The wall fell down
Several years ago, a huge stonewall collapsed in our garden. A tree had pushed its roots out into the wall and held the wall together, kind of. The tree died and the roots decomposed, leaving the area behind the wall empty and it collapsed in a massive downpour.
The whole thing made me wonder about caring for things and caring for ourselves. The geological engineer who came to approve the replacement wall said, I probably couldn’t have done much to prevent it other than knocking the whole wall down. When he looked at the other walls around the place, he smiled and said, ‘Old walls like these don’t know they should fall down. If you don’t tell them they won’t know any better. They’ll probably survive for a long time to come with some basic maintenance and with more care they’ll look great.’
Why it’s not vain to look after ourselves
Our bodies are the same as the walls, okay maybe they look a little bit different, but bear with me. Yes, sometimes catastrophe or illness strike, but basic love and care will keep our bodies upright and more care will keep them in good nick. I had to laugh when I made the connection, because I was probably kinder and better to the walls than myself.
You see, I grew up in a family where looking after yourself was seen as vanity and something to be ashamed of. Yet, I’d worked in the beauty industry for many years and all the while, I’d seen it as an indulgence and yes, something a bit shameful, so this discovery was a revolution for me. A whole new world order.
Tahdah! It’s not vanity to look after ourselves, it’s healthful, responsible, even. Nor does the amount of time we spend on ourselves determine this perceived vanity. It’s the reasons why we do it and what we say to ourselves that determines, so called, vanity.
By nourishing our body and face in a kind way we’re saying, ‘I matter. I’m worth taking the time to care for. I want to be in good nick for a while.’ Whereas if I approach looking after myself with a view that I am not enough and someone else has better toes than me, this leads to competitiveness and obsessions.
So, I’m still a bit obsessed about the fact I have alien toes, but on the whole, this shift in thinking has helped me a lot. I didn’t know how to completely stop comparing myself to others and still don’t. I feel like I’ve just put that side of me in the corner and just given it less and less thought over the years. How do you manage the big bad daddy comparison? I’d love to knock this one out of the park.
Uplifting eye cream
This recipe uses lemon essential oil because it is thought to help lift our spirits and our faces.
My cosmetic chemistry books tell me that not adding water means it can be made preservative free, but keeping the lid on and using a spatula or similar will prolong the lifespan. How you treat the product will determine the shelf life.
- 4 teaspoons avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons calendula oil
- 2 teaspoons rosehip oil
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch or corn flour (the white one)
- 2 teaspoons melted beeswax (or 10g/0.3oz)
- 1 vitamin E capsule
- 3 drops lemon essential oil
- Using a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl sitting in a pan. Allow the water in the saucepan or base of the double to boil gently.
- Add all the ingredients, except for vitamin E and essential, to the stainless steel bowl (or top of the double boiler) and stir gently, ideally with a whisk, until well and truly melted.
- Take off the heat and off the water.
- Stir in essential oil and vitamin E.
- Pour into sterile jars.
- Put the lids on once the cream is set and cool.
Aromatherapy: AN A-Z, Patricia Davis, 1995
Cosmetic Formulations: An Advanced Guide, Belinda Pilmore, 2012