The routines and rituals we perform each day can define who we become. Imagine if through self-awareness and by weaving in therapeutic tools and techniques into one of the most commonly performed rituals we do each day, we could tap into our own inner resources and strengths and capture our best attributes inside and out.
A Conscious Beauty Ritual is about slowing down and taking the time to invest in your own self- care because when we take care of our own needs we are better equipped to rise to any challenges we may be facing and to be of service to others. This is your time to replenish, connect and invest in yourself & capture your best attributes inside and out.
The rise of cultural stress, is having a detrimental impact on our skin, sleep and our physical and emotional well-being. With mental health issues like depression and anxiety rising steadily each the the time to take action is now.
So how do you create a Conscious Beauty Ritual?
1) Get Centered.
There is a saying” Live in your head and you are dead” as this is where when we are stressed we can catastrophize and ruminate and often use our imagination in ways that can be unhelpful to our emotional wellbeing. High levels of emotional arousal actually shut down access to the higher perceptual centres of the brain where problem solving solutions can be found; so learning to relax is a must.
One of the quickest ways to get out of your head and back into your body and into the present moment is through your senses. When you apply your cleanser, serum or moisturiser feel your fingertips on your face, focus on the feeling of your touch as this is a compelling way to self soothe and connect with yourself. Listen for any sounds, around you, maybe you can hear birdsong, or just the sound of the tap running. Use your visual senses and close your eyes and guide your imagination to your dream place of relaxation. Choose a cleanser that helps evoke a sensory experience. Some have a scent that may appeal to you or a texture, so choose one that feels right.
Note: Practice slowing down throughout your day and performing a body scan or just focusing on the movement of your feet as you are walking, or the feel of your breath moving in and out of your body. These sort of small actions, performed every 90 mins can help reduce stress levels and allow your brain to shift form left hemisphere (logic and planning) to right hemisphere (day dreaming) and file away what you have been absorbing. Practising this will help you centre yourself into the present more swiftly when creating your beauty ritual.
2) Notice Your Thoughts.
When you apply your make up or execute your beauty routine notice what are you thinking. Creating awareness of what thoughts emerge when looking in the mirror is key to questioning them and discovering the meaning you attach to them. If while looking at yourself in the mirror and applying your eyeliner or mascara your thoughts become irritated at a perceived imperfection, this is your chance to reframe that thought to something that is more caring and empowering towards yourself that expands your possibilities rather than limiting them. Turn any criticism of yourself over from what is wrong to what is right. We live in a culture that bombards images of the latest definition of what is currently ‘beautiful’ but remember, beauty is a social and cultural construct and varies depending of the trend! Choose your version of what ‘beautiful’ is inside and out.
Note: Write down the most persistent and negative thoughts that comes up during your beauty ritual and next time you notice them ask yourself these questions.
“If I were to wake up tomorrow and the challenge I feel was gone, what would I be doing?” What wouldn’t I be doing?” ” How would I feel?” “What could be the first step to me creating that version of myself?” Look for what is within your control, realistic and achievable.
3) Listen to your self- talk.
While applying your blush or highlighter, Listen for the critical committee in your head! we all have them, the judge, the victim, the pleaser, the perfectionist! Do they sound familiar? Naming that voice that tells you are not enough or you can’t do something can help disassociate from it. Literally give her or him a name and call them out when they pipe up! Victoria the victim, judging Julia or Paula the perfectionist! Summon your stronger players. Courageous Caroline, Empowered Edie, Focused Felicity! Get playful with this as humor is a great emotional pattern breaker. Remember those times in your life when you have embodied the character that you need to be in order to create what you desire. Your imagination is a reality generator so put it to good use.
Note: During your day notice when a member of the ‘critical committee’ pops up and observe the behavior that goes with the thought. Write down other ways you could behave that would serve you and those around you at a higher level. Stay alert to all the positive and caring steps you take and generate feeling of gratitude.
4) Speak words of kindness.
The words you speak will create an emotional response. Think about when a person you love calls you by a nick name, the chances are you feel sense of connection and warmth. Sometimes the words we speak to ourselves can be damming and harsh, inpatient or unkind. When you are putting on your lipstick or lip balm, take this time to choose to say powerful, words of affirmation to yourself while looking in the mirror. It is a way of setting up a conscious connection with yourself that leads to new and empowering ways of thinking. The relationship we have with ourselves is essential to our long-term wellbeing so you may as well make it a fulfilling one.
Making eye contact with yourself in the mirror can bring up resistance but if this happens stay with the process and find 3 things to appreciate about yourself.
It could be about as simple as saying “I like you” ‘Today, I am enough just as I am”
The affirmation could be around your intellect “I love my ability to slay a puzzle” or about your body- ‘I love my kind heart” or “I am grateful to be breathing”
Note: Notice how you feel after saying the affirmations. The more we practice creating a healthy dialogue with ourselves the more natural the practice will become.
If you are struggling with this then ask good quality questions like “ “What do I admire about who I am?” or “What am I grateful for today” Quality questions will lead to quality answers.
5) Set your intention for the day.
When you finish creating your look think about setting your intention for the day. What outcome are you looking for?
Setting your intention activates a part of the brain called the reticular activating system. Its job is filter out information you don’t need to stop you becoming overloaded. When you set your intention and get clear on how you would like your day to go then it will request your brain to seek out information that will serve you. If I said to you look for everything that is red and then asked you to tell me what you saw that was blue, you wouldn’t have seen any blue because your focus wasn’t there! Remember, Clarity is key to creating what you want and when people are making progress they tend to feel a greater sense of fulfilment.
Note: Ask yourself how you can show up in the world as the force you want to see? What value can you bring to those around you?
Choose to come from a place of appreciation rather than expectation and notice how you feel throughout your day.
If you are creating an evening ritual, then recalling all the parts of the day that you are grateful for and focusing on what you learnt even if the day didn’t go as you hoped will help create an empowering dialogue with yourself.