This past Friday, the women of our family held a surprise baby shower for my sister-in-law Ansley. She is currently 7 months pregnant with their first child and we knew that while we were all in the same place for the holiday, we wanted to also celebrate our newest incoming member!
I also wanted to do something a little extra special for Ansley and celebrate her transition into motherhood. I had heard about Blessingways which are traditional Navajo ceremonies where the women of the community come together to celebrate a woman's rite of passage into becoming a mother. The biggest difference from our now traditional baby showers is that while they tend to focus on the baby, a blessingway focuses on the mama. I loved this idea and knew that it would also be something that Ansley would align with! In fact, she is the first person to ever introduce me to essential oils and what they can do!
So as I was looking up all kinds of Blessingway ceremonies to do, I came up with an idea of my own that centered around oils. I got to thinking about how something I would want to bestow upon my sister-in-law or any new mama is the importance of self-care and how it directly translates and effects how we care for our little ones. And one of my favorite self-care practices is carving out the time to take a long, relaxing bath myself. It most likely means that I am going to have to clean up all of the bath toys that were used earlier that night while bathing my daughter, but there is even something ceremonious about that. It's as if I am saying "Ok I cared for you all day, will do the same tomorrow but for now it is my turn to care for me." I will dim the lights, light some candles and listen to music, a podcast that I love or simply sit in the peace of silence.
I also thought that perhaps she will have the opportunity to, while in labor, care for herself in this way. This ended up not being an option myself, however I did offer myself a bath often throughout my pregnancy.
So, I bought some epsom salts and gathered some of my favorite oils for just the occasion. I then went to my Emotions and Essential Oils book and simply printed out each oil and the emotional meaning behind it
At the shower, after we played some really fun games, right before we went to opening presents, I brought out the salts in a large bowl and placed the oils next to it with the paper of meanings. I then explained to everyone that each of us would take a turn, come up and pick an oil that resonated with us to be used as a blessing for Ansley. I told them that they could simply pick an oil because they loved the smell, or they loved the emotional meaning or if they had a very specific blessing and or words of love that they wanted to share with her they could do that. They would each then place a drop of their chosen oil into the salts. What she would be left with is a gorgeous blend of epsom salt soak and essential oils, but each time she would use it, she would be surrounded by the love, support and blessings of each of the women in the room that day.
If I may humbly say, it was a beautiful moment in the day and one that I am surely going to use again and again. My journey of motherhood has taught me that the role of sisterhood in the lives of women is ever so important. A ceremony such as this reminds us of that importance and encourages us to continue to uplift and support each other on our individual journeys, collectively. It is, yet again, a stunning reminder how we can use essential oils to connect us to ourselves and each other.
is a Mama, Wife, Teacher, Writer and Creator of One OM at a time. She has been teaching and studying yoga since 2008 and has taught at studios in Syracuse, Boston and New York City. For two years her hOMe was wherever she, her husband Justin, their daughter Audrey and pug Oscar find themselves as they traveled for Justin's job on the national tour of Matilda the Musical. This way of living has really taught Sara that yoga and mediation requires nothing more than some time and a space for your mat. You can find Sara teaching regular classes in NYC, workshops and retreats all over the country as well as in her very own online studio right here!