I prefer my shower temperature somewhere between scalding and boiling. You know all those hot and heavy shower sex scenes? Not in my future. Kevin is astounded at the temps that I adore and is incredibly keen on staying out when I’m in.
But I’m about to make a big switch. I’m going to start taking cold showers.
Pause for reaction and a little context …
This past weekend I attended Mejuri‘s Wellness Weekend which consisted of several workshops and classes all about healing and promoting inner and outer beauty. My favorite piece of the weekend was a masterclass in which Desiree Pais, the beauty editor for Herbivore Botanicals, walked us through several daily rituals we could introduce into our routines to promote our radical, feminine, beauty. The rituals ranged from yoga postures to meditation & breathing exercises to different skincare masks, oils, and serums. There were a few that really stood out to me:
- Starting each day with 3 minutes of cat-cow postures. I plan on completing these before I get out of bed to wake up my breath, body, and circulation.
- Channeling a woman you admire to stave off insecurities. Choosing someone powerful and strong who has all the qualities that you admire, and focusing on that person’s energy when you are feeling low to zap yourself back into self-love. It’s not about becoming another person, it’s about feeling their vibrations and using that to spark the same energy in you.
- The One-Minute Breath. This is a Kundalini yoga breathing technique that is much more intense than it initially sounds. Inhale for 20 seconds, Hold for 20 seconds, Exhale for 20 seconds. Let me tell you, it is incredibly focusing. I’m starting with the smaller goal of 10 in/10 hold/10 out for 5 minutes every morning. Here’s a blog post, written by Herbivore on the one-minute breath.
- Cold Showers in the morning. Using the burst of cold water to wake up all those little blood vessels and flush out any lymph, toxins, etc and reinvigorate.
I was easily on board with the first three, but that cold shower? I was less convinced. However, I’m a “try everything once” kind of woman and I figured it was worth a shot. After running a few post workshop errands I came home, turned the shower on, and got ready to face it. I set myself a 4-minute timer and (filled with images of Rose saying goodbye to Jack) stepped in.
The first 30 seconds, incredibly rough (and I only had my legs in).
The next 30 weren’t that great either as I doused my arm in ice, but then I remembered something Desiree had mentioned: rub your body. I began massaging my legs and arms and focusing on deep breathing and after a minute I was able to get under the water completely.
By minute 3 I felt strangely warm (?) and was genuinely enjoying putting my face under the glacial water streaming from my shower head.
I completed my 4-minute goal and am hooked. I knew I had to sit down and write this immediately, because I was so shocked at how quickly, in just one day, I had such a radical “ah-ha” moment. Not only did I have an “ah-ha” moment about taking a cold shower, but I had a larger light bulb moment about beauty and how we value and judge beauty in the U.S.
BEAUTY IS A BIRTHRIGHT
Your beauty is a birthright. You are born beautiful. You deserve to feel beautiful. Not sometimes, not on a good day, but every day. Every second of every day. In the U.S. we value beauty, but shame the path to get there. If you want to be beautiful or share your beauty you are egotistical, vapid, shallow, and clearly compensating for a lack of confidence.
We emphasize how important inner beauty is, but don’t provide any framework for finding it, embracing it, magnifying it.
Ingrain your beauty in every moment you have with yourself. Don’t just go through the motions of self-care, embrace the moments of self-care. Speak to yourself softly and gently and love yourself.
Love yourself with a long bath after a tough day. Love yourself with a facial massage to elevate some of that forehead tension. Love yourself with a little lip filler to boost your pout. Love yourself with a spin class. Love yourself with eating the “right” foods. Love yourself with eating the “wrong” foods.
Love yourself in all the ways that make you happy. There’s no right or wrong way to love yourself. There is no hierarchy of self-love. There is no hierarchy of beauty.
photo courtesy of Herbivore Botanicals