Un-inspired Inspiration

I like words, I love picking them apart and finding the deeper meaning, questioning sayings and expressions, making puns and making those around me groan because of said puns! So here is a blog about being inspired to write when I am totally uninspired!!! I remembered a time at university when we had to write a reflective journal every week

Me: “But I have nothing to reflect about!!!!!”

Tutor: “So reflect on that, reflect on not knowing what to reflect on!”

I guess a lot of the uninspired feelings recently have come from high levels of stress and anxiety dampening down my imagination and my intuition. It’s been a tough couple of months full of uncertainty and worry but I’m very pleased to say I am coming out the other side of it! It has all been within my personal life and so I have had to really consolidate the work side of things to allow balance. Now comes much nourishment, organisation and efficiency and more just – being, from these moments of pause, I often find I am able to articulate my feelings emotions and ideas into blogs, poems, affirmations and meditations. So here I am, I am back.

The Village

daan-stevens-371325I used to miss the village and when I saw this article titled “I Miss the Village” I really felt the loss, the need to create my own village. When I uproot myself and arrive in a new place I find I have new clarity and a greater sense of purpose. So moving here, 3 years ago, has enabled me to build a strong web of people around me – my village. I can safely say that I no longer miss the village.

However, a few weeks ago, I landed in the deep end, caring for two teenagers, whilst their parents – my closest friends, who are more like family, went away to Africa for 10 days. I have to say, I wasn’t ready! I’ve known this family for over 8 years now and have seen their children grow up, whilst doing a lot of growing up myself, so I had an idea of what might be in store. Oh the conversations, the questions, the arguments, the laughter!

I learnt a lot that’s for sure, maybe you’ll resonate with my discoveries!

  1. The only times you get to be you and I mean truly you are: on a morning for about half an hour, after this, you start thinking “I need to go wake them up soon”, when you have a shower/climb into bed on an evening (after the bed time battle has ended). Occasionally you might get to be yourself if you go to the toilet, but you’ll probably end up having a conversation through the closed door. Even when you get to go to work, you’re a little bit more yourself but not completely as you have now taken on your professional role.
  2. Self care is almost impossible. I am a big advocate for self care and I like to think I’m quite good at asking for it, giving myself permission for it. Normally, when I’m on my period I don’t drink any caffeine or alcohol as I feel my body is doing quite a lot without adding more into the mix! However, when I realised my period and my new found parenthood would coincide, I forgave myself for the fact that my self care would now be: a large mug of coffee (maybe 2) on a morning and a very large glass of wine on an evening.
  3. Sitting down is lethal, don’t do it until you’ve finished everything! I sort of already knew this, but not the enormity of the importance of it. Inertia hits the moment you sit down.

I’m sure I learnt loads more, but those were the main points! I think the reason I struggled as so many parents do, is that we are doing this in isolation. We haven’t evolved emotionally yet, to cope with all of this and we shouldn’t have to! Parents, single parents, parents whose partner is away a lot, I salute you! We were designed to be doing this with a whole village around us!

Part of my role as Doula is to serve women through pregnancy and birth. However, I’m feeling more and more that I need to extend this to Life in general.

So here I am offering my Life Doula services to you all. I currently do a school run one afternoon a week for the daughter of one of my friends. I also recently, tended to another friend on her sick bed with a nasty bout of the flu – which her whole family caught, whilst her husband was away.
We can sit and drink tea, or busy ourselves in the kitchen cooking together, walking home from school, doing washing and hanging it out. Whether you have children or not, a partner or not, whether they’re at home or away. Let’s just do ‘life’ together. Have ‘those’ conversations with the children and with each other. Sound things out.

Some of my biggest life events have occurred in someone else’s kitchen, doing all of the above.

Be in touch, my door is open wide

Love and Light

Sarah

x

 

 

 

On a Journey with Rose

It’s been a rollercoaster of love and hate.

Growing up I couldn’t stand the smell of it, the colour of it.

