DE-STRESS: WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I DID AN HERBAL STEAM
Busy used to be the measure of success. See also hustling. The pendulum is swinging back in the other direction, as more often we’re hearing about the Holy Grail of the work life balance.
I am trying to deprogram myself from the rise and grind mindset. Waking up and looking at my phone with one eye open, heart racing from the number of emails, or lack thereof, is no way to live.
I used to be a relaxed person. I’d read whole books in one sitting even. Now I’ve got a stack of books sitting dog-eared a quarter of the way in because I got distracted, refused to reread the beginning, and had to start a new one.
It took me two days from the time I received the Herbal Detoxifying Steam with Flowers + Cleansing Herbs to actually sit down and do it. I had time. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in silence for 15 minutes. Everything is so interesting when you’re procrastinating.
Finally I committed. I poured boiling water over the rainbow of dried flowers and within a few seconds the mixture came to life. An entire flower bloomed underwater; it was beautiful. I sat on my floor with the bowl on a stool and placed my face over it, a towel draping around my head. Cocooned in this mini sweat lodge, I saw clearly how my thoughts would not stop racing. It was like flipping through TV channels. Work. That missing button on my coat. The ocean filling with plastic. Donuts. I counted my breaths and was able to be present in the moment for a few seconds before the timer went off. I was hooked.
The next two sessions using the herbal steam were just as challenging, but I was able to clear my thoughts more quickly each time. I found myself looking forward to the steam. For a few minutes I didn’t have to do anything except sit and breathe without distraction. As a bonus, I used the leftover floral water to mix into a face mask. Happy inside, happy outside.
More than anything, this has been a meditation on self-love. Just sitting inside my body and being OK with that. OK with who I am and where I am. As RuPaul says,“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Thank you Apoterra for encouraging me to stop and smell the flowers.