• Dharma Nemani

Our daily use of lavender

Growing up, my mom would rub a smidge of holy ash on our foreheads before school, every morning. By the time I was a teenager, I had it fully rubbed off before I was out the gate because eww mom, not cool, duh. We weren’t super religious or anything, but thinking back, even when I was too cool for school, there was something so grounding and reassuring about this simple moment with my mom before leaving. It wasn’t the ash, it was that brief stillness amidst the otherwise chaotic morning of getting ready, eating breakfast and rushing out the door.

Continuing my mom’s tradition, I’ve been rubbing Mishka’s hands and cheeks with lavender lotion before we leave for school. It’s not some fancy, essential oil-rich cream, it’s Trader Joe’s lavender hand lotion. But I usually say something like, “I hope you have the best day!” as I rub the lotion on her and to this day, if I forget this step, she’ll promptly remind me, “Amma! Lavender!” I cherish our two seconds of stillness and I’d like to think it’s as reassuring and comforting as my mom’s holy ash.

PS: One of our readers has a similar practice with her toddler and I loved it so much - thank you for sharing! “We spray lavender before bed and give ourselves a big thank you for showing up today. And we spray lemon grass in the morning and wish each other a good day.”

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