Do you have a special balm that's your go to for everything?
Or are you like how I used to be, and had different products for different uses.
A lip balm for lips.
A massage wax for massage.
A special ointment for those occasions that you just don't know what to do about, like an itchy bite or nasty scratch.
Or maybe a balm that you bought because your good friend used it.
Once upon a time, a long long time ago, a friend came to my house and used my bathroom.
When she finished and returned from the room the first thing she said to me was "Dang Girl! you sure have a lot of product."
It was a most interesting comment from her, as I knew she loved high quality moisturisers and lotions, she even sold a few ranges in her shop, and they were all NZ brands which were native plant botanical ranges and had the most alluring of smells.
When she left that day and I had a good scrutinise at my own bathroom cabinet, I realised she was right, I did have an awful lot of product.
Some which had been given to me as presents, some which I was trialing but probably would never bother buying again, and some which were single use products, that were specially identified for one major purpose and were not transferable to other areas of life.
For example, I had a day cream, night cream, eye wrinkle cream, lip balm, intensive night moisturising cream, all over body lotion, hand lotion, massage balm, body butter, the list just went on...
Another thing I noticed about these products is the amount of time before a product is past its best before date and will be no longer viable and give its optimal performance. This can be anywhere between 6 -12 months for a natural product, although products made of only oils and waxes can be effective for up to 3 years.
Some more synthetic based products have longer expiry dates, as these products usually contain preservatives to help keep a longer shelf life in the supermarket.
I had a good hard look at my bathroom cabinet that day, and made some tough decisions about why I had stored so many products in my life.
I questioned the ingredients in the products, and if I had an obligation to use the product all the way to the last squirt in the tube until I dispensed it in the rubbish bin.
If I did chuck the product out with out finishing it, I will be putting these products in the rubbish and not able to recycle the container.
Oh the burden all these products had made me carry!
I subconsciously set to work, furiously using and decanting half used body lotions, researching and refusing products which sent tiny little particles of plastic down my drain to goodness knows where, to not be broken down for the next 50 years. I streamlined subjectively my choices around what I wanted to have in my life, what worked and what was necessary.
This was a time in my life which just happened to coincide with one of the most product awakening times of my life, the birth of my first child.
It is a time when many new mums start realising that the way we treat our own bodies before a baby comes along, is not necessarily the same way we want to treat them during pregnancy and after our baby is born.
Many of our everyday beauty and hygiene rituals, are completely unnecessary for a babies life, and some recommend not even washing your beautiful new born with soap, so how is it we came to rely on so many beauty and daily necessities that we can't live without?
Life as a mum is busy. Sometime I wonder why did human females only get two hands and two arms, when Octopuses got eight.
Sometimes I feel like I could do with those eight arms to do and fulfill all the jobs and requests that file at me from the moment I wake up, to the precious moment when my children finally fall fast asleep.
By removing stuff and making space, I have found I can focus better on being present to my day and the job right in front of me, and not drowning in a sea of clutter and visual distraction.
When I look after myself properly and make an effort to make myself feel good by taking good care of my body, mind and spirit and my home environment, I instantly boost my ability to be a present and loving mum and streamline the time and energy I have so little of, efficiently.
Having many different products cluttering up our home space, increases spending and consumption and makes us feel we need to use these products because we bought them, whether they are good for us or not.
Finding Goodbye OUCH for me was the one stop shop I was looking for. I needed a balm that was transparent in its ingredients list, and was not made with things I needed a science degree to know what they were.
It came with a HUGE list of ways I could use it and things it had been tested and tried on.
At some point I started realising I trusted this balm over other balms which although purposeful, didn't expand my knowledge or imagination of how they could be used in life. I have found one single product can effectively be used in different ways and give healing to many different problems.
Sooner or later my bathroom cabinet started to look a heck of a lot emptier, and one day it may even start to look very similar to this.