Is herbal soap without flavor acceptable?

I love to make soaps loaded by herbs. I love to experiment with various combinations, listening to my inner voice and remembering University knowledge. I’ve learned how to infuse herbal energy and active compounds into the soaps effectively and I am happy to apply them on my body. Each time in the shower my lovely soaps remind me the whole adventure from harvesting herbs to final bubbles.

I believe the desire to share passions with close people is natural. So I did and proudly offered my herbal soaps to friends. All of them did the same thing. They skipped a visual survey and immediately began to smell intensively. As if the smell could reveal everything about the quality. One by one they told me the same thing with the same disappointment: “It smells only like soap!”

Looking at my disappointment, they listened to my lecture on the effects of herbs and natural oils I had used, but it was obvious that there is nothing to compensate a lack of proper smell.

Next, I wanted to make the others happier, so I made a lot of various herbal soaps with various added flavors. I did my best and used essential oils labeled “natural”, considering it was a compromise. The others gave me compliments for innovation, but I felt somehow that I was moving away from myself.

Because I am not a big manufacturer, I only make a few soaps for a while, the whole process took a couple of years. I have to admit it now. I lied to myself in trying to be successful in the eyes of my friends. The truth is, that I need to have my soaps full of herbs but with no added flavors, doesn’t matter how much they are “natural”.

Today, I have a bunch of violets on the table ready to become a part of soap soon. They are so beautiful with hidden power for skin treatment and I finally know that I am not allowed to kill their uniqueness by added flavor. And just time will show if such decision is acceptable to more people than just for me.

What do you think?

With love, Ivana

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Happy birthday, Hanka!

The post and the picture are dedicated to my friend Hanka, who celebrated her birthday by successful participation in the Prague Half Marathon few days ago. I have a strong respect for endurance and vitality, which she runs in her running and living as well.

Hanka, I wish you all the best for your birthday! You are entering the year 7 in your life path, so you can expect an important crossroad ahead. You will probably meet a number of opportunities for change, but it’s up to you to decide and accept. I feel a great challenge on the field of work, where change could bring a significant growth.

Seven is also the number of truth. Unfortunately, the truth is often revealed by breaking of myths under which it was long time hidden. It can hurt, but for a healthy future, the truth is a more stable base than a beautiful myth. I believe, you know the core of that truth. After you discover the whole story, you will move forward. And moving forward is another key feature of the seven.

Seven is touching our heart and soul. If it’s done with honesty and open mind, the Universe offers all we need for success and happiness. The seven wants us to stop sticking to old patterns and prejudices, and start opening to the offered gifts. And there are plenty of them!

With love, Ivana

Dreaming of summer lounging

Fortunately, I live in a relatively safe part of the world, considering weather and socio-political climate. In the middle of Europe we usually do not have hurricanes or tornados. But today, we had a really strong wind here, perhaps the strongest in the last ten years. Power supply was interrupted in many places, many trees suddenly fell down and two of them even ended human lives.

I spent my day safe at home, watching the raging wind behind the window. I felt anxiety for all the people outside, thinking about the nature of this weather.

A strong wind struggles to bridge extremely different pressures in the atmosphere, and the desire to balance is so strong that it takes everything what stands in its way. It is not so different from a human nature. Many people hate conflicts, so they are trying to bridge the enemy pressures among others. They use themselves to prevent the storm of strong words or even real fights. But is it possible to keep the storm in a garage forever?

I am sad for all the trees that have been so suddenly defeated from their roots, and I am naturally sad for the human lives that have been so suddenly ended. But something deeply inside tells me that the storm was like a blow of the truth. It was the unpleasant blow of the unpleasant truth, which is exactly what we usually try to avoid.

We usually prefer to dream of harmony and happiness, even if they do not stand on completely true foundations. I personally do not believe that our life is a journey into paradise in terms of endless lounging. I do believe that the path of life is a sinusoid, where the pulses alternate up and down in the rhythm that G-d has in his hands.

We can only do our best to have love, compassion and strength in our hearts to overcome consequences of the tornados, coming into our lives. And try not to make useless storms.

With love, Ivana

Pass or pass on?

One of my friends asked me to draw a picture for a particular activity she decided to start, something symbolic. She wanted me to draw how it comes to me, intuitively. I was pleased and proud, so I promised to do my best.

And I really did. But neither during processing nor after it have I not been satisfied with the result. Too many warnings popped among the pleasure. I feel she could be happy and a part of something bigger but also blind and potentially cruel to the truth of her soul and heart.

Who am I to judge her?

I only wanted to be a supportive friend, drawing nice and positive picture. Instead I feel the pain and regret.

Where is the border between being honest and supportive? Should I pass the picture on including warnings? To wrap the warnings into sugar words?

Or is it better to pass and pretend nothing happened? To block the intuition and draw a new picture full of positives?

I am not sure I could pretend. She is a good friend of mine. I hope she is strong enough to take the warnings and still stay on her path.

But it is difficult to bring her disappointment where she is looking forward.

The Night of Miracles

Whether we celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, we celebrate the night of miracles. Each of us may need to believe in miracles, because we live in a cynical age when wars, suffering and death of thousands are watched on TV at breakfast.

Belief in miracles brings hope, that one day we ourselves are going to become part of a miracle. It encourages us to overcome obstacles and not to be indifferent to the surrounding life. Belief in miracles doesn’t mean to wait for them at home and doing nothing.

So let’s celebrate! Happy Christmas and Chanukah!

Agrimony: The Herb of Truth

I love Agrimony like a beautiful and noble plant, like an effective medicinal plant and also like an essential flower remedy. It’s an amazing gift of nature and fully deserves our protection and respect.

I have my favorite place, where I observe and collect Agrimony plants. When at the end of spring begin to appear velvety hairs on young leaves and buds, I feel tenderness and vulnerability. It seems to be soft and supple. But few weeks later Agrimony dramatically changes its appearance. It rapidly drives the main stem to a great height, to keep track of everything what is happening around. Suddenly, tenderness becomes pride and vulnerability becomes need to control. Optimistic yellow flowers abundant on the top of stem balance both polarities. And this is the right season to collect Agrimony before its stem lignifies. Lignification represents the stage, when Agrimony preserves mask of optimistic arrogance, ignoring its own vulnerability and willingness to help.

Harvesting at the right time, Agrimony has a wide range of healing effects for both, exterior and interior application. I like yellow slightly bitter tea of Agrimony, which positively affects entire digestive system without any side effects. Additionally it strengthens our immunity. Externally, Agrimony is very helpful for wound healing and treatment of skin diseases. Together with Yarrow, Agrimony belongs to the most effective plants for coalescence of what has been divided and for aftercare of scars.

Who is familiar with the flower remedies of Dr.Bach, knows well the effects of Agrimony in our emotional system. And if you remember the words about physical appearance of Agrimony, you get an idea of these effects. Agrimony flower remedy helps to all, who covers vulnerability and true emotions by funny faces. People, who seem to be optimistic in every situation, just as they always have everything under control, are like Agrimony, which begins to lignify.

And that is why I call Agrimony “the herb of truth”. It helps to be honest and not to hide weaknesses and fear, not to waste energy on maintaining of artificial and always positive masks. Thanks to Agrimony we can feel free and freely use any of emotions.