Show up for your beauty bath ritual at the appointed time. Make sure you have at least thirty minutes to dedicate to the practice so you won’t feel rushed and that you have some space to yourself so you can do it in private. Try to find a time when your roommate, family, or boyfriend is out of the house and you have total peace and quiet. Make sure that nothing and no one will distract you. Turn off the TV, and definitely turn off your phone. Nothing is more important right now than dedicating this time and space to yourself. Get ready to turn it all the way on like you would for a big performance. This is your chance to show up big for yourself and make things happen!
Now, take a moment to transition from all the other activities you did today to your ritual. First, shake out your body to release any stress or tension that you’re holding on to. When you’re ready, sit still and take a few deep breaths. Dim the lights if you like or close your eyes, consciously slowing down your thoughts as you begin to focus one hundred percent on the task at hand.
As you breathe, don’t worry about forcing yourself to erase your negative thoughts. It’s natural for those to pop up again and again, and consciously trying to get rid of them is counterproductive because it gives them too much power. Instead, allow yourself to become aware of your thoughts and to watch them pass by like clouds. Some of those clouds will be white and fluffy. Others will be dark rain clouds. Don’t judge them or yourself either way. Your thoughts are not who you are. Just let yourself enjoy watching the parade of clouds go by.
After tuning in and watching your thoughts for a few minutes, you’ll sense when you’re in the right frame of mind to begin the ritual. It’s when you feel your thoughts slowly fading and your intuition kicking all the way on. You may suddenly feel happier and more powerful. That’s because your Inner Priestess has entered the room. Once you’re in that space, do everything you can to stay there. Keep your energy focused, your breath steady, and your mind soft. Continue to let your thoughts float by without any judgments or attachment.
Something with inner beauty will live forever, like the scent of a rose. —ALEX FLINN, BEASTLY
Step 2—The Beauty Bath
Slowly and mindfully move into the bathroom if you’re not in there already. Dim the lights and light some candles if you want, and run yourself a nice warm bath. Once the tub is full, put three drops of pure rose oil into the water. The use of scent is an important part of this ritual. As you come to associate the smell of rose oil with this ritual, your mind will naturally focus on the beautiful scent of the rose oil instead of any passing thoughts or distractions.
Just as the smell of food prepares your body to eat by starting your digestive system, the scent of the rose oil will prepare your mind and body for the coming ritual. I like to use rose oil because it helps me feel deeply connected to my childhood in Iran and it’s an ancient, sensual scent. If you have an aversion to the rose oil, you can try using lavender essential oil instead.
As you step into the beauty bath, focus on all of your senses. What does the water feel like on your skin? What does your foot look like when it is submerged? Pay attention. What do you hear? How does the rose oil smell? What does it remind you of? Now slip all the way into the bath, immersing yourself up to your neck. Close your eyes and lie still in the water, breathing in the rose oil and remaining aware of your body. What thoughts are coming up for you now? Don’t fixate on them, just be present and observe. Try to relax all of the muscles in your body, especially your facial muscles and your jaw. Release any tension you’re holding on to. It’s not serving you right now.
Continue to focus on your breath as you bring awareness to every part of your body. Starting with your toes and working your way up to your neck, consciously feel the water embracing you one body part at a time. If you practice yoga, this may remind you of the final relaxation pose, or Shavasana, while the bathwater and rose oil add a lovely sensual element to this sacred tradition. Continue to let your thoughts pass by unjudged as you feel yourself letting go and melting deeper and deeper into the water.
Outer beauty is a gift. Inner beauty is an accomplishment. —RANDI G. FINE
After bringing awareness to every part of your body, it’s time to begin your visualization. With love and compassion in your heart, think of all the ways you criticize your body and all the parts of you that you fear aren’t enough. In great detail, imagine every one of those imperfections being washed away by the water.
Really work to see it in your mind’s eye. If you think you’re too fat, picture every ounce of that fat being stripped away from you as if it’s dirt on your skin. If you think your thighs are too big or your ass is too flat, see them coming off of you. Don’t stop until you’ve imagined every part of you that you feel insecure about coming off and rinsing right down the drain.
Now open your eyes. Take a loofah or another exfoliator and very slowly go over every part of your body, one at a time. As you go over each body part, imagine yourself gently and compassionately wiping away any negative thoughts you have about it. Start with your right foot and work your way up to your neck, skipping nothing. If you think your toes are ugly, wipe that thought away. If you believe your thighs are too big, wipe that thought away. If your belly is flabby or scarred, wipe it away. If your breasts are too big, too small, or too droopy, wipe those thoughts away. You have the power to cleanse yourself of every last negative thought and feeling about your body. Take your time with this. There’s nowhere else you have to be.
