We could all benefit from bringing out our inner goddess—sounds empowering, right? Well in her new book, “Whole Beauty,” Shiva Rose, the founder of the eponymous all-natural skincare line shows us how.
Rose’s book is devoted to holistic rituals that can connect us with others, ourselves and nature. The pages are filled with beautiful images of Rose and her tribe of female friends meditating, earthing, erecting alters and participating in a slew of mindful practices in her Pacific Palisades home.
“Ritual and ceremony provide us with an opportunity to refuel, re-energize, and reinvent ourselves,” she writes.
Rose covers yoga, the power of chakras, crystals—a whole gamut of mystical activities adulated by Los Angelinos and more—and shares her natural beauty and wellness recipes. Think: masks, bath elixirs, tonics, even cleaning products. (“I always have some apple cider vinegar under the sink. I take a swig of it after I get off a flight, since your body gets exposed to radiation from being on the plane.”)
This all may seem a bit woo-woo to some, but adopting the “Whole Beauty” approach guided Rose out of a very dark time in her life. “I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 26 and was severely ill,” she says. “I then went through a divorce and realized my acting career was not fulfilling—I felt like I was at rock bottom. I just wanted to feel better, so I started looking into more a more holistic lifestyle.”
She began to concoct her own skin-care, she ate organically and practiced self-care, and things eventually got better. She launched her blog, The Local Rose, to document the process and this book is a culmination of what she’s learned on her journey over the past nine years.
Ahead, we chat with Rose about meditation for beginners, making rituals out of mundane activities, and taking a bath like Cleopatra.
For those who are new to these types of practices, what’s the best place to start?
The easiest is with the breath—put a timer on for three minutes and just sit and try to connect to it. I close my eyes and try and feel the ground beneath me and the realms above me. Also, paying attention to your diet can be a simple way of being mindful. Eat something and see how your body feels afterword. Do you feel energized and alive or do you feel drained and depressed? Or get into nature, it's a very easy thing that most of us lack. There are so many simple ways to get started and then it's like a domino effect. You have to make an effort, but ultimately, you’ll feel a little bit better every day.
What if you want to meditate but feel like you can never get your brain to slow down?
I had that—we call it monkey brain—and sometimes I still do. It’s very common, especially now with social media, it’s gotten tremendously worse. Whatever attention we used to be able to hold, we can't anymore, and that’s creating so much chaos. Kundalini yoga has been so beneficial for me because you have to say a mantra and use your hands at the same time. When you're doing two things at once, it's almost impossible for the brain to chatter as much.
What’s your take on the ever-increasing social media presence?
It's bringing so many people together, it's illuminating so much and educating us. But there is definitely a huge negative, so I try and take time off here and there. I was just in Austin and I shut my phone off for the weekend and it felt so great. I also love going to places where you're off the grid with not much cell service, then you’re forced into it.
You write about the importance of making space for daily rituals in our lives, how does one do that?
Everybody has to shower or bathe, for example, so take that and make it into a ritual. A ritual is basically having an intention behind something, being in the moment and making it more meaningful. For me, bath time is really special. You can do some dry brushing, try a mantra, light a candle, put some crystals in the bath, maybe roses if you want to bring in love or rosemary if you want to release something. Set an intention of what you're trying to bring into your life and focus on that as you massage oil into your skin. There are many ways to make the mundane into ritual, it's just a way to raise your self-worth and let your conscious know that you're loved.
Why do you think women should learn about goddesses?
It's nice to dive in deep to a goddess and find out where she evolved from, what she represents, her strengths and weakness and what you can borrow from her. You can make an alter to one to bring out that quality in yourself—sometimes it's easier for us to find that within something and adapt into ourselves, rather than just thinking about what we’re missing or want to change.
Excerpted from Whole Beautyby Shiva Rose (Artisan Books). Copyright 2018. Photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo
Cleopatra’s Secret Bath Recipe
- 3 cups cow’s or goat’s milk, preferably raw
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 10 drops of rose essential oil
- A handful of organic fresh or dried rose petals
This is an incredibly nourishing treat for the skin. The lactic acid in the milk (I prefer raw, as it has more enzymes and is cleaner) works to remove impurities. The honey is like food for the skin, and rose opens the heart and is anti-aging. After this bath, your skin will be smooth, soft, and opulently scented. This is also ideal for balancing the Pitta and Vata doshas.
Fill the tub with water that is the ideal temperature for you. Add the milk, honey, essential oil, and rose petals before you step in. Soak for 20 minutes or more.