It’s luscious, it’s delightful, it’s Holy Body Day. Ahhhhh…a day to celebrate your body, to juice it, to savor it, to respect it with lusciousness.
The other night at dinner with my housemates, we adults dispensed wisdom to Kate on her 17th birthday. Topics included morning breath, appropriate birthday gestures (something, please!) and the body as sacred vessel.
“Your body is a temple,” Vic intoned to his daughter. We’d just celebrated our temples with a feast at Osteria Marco: olives, burrata cheese, ciabatta with a dip of pesto and roasted red peppers, arugula salad with currants and pine nuts. We shared two pizzas and a bottle of wine. For dessert, a small chocolate cake with gelato. A true treat for the temple.
Feasting isn’t the only way to love your body. Today, give your temple the holy praise and love it deserves. I’m sure you can come up with dozens of ways to celebrate life through your senses. I've got a few ideas.
Ten ways to celebrate HBD:
1. Slow down and savor one bite of a meal today
2. Sketch or doodle for 15 minutes
3. If you've got it, celebrate your cleavage
4. Consciously relax the muscles of your face at least once
5. Take stretch pauses at work
6. Listen to a song with your body
7. Lie down in the middle of the day and relax for 10 minutes
8. Make your ablutions a ritual – wash and dress with care and love
9. Use that fancy lotion you save for special occasions
10. Take a walk in nature – near water, in a park, garden or field.
Find other suggestions in my earlier post announcing HBD.
Worshipping, Sete Lagos, Portugal
My HBD festivities include:
Tonja Reichley of Moondance Botanicals will be celebrating HBD on Friday with a 30% discount on one item when you mention HBD. I’m a huge fan of Tonja’s oils and potions and natural pampering products. I’m going to the Foot Pampering Party at Moondance Botanicals next Wednesday.
Share your HBD celebrations here and spread the word!
Last May, I had my first hot date with João. The next day turned out to be a national holiday. Dia do Corpo de Cristo, it was called. I translated: Holy Body Day. Overcome by new love, I declared May 22nd Holy Body Day.
Here's a day everyone can celebrate, a day to live and appreciate your body exactly as it is. You need advance notice to prepare for HBD, so here are a few ways to celebrate your body:
Get sexy. Open the day with a kiss for your lover. Spend as much time as you can making love to really charge your body with the holiness of the day.
If you don’t have a lover, make one of yourself. Love your body the way you want to be loved.
Bathe, using all the fancy suds and sprays you save for special occasions such as this. Be sure to use lots of lotion all over your body, giving yourself a massage or if your lover is still around, covering each other in lotion and prayers of gratitude and love.
Feast. Be sure to eat the finest, purest food on this day. It doesn't have to be fancy just food that makes your taste buds sing and your belly feel good. Savor every bite. Eat using your fingers.
Make art. Paint your body, write a story of your arm on your arm. Photograph your body. Tell a story from the point of view of a part of your body.
Move it! Go for a run, a swim, yoga, dance - whatever physical practice you do to engage your body.
Relax. Take your ole bod out into nature and lie it down in the sun, under a tree, on a beach, under the rain. Or cozy up in bed for a nap or an indulgent hour with a good book.
Pray. Be sure to give prayers, many prayers to your body - odes, petitions, gratitudes. Give thanks for the health, strength, forgiveness, wisdom, willingness and miracle that is your body. Write, sing, dance, chant your prayers.
Repeat every May 22nd.
How do you celebrate your body? Share your ideas in a comment below.
I'd love to write all about my visit in London, but as I am on the computer only an hour or so a day, I must economize on my words.
I am happily playing with my creative travel tools and filling my illustrated book. I am wandering the streets, riding the double-decker buses and meeting new friends.
Here are the top ten highlights of my week in London:
I could write a low-lights list, which would include the near-fight I had with a London thug, but I'll save my time for more positive pursuits.
I'm having fun, looking forward to the Design Your Creative Life conference this weekend (still room open!). After that I have a whole other week in London where I will be planning my sketch crawl and making more art and meeting more friends and enjoying life as much as possible without a computer!
It’s been two months in this quiet village in the south of France and as I prepare to leave, I want to write a sort of ode or memory piece to help mark my time here.
What I saw:
What I felt:
What I ate:
What I did:
I’m excited to board the train to Paris today, full of gratitude for my time in Roquebrun and for my journey juju that continues to offer the perfect opportunities to enhance and deepen my journey as a creative nomad.
Almost a year into my Creative Leap, I dish on what I’ve learned – the good, the bad, the cringe-worthy. Tune in all through February for the daily gleanings from my life as a Creative Nomad.
As a former vegetarian (17 years!), eating a whole fish was about the last thing I wanted to do. But living in Portugal, you get a lot of fish, and it doesn’t come all neat and tidy in a fillet. It comes whole fish, head, tail and all.
It was humbling hacking away at sardines. João patiently showed me how to use the knife more than the fork to get in between the bones and extract the soft meat. I had to set my ego aside and learn how to be patient or go hungry.
But when I was served a whole fish the other night in a French restaurant, I didn’t even blink. I knew what to do and enjoyed the fish. Okay, I did avoid looking at its face too much.
From this I learned that I can change more easily than I thought. Expanding beyond my perceived limits and try new things expands my capacity. And I liked the fish!
How about you? What’s your whole fish? When have you surprised yourself with how easily you can shift?
I’m in France! Yes, this is true, but mostly I’m inside working, just like I am in any other place. The last two weeks have been an especially productive time. I’ve:
• Made and posted my first ever video
• Made a timeline of ten years of Original Impulse in Keynote
• Trying to figure how to make that public
• Worked on several spreads of The Illuminated Traveler
• Outlined my novel and the revision plan
• Researching and developing my new offerings for 2009 and beyond
• Developing a logo for my ten year anniversary
• And more….
