adopting hygiene & grooming habits that signify communitarian agreement & association
Merging into the lifestyle and lovestyle of common purse – ‘common wealth’ communal union that sees communitarians sharing all with all with many, requires that we ‘make habit’ the ‘One Cloak’ protective tenet of cleanliness which includes conscious daily effort to ensure high standards of personal hygiene, along with modest grooming are practiced to the best of our ability and circumstances.
Installing Personal Hygiene Habits into Daily Routines that reflect commitment to personal & social health & wellbeing
Communitarians recognise that standards of personal presentation will inevitably be perceived as indications of how much we value ourselves; and in like manner, the degree to which we value relationships with others. For these reasons, those living by the principle and practice of ‘One Cloak’ endeavour to strike a balance between responsible self-care and modesty with the aim of creating the conditions for respectful enduring relationships to flourish.
Factoring time into our daily routines to ensure we present a clean and well-groomed appearance, demonstrates capacity to take responsibility for our health and wellbeing as well as ability to support others to improve and maintain their health also. Conversely, if communitarians become lax with personal hygiene and grooming, others may be left to question if they cannot take proper care of themselves, are they likewise incapable of playing a role in taking care of others within the communal unions and the wider world.
Personal Hygiene & grooming Routines
One of the most important aspects of self-care, is personal hygiene which lays the foundation for healthy lifestyle that rewards us with vitality and longevity, together with the ability to enjoy the stimulation of social participation and contribution.
Personal cleanliness costs very little compared to the overall benefits bestowed through knowledge and commitment to its observance. Hygiene plays a vital role in a healthy active life as it constitutes the first line of defense against infectious diseases.
Communitarians start the day by rising the hour before dawn to prepare for a day of personal progression, along with communal and wider world contribution.
The Order of personal care tasks are carried out as follows:
- Washing face
- Combing hair, tying or pinning it back off the face
- Cleaning teeth
- Dressing in Clean Modest Clothing
Communitarians end the day by undertaking the following personal care tasks:
- Soaking soiled or stained clothing
- Combing hair
- Cleaning teeth
Upon rising, the first task undertaken by communitarians is washing the face with plain water, which is as simple as filling a small bowl with water, taking a clean cloth and wiping the eyes first, then the forehead, down the nose to the chin, behind the ears; and finally, wiping over the back of the neck.
Bathing the face and back of the neck pre-dawn, naturally enlivens both the mind and body creating a charge of energy that fills us with excitement for the day ahead.
Cleansing the face we present to our associates and the wider world, before we start the day, remains the fundamental indicator of self-love, together with the value we place on the friendship and support gifted to us by others.
Adopting the habit of washing our faces first thing in the morning as well as before meals, also provides a potent reminder to value the ‘gift of life’ by being mindful of our personal consumption of this precious resource. These periods of ‘communion with water’ focus our attention on our duty as responsible stewards of the Earth to conserve and recycle water used for bathing and cleaning, to water gardens and fruit trees.
Toilet Hygiene habits
The toilet is a very private space – a place to let our guard down, a space to relax and contemplate the direction of our lives and relationships as well as the value of our contributions to those who share our same principles and practices as well as missions, together with a time and space to reflect upon our place within the wider world.
When entering a private or communal toilet facility, communitarians make a conscious effort to move into a spirit of reverence for the benefits it bestows, ever mindful that across the globe, millions of people young and old – women and mere children, do not have access to safe, hygienic convenient toilets. Through awareness of privilege, communitarians enter and use toilet facilities with an attitude of gratitude, showing appreciation by using the facilities in such a way that they remain clean and well-maintained for everyone’s benefit.
When using communal toilet facilities, those following the perfecting principle of ‘One Cloak’ are mindful to leave the amenity, cleaner than it was found. For this reason, immediately after use, both the lid and toilet seat are wiped down before the dustpan and brush is used to sweep up any spilt sawdust or other composting material from the floor. After washing face and hands, care is taken to wipe over the hand-basin and mirror if marked with droplets of water.
The principle of leaving facilities cleaner and in better condition than found, is a practice that applies across all areas of communitarian association as practical demonstrations of ‘Love-in-action’.
