For Day 30, Mme. Ferris really brings everything together by putting the focus on “immerse yourself in sensuous beauty.” What she’s suggesting here is that we consciously work every day to slow down and appreciate all of our senses.
It would be very, very easy for this entry to be useless fluff, but she keeps things practical and provides some practical suggestions on how to feel sensuous on a daily basis without either breaking the bank or it taking so much effort that we just don’t want to be bothered.
She accomplishes this by putting mindful effort into thinking about what delights her and then writing a list – a good exercise for all of us, I’d say! Break it down by each of your senses (in addition to the usual five, she also includes “intuition” and “receiving” – more on that later). Here are some of her ideas, but your list (and mine!) will probably look different.
Sight – Do you love the sight of flickering candles? Then use them everyday. Rewatch a favorite movie. Spend time on your makeup and hair instead of acting as if you’re living at sea where the “Navy shower” is a must.
Sound – if you like quiet, work in silence and drink in the peacefulness of it. Listen to classic jazz like Miles Davis or Nina Simone. Or try Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. And don’t forget laughter! Bookmark some of your favorite comedy routines and revisit them often.
Touch/feel – Wear soft, comfortable fabrics. Walk outside and feel the air and sunshine on your skin. Take an extra few minutes and moisturize your body, paying careful attention to what you’re doing.
Smell – Enjoy food aromas that you love, like coffee or the smell of fresh bread at a bakery. Shop for perfume and take your time to find what best suits your mood. Step inside a flower shop or outside into the woods and thoughtfully inhale.
Taste – The refreshing feel of chilled water with lemon. Petite amounts of delicious, rich foods like double-cream brie, real cream in your coffee, or dark chocolate.
Intuition – Here, she’s talking about being quiet enough to ask yourself questions and listen for the answer! Once you have that answer – it often will look like a “hunch” – do something about it, right then. Act with gratitude. Ground yourself – literally.
Receiving – Accept compliments gracefully. Accept your financial worth by not undercharging for your work. Ask others for help when you need it – most people want to help.
I spent some time today really thinking about this. What sensations do I really enjoy? How can I incorporate those things into my everyday life more often? In my case, I decided to start reading a book Mme. Ferris had suggested – Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which is unlike anything I’ve read before. Two narrators – one a 12-year-old girl and one a middle-aged caretaker of a ritzy apartment building. Short chapters alternate between who is talking. Based on how quickly I’ve torn through the first 90 pages, this is going to be a quick, yet thoughtful, read. (The book has been made into an acclaimed movie, as well – I hope to see that soon.) I also took a “Cleopatra bath” – hot water with cornstarch, milk, and (yes) honey. In addition to reading in the bath, I also took in cold lemon water and two very excellent chocolates from a favorite candy store I visited during my weekend trip to see my parents. I then put on freshly-laundered cotton pajamas and – let me tell you – I felt like about a million bucks!
So that’s our tour through 30 Chic Days – almost. She’s included a “bonus day,” so I have one more entry for you coming tomorrow.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have!