I’m in that creative space where bouncing from one thing to another gives an incredible rush. Drawing in my book gels my new idea for a workshop. One thing dovetails into another.
But too much time in the studio makes one lumpy. One’s conversational skills grow rusty. It’s good to get out of the studio and replenish the creative well. So I planned a day trip to Avignon to meet Dominique, a former client, friend and fellow writer. Dominique lives on the Cote d’Azur and Avignon is halfway for both of us.
This gave me a great opportunity to recall that I am in France. A few things that delighted me:
Driving in France makes me feel like I am living here, not just skimming the surface as a traveler. I shed most of the fear from my slide. I left early Saturday morning, taking my new housesitting hosts to the train station.
It was then that I realized that I didn’t have the best directions to Avignon. I’d planned to stop at Pezenas, a small town nearby, to check it out. But I had the wrong directions. So, I stopped for directions.
At a pastry shop, of course. I got a Bitterois, a flaky pastry filled with apples and raisins. Apparently a Bitterois is a person who lives in Beziers. This was a town completely sacked by the crusaders in the middle ages. I wonder if Bitteroi means they’re bitter. I might be if my ancestors were decimated. Does that stuff linger in the air, the soil, the water?
Anyway, moving on. I got directions that steered me straight toward Montpelier.
I drove and found Pezenas and found the market. People were just setting up their stalls: camouflage hunting gear, hats, fruits and vegetables, shoes, household gear. I’ve never been to a market before it opened. It was 8:30. I wandered around until the town clock chimed 9:00, when I bought: broccoli, arugula, red and green mache, carrots, turnips and fennel.
I took a hit of happiness at the Café des Artists. Fueled by the noisette, I perused the local bookstore and paper shop, where I bought a gold pen.
But the highlight of Pezenas was meeting Margo, the ginger syrup vendor from Ireland. We talked for awhile about the wonders of ginger and the thrill of being a creative nomad. She shared some of her life philosophies while we stood in the whiff of olives from the olive vendor next door. Intoxicating. But I had to drive on to Avignon.
My housesitting host told me about L'Oulibo, an olive cooperative nearby. I googled the directions and plotted my big excursion to buy olivey products. The map said it would take 38 minutes to get there.
I nudged my Twingo along the winding roads, enjoying the wide space of the vineyards and the mountains in the distance. I’m crap at knowing geography and at recognizing mountains, but I think the giant snow-covered mountains in the distance are the Pyrenees. Correct me if I’m wrong.
I was driving for longer than 38 minutes and decided that it was time to take João’s advice and ask for help. But there wasn’t anyone along the way, and no villages, until I saw a truck parked at the side of the road. Yes, there was someone in it. I pulled over and asked the old man behind the wheel where the hell I was. Okay, I didn’t say that, but he did tell me I was on the right track.
I continued on until I came to a village and the directions were not clear so, I had to ask again. I knew the best place in any village to get directions.
The boulangerie. And the best place to get a wee snack.
Inside the boulangerie, I saw a pastry similar to one I had on my last day in Lisbon. A little bundle of woven pastry, filled with a maple-flavored gel and pebbled with pecans. I ordered that and got directions from the young baker. I understood everything he said, but his southern accent was noticeable. Luckily L'Oulibo was nearby and he repeated himself, so there was no problem.
The only problem was eating the pastry. I bit into it as soon as I stepped out of the boulangerie. A second bite got me to the filling and the nuts. OMG. Incredible. I wanted to snarf the whole thing, but I saved half for after my shopping trip, because I know the truth about shopping, and I’m sure you do, too.
The primal hunting and gathering impulse creates an urge to eat as soon after shopping as possible. So I made sure I had a nibble in the car.
But on to L'Oulibo. I recognized the building from the web site. L’Oulibo is a cooperative of local olive growers, in business since 1942. Part of the building is where they produce the olive oil and pack the olives.Inside was a big shop packed with olive products.
My house sitting host had explained the difference between the green and black olives, and ones that were ‘naturel’ or had preservatives. Luckily they had a tasting zone where I could try all the olives. I ended up with a jar of green picholine and black lucques olives.
The green are fresh and snappy, with that buttery flavor you hear olives can have. The black ones are mushy and vinegary. I like putting both in a wee bowl to nibble on while I cook. I also bought an incredible tomato tapenade that is amazing on the brown bread I found at the organic store. I chose a big bottle of olive oil. It’s unfiltered so looks rich and creamy. I can’t wait to drizzle it on vegetables and salads and bread and anything else I can snarf down with oil.
In the beauty products department, I was tempted by the oils and shampoos and lotions. Then I remembered all the weight I am carrying and my intention to shed some luggage pounds before I leave Roquebrun. I settled for a vervain soap.
Because of the holiday season, the whole place was decorated and gift baskets filled with olive stuff were everywhere. I wanted to buy gift baskets for everyone I know. (I told you, I get intoxicated in these food markets.) I decided that the things I bought were my own gift basket and my job is to enjoy them and share the joy with you.
But there’s only so much of that one can do, so I must look for entertainment outside the home. There’s a daily walk, where I meander along the river Orb below the village, winding up around to stroll along the top of the village, a neat envelope walk that takes 30 minutes.
There’s bringing wood in from the cave below the house and starting and tending the fire. That happens when the sun goes down.
I’ve only been here a few days, so I haven’t met my new best friends yet.
So what does that leave for social adventures?