I am a seeker of beauty. My eyes and heart drawn to a blossom in its fullest expression or a snail slowly emerging from its shell. These precious moments are around me all the time; I just need to polish the lens of my heart to see and feel them.

My dear friend Jessica has a true gift for not only seeing these beautiful moments strung together that make our lives, but capturing them in the most extraordinary way. She has agreed to share her words with us each month in our Muse-Letter and I know that you will enjoy them as much as I do. You can find her work here.

Into Darkness

by Jessica Latham Malone

This poem was originally published on mothersalwayswrite.com

Just seconds old, a baby noses his way to his mother's breast

the same way a butterfly knows how to unearth a blossom.

A toddler only learns to walk by feeling the many ways of falling.

The heart only knows wholeness after heartbreak shatters one into tiny pieces.

There are millions of paths toward living and loving

but we need not anyone's compass other than our own.

Look what happens when an acorn digs its way

into the earth and dives deep into darkness

despite what the starling claims to know.


www.sarapressportraits.com

Care and Love
Parents are lovingly in service to our children. We offer love as we kiss dimpled hands and cheeks, and as we wipe spit up from our favorite shirt. Still, we give love. When babies grow into toddlers, the love still streams as we patiently sit feeding spoonful after spoonful of nourishing foods, gently wiping the corner of your wee one's mouth. Now in the coldest months, we bundle up our children with woolly and silk layers to warm them as they scamper off to playgardens or playgrounds ... still an act of devotion and love. While giving over our whole hearts, sometimes we forget to give ourselves a little love and nurturing. Some call it self-care, some call it self-love ... and what ever you call it, just call it in. The love and care that you give to your beloved is a bottomless cup of goodness, though sometimes we feel empty.

When parents can experience a feeling of nurturing, we can more easily offer that experience to others. How can we embrace creating a life unashamed care for yourself too? Why are we placing such value on over-giving and even martyr-like practices? Isn't it easier to give when we feel abundant rather than depleted?

Caring for yourself is vital and necessary not only for our well-being but also for the well-being of our family. 

Our children learn the importance of self-care by living with us, watching us and witnessing our fullness or our exhaustion. Building a practice a self-care, even 10 minutes a day can shift your energy, and return you to center. Imagine when you are completely lost and you turn on your navigation and see that pin drop indicating, "you are here." Self-care is that pin drop on your navigation system. It will look different with each person and their respective needs; we all know the things that bring us back to center ... the tricky part is simply making time in your day. 

Embrace self-care as a devotion to you and your family, rather than a task or job. Use the lens of love and warmth to invite the intention to care for yourself each day. Parents need to be nurtured too! One easy thing you can do to practice self-care and self-love is to create some affirmations. Perhaps an affirmation from the part inside that is hurting or most depleted. This one pictured below is from the Bless You Mom self-care cards found on Harmony Rose Wellness. Start your practice with whatever you can, one baby step at a time. I have some suggestions below. 


Simple ideas for self-care:

  • Herbal foot bath
  • Salt scrub for your whole body (or just hands and feet)
  • Star gazing
  • Notice something that you felt really good about today
  • Say yes to rest
  • Kitchen dance party
  • Journal writing (set a timer for 15 minutes)
  • A DIY Lilac_flower facial (cleanse, exfoliate, steam, moisturize)
  • Stand-up comedy (in person or stream online)
  • Ask someone to give you a massage or give one to yourself
  • Make (or buy) something delicious and eat it outside
  • Listen to the bird song
  • Sit beneath a tree
  • Make a cup of your favorite tea
  • Light a candle and relax in the dark
  • Write yourself a love note
  • Create a moment to express your gratitude for the day
  • Take a nap
  • Go for a moonlight walk
  • Get together with some friends that you love
  • Have a meal delivered, my favorite all organic and nourishing service is Sakara, and they are kind enough to offer mothering artists 15% off with code REF_MOTHERINGARTSLOVE15
  • Unplug before dinner
  • Acknowledge your gifts 
  • Turn off any sounds (alerts) on your phone
  • Turn on your email vacation responder for a weekend

Care for your family by infusing your nourishment with love and thanks by offering gratitude before your dinner.

You can download and print this free 3 page watercolored collection of meal blessings here. Enjoy!

 

*photo of women and baby by Sara Press Photography

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