My favourite colours used to be pink and purple, then society taught that being a girl makes you weak, liking pink makes you weak. So I was a tomboy, stronger…. Favourite colour? “Purple. I hate pink, it makes me feel sick.”

Now, of course I know differently and although, I wouldn’t naturally choose to wear or own pink things, I don’t want to vomit at the sight of it anymore!

Funny, the stories we tell ourselves.

Whilst at University, I would have to leave the room if anyone was dispensing it. If anyone suggested I put it in my prescriptions, my lip would curl in disgust. It made me feel incredibly nauseous.

Self care.

It is so important!

Self Love and Acceptance – equally important.

It was only when I started focussing on myself and my opinion of myself that my true journey with rose began.

Now I have a little bottle of rose syrup on my desk. I will happily wear rose scented cream and dispense it for my patients in their prescriptions. I welcome being enveloped by it. I love love love it!

So, if you don’t like the taste of your medicine, maybe it has something to teach you and you’ll only like the taste once you’ve learnt it!

Just a thought….

I will keep journeying on with Rose and indeed, all the other plants out there! Just promise me you’ll keep journeying towards loving yourself and carving out time for self care!

It’s SO important!

With Love

Sarah

x

 

A Love Letter to the Self Employed

You feel like you’ve been here before ~ here, yes. You? No. At least not the same you.

We move in spirals, returning to the same place, but not as the same person we were the previous time around. It may not feel like you have, but you’ve changed and you’re stronger for it.

This is a love letter to the future me, the future you, who will no doubt return to this place again ~ yet even stronger!

It’s shit, I know, you really didn’t think it’d be like this. You keep hitting rock bottom and then you redefine what that means by sinking even further.

You were never in this for the money, you’ve always said you’d do Everything With Love. It’s hard to remind yourself of that love for your craft everyday, when you have bills to pay and meals to provide yourself with. When all these responsibilities suck the joy out of small achievements.

Small, yes.

But, Achievements

Look Darling Heart, look what you’ve built, look how far you’ve journeyed and all the storms you’ve weathered.

“Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end”

;

There’s still time to change the story, let’s just see how this one ends.

You’ll find your way

It’ll come right

Just hold on, Breathe

“So……Hum”

You have a plan, yes.

You wrote it today, it might not solve everything right away, but it could open doors – just remember that when they open, you need to

Leave it all at the door

Have no Envy, and no Fear

Step forwards, Remember

Have Faith

Jasmine taught you well, she will not lead you astray

On with the show!

Everything With Universal Love

Sarah

x

 

Dear Little One, I’d like to tell you about this time of year…

Dear Little One,

I’d like to tell you about this time of year

It’s probably the word used the most at the moment, have you heard it?

Halloween.

Do you know what it’s all about?

Well, the word itself comes from the name “All Hallows Eve”. It starts at sunset on 31st October and lasts all the way to midnight on 1st November. The Celtic name for this festival is Samhain – you may see this spelled many ways  – Samhuinn is another way. It’s pronounced Sow-ane.

This is my favourite time of year and when your mum mentioned to me that she wanted to find out more about the deeper meaning of this festival, I felt called to help. You see, as with many festivals throughout the year, the people that run the shops like to try and make as much money as possible from it. That’s okay, I guess, as long as the deeper meaning isn’t lost. Sometimes I feel it might be. But I feel a lot better when people, like your mum, start seeking and asking questions.

So, Samhain, falls very closely to the Feast of All Saints and All Souls, this is a Christian festival that takes place on 1st November. The two share many similarities.

