image is by the incredible Natalie Karpushenko
The fundamental obstacle with many of our skin symptoms is our inability to unconditionally love ourselves. Read that sentence one more time.
Our great challenge in these bodies is to learn to love ourselves just as Spirit does. The work is in learning to see all experiences as Spirit perceiving the unique and diverse beauty of Itself, of which we are not separate from.
The obstacle is overcome when we love ourselves not because of our physicality or achievements, but because we are not separate and therefore inherently worthy, inherently Beauty.
Here are a list of some of my favorite ways to love ourselves back into wholeness through the portal of this physical body. Each is its own practice and can produce profound shifts in our health and life. If tuning into everything on this list feels overwhelming, please just integrate one at a time and come back to reference it as much as you need! My intention is that this list can be a guide for you over the course of many years. Take it slow and be tender with yourself. You are so precious.
Eliminate all negative self-talk about your skin
Our thoughts imprint specific frequencies into our systems, and thus tell our bodies how to function. Imprint positive affirmations and mantras into your system and witness how much better it feels. Also avoid bonding with others over how you don’t like your skin. We are all mirrors for one another, and thus can easily perpetuate toxic mental patterns and manifestations. We have influence over one another’s behaviors more than we initially understand, so vow to be the one who doesn’t speak negatively about your skin (or anyone else’s). Be the one who radiates positivity and gratitude instead. This will ultimately be mirrored back to you.
Lovingly touch your skin daily while sending compassionate, grateful energy into it
A nice time to do this is first thing in the morning when you wash your face and/or do your skincare routine, or every time you shower. Make it a daily non-negotiable ritual to touch your skin every day while sending it conscious, great thanks.
Stop looking directly in the mirror
I have taken a few “mirror detoxes” while committing to not look in any mirror for a period of time (usually 7 days). I highly recommend this at least once a year. And on a more consistent basis — especially if you find yourself obsessing over your skin / thinking about it too much — avoid looking at yourself and especially at your skin directly in the mirror. Look more in the peripheral or at the environment around you.
Be of service to something greater than yourself
Turn your attention off of yourself (obsessing about your skin symptoms / body / health) and put your full attention and nurturing, creative energy elsewhere. Help someone. Devote yourself to something. Create something. Channel your energy somewhere besides your own body. For me, this is exactly how this company was born. I poured the energy that felt so stuck in my own head into a project that ultimately helps many others and allows me to express more expanded creativity.
Honor, express, and transmute your feelings as much as possible
Pay attention to the ways in which you avoid the truth of how you really feel or what you really think. Tune into an acknowledgment and honor of what you are going through. How is your nervous system? What doesn’t feel resonant? Express the truth of it to someone or something you trust (Mother Earth is a great listener), and transmute your feelings by witnessing how they come and go.
Heal jealousy wounds
Shift your consciousness to understanding that all that you see and admire is truly a reflection of your own beauty and energy — what you see also exists within you. Jealousy is a mirror into what we know we are capable of ourselves. Celebrate the unique beauty you experience in others, and you celebrate the beauty within yourself as well. "If you spot it, you've got it." -Wayne Dyer
Go makeup free as much as possible
Makeup should be like jewelry — an adornment for celebration, not a necessity. If you presently feel attached to makeup because there is something you feel you need to cover up or a “look” that you need to uphold in order to be powerful, attractive, or accepted, then maybe it’s time for that relationship to take a break. Makeup should feel fun — something to enhance your inherent beauty and creativity — rather than something to cover what you think you don’t like. Putting makeup on active acne breakouts or rashes will only make them worse, so let your skin breathe as much as you feel able. From the time that I was about 13 until I was 23 I didn’t go a day without mascara — I wouldn’t dare leave the house without it. I was so ashamed of my very blonde eye lashes (of which I now celebrate and love) that I felt I needed to darken them in order to be beautiful. What stopped this toxic pattern was when I went on a retreat (the retreat where I met my husband) and accidentally left my entire toiletry bag at home (mascara included) so I didn’t have a choice. It was such a powerful, life changing week and I felt so beautiful and alive… all without mascara. So I never went back.
Sweat regularly and move your body every day
My cystic acne began to heal very quickly when I started sweating in a sauna and doing hard workouts a few times per week. A lot of what acne signals is lymphatic congestion. Move your lymph through exercise that feels healthy for your constitution, and do your best to get a good sweat on a few times per week (I love the MadFit app for quick at home sessions). Gua sha is also a very powerful way to move facial lymph, but nothing can replace a good sweat.
Pay attention to skin symptoms that may suggest hormonal imbalances or gut dysbiosis
Skin symptoms are often a sign of hormone irregularity and gut dysbiosis (an imbalanced microbiome and/or digestion and assimilation issues). If you're having skin symptoms, what is the present state of your gut? How is your digestion and elimination? How are your hormonal fluctuations throughout the day, and throughout the course of the month? Do you have PMS symptoms? How is your bleeding? All of the above can be mended and cared for through simple diet and lifestyle adjustments. Cystic acne in particular is a sign of gut dysbiosis and hormonal imbalance, so don't ignore these underlying inner mechanisms of health.
Eat a wholesome, low-glycemic diet with ample veggies, fats, and clean protein
Balanced blood sugar and nourishing fats are vital to balanced, nourished skin. Blood sugar spikes are insulin spikes which cause cortisol spikes which cause excess sebum which cause clogged pores and trigger rashes... An ancestral, traditional whole foods diet for skin health consists of plenty of high-fiber veggies (whatever is in season and fresh), whole sugars coming from fruit (moderately), fats like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee and butter, properly prepared beans (avoid grains not properly prepared), pastured eggs, raw ferments, wild-caught fish, pasture raised meats and organ meats.
Settle your nervous system and expand your consciousness to receive and remember the Truth of who you are beyond whatever is reflected in the mirror. Weave your own new narrative around beauty and learn to relate with your skin in a new way — a way of gratitude, humility, compassion, and joy. Experience yourself as a vital thread in the great tapestry of existence, always supported, always loved, always whole.