“The central fact remains that our connection to meaning, passion, soulfulness, and the deep nature is something we have to keep watch over. There are many things that try to force, sweep, seduce away… (the handmade life)… seemingly simple things like saying, “I’ll do that dance, planting, hugging, finding, planning, learning, peace-making, cleansing… later.”
Traps, all.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves (page 242)

I never used to understand how to grow a garden. My approach was to plant the seedlings then leave them and let them fend for themselves. When my garden never thrived I would be confused and resentful, thinking ‘well what’s the point anyway’.

I would leave the struggling herbs and vegetables to tough it out for months on end, and hope that they would make a come back. My interest and dedication would rollercoaster between renewed vigor and then neglect.

anne_castles_brisbane_doula

I remember the day that I realised that this applied directly to my life, and to my capacity to care for myself. I finally realised that this approach was manifested in other aspects of my life. I saw it in my beliefs about myself. I saw it in the cycles of stress and resentment and feeling burnt out by my work.

Creation doesn’t happen of it’s own accord, it needs to be cultivated. The foundation needs to be rich and fertile and then the planted seeds have a chance. Even more important for me was the realization that throwing the seedlings in without the ongoing care and nourishment was like self-sabotage over and over again. I saw my resistance to see a process through; to be committed; to follow through with sacred action.

Life needs to be fed. I wasn’t nourishing or feeding my plants, and I wasn’t nourishing or feeding my handmade life. My creativity, fertility, spirituality. My cyclical nature.

Now my handmade life comes first. It needs the juiciness of dancing, hip circles and bum shimmying. It needs time in the kitchen, cooking and baking, sweets dripping-with-honey, kind of nourishment. It needs the deep belly breaths down to my womb, called by the sound of drumming. It needs the elixir of oils, infused with citrus and lavender, massaged and soaked up through the dry cracks of this skin. It needs the timeless circle of women sitting around me, together, learning to be just as we are. It needs the quietness and solitude to pick up a book and keep reading, instead of busying myself with busy-ness. It needs something everyday, in some small way.

Mostly my handmade life needs the nourishment of community. The strong and courageous hearts of others walking their own path of vulnerability and reconnection with the sacred.

Thank you to every being who has affirmed, encouraged or supported this handmade life in any number of ways.

My intention and commitment this year is to my handmade life, however that may look.

What are you nourishing in your handmade life right now?

Love + 2016 Blessings,

Anne xo

P.s. I am lucky to have a pretty luscious collection of plants cohabiting my home with me these days. This is actually due to my dear housemate who leads the gardening efforts (thanks darl!). Nonetheless there are a few well nourished herbs and flowers that I can take the credit for. The most special of these being my blood rose who gets the most sacred kind of nourishment every moon-time.

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