This festival marks the beginning of winter, it is both an ending and a beginning. There can sometimes be a lot of sadness around this time of year, we remember those we have lost, but we also celebrate the beautiful lives they lived. It has been said that the veil or the boundary between the worlds is thin. The living world, the world you see before you and the shadow world, the world of spirit you can feel around you are very close to each other and on this festival, the energy that separates them thins out. One thing I love to do is to light a candle on 31st and on 1st, to light a way for the spirits, so they can find their way home, if they want to. Some people also set an extra place at their dinner table, to remember the people that may have once sat with them.

jovi-waqa-113605

Whilst the candle is lit, you may want to look back over the year you’ve just had and also look forwards to the year ahead. Have a think about all your achievements – your harvest. Now you can start thinking about the ways you can use them to enrich your life. Some people also light a bonfire and whilst sat in the warmth, write down all the things they would like to let go of. They then throw the piece of paper in the fire and those things are released.

karly-94090

We are entering into the darker part of the year, but without this there can be no light. Without winter there can be no spring. Without death there can be no life. With every end there is a beginning. This is a time for planning and preparation, quiet contemplation and meditation. This will prepare us for what comes our way in the future, when the time is right.

Some of your friends, or the older children you know, might be going trick or treating, or generally being mischievous. This is the time of year for mischief, thats for sure! A long time ago, the poor children of the villages would go around the houses begging for money or food to take back to their family, winter was a hard time of year and food was often in short supply. This was called “Souling” and the children would be given “Soul cakes”. Nowadays, lots of children go trick or treating  and its not so much about needing the treats, but wanting them. If children come to your door, you could make them some soul cakes, or something else seasonal, like pumpkin biscuits.

You may see lots of scary figures around, monsters and Witches. On Witches, I think your mum may have taught you about them before. I’d listen to her. She’s got it right. At this time of year the earth has wound down and is at the ‘end’ of its life, harvest has been brought in and it is resting. In the same way, the Goddess is approaching the end of her life, ready for rebirth.

suhyeon-choi-104926We say she is in her ‘Crone’ aspect. Imagine a wise, older woman, with long silver hair, weathered features and a wide, knowing smile. This woman, the crone, is a very powerful woman. She uses her power, only for good. As with many powerful people, we have been taught to fear them. So, the image of this warm friendly wise woman was changed, so she looked scary and ugly. Teaching us to fear witches. Let me say one thing. You will one day grow up to be a strong, wise, powerful young woman, you’ve already started. I see the fire in your eyes. People may fear you, but they are more likely to try and make you fear yourself. Don’t let them. For you will meet wise, powerful women such as your mum and many of her friends and they will stand beside you, walk with you, as your sisters, as your good witches. They will be there, doing good, trying not to scare anyone! Growing old together!

At this time of year there is an abundance on pumpkins and apples. You could carve a face into a pumpkin, or simply turn it into a lantern. Apples, you’ve probably seen them cut vertically. There’s a certain type of magic that happens when you instead, halve them horizontally. Try it. You’ll see a five pointed star in the middle. Carefully pick the seeds out and count them. Each seed can represent a choice or a pathway you will be presented with over the coming year. There may only be one, or several or none. If there is one, you might be focussing your attention on one big project, if there are several you might have to split your time and energy between each of them. If your apple doesn’t have any seeds in it, it might mean that there is a project from the previous year, that still needs focus.

You’ve probably noticed the leaves are changing colour and falling to the ground, isn’t it beautiful! This can be quite symbolic too. What do you think it symbolises?

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The following are songs I like to listen to and books I like to read at this time of year.

Songs:

This playlist by Witch Cabinet

This song by Tanya Davis

Books:

“The Wheel of the Wiccan Year” [Gail Duff]

“The Earth’s Cycle of Celebration” [Glennie Kindred]

“Elements of Change” [Glennie Kindred]

I’ve also, over the years written extensively in my journal, so some things I pull from that too! Maybe I will read you a snippet one day.

So Little One

I hope you feel a little bit more connected to our heritage. I know writing this has helped me too! Now….

“I’m going to celebrate this new year with all the good witches, little chocolate bars are for little kids, I want a cauldron and the nourishment that comes with it.”

All my love

Sarah

x

Learning from Jasmine

Plant Allies

Plants have a wonderful way of showing up in your life when you least expect it and if you sink down into the deeper meaning of their existence and character, you will find they have much to offer you.

