Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
Oatmeal baths are soothing for different skin issues. It can offer relief of itchiness, relaxing and skin softening.
-Winter dry itchiness
Since childhood I have experienced varying bouts of Eczema. Winter time seems to annoy the condition more obviously.
When my kids were young with chicken pox I plopped them in an oatmeal bath. They loved spending plenty of time there anyway and at the same time they found much relief from the dreaded double edge sword of scratching! There were a few sunburns and multiple mosquito bites that took them there as well. I did tell them to not do any “scuba diving” that might irritate their eyes!
I used to use cut off a section of a leg from a clean pair of panty hose and drop about 1/3 to 3/4 cup of regular plain oatmeal into it and tie it off at the top. I like to add some lavender buds with the mix-1/4 to 1/2 cup. Lavender is known to be healing as well as relaxing with its fragrance. You could also add a few drops of lavender tincture in the place of the flower buds into the oatmeal and mix well. If you have a more serious skin condition skip the lavender as it might aggravate your condition!
Run a bath with hot water (the heat will allow the essence of oatmeal and lavender to dissolve) and drop the oatmeal bag into the water at the back of the tub. Allow the water to cool to a tepid temperature; too hot can be aggravating and drying. Once in the tub-gently squeeze the bag to release the oatmeal and lavender essence. If you are using a coffee filter…squeeze extra gently or you may end up with a blob of oatmeal in your bath!
You can stay as long as you are comfortable. If you have a skin condition…10 minutes is enough or you might aggravate it.
The oatmeal bath is soothing enough that you could do it on a daily basis if needed.
*Optional: you could add milk or buttermilk for an added soothing element. Add it into the running water from the faucet.
To add to the ambiance; don’t forget your scented candles!
*This is not a substitute for any medical treatment of any kind! It is simply a nice way to relax and soothe your skin.
Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
Happy Summer! I am renewed with the soothing warmth of the sun, scents of freshly mowed lawns, fragrant fresh blossoms, neighborhood bbq’s and long days of lingering light. I do so enjoy puttering about in my garden however I lack confidence to my ability in this department. My vow to try my hand at starting my own seeds was finally fulfilled after years of intending to do so. I started them in the garage at the end of March and with careful tending diligence willed and urged them to grow strong for me. Of course I “talked” to them because Grandma told me they liked that kind of thing! They were systematically rotated to the covered patio when I deemed them ready. Most have been potted or planted and so far look pretty healthy to me. I can’t wait for the impending blossoms to appear. My procrastination of intent has been replaced this year by the feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment in watching my creations evolve.
On my mind this season is current headlines of what is good and bad for us with regards to our health and well-being from the scientific community. Germs are a big subject. They tell me they lurk on the bottom of my purse, in my showerhead; teem nastily all over the handles of grocery carts and door knobs/handles, the screens of hand held technology and inside the cloth bags where I am endeavoring to contribute to the demise of plastic bags in our landfills. From one who has always had issues with germs anyway these new sources of concern riddle me with renewed angst along with efforts to eradicate these invisible bugs. I do remember teaching my young children how to enter and leave a public bathroom without ever touching a surface with their little fingers. More than once I gave heartfelt thanks for my children never coming home with the (for me feared) dreaded head bugs regardless of the notices that would follow them home warning of an outbreak in a classroom.
Don’t even get me started on what’s in the air. How long can one hold their breath while passing through an area at the grocery store where someone has just begun a disturbing coughing fit or a congested sneeze? Hopefully long enough to quickly get to an air “safety zone” without looking like a mad woman roadrunner gripping a flying cart. And yes I have seen the programs that tell us how far sneeze droplets can travel!
I come from an era where there were no seatbelts. The grocery stores did not offer sanitizing wipes before we touched a cart. Alcohol gels were unheard of. The hot dogs we devoured roasted over a campfire littered with lovely glowing embers did not elicit a conversation about what the heck is in them anyway! There was no concern that the children were not getting enough exercise because we only had a few stations on the television and most of our time was spent outdoors doing activities that were done in a neighborhood with our peers. At dinnertime, the shouts for their children to return to the nest could be heard resonating up and down the street.
