When all you can do is ‘Sit With It’

Ever felt something and not known why you’re feeling it? I often get this with negative emotions. For a long time, I wasn’t comfortable with my own negativity. We’re taught to be okay and happy all the time.

Ever been asked “how are you?”? and you’ve replied “yeh good thanks”, but inside you’re screaming “WELL, actually, pretty shit. Work is stressing me out, things aren’t smooth at home at all, I feel like I’m constantly arguing with myself and everything feels like its falling down around me.” So many times, I’ve been asked this in the supermarket and I have wanted to tell the truth but I haven’t. I convince myself no-one wants to hear it and I should just buckle up and carry on.

Now, I constantly remind myself that its okay to not be okay, and that all I really need to do is just sit with it. You can go round and round in circles trying to work out why it is you feel the way you do, you end up feeling more hopeless and more helpless because you cant find the answers. Well maybe you don’t need to! Maybe all you need to do is sit with your emotions, acknowledge them, make peace with them, know that it will all be alright in the end and if it’s not alright it’s not the end. There’s still time. You’ll be back up there eventually but there’s no rush. Sometimes if you rush to pick yourself up again, you’re more likely to come crashing down again, harder and for longer. So take your sweet time and in the meantime, have a day.

So often we are also told to “have a good day” but what if we cant see any conceivable way of this happening? Sometimes, someone encouraging you to have a good day can just make you feel worse. Their intentions come from a good place, of course, but its not what you want to hear. So ‘have a day’ – eat nice food, wear comfy clothes and just be good to yourself in whichever way you can. Try not to be hard on yourself and try speak kindly to yourself. After all we have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, we might as well be friends with ourselves! You got this!

The dusk sky is my best reminder of my innate courage. It arrives just in time, at the end of the day, when night begins to draw in. The sky is blue, the colour of Borage flowers. Borage is for courage. The courage you showed in order to get through today, you did it! And the sun sets, it will rise once more and with it you will find the courage to see another day through. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. Onwards, to the horizon.

 

Love, Light and Space to Just Be

Sarah

Dear Little One, Summer is a coming in!

It may not feel quite like it at the moment, but summer really is a coming in. This is the end of the hardships of winter.

This is Beltane.

Beltane means “Bright Fire” and it is celebrated on 30th April into May 1st. At this time, spring is in full flow and we welcome the first days of Summer. Fire is central to this festival – maybe you and your family could light a bonfire and sit outside for the evening? There are lots of activities you can do together…

toa-heftiba-362196-unsplashTraditionally people would ‘jump the fire’, however this may not be suitable for you to do just yet, little one. They would do this for healing, transformation and to increase fertility in all its forms. The Earth is at its most fertile and so are our dreams and ideas. Whatever you give your focus to will grow. Move with boldness and clear intention. Stand next to the fire and imagine the side that you are on represents all that you wish to leave behind and the opposite side is all you wish to focus on – everything – even your wildest dreams – start now! If the fire is too big to jump over, you can write your thoughts down, burn them, walk around to the other side and do the same again. Find a way that works for you and most importantly be safe! You could even have a boogie to this song too..

“We jump the fire for kicks and for feelings” 

Have you noticed how the Earth is covered in lush green? The leaves, the grass, the hedgerows and woodlands. You can honour the Earth, the abundance and the growth by wearing green.

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This time of year is all about union, traditionally there would be greenwood marriages at Beltane. We can celebrate our partners but also our family and friends. Maybe you’d like to make a card or a little present for the special people in your life to show your gratitude. Or simply let them know how much they mean to you. Speak from your heart centre, filling yourself with love so that you may give openly and generously.

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In the celtic tree calendar the Willow is the tree for Beltane. Willow weaving is a great activity – you can make crowns, dreamcatchers or wands. Or you can simply sit with a nearby willow tree and think about its properties and the teachings it has for you. Willow can increase our intuitive powers and allow our dreams to be more vivid and open to interpretation. It is a feminine tree ruled by the Moon and has an affinity to water. How fitting there is full moon this Beltane! Our emotions are able to move more freely with Willow and we learn to surrender to them so that they may be released. From Willow we gain the power to move forwards, to be confident and to trust ourselves.

As I mentioned earlier this is a time when what we focus on grows abundantly. If you are unable to have a bonfire, you can find a tree – one that you can walk easily around. Or collect a branch and bring it into the home. As you walk, imagine your dreams and plans as if they are already so. As you do, tie a ribbon for each dream to the branches of the tree – when you have finished you have created your wishing tree.

This really is one of my favourite festivals and I have many traditions for this time of year. Growing up I remember reluctantly shuffling off to bed on May Eve, Mamma would be downstairs laughing with her friends, staying up all night, ready to go to dance the sun up and the summer in. Finally, around the age of 15, I was allowed to go with her. We didn’t stay up all night in those days but I did go and see the sunrise. I grew up around Morris Dancers and this was my favourite of our traditions. We would arrive in the dark and dance… until we saw a glimmer of sunlight on the horizon, then we would pause and stare in wonder. Once the sun had risen we would sing ‘Hal an Tow’ and the horn would be blown to all four corners of the horizon to wake everyone up. Summer is here! We’d go for breakfast in the local ‘greasy spoon’ and on returning home, I would wash my face in the may morning dew – why both me and my sister have been blessed with great skin!

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Years later, my cousin and I, found ourselves in the same county again for the first time since we were little. She was studying in Oxford and the students there have a great May tradition – albeit a little more ‘modern’ and maybe, little one, one that you should save until you’re 18 to partake in. They basically go out dancing and drinking all night and then congregate for 6am in the street outside Magdalen Tower and listen to the Magdalen College Choir sing the May in. I remember cycling in the cool May morning through the streets of Oxford and feeling once more like a total Witch.

Beltane is all about Life, Love and all things good. This year I have celebrated by seeing my dear friends and setting intentions for my future plans. Blessed be for all that I have….

And the Wheel Turns

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

 

#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