Human Allies

Whilst in Lincoln about to embark on my third and final year of University, studying a BSc in Herbal Medicine, I went for a beer in a pub, named the Green Dragon, (serving the only brew for the brave and true) with a lovely herbalist called Kate, who now runs Elemental Arts. She had just transferred to Lincoln from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. I had had quite a turbulent end to my summer break and with much uncertainty I had moved back to Lincoln. Sitting across from Kate, in this wonky, but cosy old pub, our mere presence halving the average age in there, we began to share our stories of who we were. It would appear that we had much in common and lots of plans and experiences we would be able to share over the coming year. We both said to each other, after our evening how much better we felt about the year ahead, I’m sure this had something to do with our new kindled friendship.

Over the course of the year we drank a lot of tea in the Angel Cafe, went on night rambles and day time stomps, howled at the moon on steep hill, danced furiously, joined the local border morris side, put the world to rights and shared many emotions.

Message to the Universe

I recall one evening, we were wandering our way up the hill to morris practice, chatting about the things we were struggling with and the things we were really enjoying about the course. When we both, sub-consciously sent messages to the Universe.

Me: “I’d really like to get to know Jasmine a little better, I don’t feel like I know it and its sort of calling to me. I’m also super nervous about the physical examinations of bodily systems, I’d like to practice that too.”

Kate: “I’d just like to have a new patient, I haven’t had one in a long time and I’m feeling like everyone else has, it must be my turn by now!”

With an afternoon in clinic on the schedule for the next day, we didn’t really say much to each other on the topic after that and carried on, on our way. I remember that evening we had a very ‘energy raising’ practice, the room felt far too small for all the energy and power we were creating and it felt good to step out into the crisp air to make our way back home.

From the Universe with Love

Arriving in clinic after an endless morning of lectures, full from the salad bar, earl grey tea and a cheeky but fair-trade milk chocolate with orange, we plonked ourselves down in the dispensary ready to hear about the schedule for the afternoon. Our teacher Andrew:

“So, we have two new patients booked in today”, Mine and Kate’s eyes met and flashed at each other. “One is a young woman, called Jasmine”

Another wild stare, a smile and then an eruption of giggles. We explained our conversation the night before to Andrew’s bewildered stares and Kate insisted I take this new patient as it was ‘a sign’. I agreed but there was one condition…

“Kate hasn’t had a new patient in a while” I said “I think she should see the other one”

It turned out that my patient also needed a digestive system check – which involves gently palpating, percussing and auscultating the abdominal area and so I was able to practise my examination skills too.

So our message the night before had been heard and we were brought what we needed from the Universe With Love.

Peripheral Awareness

Jasmine, the plant, that is, has lingered in my periphery over the years, I haven’t worked with the plant physically with myself or with any patients. I still don’t feel like I know it all that well. I suppose I have never been called to use it, until….

Jasmine is calling you again….

NIMH conference 2017 took place a few weeks ago and I will be talking about it for a long while as I learned so much in such a small space of time and I am still sieving through it all. Sat in a seminar by Keith Roberts, whose presence it is to be in, is SUCH a treat and a delight, we were passed a few essential oils and a vine of leaves. I was sat quite near the back of the room and as the bottles were passed from front to back, the room gradually filled with sweet, lifting aromas. Energy raising indeed!

One was Rose, my journey with Rose is a completely different story all together and one I will save for another day. Rose has been with me since the conference and I am using it in my daily practise. There was a time, I would not be in the same room as this plant, but as I said, another story, another day. The second, I did not recognise, the smell was so delicious I cannot even begin to describe it…..

I’ll give it a go.

It’s like the moment you arrive at a party, excited for the night ahead and a little nervous with anticipation…..ooooohhh the possibilities! You look, smell and feel amazing, you got it right tonight, on point and looking fiiiiine!

Anyway, as I became enveloped in this scent, I glanced at the bottle…….Jasmine! And I wrote in the open page of my Bullet Journal – ‘Jasmine is calling you again’

So, on my return I looked it up, finally!

You can use the essential oil, or the flowers as a tea, it is also used in the form of a tincture. I have asked a few of my fellow herbalists about their experience of the plant and with their permission, I will share with you.