The luxury of a stay in a hotel room was not drenched with worry that it might contain the nightmare of bedbugs that would chew on you during the night and be transported to the safe haven of home. Not to mention the germs left behind from the more recent inhabitants and not cleaned properly by a corner cutting cleaning staff. And they do have those glowing special lights to show us exactly where they are. An exciting trip in an airplane did not have us worried about what kind of airborne bugs were being circulated in the recycled air system or what our hands were picking up from the seat pocket or food tray. My defense amongst the conditions of our upbringing is “we came out of it pretty well.”
I am by no means saying all these things and much more should not be a concern to us. I know it is! Times have changed for sure. However, my already germ phobia has grown stronger. I have seen the need to set some limits for myself as far as being realistic and still functioning in the public world. Recently at a nice restaurant being treated by my husband; he silently watched me carefully and awkwardly wrap my napkin around the salt and pepper shakers. I watched myself in the realization I was going too far on top of the other things I have observed in steps to avoid touching things. Like using the loose tail of a shirt to open a door or struggling with a heavy handled door using my pinky finger or punching a debit card pad with a knuckle, which sometimes is not easy. What? I have to use your special pen to sign for a credit! My conclusion is to not quietly freak out on the inside if my fingers or hands to touch “dirty” surfaces after reasonable attempts to avoid doing so.
Common sense tactics of not touching my face with my hands until they can be washed or sanitized has given me some kind of control back. It’s impossible to live in a germ free world. I also know that there are good bacteria and wiping out all of it; good and bad, is not helpful to the immune system. I utilize mind over matter. I can’t control everything but I can control how I react to what I can’t reasonably control.
Information in the news is a good thing; unless it becomes too overwhelming for someone as susceptible as I have become to overload. Yesterday I saw a headline “Are There Bugs Living On You?” I felt a strong urge to click over to the Entertainment section and I did so immediately!
I hope you find majick moments this Summer. Enjoy them while living in the moment. Leave your responsibilities and concerns behind you while you soak them up, relax and recharge yourself.
Free To Be Us
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
I just finished watching a movie called “Enough Said” starring James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The premise is 2 middle age divorced people, each with a teen ready to leave for college, meet at a party at a point in their lives where they have given up much hope of ever meeting anyone. Her initial impression of a sweet man is interrupted by a new friendship with the ex-wife that despises him and it gets complicated from there.
The acting from both actors is honest and real. James Gandolfini (such a sad loss) is refreshing in this role, especially since I just finished The Soprano’s (I did do some “episode binging” to do so!) and finding the characters so different in comparison. He is sweet, charismatic, vulnerable and honest. Julia Louis-Dreyfus presents a character unsure of her place in middle age. In her confusion of identifying her emotions she allows an outside influence to color her interpretation of them. Without giving away too much, in listening to the many “beefs” from her much respected and exotic new friend about her ex-husband it begins to picks away at a lovely budding relationship.
It got me to thinking about relationships and what can happen when we begin to lose sight of the foundation of the person we fell in love with in the beginning. Time and lack of diligent respect to cultivating the relationship can allow the ego to decide what is important, acceptable and attractive in how we view the other one. It really is all about the small things in life.
In my thinking, there are two sides in viewing these “small things”. We can either send ourselves into a negative state because we have come to find a quirk of our partner has progressed from cute or quirky to irritation, which can easily progress to disgust. Once it gets to that point, a wall goes up.
I am enjoying my second marriage. I am still learning things about myself in how I live a life with someone else. My middle age has taught me, for one thing, humility. Practicing Living in the Moment has allowed me to realize where lessons to be learned are right in front of me, at the time. Instead of busying my head with words about the current situation and scrutinizing things right then; I am more able to let them go, observe and absorb what is happening. This has allowed me to focus on the other person in their body language, in their eyes and words. Observing the situation unfold instead of narrating it in my mind at the time opens me up in a very honest way.
I must admit this movie hit home for me, in part, because lately I have been observing myself reacting to a few quirks of my beloved partner. He has not done anything bad, wrong or damaging. It’s just not in the way I find “normal” or the way I would do it! I am pleased that I am able to comprehend at the time that I am being critical of his way of action and am able to at least step back and observe myself in my own inner reaction. I ask myself, “Does it really matter”? Most time the answer to myself is “no”. After that, if it’s still something I feel I need to add some input to, in the way of helpfulness, and then I will progress with my own input in a thoughtful manner instead of blurting out what might have erupted before I gave thought to my response in irritation and my motive for doing so which is sometimes colored with arrogance. Many times I have caught myself ready to criticize until I comprehended the fact that he is only trying to do his part to help in some way. I have come to understand in reacting this way I lose sight of his true intentions and I take away from a true moment to be shared between us.
