All things woo-woo (a term I'm choosing to use endearingly) have become far more trendy this past year or two. I mean, Astrology has always been popular as I've mentioned before but we're seeing people get more into all things spiritual, whether they're aware of its roots or not -- from wrapped crystals to smudging of sacred spaces (i.e. your home). I've never been one to gate-keep trends and have always found it weird that we get so protective over trends that, in my opinion, are on the healthier side of the way pop culture ebbs and flows to encompass new things.
However, as someone who is fascinated by the world of altars, Astrology, and much more, I have come to understand the need to be a bit protective of it. It's that saying "with great power comes great responsibility," and I think with spirituality trending the way it is it's important to understand that. Tapping into the power of your ancestors, reading tarot, purchasing sage and many more potentially interesting practices related to the occult, they require care and due diligence, in addition to intention. I don't know much, so this isn't my soapbox to hop up on but I do know enough to know if you want to maintain an altar, crystals, or good energy in your home -- the foundation is cleansing. Another method of cleansing energies from your home is through the use of Florida Water, which you can use alone or double up with incense or a smudge stick (not necessarily sage).
Florida Water is the spiritual girl's version of Beyonce carrying hot sauce in her bag. In fact, Solange was once spotted with the staple in her bag. So there's that. But what is Florida Water?
I don't know nor do I ask questions (well, I do, otherwise we wouldn't be here. But you feel me), so I chatted with Atlanta-based, Intuitive Healer and owner of Cryptic Mystic, Tierra Johnson to get the 411 on Florida Water -- the latest and most necessary tool to keep in your little bag of tricks.
What Is Florida Water?
Though the aesthetic and usage is similar, Florida Water and Holy Water are not one in the same. Johnson understands it to be distinguishable by the purpose and the demographic behind it in that "Holy water is used in religious practices, while Florida Water is used mainly in spiritual practice."
Believe it or not, Florida Water wasn't always toted around to clear the bad juju and off-putting energies. Johnson gives us the quick and dirty origin of the holy-water adjacent product. When the product was "first introduced in 1808 by Lanman & Kemp, it was originally used as an astringent, foot soak, and after-shave. It is said to have gotten its name because of its tropical-looking packaging and citrus scent."
It was somewhere in between its societal debut and present-day, "people began to recognize its metaphysical properties, and it became used as a spiritual cologne in ceremonies and sacred rituals."
What Is Florida Water Used For & How To Use It
Because Florida Water is a liquid, it may be unclear how you would use it or how much! The Cryptic Mystic owner says, "Think of Florida Water as liquid Sage, or Palo Santo in liquid form. It has very similar cleansing and clearing effects as popular smudge sticks, without the smoke." She continued:
"Florida Water is a multipurpose spiritual cologne that can be added to your mop water to clean the floors in your home; you can add a few drops to your bath water to cleanse your aura; it can be added to a load of laundry; and [you can] even use [it] on the go."
And she adds that it can be used as often as you feel the need or simply desire to use it. However, as far as the measurement goes for each use, please understand that "a little Florida water goes a long way." What you decide to do is totally up to you, but you've been warned! Start with a droplet or two and build up from there.
As I've mentioned before, the scent of the water has been love at first sniff since day one for me and so I'm definitely more on the side of someone who douses my apartment in it. Or, my fave, is putting it in a pot with sticks of cinnamon and citrus slices to create a more amplified diffuser effect. As an intuitive healer, Johnson notes her favorite way to use Florida Water is "for intention-setting before I do any spiritual work."
She further expounded by saying she sprays Florida Water into the air as a means to cleanse her space. She also places a few drops onto her hands before doing divination work like pulling Oracle cards, for example. Nevertheless, the healer emphasizes Florida Water as a necessary staple for any person looking to tap more into their spirituality and spiritual practice:
"Florida Water is a staple that I feel like every spiritual person should have on them, in their purse, in their car, etc. It's especially useful when traveling and staying at a hotel or Airbnb, where smoke is generally not allowed. So, when you can't burn your Sage or Palo Santo, pour some Florida water into a portable spray bottle and dilute it with distilled or spring water."
Can You Make Your Own Florida Water?
Being the DIY Queen that I am, I had to ask for those of us who dare to whip up a batch of homemade Florida Water on our own. In the past, I might've thought that was perhaps doing the most, but in the age of 2021, where we've adopted pandemic hobbies to keep us afloat, I've already tried my hand at making Rose Water, and can't say for certain that I wouldn't entertain the idea of making my own Florida Water -- a fragrance I've come to crave in my home.
Nevertheless, it's totally doable! Though Johnson doesn't make her own and most others do not, professional or otherwise, she recommends taking to YouTube if you feel strongly about whipping up homemade Florida Water. But cautions us "to use your own discernment when following someone else's instructions."
In terms of following someone's DIY Florida Water tutorial, what works for someone else might not work for you. Be mindful of how you respond to certain essential oils and ingredients. Additionally, much like anything else in spiritual practice: "Your intention and purpose for making your own version of Florida Water is very important."
Is There A Florida Water Alternative Used In Spiritual Practices?
Though Florida Water has been the most popularized product, Johnson offers the following alternatives for Florida Water:
- 1800 (not the tequila)
- Tobacco Water
- Sandalwood Water
- Rose Water
- Kananga Water
Featured image by Shutterstock
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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