A Self Love Prescription For V Day

Here’s to falling in love … with YOU! Tea alchemist and serial optimist Alicia Henry delivers a self love prescription for your V Day. Illustration: Soleil Ignacio

 

Valentine’s Day …  Whether you’re single or in a partnership, this commercial “holiday” can bring on a wave of negative feelings. Some of us become plagued with thoughts of loneliness, heartache, and even begin to question our self-worth. But there is hope for turning this day (and everyday) into a positive, love-filled experience. And you don’t have to search any further than yourself.

Loving yourself is the most vital action you can take towards your overall well-being and vitality in this life. Not only will you come to the realization that you are a divine being, but you’ll begin to draw others into your life who are also aligned with nourishing their souls and evolving into the best version of themselves. A beautiful ripple effect of LOVE. 

Like any new skill, self-love takes practice, determination, flexibility, and patience. It’s a practice we have to cultivate. This V Day is the perfect time to renew (or begin) your own self-love affair and I’ve concocted a self-love prescription to get you started. Here’s to falling in love with YOU!

Photo: Danny Lane

1. Morning Gratitude + Affirmation Ritual: Our mornings can make or break the rest of our day, so upon waking, take a moment to acknowledge 10 things that you are grateful for. This could mean being thankful for your soft pillow that you lay your head upon, or your two healthy feet that work tirelessly to get you around all day long! This is the first step to simply becoming grateful for who you are.

*Pro Tip: I love to cleanse my space before beginning my morning ritual. My favorite way of doing this is to light Palo Santo—the aroma is sweet and soothing, and it opens my space for newness.

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2. Solo Date: When we’re feeling lonely, the first thing we tend to do is run away from the loneliness and fill the void with social engagements. Friends are definitely a major component to our happiness, but if we can’t be happy solo then our social circles become a mere distraction from ourselves. Try turning inwards. You may actually love what you find!

*Pro Tip: A solo date could just mean reading an empowering book, like Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ classic Women Who Run With The Wolves.

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3. Write Yourself a Love Letter: Letter writing is becoming a lost art, but that doesn’t mean romance is dead. Write yourself a love letter that you can open up any day you need it.  The letter can include recognizing your greatest strengths, honoring what you believe makes you unique, and forgiveness for any negative feelings about yourself.

*Pro Tip: Create a romantic letter writing experience by lighting candles, burning incense, and using beautiful stationery. To get your creative juices flowing, check out this beautiful poem by the Romantic poet, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth describes his beloved as “a creature not too bright or good.” Who’s perfect anyway

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4. Meditate: Our minds are constantly buzzing, and meditation is an invaluable and truly intimate practice that brings us closer to ourselves, our intuition, our truth, and what really matters in life (to us). Even if it’s 10 minutes per day, give this peaceful, quiet gift to yourself.  

*Pro Tip: If you’re new to meditation, there are some awesome apps that will help guide you!

5. Practice Forgiveness: It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mistakes we’ve made, things we wish were different, our so-called imperfections, and other stories that we’ve created and hold against ourselves. But if it weren’t for our mishaps and wrong-turns, we would never evolve. Be tender and forgive yourself for anything that you’re holding onto that doesn’t serve your happiness.

*Pro Tip: The raspberry rose colored Rhodochrosite crystal (above) is known to activate the heart chakra, and promote self-worth and forgiveness. 

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6. Dance: Want a ticket to instant joy? Dancing is a way to connect to our essential life force. Don’t worry about what you look like—just let loose and feel the music. Whether you’re dancing with friends, or using your hairbrush as a microphone in your bedroom, never stop dancing!

*Pro Tip: Start the solo party with my three favorite tunes for dancing by myself—Pat Benatar’s  Love is a Battlefield, Banarama’s Cruel Summer and of course, Whitney’s How Will I Know.

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7. Take a Sexy Selfie: And see yourself through the eyes of lust. Sexy selfies don’t need to be sent to a lover, they can also be sent to your friends! A girlfriend of mine recently started a thread with her friends’ sexiest selfie submissions—it’s been such a beautiful, safe, body-positive experience.