Firstly, the amazing image at the top of this post was taken by a herbalist called Amy Dadachanji of The Wild Apothecary. Ames was my roommate at the conference and it would appear that Jasmine is also calling to her at the moment too! She recently posted it on her Instagram (definitely one to follow, such beauty consistently captured), mentioning she’d like to make a flower remedy out of it soon.

Jonathan Woodall of Jonnys’s Apothecary said:
“I always associated it with feminine/womb related issues, particularly if its related to a woman hurt by male actions or influences. I’ve suggested it to numerous patients as an essential oil …… Everyone so far has loved it for the bath, a womb massage or just wearing it during their period.”
Sometimes when herbalists describe herbs, we like to picture them as a person, what would they look like? Who would they be?
Natasha said: “It tastes like sexy women” – which is spot on! It really does! Natasha Richardson of Forage Botanicals also said “It’s a liver herb, very feminine, comforting, uplifting and an aphrodisiac.”
So physiologically I will use this plant for patients experiencing, among other things:
– menstrual cramps
– mild depression
– lowered libido
or simply for those that need a little lift and their energy raised.
Emotionally, I will use it in the same way it has helped me over the years….

There are times in my life, when I sometimes feel things aren’t moving in the direction or at the speed they should be. In reality, these are my expectations, my ‘wants’, but not necessarily ‘needs’. I really feel that Jasmine is a conduit to commune with the universe. Or at least, she turns up to remind you, its all good and that the universe has it covered.

Everything you need, presents itself to you in the moment you need it.

Every time I open my Bullet Journal now, to plan my week, book patients in or even write my next blog, the scent of Jasmine lifts off the page and envelops me in her energy. What a treat! After having an emotionally challenging week recently, I jumped in my car and headed to the north Oxfordshire countryside for the rest of the afternoon and evening. My mum had journeyed south and was staying with a friend, helping her prune apple trees in the orchard and having a general autumn tidy up on her land. I parked in the village hall car park and as I emerged back onto the path, there she was. My Mamma, my creator, a source of strength, love and relentless support. All was well again, I had made the right decision to leave town for a bit.

As we walked along the path, I saw a plant growing up the side of the house….

“What’s that?” I said, pointing to it. And before my Mamma responded, a little voice deep inside me replied to my own question “Jasmine”

“It’s Winter Jasmine” Mamma said.

Of course it is!

So there she is, Jasmine, leading the way in my life at the moment, I wonder what else I will learn from her…..

 

 

 

#MeToo: A Journey of ReWilding and Stepping out of the Dark and into the Light.

I have a huge pit in my stomach writing this, but it needs to be said and you need to hear it. Where to begin, I think I’d first like to say to the family, friends and colleagues who I haven’t spoken openly to, about this, it is in no way personal. I am an empath, so I feel everyone else’s emotions as strongly as my own, I sometimes struggle to separate them out. Sometimes, when talking about my experiences with you, I end up feeling worse, I end up feeling responsible for your emotional reaction, when I am still trying to deal with my own. It’s not your fault, we haven’t been taught about holding space or witnessing someone’s story. This has to change and it starts here and now.

The #MeToo campaign and the response to it, has shaken the world. So it should. The magnitude, the enormity of how prolific sexual harassment and sexual abuse is, is being unearthed. It has been buried deep. So here I am, grabbing my spade and digging this one up. That deep box, on the high shelf. It’s being unpacked.

In a recent conversation, I mentioned I was prepared to write about this on my personal social media pages but not on my professional page. However, I cannot see any tangible reason why I shouldn’t.

#MeToo

It has happened far more times than my memory has the capacity to recall or my emotional and physical body is equipped to remember. It is not necessary for me to go into detail in this piece of writing.

I wish the last time it happened will be

The Last Time

But sadly, I don’t know this or indeed, what is to come. What I do know is that the last time it happened to me, will be the last time I am silent about it.

I have a Voice and I will Use it.