Communion with Water
Water is essential for all life. Within the human body it enters and circulates through many vital organs, our blood stream and intestines, before exiting and becoming part of nature again. For these reasons, communitarian toileting habits and facilities, are assigned significate care and attention. Rather than being dismissed or neglected by way of design or maintenance, communitarian toilet facilities are greatly revered.
Reverence for the Cycle of Life
Communitarians undertaking ablutions, adopt the habit of remaining silent, using the time alone to reflect upon the cycle of life and the wonders of their own bodies. We eat food, and our bodies digest that food and absorb the nutrients before its intricate system of organs, automatically eliminate all that it cannot utilize for energy production as well as vital repair and maintenance.
The body works tirelessly: 24 hours a day, every day of the year to cleanse itself. In an effort to fully appreciate this automatic process, in the first year of association and beyond, communitarian’s study the ways and means of ‘helping’ the vital eliminating system along by following the right diet for our species – a diet of ‘living foods’. With this in mind, a visit to the toilet, calls those with knowledge of the body’s true nutritional requirements, to think about their diet, to consider their health and reflect upon all they are putting into it, and taking out.
The initial toilet practice entails placing our prepared lidded bucket of water and cloth close to the toilet. To ensure the highest standards of cleanliness are maintained both within private and communal toilet facilities, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, both male and female communitarians ‘SIT’ on the toilet to urinate and accommodate bowel movements.
After releasing urine only, the most hygienic way to ensure the area effected by elimination is thoroughly clean, is to wash with a personal cloth and plain water or water with a little vinegar added.
The normative hygiene practice following bowel movements, entails using a moderate amount of unbleached biodegradable toilet paper to wipe the area clean, followed by thorough washing of the entire elimination area with plain water.
Whether using private or communal toilet facilities, communitarians endeavour to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, as well as, ensure that only material that can be properly processed by biogas digesters and composters are deposited within the toilets.
Communitarians make a habit of bathing before or immediately after observing Sunset in preparation for sharing the daily communal meal. During the practice of cleansing the body, communitarians also focus on cleansing the mind by reflecting on the day’s events and interactions with others. Should resentments, jealousies or conflicts be found, it is during the ritual of bathing that intent is set to resolve these impediments to realign with the lifestyle and love-style of Liberated Love that underpins communal affection and harmony.
All parts of body are thoroughly cleansed using a body brush to remove dead skin and also to reach the back and the back of the neck. During the bathing session particular attention is paid to cleaning the groin, anus, armpits, feet and fingernails.
If a bath tub is available, once a week, communitarians ‘soak’ for an extended time, adding minerals such as magnesium to aid health.
While bathing or showering, communitarians make a conscious effort to conserve water and also ensure all water is recycled onto gardens, where possible.
Oral Hygiene habits
The mouth including the teeth, tongue and gums are one of the most important health and socially interactive areas of the human body. We use the mouth to breathe, take nourishment and communicate. In the fifth year of association and beyond, communitarians make considerable effort to polish their habits to align their lifestyle and lovestyle with communitarian principles and practices. In a similar way, those in association are mindful to also clean the mouth and polish the teeth to ensure the main channel of communicating with others, always smells fresh and appears clean to convey thoughtful, helpful healing words.
To prevent cavities it is of course important that we thoroughly clean our teeth, front and back along with cleaning the spaces between the teeth by flossing or using a water-pik. It is also necessary to regularly lightly brush the tongue to remove build-up of plaque to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
Contrary to popular belief, the underlying cause of bad breath have less to do with lack of proper oral hygiene and more to do with the foods we eat that may provide the ideal environment for anaerobic sulphur producing, bad-breath-related bacteria to set-up house and multiply. These bacteria are always present in our mouth, however with healthy bodies, they remain balanced by beneficial bacteria that enable the body to resist invaders and digest proteins.
When the natural balance is upset by a less than favourable diet, or untreated infection, the natural defence system becomes disarmed, resulting in an inability to effectively limit an overgrowth of damaging bacteria colonies. In this event, even those practicing excellent oral hygiene, can quickly begin to smell offensive.
