How a Psychotherapist found herself making Soaps

In 2010, COVID hit the world and everything changed for most of us around the world. For me it made question what I had taken for granted as well as been 'okay' with both professionally as well as in my personal relationships. Before the COVID, I was predominantly a therapist that worked face to face. I did not think I could do online work for more that just for a few work meetings let alone doing all my work online. However, all my work did move completely online. I found it hard to look at the screen for long periods of time, I did not feel this type of engagement would even be enough for therapy to be meaningful. 

In the meantime, I had moved temporarily to my parents home and I found myself between my work and during my down time watching soap making videos. I remember the feeling of awe on knowing that soaps are formed as a result of a chemical reaction between oils and a substance called Lye or caustic soda. It made me happy to watch the process and before long I was trying my hand at making some. The very first soap I made was a white lavender soap which I poured into tiny 50 gm molds and added lavender buds on top. I was very fortunate because my first experience of soap making was very good. There were no problems and it motivated me to try some more. Of course the trials after that created more trouble for me and taught me that soap making is simple but each fragrance behaves differently and the temperatures at which you soap play a crucial role in determining the soaping outcome. 

All through this the question that kept coming back to me was - why soap? why not anything else? I struggled to find the symbolic connection and then later realised that it was not one reason but several that made choose soap making. Soap making helped me grieve the loss of meeting people, being around different fragrances as we move through our day and most of all, physical touch. Soap making helped harness some of the fragrances that are associated with core memories like rose, coffee, lime, oud etc and bring alive a simpler time. Through my soap I was literally 'touching' people, nourishing and strengthening skin barriers and in effect making my contribution to fighting a deadly virus in my very small way. It helped me deal with my powerlessness. At that point, these explanations seemed to overwhelm me, little did I know that soap making was going to continue to offer me answers to questions and hold me in a way that could not have been done with words alone. 

I will slowly try to write about some of these experiences of mine as I feel it has given voice to my internal processes in a form that I was able to hold and digest. I hope that you know that every product that you buy from me is a result of careful thought in terms of the fragrances used, the design made and the formulation is used. It is by no means perfect but it indicates my efforts of striving to be good enough.