Thank you to our Guest Blogger, Cathy Biggs of Limelight Bath Ltd
Although I am delighted to have been asked to write a guest blog for UBIETY, it occurred to me that I would have to describe what my ubiety is and initially, I was rather concerned that I might sound disingenuous. You see, if you have previously read my blog, then you’ll know that whilst I positively encourage my readers to find that space for themselves to feel their place and existence in the world i.e. their ubiety - my reality, and no doubt that of most people, is far from that. Frenetic would be closer to the truth and, why hide away from one’s truth?
Most people do not exist in a constant state of serenity – we have lives that demand us to inhabit several roles – in my case wife, mother, sister, daughter, boss, business director and friend. The list is endless and at times, overwhelming and so, to write about juggling these demands alongside a growing business, well, that’s familiar territory and an accurate account.
I’ve become more mindful recently though that in producing candles and scents that are to provide tranquil spaces for my customers, I really ought to practise what I preach and therefore, finding myself some sort of transcendence from the norm happens a little more regularly and readily than has been the case in the past.
Followers of my blog will know that I am often found to be harried. A woman at times consumed by anxiety not only for the welfare of four children, one living abroad, one finding his way, one sitting GCSEs and one, thankfully still happy with LEGO but also for her business and those she employs, for her beloved dog and her potential puppies and lastly (poor soul) for the most excellent husband, who gets what’s left of her.
I am therefore, very aware of the real benefits that the occasional pause to re-set, re-charge and strengthen brings. A few simple changes to diet and lifestyle can lead to some pretty dramatic changes in how we feel. I do try to now make space for an occasional nourishing reset and, bear with me, it’s not all about contorting yourself into the lotus position.
So, what works for me when I’m a bit frazzled, trying to find ubiety and get back my glow?
Breathing - funny old thing - but breathing is where it’s at. Who’d have thought it?! I was lucky enough to go to a talk by Linda Blair and I was sold when I learned that 10 minutes of proper breathing can be equivalent to four hours of sleep.
When we change how we breathe it changes how we feel, it calms us (I’m no neuroscientist but my theory is that we are tricking the nervous system into a relaxed state which is probably what happens when we are in the most restorative sleep)! The revitalising effect is especially powerful if done first thing in the morning (it’s even worth setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier for). Ideally do this before anyone is awake, lie down on the floor (not in bed, you’ll go back to sleep) and just focus on your breathing - breathe in for a count of 4/6, hold your breath for 2 then breathe out to a count of 6/8 -you must exhale longer than the inhale for it to work.
Ayurveda – I am a passionate believer in Ayurveda – a holistic whole-body approach to wellness and it is said that our gut is our second brain and has so much more to do with our feeling of wellbeing than almost anything else and so, if you want to get back your glow and feel really well from the inside out then do try the Kitchari cleanse for at least 3 and up to 7 days.
Similar to an Indian risotto, - it is creamy and comforting and especially delicious served with coconut and lime chutney and, it works! It’s a complete meal – and very easy to digest, it’s the first food given to babies in India. It allows your gut to release any stored toxins and accumulations, and will get your digestive fire burning again and you will feel glowing with health (in Ayurveda speak you are rekindling ‘your agni’). You won’t feel deprived, you’ll feel nourished and grounded, nurtured and, if you could be, hugged from within. Now is a great time to do this cleanse as it’s the transition from Spring into Summer.
Alcohol - I recently came across a book called the Alcohol Experiment which challenges you to try 31 days without alcohol - everyone was talking about it so bought a copy to see what the fuss was about- it debunks a whole lot of myths around alcohol, one of which is that alcohol helps you relax whereas in fact it does quite the reverse –and having been alcohol free for over a month I am feeling the benefits, some obvious, some unexpected –more energy, better skin and better sleep.
Whilst I’m sure that this will not be a permanent state of affairs, it feels good for now.
Candles. These always help and there is nothing quite like the calming effect of the soft flickering flame and the deeply relaxing therapeutic benefit of expertly blended essential oils (& those in the UBIETY candle are divine).
And finally, a deep steamy bath followed by some deliciously smelling body salve and the odd spray of facial mist. Add a good book, and then I’m really in UBIETAL heaven. I hope all of the above works for you too…
This is the recipe I use and serve with lime and coconut chutney. Try cutting out sugar and caffeine for a few days before you start the cleanse to make it easier (I use PUKKA detox tea) the results are worth it. I’d love to hear how you get on!
¼ cup split yellow mung beans (from Indian supermarket online, don’t substitute)
½ cup white basmati rice (has to be white for this, it’s easier to digest)
6-8 cups water
3-4 cups of fresh seasonal vegetables
1 tbp grated fresh ginger
1 tbp coconut oil (you can use ghee)
1tsp ground cumin, coriander, fennel, turmeric, fenugreek & black mustard seeds
1/8 tsp asafoetida (from Indian supermarket online)
Rinse beans and rice well. Warm coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the ginger spices, stir for a minute. Add the rice and beans and stir until coated. Add water and gently simmer until soft – about ten minutes, add cubed vegetables and simmer for another three minutes (less if using kale)
Lime & Coconut Chutney
2 limes (juiced)
1 pack of coriander (leaves and stalks shredded)
½ cup shredded coconut (use desiccated if fresh not available).
Mix together, this lasts for a week in the fridge
Virgin Mojito (the husband’s recipe, makes 2)
2 large glasses of crushed ice
1 glass ginger ale
½ glass cloudy apple juice
2 tsp dark brown muscovado sugar
16 sprigs of mint
Muddle the mint and sugar with some of the apple juice until you have almost a paste. Put half a glass of crushed ice into a glass add half of the mint paste and top up with half of the remaining apple juice, half of the ginger ale and garnish with a sprig of mint and lime wedges.
Resources: Linda Blair: Key to Calm, publisher Yellow Kite
Jasmine Helmsley: East by West, publisher Bluebird
Annie Grace: The Alcohol Experiment, publisher H