In some ways we are a bit of an “odd couple”. Understanding and embracing our differences is key. He is not as diligent of or needy of tidiness as I am. I have come to terms with this in thinking that I would much rather voluntarily rectify any such un-tidiness on his part silently than ever entertain the thought that I could ever be without him to create such situations!
My best friend, and she really is the best, has some quirks herself that at times can be annoying but I have come to understand, accept and respect her ways that make her unique to me. I love her whole package and to take away any aspects would be to make her someone else. However, I don’t live with her! I have given much thought to her recently and our evolved relationship over 25 years. It is priceless to me. This line of thought brought me to how easy it is over time to let such a patient allowance in understanding a person that is a friend and how easy it is to let that fact slip when it comes to a partner. He is my partner that I still consider a best friend. He deserves the same respect and allowances I do for my girlfriend.
The movie touched on relationships outside of the 2 main characters as well. We all have our own quirks and ways about us that make us unique. To change what makes up our personalities is to make us into someone different.
I have always heard that marriages require work to keep them active. I thought I understood that the first time around. Although efforts were made then; in my maturity I have fathomed my own personal responsibility for recognizing and acknowledging the other souls presence and the beauty, love and efforts on his part to be a part of two. It requires nurturing on both sides to be a success. In a working relationship the more one gives the more one gets back in return. I am so blessed to be in one and I hope I never stop actively participating to do my part to keep it so.
The ‘Roommate’ in Your Head
In his book The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer likes to call it the “roommate” (get this book!). “You mean someone’s living in my head? That’s only people who are in psych wards!” Well, I hate to say it, but yes, it’s there… and don’t worry it’s …
Read more on Huffington Post (blog)
Written by Jasmine
Webmistress The Majickal Garden
For the last few years I have been mostly doing my yoga routines without following a video. (It was a long time before I felt confident enough to do this and after learning many different poses.) I find a fuller satisfying inner experience without the distraction of following someone on the TV screen. Every so often I like to change it up or challenge myself with a new video. I might add new poses to the ones I am familiar with and physically capable of doing.
Also, occasionally I will throw in a beginner sequence to refresh my basic knowledge of properly doing the poses with an instructor talking thru the progression of correct breathing and movements. Like any physical activity, letting oneself become less diligent in proper form can lead to injury. Attending yoga classes is something I would highly recommend for beginners as it is so important to learn the proper basics of yoga. This is how I started out. After that I felt more comfortable practicing in my own home, in the luxury of my own peaceful solitude.
My last trip to the library led me to “Jane Fonda prime time. AM/PM Yoga for Beginners (2012)”. I found it a refreshing beginner’s video for a few reasons. I felt she was attentive in her instruction with breathe, posture and stressing importance of holding in stomach muscles which support the back throughout a pose. She was easy to listen to where some instructors are not and it can be distracting. In the background there were 3 women doing the poses with different modifications based on level. Camera angles allowed a respectable viewing to progress along with her. (This can also be lacking in other beginner videos.)
I also liked, being within the range of middle age : ), that the extra participants were as well and had a “normal” look about them. Although there are definite ranges in levels of physical ability in yoga, it can be encouraging to know this as opposed to following lithe, thin 20 something’s, especially when you are starting out! When Jane Fonda did this video she was 74. She has spent most of her life keeping herself fit with different modes of activity.
There was a section where a balance pose was involved and she used a chair next to her for a modification where the other women did not. She stated that she was doing this because she has balance issues because of a few reasons. Her honesty in her limitations was refreshing and instead of eliminating this pose or she could have chosen to walk about the room in a non-participating role, she did the pose based on her ability and an aid of the chair to follow thru with it. Yoga poses should only be carried out to your own ability and level. She got my respect right there.
Yoga has help strengthen my back greatly allowing me increased flexibility as well as greatly reducing the intensity of debilitating strains that could hinder me for a few weeks or more. The key for me in yoga has been and remains understanding my limitations by “listening” to my body. Any sign of the slightest pain is letting you know to back up in a pose or stop it altogether.
I do recommend this video for beginners. I will keep it on my own list for a gentle, basic yoga workout. It is suggested by instructors to view whole video’s before participating with them.