There is of course, the other side of the #MeToo campaign which has been written far better than I ever could, by John Pavlovitz and there are people saying #IDidThat and #IWillDoBetter. Hopefully this will change the way harassment, assault and rape is reported as Jackson Katz speaks out about in this TED Talk.

Recently I have met, been in the presence of and held space with some truly amazing people, mostly women but men too. To the men rising up, speaking out, supporting us and who are also saying #MeToo. I see you, my brothers, you are here by our side creating a better world.

Every time I make a connection with someone, I feel a golden thread has appeared. We are all here, craving these types of connections, to know we are not alone in the world. This allows for global healing to occur. Yes, it can be painful for some of us, it may be bringing up all sorts of buried emotion. Have Heart…..

“Like the lotus flower that is born out of mud, we must honor the darkest parts of ourselves and the most painful of our life’s experiences, because they are what allow us to birth our most beautiful self.” ~Debbie Ford~

 

“Look, boo. Healing is fucking messy. It’s alienation. It’s detachment. It’s bat shit crazy. It’s jet black inky darkness. It makes you ache for the void and mundane. You want to quit everything, but you can’t. You won’t. Not now. No baby, not ever. Because even though it aches the mother of all aches, you’ve changed. Underneath that bullshit, there you are. Brand new. Born again. An angel of earth who’s woken up to their cosmic mission. And you ain’t ever going back. And there’s more like you out there. We’re waking up right next to you in the dark, wild one. So don’t worry about fixing any part of you and let your wicked shambles raise the goddam roof on this whole thing.” ~ Tanya Markul

Recently, at NIMH Conference 2017, whilst surrounded by fellow herbalists. I was in a seminar by Hananja Brice-Ytsma and she showed us a video of the late Christopher Hedley speaking about one of my favourite plants. We were sat with a little pot of it, sipping, smiling at his insights and suddenly I became overwhelmed with grief. The loss of him. I felt the grief of the whole community.  I have never met Christopher Hedley and maybe part of my emotional response was at the idea I will never meet him and see, see the wonders he imparts on others. I would like to share with you this plant, as he did with me, it has been by my side whilst writing this, alongside a few others I will also share with you.

May we keep this conversation forever open, so we also allow it to change form. If you have at all been affected by #MeToo, whether from personal experience or because you too feel the weight of the world,  do be in touch, I am here, I am present.

1d0a997c0ef74c9ae2ded6b45c84def4.jpgAlchemilla vulgaris – Lady’s Mantle

Much of my understanding of this plant comes from the teachings of Elisabeth Brooke in her book “A Woman’s Book of Herbs”. She writes:

“It is strengthening and helps women prepare for acts of courage, for the way of the warrior…..On a deeper level, there is a connection with the rage and despair that is woman, to the primal scream of fury and anguish at the cruelty, pain and suffering in the world. The herb is for any woman who has suffered at the hands of patriarchy.”

439962.jpgRosa damascena – Damask Rose

For Self- love, Self-Care, Self-Worth and Self-Esteem.

 

thome00379-angelica-archangelica.jpgAngelica archangelica spagyric – Angelica

The Archangel, to protect the aura. Whilst stepping out, it’s always good to cloak yourself in a layer of soft, but strong protection.

 

With Love, Light and Healing Space and Time

Sarah

Mabon ~ Autumn Equinox

For those of you that know me, I live very closely to the Earth and the Season’s change. Growing up, I was always described as being sensitive. It’s true, I am. There are days when the wind blows a certain way and it makes me think “there’s something going on out there” and there will be, or there will be a pressure in the air that gives me a storming headache, which only clears when it rains.

I was sat with some friends in the kitchen yesterday talking about my recent achievements and tears of pride rose in my eyes, we then continued to speak about how I ‘well up’ at some pretty strange things. For example, I pulled some carrots from the ground the other day and the smell of them brought back such strong memories of when, at age 19, I volunteered on Organic farms in the UK. I travelled around by train with a pretty heavy backpack, covering a lot of distance. Such fond memories and how far I’ve come since then – I couldn’t stop the tears rising! I know, I know, carrots?! We all had a good giggle, you totally can too.