*Pro Tip: The piece of lingerie I’m loving most at the moment is this black bodysuit by True&Co.

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8. Self-Care Spa: Taking the time to pamper your skin, hair, and nails is a rejuvenating self-care ritual that’ll give you that little extra pep in your step. 

*Pro Tip: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s an easy recipe for a truly decadent body scrub: In a mason jar mix 1 cup coffee grounds (just scoop ‘em off the bottom of your french press—no waste, yay!) with ½ cup coconut oil and ¼ cup raw cane sugar. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil and you’re good to scrub! I find that vanilla and/or essential rose oil are great accompaniments to the awakening coffee aroma. Keep your scrub in the refrigerator when you aren’t using it. Enjoy, beauty!

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9. Rest Sweetly: Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. When we skimp on sleep, it directly affects our mental well-being. We wake up feeling groggy, our digestive and immune systems are thrown off, and we’re easily spun into negative thinking. Create a peaceful sleeping experience for yourself with kind bedding, a dark room, and a no-electronics policy.

*Pro Tip: Whenever I have trouble falling asleep, I add some lavender infused essential oil to my third eye and lower palms. I cup my palms over my face and breathe in slowly. When you focus on your breath and begin to slow your breathing, you’ll simultaneously slow your heart rate and bring yourself to a restful place.

Naked Sage Tea’s “I Care Deeply” Blend

Alicia Henry is an Herbal Alchemist  and Founder of Naked Sage Tea, an organic tea company based in Venice, CA. A serial optimist, she is aptly part of the team that achieved The International Day of Happiness, which became a resolution of the United Nations. Follow Alicia and Naked Sage Tea on Instagram for more romance, adventure, and sweet self-love. 

A SENSORY EXPLORATION OF VIRGO SEASON

Virgo season brings an invitation to revel in the details, say Cara George & Bess Matassa of Mojave Rising

Virgo season asks us to sharpen our tools, clarify our intentions, and get back down to the sweet labors of love that just feel good in our bodies. The zodiac’s so-called “virgin” is actually a fiercely self-contained sensualist who’s married to her own internal code, trusts deeply in her distinctiveness, and finds delicious divinity in daily detail.

It’s a month for relaxing into the subtlest material pieces of our lives—from savored flavors and ephemeral scents to watching the way the light hits the pavement just so—and for relishing in the feeling of processual work that moves with the rhythm of what is without having to prove anything at all.

The astrological Queen of the intricate and the refined reminds us that we are a part of every last thing that surrounds us and that every last thing absolutely matters because heaven is most definitely a place of earth.

The keyword is Alignment

The song lyrics are: “I’m every woman/It’s all in me/Anything you want done baby/I’ll do it naturally”—Whitney Houston, “I’m Every Woman.” Check out our Virgo season playlist, complete with considered lyricism, wild women, and pop gravitas.

The color palette: soft metallics and shifting sands: salmon pinks, rose golds, light caramels, and pure silver.

The style: 1930s Greta Garbo meets Southwestern naturalism: refined yet rustic glamor, caftans paired with high-heeled boots, intricate art deco jewelry, nude lips, loose braids and buns, copper lockets, and just enough coverage to spark the sensuous imagination.

The scents and flavors: simple trusted tastes, herbaceous blends, and medicinal elixirs. Think rosemary, camphor, fresh bread, bergamot, tisanes, and hot cobbler carefully concocted with seasonal fruits.

The healing: considered, refined, and earthily aligned. Try tasting menus, perfume making, Marie Kondo-style closet cleansing, or even the slowly revelatory art of burlesque dancing.

