I’ve been paying more attention during my writing job. I always paid attention while taking notes and writing things out, but I’ve been experimenting consciously some of the things that come up in discussion.
I’ve been on the train about food being medicine for a while now. Everyone has a story about the history of their relationship with food; the stories are always rampant in restaurant owners and chefs, as well as within our own lives cliches about food and community, food and relationship to external world, etc etc. I personally, get tired of them, but appreciate them nonetheless. Mine, like me has been a relationship of experimentation and exploration, different diets that have ended up exposing me to more and more interesting queries that have in turn, informed the overall course of my life and actions. Now I’m on a more healing, holistically disciplined medicinal train, of using foods as ways to maintain health, prevent and curb diseases and have paid attention to my mental and emotional states in response to different foods.
In many of our discussions recently, instead of focusing on the food and the macrobiotic practice itself, which though flexible, still takes a lot of commitment to consistency more than any other lifestyle I’ve been exposed to, we’ve been talking about the “yin” aspects, or the emotional undercurrent of the practice, which I’ve been more interested in from the start.
I’m a real lousy macrobiotic right now, but it’s okay. I’m in turbulence. That’s okay too. But I have been very consistent with making a ritual out of bathing, once a week.
I’m in the middle of making a poem about it right now, as my last bath of the year was really inspiring and beautiful, but the feelings are still too young and the thoughts still too burdensome and the images too concrete.
But, I had to work on new years, and the last thing we’ve been talking about is of using liquids and fluids in your life to help moderate your emotions. Water, the primordial fluid enraptures us all. I take communion with water once/week.
Here was my literal metaphorical bath for healing and invigoration, a goodbye, make peace with the year and prepare for the next formula:
Hot Hot Water, the hottest.
While running, dissolve three handfuls of mineral salts in the water(Epsom works)
Ounce of peppermint oil
A small handful of yarrow
A small handful of chamomile
Light a candle. I surrounded my candle with my favorite rocks I’ve found and a rose quartz stone.
As water sits, go in slowly, limb by limb. Observe self in mirror. Have nice posture, heart radiate outward. Feel all parts of body, thinking of healing, thinking of the accumulated dirt. Feel forehead. Feel heart. Feel stomach. Feel genitals. Feel the energy of the water rush up the skin as you sink in and try to match the temperature. Feel the dirt wash off immediately. Sink in to the water. Feel the salts open your pores, breathe in the scents of the herbs and oils.
Scrub your body raw with a sponge. Feel the tingles, get rid of the dead skin.
Wash your body, every surface, especially the back and feet. I used olive oil based and oatmeal soap. Wash your armpits and genitals next, caressing everything. Enjoy that part. Close your eyes. Invite love.
I washed my face with Noxema, which has acid. I know it’s probably not the most healthy thing for my face, but after letting the noxema work, I put on an avocado clay mask for ten minutes. Brush your hair in the water, getting rid of the dead ones. Use shampoo if you do. I just do a scalp massage and wash with vinegar.
When you’re washed, lay in the water and breathe deeply for as long as you like.
When you get out and dry off, slowly and ritualistically return all of the soaps and objects to their proper place.
To cap off the ritual, I use witch hazel all over my face.
To end, I rub my forehead and heart with rose and lavendar oils and invite my spirit to take me where it will.
I’ve been overly sensitive in modern terms after this bath, quivering, clean and alive. Emotionally sensitive, intelectually sensitive. Don’t forget about balance.