When you’ve gone over every single part of your body, put the loofah down and take a few moments to gently wipe your hands over your face. Start at your chin and caress your face with your fingers and then your palms. Now stroke your hair, brushing it away from your face. Do this a few times. Most of us never think to touch our own face and hair, but it’s so important to be affectionate with yourself. Sensually caress your face and hair. This is the skin you’ll walk around in throughout your entire life. It does everything for you, and if you disconnect from your body and beat up on it with negative thoughts, you’ll never feel truly confident. Mindfully touching your own skin reconnects your body and mind. They are one and the same.
When you’re done, take a moment and feel the difference in your body now that you’ve wiped away all of your negative thoughts. Visualize those thoughts as being separate from you. Do an honest assessment here. If you don’t feel like you’ve washed everything away, pick the loofah back up and start over again. Don’t step out of the beauty bath until you feel completely cleansed.
When you’re ready, get out of the bath and imagine being reborn, like a butterfly breaking out of its cocoon. Not one of your judgments or self-critiques is coming out of the beauty bath with you. You’re leaving that all behind. It’s only your golden Inner Priestess who’s stepping out of the tub. This is your chance to start over, and any negative thoughts you have from now on are something you are creating brand new. The old judgments— your deepest insecurities, the parts you thought weren’t good enough, and the names people called you in school—are gone. Only your gorgeous, clean, purest self remains.
Inner beauty, too, needs occasionally to be told it’s beautiful. —ROBERT BRAULT
Dry yourself off, and then step in front of a full-length mirror completely naked from head to toe. Don’t pose or vamp here. No one is watching but you. Set a timer and stand there for at least three full minutes looking at yourself in the mirror. Now, here’s the thing, babe—the monkey is going to start rattling his cage, especially the first few times you do this. If you expect this to happen, it won’t be so hard.
Your mind is most likely going to fill with negative, judgmental thoughts about yourself. My stomach is so big. My boobs are sagging. My legs are covered in cellulite. My face looks old. My skin is pale. It may be a long list. Whatever you do, don’t deny these thoughts. Observe them like you did in the beauty bath. They are merely clouds in the sky. It may feel like you’re at war, being bombarded with self-criticism, but if you force yourself to withstand it, I promise those thoughts will eventually fade. You’re strong; you can take it.
The reason this is happening is that we’ve awoken the beast with this ritual. The only way to slay the dragon of your critical self once and for all is to allow her to rise up instead of stuffing down those negative thoughts because they’re too painful. Now we can see her fully in all her glory. She’s not so scary, is she? This dragon—your critical self—is not you. You’re free to observe what she thinks without attaching to it at all. It’s very powerful to stare her in the eye and finally be fully aware of your deepest insecurities. Often we overcompensate for these self-criticisms by building our egos up around them, and it’s important to shed those layers. As these thoughts come up, release ownership of them. They are allowed to be there. They are not you.
After the three minutes are up, or when these thoughts begin to slow down, look yourself in the eyes and say out loud, “I am enough just the way I am. I am beautiful.” Repeat this three times while looking in the mirror. You may feel silly talking to yourself at first, but stick with it and you’ll feel stronger and more confident each time you say it. When you’re done, you’ll feel a radiant sense of peace come over you. Take a breath and enjoy that feeling—you earned it.
What you do next depends on what time of day it is. If you’re going to get ready for bed, put on your favorite pajamas. This can be a sexy nightie, a pair of silk pajamas, or whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and radiant. Climb right into bed, and you should sleep more peacefully than you have in a long time.
If it’s not bedtime yet, take some time to put on one of your favorite outfits. I do this even if I’m not planning to go out afterward. My favorite outfit to go dancing in is a huge flamenco skirt with a crop top, tons of bangles, gold earrings, and Nikes so I can really enjoy dancing. This outfit makes me just as happy when I put it on to dance around in my bedroom!
Dressing up just for myself after completing this ritual pushes my confidence over the top. Put on your favorite music—for me, it has to be Prince, Sade, or Michael Jackson. There’s very little those lovers can’t help me heal. Enjoy playing dress-up like you did when you were a kid. Have fun; no one is judging you! If you do go out afterward, you will exude a brand-new sexy confidence that is the real you. Enjoy this powerful feeling and see what happens when you start to live with this energy radiating from you at every moment. I hope it’s as life changing for you as it has been for me.
Once you’ve locked down your beauty bath routine try this healing mask recipe, to keep your skin in perfect form.