoided extended time alone with my body. I was never excited to go out with others because I felt like the plainness of my physical container would leave others bored and uninterested. Of course, at this point, I was still giving away my power by allowing what others potentially thought of me to cause an inner disturbance. I knew by then that this was not the only way. I also knew that spending money on beauty care products, gorgeous clothing, and luxury self-care wasn’t going to do much for me. I don’t remember exactly what led me to Kundalini Yoga, but I am truly grateful to have found it. For me, it has been the greatest catalyst for change that I have yet to experience. It took some time, but I slowly cultivated a daily practice. In that practice, I began listening to the soft flashes of inspiration that regularly occurred. The first was a facial oil that healed my skin after over a decade of acne. Everything I have created since then first began as a thought that arose in a meditation during my daily practice.
My practice has given me much more than an almost unbelievably potent skincare routine, however. It brought me back to myself by clearing away all the scripts that I had picked up and stored subconsciously for all this time. With the subconscious garbage getting cleared out, I found myself seeing with newfound clarity the ways in which I have let myself be influenced by outside sources. I realized that the issue didn’t lie in my actions, but the energy that drove them. It wasn’t that I was shaving my legs - it’s that I was shaving my legs thinking, “This is the only way in which I will be loved and accepted,” instead of, “This is what I want to do because I fully love myself, I love feeling sexy, and I love the way shaven legs feel against bedsheets.”
I see so many women who are crumbling beneath the weight of other’s expectations for them. I certainly was one of them for many years. It can seem like the world is playing pinball with us: natural beauty is highly regarded in theory, but rarely celebrated in actuality. Which makes it really hard for us, as women, to navigate. I realized in retrospect that this is why my dally practice with Kundalini Yoga was such a game-changer: because it restored my inner compass. It gave me back to myself, cleared away the limiting scripts, and reminded me that I have all I need within to navigate this journey, this experience as a woman.
I have met so many women who are searching for ways to connect more with their bodies and spirits. When I dropped the scripts around what I should be doing as a women and got clear on what made me feel vibrant, radiant, and sexy, I was able to tap into an inner-beauty and confidence that has truly astounded me. And I want to share that with you!
Everyone is different and will resonate with different practices. Remember: you contain your own inner compass that will lead you to the most divine daily practice for YOU. These are a few of my personal practices that cultivate an experience of radiance.
Dancing :: Anytime I want to feel more vibrant and sexy, I dance. I love to shake my hips and move my body with the beat. At times, I have to fake it before I feel it and I do it anyways! Once my body and energy starts flowing, the authentic feelings arise naturally.
Loving Skincare Ritual :: As I mentioned earlier, I received messages in my meditations early on that prompted a skincare ritual. I use my own preciously crafted products but, again, find the real magic lies in the energy driving the action. Massaging my skin with gorgeous skincare, I imagine golden light flowing from my fingertips and just beneath the surface of my skin, healing and nourishing me. I open my eyes and tell myself over and over how beautiful I am, how radiant my skin is, how full of goodness and grace my heart is. I always smile as big as I can without getting too silly, as I am entranced in a divinely romantic state with myself. I make a point not to focus my vision on any breakouts, but if I do, I bless them with deep love and remember my gratitude for their place in my life.
A Signature Scent :: Another flash of inspiration I received in my daily practice was regarding a sacred anointing oil blend that I would use to deepen my practice and reconnect to my divine nature. I crafted the blend and have been using it almost exclusively since then, only having made the one small batch. Each time I use it, I am reminded of my innate beauty, my deepest radiance. I also love to use affirmations when applying scents.
Movement :: Somewhat similar to dancing, yet I find that more intense physical exercise stimulates and strengthens our personal-power and confidence. I feel my sexiest when I keep an exercise routine, point blank. For me, deep yogic stretching and flows just isn’t enough - I prefer to do circuit training with weights, five days a week. On top of that, I am grateful to be able to take a walk everyday. Some days it’s five minutes around the block, others it’s hours atop a mountain. I prefer to stay adaptive with my exercise routine as it’s the only way I’ve been able to stay on the wagon!
Meditation :: I saved it for last, but it’s actually the first thing I credit anytime I am complemented on my appearance or demeanor. This is what Ritual Radiance is all about: cultivating the experience of radiance that comes from within. Skincare products can be a vehicle for this, but meditation is key. In meditation, we are able to fully tap into our limitlessness, our radiance, our divinity, and our ever-expanding inner worlds. Tapping into our true nature through meditation is what activates us in all ways.