Traditionally, winter means a slower pace. Cold, short days and early dark are Nature’s ancient cues to conserve precious energy. But, of course, we aren’t bears, dozing peacefully until the first cherry-blossoms open. Today, technology allows us to defy our inner clocks. And in fact, with the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get whipped into a frenzy of tree-trimming, decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, texting and Zooming.
What’s the hurry?
Japan made history in October, 1964, with the introduction of the world’s first “bullet-train.” On its initial route, the Shinkansen made it possible to travel between Tokyo and Osaka (a distance of about 300 miles) in just three hours and 10 minutes, setting the world standard for high-speed rail. And yet, speed simply isn’t enough. We’re going faster. But are we really getting to where we want to go?
Do less, mean more
We all crave meaning as well as efficiency. The ability to balance these values is deeply instilled in Japanese tradition, helping us to be productive without becoming frantic! If you’re struggling with this seeming duality, take another look at Marie Kondo’s ideas. Kondo famously recommends that you examine your clutter, and release anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” This technique works for sweaters, and it also works for your tasks, errands, chores.
Make it count
This kind of thinking – and feeling – is what’s behind our skin rituals. Some regimens overwhelm you with options. Curiously, too many options actually diminish our enjoyment of things, a phenomenon that marketers call “the paradox of choice.” Our products are made with great care, to be enjoyed with great pleasure.
For instance, we suggest that you spread our lotion and beauty oil onto your palms and hold them together in front of your chest to warm them up. Doing this simple movement enhances the scent, and the product’s ability to penetrate the skin. Then lightly and slowly press the warm product into your skin with your hands. Massage the backs of your ears—very good for relieving stress! As a final step, use your fingertips to lightly massage the product downward on your neck. This slimming movement releases lymph from the nodes, and allows chi to flow freely, for better energy.
Take the moment
Caring for your skin should be a pleasurable experience, but you may rush through it. This is equivalent to wolfing down a meal. It’s no secret that smaller bites and thorough chewing deliver more taste, and more efficient nutrition. Slowing down makes everything more delicious. Here’s a holiday tip which may be useful if you usually send out dozens of greeting cards:
Buy expensive cards. Some of our favorite cards and stationery may be found at soolip.com, a unique website created by Los Angeles style maven Wanda Wen. Wen is an advocate for the power of paper and handwritten messages, humanizing touches which are especially welcome in our time of COVID isolation. Buying hand-made cards will inspire you to place greater value on each one. A beautiful handmade card may cost $5, $6 or more. This requires that you examine your list with new eyes.
Our tip with using emails and other social media: stop abbreviating. This even applies to business communication. Instead of typing “LMK ASAP TY”, type out, “Please let me know as soon as you can. I really appreciate it. Thank you!” Just slowing your fingers down by a couple of seconds gives you to mental space to be more mindful of your message. And the message will seem a bit more human, more warm, and more meaningful on the receiving end.
This holiday season, “Be the warmth.”
Wishing you every happiness in the new year.