Life should be filled with joyful moments.Each one of us deserve to be acknowledged, appreciated and celebrated.
Life gets busy for most of us as we juggle responsibilities and spend much of our time nurturing others.
It is important that we each find the time to celebrate you, to honor ourselves for our efforts and triumphs, and to praise our resilience even during the hardest of time.
What are some of the ways of celebrating yourself?
- Unleash your inner child-Reward yourself with a rare moment of instant gratification. Has there always been an activity you have been dying to try which would make you feel like celebrating yourself?
- Give yourself the gift of extra time – Wake up a bit earlier or go to bed a bit later so you can have some extra time in the day just for you. Drink a cup of coffee by yourself, read a magazine or cuddle up on the couch or go for a walk in nature.Little yet powerful ways in celebrating yourself.
- Give yourself a social media shoutout -Hop on Facebook and write a post that simply says something like, “I’m feeling great today, I hope you are, too,” or I feel like celebrating myself and I hope you do too! Your social media circle will love that you are feeling happy, and they will appreciate that you’re wishing good feelings on them as well.
- Start a joyful ritual -Once a week (or month), set aside time to take a hot bubble bath, read your favorite books, or end your day with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.Find ways for celebrating yourself!
- Buy something or do something beautiful for yourself-Buy yourself some flowers and put them in a prominent place in your home where you can enjoy them. Make it a weekly or monthly ritual.Or like what I did today, get yourself some mehendi/traditional Indian body art and enjoy celebrating you!
- Document yourself -Get a new picture of you taken by a friend with a great camera or even a professional photographer. It could be colorful, or arty and black and white. Smile—you’ll be glad later that you documented this moment in your life.
- Be kind to yourself -Do to yourself as you might do for others. Make a concerted effort to be as attentive and giving to yourself as you would be to a boss, a customer, a child, a friend or a mate. Make your wants and needs a priority and focus.
Remember self care is a non- negotiable necessity for your well being physically, emotionally and spiritually.
What is Mehendi?
Mehndi/henna is a form of body art and temporary skin decoration originating in ancient India, in which decorative designs are created on a person’s body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant
Which countries in the world is mehendi popular in?
In the late 1990s, mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West, popularized by Indian cinema and entertainment industry, where they are called henna tattoos.
What is the significance of applying mehendi?
Mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā].The use of mehndi and turmeric is described in the earliest HinduVedic ritual books. It was originally used for only women’s palms and sometimes for men, but as time progressed, it was more common for men to wear it.
Staining oneself with turmeric paste, as well as mehndi, are Vedic customs, intended to be a symbolic representation of the outer and the inner sun. Vedic customs are centered on the idea of “awakening the inner light”.
Traditional Indian mehendi designs are representations of the sun on the palm, which is represented by the hands and feet.
Mehendi has a great significance in performing classical dance like Bharatnatyam.
What are the common occasions in which mehendi is applied?
Mehendi in Indian tradition is a ceremonial art form and is typically applied during Indian weddings and festivals.
Want to try some fun henna/mehendi designs this festive season? Get my E-Book on Henna Designs now by clicking the image below.
The Process of making Mehendi
Those days the leaves were collected from the henna plant and ground into a fine paste using a traditional grinding stone. These days they are available as ready made cones containing pre-made commercial henna.
Henna paste is usually applied to the skin using a plastic cone, a paintbrush or a stick. After about 15–20 minutes, the mud will dry and begin to crack, and during this time, a mixture of lemon juice and white sugar can be applied over the henna design to remoisten the henna mud so that the henna will stain darker.
The Back Story
Walking into the ‘Desi’ salon to get my eyebrows done, I had not planned for what was coming next. Finding some “me time” and getting groomed seemed like a distant dream and a luxury these days, yet the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed getting it, is putting it very subtly…and why not ?
Hindi music was blaring from the TV, bright colors all around. The lady who runs the place offered me some samosa and masala chai as I entered, telling me that they just got them from the chaat place, next door.
Suddenly feeling homesick, I sunk into that huge cushioned chair.Loudly chatting to every customer on her salon chair, she headed over to me, reaching out and giving me a tight bear hug. “Where have you been all these days, “beti”(Hindi term for addressing a child or daughter)? she said.
Holding back a tear, for the affection I felt for this kind lady, I replied,”You know I go into hibernation, for winter, don’t you ??” making a mock annoyed expression with my eyes. We both laughed loudly while she continued to run her fingers on my hair, she said, “You need to catch up on some of our essential services”.
Do you know the feeling you get, when you take your car in for service and then your car comes out sparkling clean and shiny? Well, that’s about the same feeling I get whenever I visit her place.
There is a lot of good energy in there with bouts of laughter, music and if you are lucky some good food too.It’s more like soul food or window shopping. You go there for the sheer joy it brings to your spirit and the added perk was the grooming .