My entire family is like this, maybe not crying at the smell of carrots, but get us together after any length of time apart and we will be laughing so hard we cry and sometimes crying so hard we laugh. Something, it would appear I do a lot in other people’s kitchens! Either way, emotions flow freely in my family!

So at this time of year, when daylight hours equal the hours of darkness, we are in a space of balance. This time of year has often been called Harvest Home. Now, not all of you will be working the land and reaping an agricultural harvest, but you do have your own landscape. The landscape of your life and your journey, as you move through the year. So, take this time to pause and potentially adjust a little, pretty soon you’ll be making plans and preparations, now that, dare I say it, ‘winter is coming’. Look over all your achievements and everything you have learned so far ~ your harvest. Give thanks for all that you have. From all of this, new projects will grow in the future, if you just plant those little seeds!

If you view emotions as I do as ‘energy in motion’, you will see that everything you feel, has the potential to influence your journey ahead. What emotions are rising in you at the moment and where might they carry you? Glennie Kindred writes, in her book “Elements of Change” that you should “Let your feelings flow. The energy of release  brings clarity and opens the way for a new part of your journey.” 

For me, I will go back and look at the intentions I set at the end of July, give thanks for my achievements and potentially re-evaluate all that didn’t quite get completed. I will have a think about how to move forward from here. I will also be carving out some time to rest, times of balance are perfect opportunities to do just that!

Rest Well Dear Earthlings

Sarah

x

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The Return Journey

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

It would appear that until now, I have only felt the need or desire to write blog posts in March. I missed my annual opportunity this year.

Much has happened since I last sat down to write, I have so much to tell you! How exciting. As always, I’d recommend sticking the kettle on so we can begin!

In February 2016 I embarked on a Fertility Massage Practitioner Training course with Clare Blake, as I felt it would really compliment using Herbal Medicine for Fertility and Women’s Health. Here, I met Charlotte, who invited me to join her team in Norwich.  So, with my Atlas in my hand I set my sails and began working with the Norwich Natural Fertility Partnership (NNFP) in May 2016, offering Herbal Medicine Consultations and Pregnancy Massage. Since then I have helped many women empower themselves, have seen 2 babies grow and arrive Earthside, with 3 more on their way!

In March 2016 I rather adventurously took on a second course – Red Tent Doula Preparation with Nicola Goodall, and after much self-reflection, inner work and a stack of reading, I have emerged with another certificate! I am now a Red Tent Doula, but it doesn’t stop there! No this is just the beginning! In October of this year I will enrol on the Doula UK course and alongside my mentor Callie, I will continue my journey learning this craft and art.

In October 2016 I had a bit of a change of direction in my personal life, it’s taken a while for me to move through this, but what I can tell you, is that it has fuelled my professional life and my work forwards, in the direction it should always be moving in. I am now and forever, on the return journey home to myself and to my craft.

This term came about from reading a truly wonderful book called “52 Flowers That Shook My World” by Charlotte Du Cann. You really must read it!

Opening this book and reading the first few lines made me immediately snuggle down into myself. What a treat! I’m savouring this one for as long as possible! “The Return Journey” is a concept that has had a hold of me for over 2 years now, potentially, sometimes without me realising it. As Charlotte writes: “Everything on earth is about to return”. We wait for the sun to return after long winters or for the cool autumn breeze to return after endless summers. We move in circles, in cycles, in spirals. Always coming back to ourselves, to the Earth.

I remember a time when I was so busy during the day and into the evening, when I’d collapse into bed and immediately fall asleep. My dreams would be just as active as my days. I wouldn’t, I couldn’t rest! And yet, always searching, always asking the questions of how to be different, who, what was I waiting for? That moment when you climb into bed, exhale deeply – there! That is the moment! That is my daily return journey. Every evening now, I return back to myself, I am the person I have been waiting for. I have made a home within myself. This, as with many things present in my life at the moment is not something I’ve learnt, it is a remembering.

