We’ve been immersed in making soap for holiday gifts again this year. This is not soap from scratch, but instead the easy melt and pour glycerin soap that is available at craft stores. Someone else has done the hard work of creating the soap base. We just melt it and shape it into our creations.
Soap making is a total sensory experience, involving smells, colors, and textures. I have been enjoying how the house holds the fragrance of frankincense, peppermint, and clary sage long after we are done with our designs. We often mix in dried flowers and herbs from the garden: lavender, calendula, and nettles. And this year we tried some new techniques like marbling. Aside from all the fun of creating something with grandchildren, working with soap all week has provided a gentle reminder of balance.
The soap base needs to be melted to a certain consistency to pour into the molds. But in the melting process, we can also heat it too much and it can scorch. If we are marbling colors, we need them to congeal a bit before we pour or they combine into one new color. But if we wait too long to pour, we simply get clumps of colors.
There is a sweet spot when the soap is flowing absolutely correctly. And then there are the mistakes when the soap is too hot or too clumpy. We are of course aiming for the sweet spot. It requires paying attention to the process.
That is also what is required in the daily practice of finding balance in our lives. If we are being intentional and attentive we can make adjustments to find and maintain the sweet spot. And that’s the mindfulness focus this week – finding the sweet spot.
For more information on mindfulness focus works click here.
Our favorite book on soap making is:
Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C Kaila Westerman – very accessible for children and great instructions
Our favorite essential oils for soap making this year are:
Lavender – calming and soothing
Clary Sage – improves mood and clarity
Frankinsense – assists meditation and promotes tranquility
Ylang Ylang – calming and soothing
Tangerine – promotes focus, uplifting