Vetiver days and velvet nights
Layers of wool and glowing lights
Candle gazing and spicy mulled wine
Orange blossom, lemon myrtle and thyme
These winter rituals restore our flesh and bones
Sustain our spirits and guide us back home
Vetiver essential oil comes from the fibrous roots of a tall, tufted grass native to India. It is a rich viscous oil with an earthy, woody, and smoky yet sweet scent. Vetiver is known for its deeply grounding and restorative effects on the nervous and endocrine systems. We have always adored this scent and have created a few gems with it over the years, one is our Vetiver Perfume Oil, blended with the uplifting citrus essential oils of neroli (orange blossom) and bergamot. Another is our newest creations Vetiver Face Cream, we have been working on perfecting this recipe for over a year! Here is the link… http://www.wellingtonapothecary.co.nz/store/p369/Vetiver_Regenerating_Face_Cream_50mL.html
A time of restoration. The human body is a part of nature, not separate from it, therefore you function optimally when you are aligned with natural seasonal cycles. Your moods, hormone production and energy levels are directly influenced by the external environment. For example, the changes of light perceived by the eyes, whether by sunlight or artificial light, will influence how well you sleep. The body thrives best when allowed the space and time to rest. On a daily basis this means aligning ourselves with the the rise and fall of the sun so that we will enough melatonin to sleep. When we look further into natural cycles we could align ourselves with the the rise and fall of the moon, allowing one week a month to let go of normal routine. Take the pressure off and give ourselves a break from the persistent list of things to do. On a yearly cycle we could align ourselves with the seasons, planning our time so that we are able to use the natural energy of the sun in the warmer seasons to start new projects. And respectively plan our time so that we are able to slow down the pace of work, or the type of work we do, and take a more introspective indoors approach to life in the colder seasons.
Winter, the coldest and the darkest season, gives us a good reason to internalise.
A time to go inside. Find a retreat within yourself, within your body and mind, and take rest here. Once you have given yourself permission to take rest, then you might look around and discover that your internal world needs a bit of a spring clean, perhaps you have been hoarding old concepts and beliefs since you were a child, and even though they were relevant at that time they are now just blocking the sunlight shining in through the windows of your mind. Then once you have let those go you might decide to clean the windows, light the fire and take a seat. And then, once you have taken the time to simply sit in this space within your internal world you might find that what you thought was empty space is now a place of infinite wisdom. Your internal world can be a place where you can come to find the answers to your questions, or a place where you can come to find peace at not knowing all of the answers. Journalling can become a valuable practise to enhance this internalising process, having the thoughts on the page and out of the head creates wonderful clarity. And you may even discover the talented, quirky and highly perceptive parts of yourself that have been burdened by daily doses of junk and drama.
Trataka is a yogic meditation technique that is to gaze at a single point to train the body and mind into focused attention. The most common is Candle Gazing, staring into the core of the flame of a candle within a dark room will not only enhance your ability to focus but also help to strengthen your eyesight. The purpose of this practise is to train the mind to focus on a single point so that you are more capable of sitting in stillness, meditating without the mind hopping from thought to thought. However, naturally, the mind will hop from thought to thought, but it is the spaces in between the thoughts that Trakaka aims to enhance. It is in these spaces that one can experience a level of consciousness that is beyond the chit chatter of the mind. It is a simple practise, all you need is a candle and 10-30 minutes of time. In the night time or pre-dawn hours of the morning, find a comfortable seated position, one where you will not be distracted. Close the curtains, light the candle and turn off the lights. Gaze at the candle for 2-3 minutes, with a steady and relaxed gaze try not to blink, if your eyes start to sting then go ahead and blink, the main thing is not to strain. After 2-3 minutes close the eyes and you will see that the image of the candle has been impressed upon your mind, focus on this image with your eyes closed. If the image starts to shift away from the center of your focus then bring it back to the center of your internal gaze. When the image starts to disappear then open the eyes and gaze at the candle flame for another few minutes. Continue candle gazing for a minimum of ten minutes, once you have finished then simply spent a few moments focusing your awareness on your breath before setting a heartfelt intention for your sleep, or the day ahead.
Lemon Myrtle, Backhousia citriodora, is a member of the Myrtaceae family along with eucaplyptus, teatree, manuka, kanuka, clove, pohutukawa and feijoa. It has an intensely invigorating lemony herbaceous flavour and is an excellent tonic for the digestive system. We already know how potent the members of the Myrtle family are for their anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-septic qualities, Lemon Myrtle also acts as a decongestant which makes it excellent for respiratory congestion such as with coughs and colds. Another lesser known quality of Lemon Myrtle is that it is deeply restorative for the nervous system, it both calms and invigorates the mind, making it an excellent strengthening winter elixir. At Wellington Apothecary we have created a blend of Lemon Myrtle, Lemon Balm & Manuka as a loose leaf herbal tea for the purpose of calming and strengthening digestion and the mind at the same time. We call it ‘Rest and Digest’ because we know how important it is to take the time to slow down, switch out of the sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight or flight’ mode) and into the para-sympathetic nervous system (the ‘rest and digest’ mode) in order to be calm and digest food well. When we live in the mode of ‘rest and digest’ we allow the innate intelligence of the body a period of restoration, which in turn sustains our spirits. And opens a gateway for us to reconnect with this infinitely forgiving organism…
This body that we call home.