Last month I attended the launch for Shiva Rose’s new book, Whole Beauty, at ABC Carpet & Home. For those who may not know, Shiva is the founder of Shiva Rose Beauty (I’m a fan of the pearl rose face cream, and the glow balm has a cult following!) and her blog, The Local Rose; the latter came first. The event took place at the Deepak Homebase, and upon entering we were encouraged to select a sprig or flower to contribute to the communal altar. Shiva personally greeted each of us, waving branches around our bodies to clear energy and help center ourselves, before we were offered golden elixirs (a variation of the Celesial Nog, a recipe found in the book) and guided to our seats.
Shiva opened the night by calling in the Four Directions, a Native American prayer that honors the spirits and the land of the east, south, west, and north, as well as Mother Earth and the celestial beings in the sky. She then talked about some of the challenges she has faced, such as escaping from the Iranian Revolution as a child and relocating in LA with her family, and what she calls her “perfect storm” in 2008. Shiva had just given birth to her second daughter at the time. Meanwhile her sixteen year marriage was falling apart and she was being sued for trying to save a two hundred year old oak tree! To top it off, symptoms from her autoimmune diseases (scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis) were heightened by all the stress. In her book she recounts her lowest point - running barefoot through the woods in the middle of the night, “running from [her] marriage, running from the fractured life that [she] had created, running from [her] illness, running from childhood traumas, just running.”
She read to us:
The only good thing about hitting rock bottom is that you have nowhere to go but up, and as I limped home that night...I knew it was time to wipe the slate clean. I could choose to treat my anxiety and depression, which were symptoms of my pain, or I could face the pain and overhaul my being. I chose to do the latter, because I knew that I didn’t want to survive, I wanted to thrive.
And thrive she does! After that dark night, Shiva rebuilt her life in the most beautiful way. She relocated to a new home with her daughters and surrounded herself with nature. She grew her own vegetables, composted, and raised chickens and honeybees. She started making her own skincare and cleaning products. And she started her blog, The Local Rose. “[She] met all of these incredible practitioners along the way as [she] was changing [her] life, and discovered that there were a lot of us searching for inspiration. [She] wanted to show that it was possible to be green and conscious and still be chic...”
Shiva began incorporating rituals and self-care into her life and practicing Kundalini yoga daily. She explained to us that the idea for her skincare line came to her in a meditation - she calls this a “download” (love that!) - and it only took a few months from the download to product fruition. She launched with her face oil, at a time when face oil was not such a trend as it is today. Today her beauty line consists of nearly 20 products!
Simply being around Shiva was such a special experience- she truly radiates beauty, and her feminine energy is both inspiring and empowering. She told us she feels better now in her forties than she ever did in her twenties or thirties. “We live in such a masculine time,” she said, explaining how everything can be so fast-paced and directional, and that “to be in your feminine is to slow down...and to receive,” and to be in touch with our sensuality.
Sensuality is about having a connection to yourself, your soul...indulging in all the things that make you feel alive and beautiful. Approaching beauty with reverence and ritual can help awaken your feminine fire and stoke the flames of vibrancy and passion. Beauty and self-care nourish us so that we can continue to give to others.
So beautifully said. Whole Beauty is here to guide you through some of Shiva's rituals, and you can pick and choose what speaks to you. It's got everything from guided meditations to tea ceremony to beauty recipes (e.g. The Plumping Goddess Nectar Mask and Shimmering Body Oil), an essential oil guide, recipes for tonics and teas, and so much more! Shiva signed my book with the inscription, "may you always walk in beauty." This is my hope for my readers as well. May we all take steps to be the best and truest versions of ourselves, and may we walk in beauty and share it with those around us.