Acne is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. It's one of the biggest mind fucks out there. Stress creates blemishes and blemishes create stress and stress creates self-destruction and self-destruction creates stress and stress creates blemishes. The entire psychoemotional basis of healing acne is that is manifests from a dislike of the self. So I've spent the last five years trying to figure out what went wrong? When did I start not liking myself? I mean I always had insecurities as a teenager but nothing more than the usual awkward growing pains. When did it really go over the edge to the point of dis-ease?
I've read every self help book. I've seen every therapist. I've gone to every healer. And regardless of what you see and I see on the shiny lens of social media, it's still there. It still holds power. And so I wonder, what's left to learn? As Pema Chodron once said, "Nothing goes away until it teaches you what you need to know." Okay well three yoga trainings, thousands of dollars in therapy, and have just completed my 4th year in a Master's program in Chinese Medicine, I would have hope to know a thing or two now about how to really heal this.
The reality is that, I think, learning how to accept ourselves is the hardest, and I mean the hardest, thing on planet earth. This is not a post to tell you how to do it. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure it out. This is just me saying, I feel you. I hear you. I know what you're going through. And that's why I created Benshen. I wanted something to make me feel better about myself. Some sort of act of self-nourishment towards my body and skin rather than perpetual self-destruction. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and feel beautiful because I did something kind for myself, for my skin.
Our skin is simply a reflection of what's going on inside, physically and emotionally. So if we're seeing inflammation, there's bound to be inner inflammation happening, physically and emotionally, for neither can exist without the other. So when things are going haywire emotionally, it’s often when I see the most issues with my skin and also often the times when I treat it the most poorly with picking, switching products all the time, looking in the mirror and telling myself not so nice things. So while, no, I won’t tell you how to take care of your skin for everyone’s own ritual is unique, I will say that after years of all this, I’ve picked up a few helpful tools along the way to assist me during those challenging times and share them with you below::
- NO MIRRORS :: I look in the mirror about 600 times a day. It’s like, maybe if I look now my acne will be gone? One book I read on manifesting said to actually NOT rely on your physically senses while attracting what you want because currently it will not match what you are trying to bring. So if you’re trying to attract clear skin but you use your eyes to look and see that that is not the current immediate reality, then you are going to continue to meet that reality because it’s currently more believable than your ability to create. So the most important thing is to stay out of the mirror or at least 5 ft away from the mirror. We often look way too closely (like, do we really need to be 0.5 cm away from mirror inspecting each individual pore?) and magnify everything. Stay back and let the changes happen.
- NOURISHING SKINCARE - if you look at my previous post on my routine, you will see that there are no harsh products being used. It’s so important to use only nourishing products on your skin, especially when it’s going through flareups. However, most of the modern view of skincare is to dry out, dry out, dry out. But when we use all these products to dry up the problem, we leave our skin off balance, causing a deeper imbalance between the skins own ability to heal itself. One thing I often tell myself is, “My skin knows how to take care of this better than I think I know how to.” This helps me just trust in my own body’s innate ability to heal itself while I use only the most nourishing ingredients to assist it on it’s process.
- ACCOUNTABILITY - i love picking my skin. Picking is my favorite. And of course, it makes me feel terrible about myself. So the first thing I do is get an accountability buddy. Every morning I send them a photo of my skin to prove that I have not picked. You MUST pick someone who is a tough cookie. My partner holds me highly accountable to my agreement with her, which if I go against my word, I am not allowed to use any form of social media for the day (gasp). The less I pick, the less problems I have, obviously. But sometimes it’s so hard to get out of a cycle that accountability gives us more energy to commit to the changes we want to make.