Natural products are not the same as their chemical counterparts. The unpredictability of nature requires understanding and patience. We have not been conditioned to appreciate patterns, fluctuations and cycles of life, therefore we find ourselves slightly off kilter as we strive to reconnect to our natural world. Oils harden in the cold. Cream may separate in the heat. Butters granulate. The shelf life is about four seasons.

Our conditioning has embedded a notion of perfectionism as we navigate, especially in our expectations. We want quick results. We want them now and we want them perfect, every  time.

I grew up with products on my shelf that never changed in color, odor, consistency and seemed to last forever. They were made by people that I trusted had my best interest at heart. We believe in the promises dished. Smooth skin. Luscious lips. Flawless hair.

Anything other than the idyllic utopia has become unacceptable. False advertising has conditioned our standards to be completely unattainable, thereby creating a broken record of consumerism and marketing deception. Granted, science has perfected the art of instant calculable results, but is everything as it seems? Unfortunately, disparate pathologies manifest over time. Correlations become blurry, and disease rampant. Links in our dysfunction are being made to the chemicals in our environment. Disease stems from broken promises.

Yet nature flows cyclically and it is a beautiful thing. There is birth, a life full of changes and uncertainties, death and rebirth. Natural products react to the environment. They have a shelf life. These are important traits.

We are swimming against the current as we resist change, resulting in fear of aging and disease. Yet the chemicals used to provide temporary results of youth and perfection, in turn, cause disease!

By accepting our imperfect nature… by accepting the circle of life, death and rebirth, we learn to flow down stream. By forging a connection to our natural world, we reconnect to our own personal cyclical fluctuations. Who ever knew natural products could teach us so much?

Written and Illustrated by Tara Palov

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