In terms of productivity, I thought 2018 was a really great (and remarkably satisfying) year for me. I set goals and I met goals, just one after another. Sometimes it took me longer than I’d predicted, but if, in the end, I reached said goal, I never hesitated to crown it a raving success. But as I sit here, just one tiny step into 2019, I can review last year in one of two ways: the first is to see it as completely daunting. I set the bar so dang high (for myself, by myself) that it makes me wonder if it was some kind of fluke, because with so many demands on my time and for my attention, how on earth did I manage to accomplish so much? But at the same time, it shows me that we’re capable of much, much more than we give ourselves credit for. And it has me thinking about where I’m heading this year, and wondering if I’m reaching high enough. It’s tempting to make my goals easily doable because then it’s so much harder to fail. But if I do that, then I never really fly, either. And flying is just so much fun.
And yes, it took tremendous amounts of effort; I had to keep moving steadily all year long, from start to finish. I’d recharge myself daily with meditations and sleep, and then get up and do it all over again the next day. It was pretty much a repeat cycle all year long, with just enough visual progress to tell me that I was still moving in a forward direction. And even though the girls and I talk sometimes about how “easy” our life would be were we not on the spiritual path, and how much more time we’d have in a day, I know full well how much of a lie that is. Working for God and Guru is exactly the reason why I’ve been able to accomplish so much. And yeah, sometimes I think longingly of all those extra hours I’d have without the meditations, but I’m never really able to fool myself into thinking I’d be able to accomplish more. Because realistically, I know I’ve never been as productive, with less time but more meditation, than I am now. So my pace might be slower, but isn’t it always the slow and steady that wins the race? If it worked for the tortoise, I figure it can work for me, too.
So, last year was all about finding myself a comfortable niche on Instagram, starting the business (which involves more steps than I could list here), and launching this blog. As far as IG is concerned, I was pleasantly surprised, especially considering how much I dislike social media as a whole. While I know that numbers are important to draw people back here, I had to be very careful not to make them more important than they are. It’s far too similar to the popularity contest that is high school; a constant tightrope walk of one minute being loved, the next not so much. So instead of focusing on the numbers, I focus on the people. And that’s precisely how I managed to survive there (and make some truly remarkable friends). So, I’m pretty comfortable with my Instagram game at this point – I talk (a lot and freely) about the things that I believe matter most. Not everyone likes that, but fortunately for them the unfollow button is really easy to find. And with patience, and the your-vibe-attracts-your-tribe mentality, I’ll get where I need to be. I think that quality and never-ending patience are two of the biggest keys to success, and I’m working on both.
But I’m thinking (at least for now) that 2019 will be a lot about this space here, this blog and this business. I was content last year to simply get it up and running, but haven’t yet been able to invest much time and energy into helping it grow. In much the same way that my IG account needed my love and attention to draw kindred souls in, that’s what the Follow Us Home blog needs more of, too. We’ll develop a regular posting routine, familiarize ourselves with the set-up, and really give it a good, solid push. Both Jordan and I seem to have brought along some good business karma for this particular journey, so I figure between the two of us we can steer this ship exactly where we want it to go. That being said, it’s only one of my goals, and if 2019 is anything like 2018 was, then fresh opportunities will present themselves with (sometimes alarming) regularity. I’ll let you know a year from now if I somehow managed to top 2018. Although honestly, if I make it just as high, I’ll crown that a raving success, too.
And now, with my musings out of the way, let’s move on to my eco recipe of the month. Just like anything else that I post on this page, there’s a reason why behind the recipe. And yes, I sometimes daydream about how my life would be a whole lot easier if I could zip over to the nearest drugstore and grab a bottle of lotion or shampoo or cleaner off the shelves. Just imagine the time I’d have if I wasn’t always ordering supplies and whipping up concoctions or making all of my food from scratch. (Let’s face it, I’d probably just be writing one novel after another.) But after a fair amount of research many years ago, I decided I didn’t want to be a guinea pig; there are just too many chemicals of which we have no idea of the repercussions. Better safe than sorry, I figure, and somehow I manage to make the time.
So, why lotion, right? How much does what you put on your skin really matter? Well, personally, I think it matters a lot. A lot lot, especially considering that your skin is the largest organ of your body, absorbing roughly 60% of whatever you put on it. So, pretty much the general rule of thumb is if it’s safe to put in the body, then it’s safe to put on the body. That’s not to say that I make a snack out of this lotion, but still, I think you get the picture. Minus the vitamin E, all of the ingredients are edible, so absorbing as much of this as your body wants/needs is a safe route to go. And if it gets my stamp of approval, well. Let’s just say it takes a lot to meet my safety standards.
As far as this lotion goes, it’ll probably take a little getting used to compared to traditional body lotions. When needed I apply it after showering, let my body absorb what it will, then wipe off any excess (the oil will stain clothes if I just apply and go). It’s also somewhat of a bear to clean up after making (all that oily wax), but again, if eliminating chemicals matters to you, then it’s just another minor nuisance to accommodate. So, enough with the chit-chat; let’s tackle some DIY beauty care.
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An all natural, chemical free hand and body lotion to soften, moisturize and rejuvenate dry skin.
(I use a small mail scale to measure out the wax and butters.)
1. Add both of the oils, shea butter, cocoa butter and carnauba wax to a glass measuring cup and place it in a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water. (This is used in place of a double boiler which is preferable if you own one). Over medium heat warm until all of the ingredients are completely melted. Carnauba wax is an extremely hard wax and will take some time to melt thoroughly so be patient and stir regularly as the wax melts.
2. Once melted, remove from the heat and add in the vitamin e and essential oils if desired. Stir well once more and set aside the mixture until is has cooled completely and thickened nicely.
3. In a clean blender add the distilled water and start the blender on a high speed. Quickly and steadily add the oil/wax mixture to the water in the running blender and keep running until well mixed. The water amount is a bit too much and not all of it will blend in (this just makes it easier for my blender to easily mix.) Blend until you've got a smooth, thick, mostly blended lotion and then pour off any excess water.
4. Pour the lotion into a clean glass container and keep it covered. Store all extra lotion in the refrigerator.
Using distilled water is very important, especially if opting out of the vitamin e. Distilled water is free from contaminants (unlike tap water) and will help to prevent spoilage.
The vitamin e oil is used as a natural preservative, but it can also be made without. Two of my girls have vitamin e sensitivities here and I've had to eliminate it in my concoctions. To prevent spoilage make sure not to get the lotion in the container wet, and only keep out small amounts (a couple of week's worth) at a time. I store the excess in the refrigerator and refill it as needed. In the summer heat it will obviously spoil more quickly, but I usually never have a problem. When refilling your daily container with the refrigerated lotion you may find some excess water gather as it warms. Simply pour the excess off.
Essential oils are optional, nice but not absolutely necessary.
If necessary you can substitute the sesame oil for another oil that stays liquid at room temperature. I've had good success with both sunflower oil and sweet almond oil.
Have a happy day, friends. See you next week 🙂