Armed with an awareness of the body’s natural cleansing systems, and thereby understanding the root cause of halitosis, those suffering ‘bad breath’ make the necessary modifications to diet, as well as, step-up oral hygiene to overcome the issue that indicates their body’s bacteria are out of balance.
Zero Waste Oral Hygiene
To ensure clean teeth and fresh breath as well as adhering to the principle of Zero Waste, those in the fifth year of association and beyond, adopt the practice of ‘MAKING’ toothpaste and mouthwashes using simple natural ingredients such as coconut oil, oregano oil, peppermint oil and baking soda blended in recycled and repurposed jars and containers.
A simple inexpensive natural mouthwash can be made using a teaspoon of Baking Soda in half a glass of water. Swish the solution through the teeth and rinse. The Baking Soda will neutralize any mouth odours on contact.
Healthy, Modest & Environmentally Responsible Hair Care
The hair that crowns the top of our heads is often the prominent feature of our physical appearance; second only to the face. When choosing care, style and products such as shampoo and conditioner, communitarians consider three important aspects related to hair care. First and foremost is health. Second is modesty that also considers the best use of our time. Third, relates to responsible environmental stewardship.
Ensuring Healthy Hair
It is important to realise that healthy hair begins with the food we eat, and also depends largely on the strength and proper functioning of the digestive system as does the health of every other tissue and system.
Washing our hair regularly with plain water or with the addition of a little lemon juice and baking soda made into a paste will ensure it is clean, healthy, strong and smells good. If we are preparing food or working outdoors gardening, or on building sites, our hair should be washed daily. If working mainly indoors in clean environments, twice a week is plenty, unless the weather is hot and humid.
Begin by massaging a quantity of natural hair cleanser through the scalp and then drawing it down the hair shaft from the roots to tips. This process will ensure dead skin cells as well as excess oil and dirt are removed. Next, the hair is rinsed thoroughly with plain water. If needed, a small amount of natural conditioner can then be applied to make the hair easier to comb and control.
While the hair is wet, a wide-toothed comb makes it easy to pull through to sort out any knots and tangles.
The normative habit is to comb the hair upon rising and again before the evening meal after bathing, and to let it down before retiring to bed.
Modest Simple Hair Styling
Deciding appropriate hairstyling that ensures others are able to form good opinions of the liberated lifestyle and lovestyle, is an important factor influencing the types of hairstyles communitarians adopt. Mostly communitarians choose simple styles that draw hair away from the face by tying it back with a band or pinning or clipping it up in a bun.
However, communitarians are to be mindful that hats and headscarves are not used to hide unwashed and unkept hair. It is also important that those wearing hats and headscarves remember to not wear these items all day, everyday as hair and scalps need exposure to air and sunlight to remain healthy and free of skin irritations such as dandruff and eczema.
Modest Personal Dress & Grooming
Communitarians renounce trends and fashions of personal grooming which promote forms of glamour that may alienate others from understanding and adopting the principles and practice of ‘One Cloak’ that includes living simply so others can simply live. For this reason, communitarians refrain from applying toxic chemical compounds such as make-up, or other outward body enhancement and adornments such as jewellery; nor do they pierce or mark their bodies with tattoos or the like. Instead, the body is presented in a natural way, free from decoration.
Adhering to this same tenet of ethical responsibility, communitarians make every effort to clothe themselves in modest, practical, clean and well-maintained garments relinquishing fads and fashions that contribute to the exploitation of people, pollution of the planet and waste of resources.
Hygienic Laundering of Clothing & Footwear
By undertaking a comprehensive study of the anatomy and function of the body during the first year of association and beyond, communitarians are well aware that as humans, we constantly shed skin cells as well as secrete oil and sweat onto everything we wear. As humans, we shed around 500 million skin cells, along with around a litre of sweat, each and every day. As a consequence, our outer garments, underwear and particularly our footwear end up absorbing a cocktail of dead skin cells along with secreted oil and sweat. Then along comes bacteria that lives on our skin and begin to feast on these secretions, breaking protein down into smelly by-products.