Sensuous Invitation of the Month: Interior Design (by sign below)

With Mercury stationing retrograde in Virgo, Venus and Jupiter entering Libra, and the final Saturn-Neptune square, it’s a month for getting our houses in order, making use of the materials on hand, and bowing at the altar of aesthetics. For letting the material world refine our values and bring us all the way back home to what we truly love. From Barbie dreamhouse jacuzzis to Southern country kitchens, it’s time to realign our environment with our interior selves, and to move majestically and naturally through the spaces that surround us.

ARIES
Virgo season invites you to infuse some of your full-throttle thrill seeking with a careful consideration that strategizes before leaping and allows the world to sometimes have the first move. Design Inspiration: Release into the dazzling sensation of the world infusing the interior by clearing the area around your windows and treating them as pieces of art à la Julius Shulman’s iconic 1960 photograph of the Stahl house.

TAURUS
Virgo season invites you to trust that you already have more than enough of what you need and to tap into your ability to repurpose what you already have into something gorgeously useful. Design Inspiration: Channel the restored farmhouses of Taschen’s Country Interiors as you dig into your soul dirt by repurposing objects, reupholstering prized furniture pieces, and reveling in local rummage sales.

GEMINI
Virgo season invites you to return to the sensations of your body as you learn to read and value environmental cues as much as you do intellectual ones. Design Inspiration: Relax into treehouse dreams with Joel Allen’s British Columbia masterpiece sourced entirely from craigslist materials, and experiment with small seasonal shifts in your own space by mixing indoor with outdoor- even if it’s just tricking out your fire escape with sparkling lights or placing found stones in your sink basin.

CANCER
Virgo season invites you to celebrate distinguished solitude as much as you do emotional relationship. Design Inspiration: Channel the DIY solitude of converted sheds by creating a space of your own—whether it’s affixing glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling for private night dreaming, or cordoning off a corner of shared space entirely for yourself.

LEO
Virgo season invites you to step away from the proscenium as you relax into behind the scenes labors without always having to show yourself. Design Inspiration: Conjure the inward-facing glitter and sparkle of the Madonna Inn’s bombastic Barbie bathroom by decking out your boudoir with jewel-encrusted toiletry boxes, and writing yourself impassioned lipstick messages on your mirror.

VIRGO
Virgo season invites you to rediscover the wild sensualism of your inner witchy woman who follows her own credo. Design Inspiration: Evoke the high-quality, woodsy wildness of the fur, fire, and open air bathtubs of Palm Springs’ Sparrows Lodge with a singular, luxe design piece made from natural materials like a marble slab, bamboo soap dish, or wool rug.

LIBRA
Virgo season invites you to discover the “beautility” in your world by blending your idealized aesthetic sensibilities with down-to-earth usefulness. Design Inspiration: Channel the majestically utilitarian Library of Congress with organizational pieces that are also decadent and gorgeous.

SCORPIO
Virgo season invites you to marry your emotional intensity to material complexity as you investigate the intricate detail of the world that surrounds you. Design Inspiration: Explore the elaborate Art Nouveau design of the Parisian metro system by experimenting with patterned wallpaper or trompe l’oeil at home.

SAGITTARIUS
Virgo season invites you to take your passion and make it happen as you delight in the earthy sensation of grounding your most far-flung visions in the material world. Design Inspiration: Motor west with inspiration from Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and invite the open road into your space with 50s Americana kitsch design elements.

CAPRICORN
Virgo season invites you to celebrate the process of refinement without this having to match internally or externally imposed standards. Design Inspiration: Move towards the sensations of slow cooking and process-based work by conjuring warm Mediterranean-style kitchens through decoratively usable rotating spice racks, hanging fruit baskets, and dishes affixed to the wall.

AQUARIUS
Virgo season invites you to trade in some of your panoramic thinking for delicious attention to detail. Design Inspiration: Delight in the futuristic efficiency of the tiny house movement and play with proportion in your own space with terrariums or dollhouses.

PISCES
Virgo season invites you to step out of the endless seas of possibility to practice the art of discernment. Design Inspiration: Strip down with spiritually-aligned Japanese minimalism and infuse this practice in your own space by cleansing one room, or building your design around a singular object or color.