I often talk about the importance of ritual in our busy lives, of taking the time to stop and take notice of what we consume and of being mindful of our actions. Two weeks ago, I broke my ankle. Being on crutches in the winter in New York City makes it almost impossible to do anything at all. I have been forced to slow down, spending numerous days at a time inside, unable to leave my apartment. I am reminded of how important beauty rituals become at a time like this. When you are hurt, the act of nurturing yourself takes on new importance. And when you are homebound and the hours stretch into days, these actions take on additional meaning. Much like the women of the harem who spent their days anointing themselves and handing down beauty secrets to their daughters, the idea of making yourself more beautiful can be a form of empowerment and the scents, the textures, the act of massage, a form of meditation, a way to take control of something and find pleasure in a helpless situation.