Romance is a word I have only recently developed an appreciation for. It felt like the embodiment of harlequin novels and a consumer society requiring the purchases of chocolates and roses. When I began to forge my own definition of romance, I found a new understanding of the word.
I find romance in the things that are slow; the unhurried memories of my elders, the sensual embrace of the woods during solitary walks, the memoirs of antiques, the subtle softness of mutual affection shared with and animal and the almost imperceptible growth of plants. Silence and communion with the earth and her creatures is incredibly romantic.
Small things like directed breathing, steering my focus to my sense perceptions and using a solid lotion bar for self-massage (abhyanga), brings awareness and redirects my consciousness to be present in the moment. In a hurried world that that seems to intensify perceptions of anxiety and feelings of isolation, the deliberate act of incorporating this style of “slowness” into my life helps me maintain balance.
Try to find moments of romance in the mundane, and practice sending loving thoughts inward. Since there is nothing romantic about shameless self-promotion, I’ve included a recipe for a solid massage bar. If you feel like a little DIY, try this solid lotion bar recipe. If you’d rather have it created for you, of course there are some in the shop! This recipe does not use any beeswax and will melt quickly once applied to the body.
Solid Massage Bar:
210 g cocoa butter
60 g coconut oil
24 drops orange essential oil
9 drops lavender essential oil
12 drops neroli essential oil
18 drops vitamin E oil
Melt the solid oils (cocoa butter and coconut oil) in a double boiler. Once liquefied add the essential oils and vitamin E oil. Mix well to incorporate. Pour into a muffin pan or any mold that can be placed in the refrigerator. Chill until firm, pop out of the mold and wrap in wax paper. Keep in a cool area.