We've all noticed how animals seem to follow signals from nature instinctually, which got me thinking that maybe we'd find our more natural course, too, if we geared our lives toward the cycle of seasons.
As an exemplar, Eu2Be celebrates the amazing elephant—a wrinkled, thick-skinned creature whose own behaviors and patterns provide clues about how we can experience life lived in what poet Rilke called “widening circles.”
The elephant tells us something about skin care, too, as elephants trek miles to find what keeps their sensitive skin healthy and moisturized—great bathing rituals and mud baths.
Throughout the year, elephants circle across Africa and Asia, and matriarchs of the elephant herds use their fierce memory—an inherited wisdom—to guide their migration to safety and better resource opportunities.
In contrast, we tend to prefer straight lines and direct paths to circuitous, indirect, uncertain ones. So even in our desire to off-ramp from the path of least resistance and create something new, we tend to revert to habits that keep our feelings and thinking fixed in ways that limit our power to create the change we need.
But the elephant teaches us that life moves in cycles and patterns that ultimately define us. We get to someplace even if we travel in the wrong direction or go in circles.
Just as their remembrance creates a cycle of continuity, remembrance can fuel your journey to what you need too.
Although distractions can take us off our desired path and away from where we belong, it is our daily habits that can return us to our best nature:
Even Harvard Business Review is in on the power of ritual: "Each time we pause, notice, and offer respect for an activity, it reminds us to appreciate and focus on what we’re about to do. And by elevating each activity, we’ll take it more seriously. We’ll get more pleasure from it. The people with whom we work will feel more respected. And we’ll feel more self-respect — which means we’ll work better with each other. And produce better results."
- By ritualizing our everyday tasks, like skin care, we turn them into rich experiences that fuel our creativity.
- We must not forget that our bodies are our most precious access to what we treasure, and if we follow nature’s seasonal signals, our bodies will help us find more light and warmth, just when we need it most.
- As we expand our beliefs about what caring for our body and skin can do for us, changing our skin care products can help us better meet the demand of skin in need of more moisture and sun.
- You need not lose the feel of summer’s silky soft skin if you give your skin the attention and nourishment it deserves. Just like the bathing elephants.
Being surefooted like the elephant can help us stay the course in caring for our bodies—and in seeking paths to living in Rilke’s widening circles, we can tap into the generational wisdom passed down from those who cared for us to navigate our renewal plan.
Update: August 12, 2017 — A life-sized ice sculpture of an elephant melts in Manhattan's Union Square (thanks to Wildlife Direct) to remind us of the alarming rate at which African elephants are disappearing at the hands of poachers.
Update: August 12, 2015 — National Geographic writer Bryan Christy and photographer Brent Stirton detail their amazing experiences tracking the elephant tusk underworld in the September 2015 edition. You can also hear Bryan on Fresh Air, who spoke with Terry Gross today, World Elephant Day.
And case you haven’t figured out by now, we love elephants—and all creatures—and that’s why Eu2Be products are never tested on animals.