“Remembering, is like coming home, every time” – Brian Boothby

800px-Prunella_vulgaris_-_harilik_käbihein.jpg
By Ivar Leidus – Own work,

Whilst reading this beautiful book and all throughout the summer, I have been noticing a little plant ally, peeping at me, almost everywhere I go!

Self Heal – Prunella vulgaris. Not knowing much about the plant, other than as it’s name suggests – healing thyself, I asked some fellow herbalists. One remembers Christopher Hedley saying that it brings you back to you, so you can be yourself. Another, even more poignantly said that it can be used for those who have lost their way or wandered from their path often – to help them find their way again. So little Prunella has been by my side this summer on my return journey home, encouraging me when I stray and strengthening me when I falter.

A singer from my childhood – Nanci Griffiths – once introduced her song “The Wing and the Wheel” by saying – “there is no need in life for anyone to become complacent”. She really spoke to me and I feel that in a way, some time ago, I may have started to become complacent and comfortable. When this happens, things start to stagnate. This isn’t good! Time for a change.

After three wonderful years, growing, learning and evolving at The Treatment Rooms, working alongside Jessica, I decided it was time for a brave and bold step forwards.

“All great experiences lie just beyond your comfort zone” as Jessica said to me once, with a glint in her eye.

I have now opened my own treatment room in Newtown House, Henley-on-Thames and it has been the best decision. I have my dispensary, my desk and my treatment table all in one place.

With this move approaching I reached out to Aspen Weatherburn of Hello Henley, to give me some direction about this – blogging – a new website and how best to manage my social media campaigns. I have to say, it’s been difficult at times but I have learned SO much about technology and myself. Thank you, Aspen, for being part of all of this.

So come on down, see my new space, I’ll stick the kettle on…

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Just keep coming back to yourself lovely Earthlings, you’re doing just fine!

Sarah x

At the Still Point of the Turning World

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Earth is warming and waking up and I have been craving the outside.

So I put my trusty wellies on and marched down to Bosley Patch.

“Tamsin, I need my hands in the Earth again”

My help was gladly accepted and I asked to barrow manure, a job that although is a lot of hard work is very rewarding! I planted onions and picked salad and spinach and did I ache the next day? Most definitely yes!! I have returned in the following days just to soak up some beautiful dusk sunshine and along with friends we helped skin a polytunnel – a process I am becoming more and more familiar with as Bosley Patch grows!

Soon the hours of daylight will equal the hours of darkness and in that moment, amidst the buzzing activity that Spring always brings, there will be a pause – a stillness.

“At the still point of the turning world…neither from nor towards. There the dance is.” – T.S. Eliot

So if you feel your projects and dreams are flourishing at a pace just beyond your comfort zone, try not to worry, instead call on this stillness, find your space in it and remember, it’s all a dance. For now is the time for Freedom and Courage – take the risk, do the thing that scares you, put the most dreaded task at the top of your to do list, there is only Growth. Just like the new life we can see all around us, never pass up the chance to be Young at Heart.

It’s not just you that will be doing scary but vastly exciting things. In between time spent in treatments with you lovely Earthlings, there are many things Red Earth HQ has in the pipeline.

“I’ve got a plan, I’ve got an atlas in my hand” – B.F. Leftwich

Okay, so maybe not quite an atlas, more of a map of England! Red Earth will be on the road – but where to and for what you ask? Sssshhh! It’s a secret for now, I’m not quite ready to share that Sunbeam with you. I can tell you, however that Doula Training with The Red Tent Doulas is this weekend! New, exciting, open and ready to learn!

Mamma Red Earth is paying me a visit soon, she recently informed me that the grassy bank in her garden is covered in Primroses – she has such an affinity for them! Ahoy there! Such Joy! So this little plant profile is for you Mamma and all my Earthlings that also love this cheerful little flower! See if you can spot some!

Primrose (Primula vulgaris) – Also known as “The Key Flower”, this little plant has a very pure healing energy that washes away extraneous mental activity. Bringing deep peace and instilling a calm, secure sense of connection with the Earth – Carol Guyett.

Until next time my Lovely Earthlings

Sarah