For these reasons, as part of their personal care habits, communitarians are mindful to dress in clean clothes including underwear daily, and to also thoroughly launder and air-dry clothing and footwear, along with bed linen and towels, at least once a week.
Communitarians are also careful to use only natural healthful and eco-safe washing detergents to ensure their own health as well as the health of the environment. Care is taken to ensure all washing water is safe to be recycled for use on food gardens and fruit orchards.
Fingernails and Toenails are hard tissue that constantly grow and therefore require daily cleaning along with regular trimming to prevent the accumulation of trapped dirt & debris on the underside. The dirt could be as a result of defecation or touching infected and contaminated surfaces. Keeping nails trimmed and in good shape weekly, plays a critical role in ensuring good personal as well as social health is maintained.
As a health and hygiene practice, once a week, the feet are soaked in a basin of hot water with a teaspoon of bicarb of soda added to help soften any hardened skin and to thoroughly clean dead skin cells as well as soil from under toenails.
Ear Hygiene practices
Ear wax accumulates in the ear canal that leads from the outer ear to the ear drum. As the secretion comes out of the ear it collects dust particles from the air. Including the outer ear while washing the face before meals will ensure the outer ear remains clean. As part of the bathing routine, the inner external part of the ear should receive a gentle wipe over with a wet cloth.
If excess ear wax is an issue, an ear candle can be use to draw out excess wax and any accumulated dust or environmental contaminants.
Keeping Noses Clean & Clear
The nose is a part of the respiratory system which contains hairs in the nostrils that filter air-born dust and germs. By design, the nose protects the lungs and circulatory system from harmful substances that would otherwise affect proper function critical to breathing which supports our very existence. Hence, periodic blowing of the nose into a handkerchief will keep the air passage clean and the protective role of cilia and mucous in proper working order.
Ear Hygiene practices
Thrice daily washing of the eyes and surrounding lids and eyelashes is necessary to keep this vital organ that allows us to see, clean, and thereby able to do the job of bringing objects into focus and sending visual information to our brain.
Bathing irritated eyes in warm saltwater usually removes the source of irritation along with reduces swelling.
Also when working outdoors, it may be necessary to wear a net attached to a hat to prevent disease-carrying flies from contaminating the eyes with diseases which eventually lead to blindness. Protective eyewear must also be worn when using tools and equipment which throw out materials such as sticks, leaves, sawdust or metal which may land in the eye.
For both male and female communitarians, genital hygiene is usually carried out while bathing and also every time they visit the toilet. It entails no more or less than washing and drying the genital area with a specifically-assigned personal washcloth.
Male Genital Hygiene
Genital hygiene is an aspect of personal care and social grace rigorously observed by male communitarians. For these reasons, after urinating, the foreskin that covers the head of the penis is pulled back and cleaned, along with the penis as well as the anus if defecation has occurred. Without regular cleaning, a build-up of a whitish-yellow substance known as ‘smegma’ can occur under the foreskin, which may cause infection.
Sometimes males will ejaculate while sleeping. In this case it is important to thoroughly bathe as well as change the bed linen and also launder sleeping garments.
These practices ensure the body remains in a state that attracts, rather than repels social interaction that includes warm affectionate embraces from both male and female associates.
Female Genital Hygiene
By design, the vagina cleans itself, and therefore needs no special care other than external washing of the outer genital area, including the labia minora and majora as well as the opening of the urethra. Female communitarians adopt the habit of washing the outer genital area with clean water every time they visit the toilet. This practice ensures the area is clean and any odours, neutralized.
Within communitarian circles, menstruation is celebrated as a natural part of womanhood and managed with maturity and reverence for the cycle of life. Before and after changing a sanitary pad, the hands are thoroughly washed. Purpose ‘Made’ ‘Cloth Pads’ which can be soaked, washed and reused, are used in place of disposable sanitary pads.
For older woman and those who have given birth, bladder leakage can be an issue that needs to be managed by using absorbent pads specially ‘made’ from cotton cloth, sewn to absorbent soft foam that can be soaked, washed and reused.