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We would like to introduce our community to Torri Shafer. Torri is a good friend of ours and a great massage therapist. She has published “Romancing the Soul”, a wonderful book focusing on self-care and love. It is a collection of 24 mini-retreats arranged by the seasons; each month, there are two retreats, complete with a meditation, mindful walk, journaling prompt and at-home spa treatment. Once a month, we’ll be posting some excerpts in a new blog. This month, we will post a bonus installment (from the January chapter). We hope you will enjoy these breaks from the mundane to focus on the most important person in the world: you.

Celebrating Your Body Meditation

Learn to pay attention to your body with the relaxed attitude of gratitude, trust, curiosity and unconditional love rather than being pushed around by habit, fear, anxiety, social customs, other people’s schedules and other people’s ideas of what is good for you.  ~Wallace D. Wattles

We reside in a renewing miracle: our skin replaces itself once a month; our stomach lining every five days; our liver every six weeks; and our skeleton every three months. Every seven years we are literally born again. Yet we generally keep a safe distance from our bodies—much like we would for anyone who vaguely annoys us.

Today you are going to celebrate your body, with all of its uniqueness and tireless commitment to your well-being. It is the most beautiful and miraculous thing you will ever own.

Start by sitting comfortably with your back straight, your feet on the floor and your hands resting on your lap. Close your eyes. Take a nice full breath – in through your nose, exhaling with a sigh and releasing any thoughts cluttering your mind, leaving a clean, empty space.

With your next inhalation, imagine a soft, golden light starting to flicker in that dark space. As the light grows, feel a sense of gratitude growing with it until it fills your whole mind. Feel gratitude for everything your mind does for you, the clarity and intelligence that serves you every second of your life.

With every breath, feel the golden light creep down your face. As it flows over your features, feel gratitude for that feature—the beauty that your eyes allow you to see; the aromas you nose allows you to smell; your jaw that allows you to talk and eat; the blessings of your teeth. As the light travels, relaxation also follows it.

Feel the light move down your neck. Let it stop and sparkle on any tension, releasing it and softening the muscles. Do this whenever you encounter any tension as the light continues to travel down your body, filling you with gratitude and joy.

Move the light down the back of your body and, when you reach your feet, move the light up the front of your body, pausing for a minute at your abdomen, where your emotional brain resides. Finally, stop at the heart and feel the light of gratitude glow outward to encompass all the people and things in life that have blessed you.

Hot Apple Cider Vinegar Foot Soak

Love yourself first and everything else falls into place. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. ~ Lucille Ball

Time to warm up those cold, tired tootsies with a hot apple cider vinegar foot soak. All you need is a tub big enough to put both feet in, a couple of teaspoons of sugar mixed with some plant-based oil to make a paste, some cinnamon essential oil, a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar, a quarter cup of Epsom or coarse sea salt, a washcloth, and a nice, fluffy towel. For an extra special touch, float some rose petals or flowers on top. Finally, have some good lotion to rub on your feet at the end.

Once you have everything set up, fill the tub about halfway up with hot water. Clean your feet with the washcloth before putting them in the soak since soaking in dirty water is not especially relaxing. Add the vinegar, the sea salt and ten drops of the essential oil, then immerse your deserving feet and let them soak for five to ten minutes.

After the soak, give your feet an exfoliating treatment with the sugar scrub. Focus on the heels and big toe where the callousing is the worst. For exceptionally calloused heels, consider using a pumice stone. Keep your feet over the tub so you can splash water on them whenever needed. When you are done scrubbing them vigorously, put them back in the water to rinse them off.

Torri’s book is available for purchase here.