She started to thread my eyebrows, it was then that I noticed her little henna design on her palm.On a whim, I asked her if she could do it for me, since I had some time on my hands that morning.
She gladly agreed and pointed to a young and shy girl in the salon saying, “She is our henna/mehendi artist, here” and called out to her, asking if she could give me an appointment to get my henna done.
Walk-ins were allowed in this salon.It was completely ‘desi’ style, no previous appointment needed. Unlike many other places here, they always could make time for their customers.How they did it, I have no idea, but most of us who leave the salon walk away feeling like a million dollars or more 🙂
It has been ages since I had henna/mehendi done on my hands, I had forgotten the simple pleasures of “feeling like a woman”, so when my turn rolled around, in my ignorance,I asked the young girl, if she had a design book handy for me to pick a design from.
She winked and pulled her smart phone out of her pocket, on her finger tips was Pinterest…Lo! and behold the mehendi designs that popped up on the page, had me giddy with joy. Now I had a tough choice in front of me. I picked a simple design (or so I thought !) to suit my heart’s desire.
The young girl worked like a pro moving her fingers deftly with the henna cone. Softly, I asked her, “Are you an artist , by any chance ? You draw the henna design, so beautifully ! ” She replied shyly, “I sketch at home, in my free time” She had real skills, I told her, she was so good at it.
Walking down memory lane
Stretching my arms out to her, relaxing in the well cushioned chair, I walked down memory lane….the first time I had henna was as a kid perhaps when I was six or seven.
Our maid at home had gone to her native village for her annual vacation and as a humble gift she always brought back a bag of nicely ground henna paste.She would regale stories from her village as I sat listening to her patiently while she dabbed round henna balls on to my finger tips and palms with the henna paste.
Those were days when the design world of henna hadn’t emerged, yet the simple joys of coloring your nails and palm with henna was just as joyful as it is today.
Simply joys of growing up in rural India, which nothing in the world can compare to.
Years later, the same maid got us some henna plant seeds, that we grew in our backyard.Years later it grew into a beautiful henna plant,I remember most of our weekend afternoons would be spent under that henna tree, picking those leaves to grind into a paste and decorate our palms with later on in the day.
Each time we had henna/mehendi on, we went into laborious research to find out what would make it vibrant red the next morning. So in went betel leaves, lemon juice and sugar along with the henna leaves while grinding into a fine paste.
Our childhood innocence made us believe, that the longer we kept it on our palms, the brighter red it would turn.We slept with it overnight. Most of the times we would wake up with henna sticking to our hair or even worse coloring your sibling or cousin’s face beside you.Teasing each other and laughter was a given the next morning when we found ourselves with henna on our hair or our little faces.
To the present moment
As I sat lost in these happy thoughts, suddenly the young girl broke my reverie by asking, ” So, is there going to be a party this weekend, what is the occasion, why all this henna?” she asked.
I smiled and quietly replied, “Yes, celebrating ME”.
At first she looked up curiously, then her eyes sparkled, she smiled back and said, “That is the most beautiful thing I have heard in a while, and YES! why not?”
We both smiled knowingly, suddenly in all the enthusiasm of someone so young, she said, ‘Can, I draw some flowers too ? “
“Go, for it,” I said”……it’s Spring after all” and that is how we went to town with the henna/mehendi design, that day. Her and me.
The next morning while I washed my face , I couldn’t but help appreciate the rich hue the henna has taken on my palms,…..
Looking at my palms this morning, I smile to myself admiring her art on display. Deep inside we are all little girls at heart, simple joys in life is all we crave.
Go find some time for yourself and get your henna smile on, even if it for a day, it is totally worth it !
The Bottom Line
Henna or ‘Mehendi as it is traditionally called has stood the test of time. Over the ages it has been used in festivals, marriages and religious functions alike in India.
Many cultures around the world have included it in their beauty regimen. It was originally thought to have travelled from Egypt to India. The Egyptians queens have been known to, supposedly have colored their hair a bright orange as a fashion statement.
Can you think of ways of celebrating you today?
It won’t be long before it catches up here in the U.S, me thinks after all, going by the hair color in the political landscape, Orange is the New Black!
Share in your comments below the way you take time in celebrating you.
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On this International Woman's Day, I decided to share a blogpost from the past, rightly titled "CELEBRATING YOU!"
Yes, it's about being a woman and celebrating you in big and small ways.
Not everything needs to be shouted from rooftops, sometimes it is just the still voice of the calm.
As women, we wear many hats weaved with threads of resilience.
This post is a gentle reminder to you, to take her out or sit beside her and celebrate together, on how far you have travelled.
Underneath all the tough exterior, she is the little girl you know so well.
Go on, CELEBRATE YOU!
Love the henna designs?
Easy henna designs for even beginners. This simple, easy and stylish beauty art will have you mesmerized for days to come. Give it a try today!