Create Nourish Inspire Interviews is a blog post series, where I interview people who inspire me because of the way they follow their heart and seek to do what lights them up. I find out more about the journey they have taken and discover how they embrace their creativity, nourish their soul and find peace in everyday life.
I’ve been talking to Sophie Parker. Sophie is the creator of Betony & Sage – where she sells her gorgeous botanical products and seeks to inspire slow and seasonal living.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you have created a business doing what lights you up?
I am Sophie, I live with my menagerie of animals and my husband in the Kent countryside. We both work for a conservation charity and are passionate about plants (he is a horticulturalist) and the natural world (I work as a ranger). My love of the planet and of sustainable, mindful choices is what inspired me to create Betony and Sage; my passion project. The business is still a sapling; it is early days as we just got up and running in the spring of last year. At the moment, I focus on creating organic botanical candles and aura mists but will soon be releasing a range of natural cosmetics too. Last autumn, I hosted a number of free foraging walks. This is the area of my business I hope to expand in the future as I dream of hosting forest workshops and nature retreats for adults. I am truly passionate about rewilding souls and helping others to connect with the natural world.
How has your life changed since you decided to do what lights you up and did you have to overcome anything along the way?
My life has become a lot busier since Betony and Sage started to grow. I am now filling my spare time creating, which is something I have always loved. I feel I have given myself the opportunity to be creative, to be playful and do something I really enjoy. I have also really loved meeting and networking with other makers. Other creators whose passion shines through their creations, who share ideas and support each other. It has been wonderful. So, although I have been busier than ever, I have been more fulfilled, more alive.
How do you nourish your soul in your daily life and does creativity play a part in this?
For me, time is nature is where I find inspiration and solace. It is where I can reflect, where I can refresh myself and relish in the glory of the natural world. After all, it is fundamentally what inspired and inspires Betony and Sage. Alongside mindful nature walks, I also try to practice yoga regularly, mindfully moving the body is magic I am sure. Mantras are also a big part of how I continue to motivate and inspire myself. Actually, Louise’s work is in my bedroom and bathroom at home, two mantras that inspire me to live with kindness to others and myself. I also have mantra reminders on my phone throughout the day, short phrases to guide and nurture me. I find it really uplifting and soothing and a great way to come back to the self at times of stress or overwhelm.
What helps you to find peace in everyday life?
Peace is a soothing walk along the beach, a quiet walk through a woodland. It is the birds singing in the morning, the dew settling on the pine needles, it is a spider’s web, a hot cup of herbal tea watching the sun rise. Peace for me comes through life’s simple pleasures, moments in nature with nature. Moments of calm, moments of mindfulness where appreciating Nature’s beauty puts all else into perspective. There is nothing more healing, nothing that fills me up more than time with nature.
What piece of advice would you give to people going through a tough time or struggling with their health?
You may be able to guess what is coming… spend time with Mother Nature. Get outside, go for a short walk. Start by taking three deep breaths. Then walk with the intention of really looking and noticing what is around you; notice the colour and shape of the different leaves and flowers, the different calls of the birds in the trees. Mindfully notice nature’s bounty, over time it will assist you in having time away from the mind’s worries.
From experience, I also know how important it is to allow these feelings to be. Try not to bury them by being busy or doing things. Allow emotions to sit with you, notice them, become aware of how they arrive in your body. Allow. Allow yourself time to feel. We have labelled certain emotions as good or bad but in fact they are a normal part of human life. Grief, anxiety, anger, sadness; they are allowed to be in your body and are in every body. So, allow them time, but try not to sit with them for too long. Make pigeon steps to move forward, make time for little activities every day that light you up and help you to start to feel the other emotions; love and joy. Take time to write about how you feel and to reflect, but make sure you are making time for self-care however that looks for you.
Who or what inspires you?
This bountiful and wonderous planet is what inspires me the most, with endless opportunities for wonderment. Nothing else blows me away, grounds me, soothes me, give me goose-bumps like Mother Earth does.
I am also incredibly grateful for the wonderful makers I have met over the past year. The people who are passionate about what they do, who have shown me kindness and given me a helping hand. Those humans, those normal people who are going for it and living their own little dream.
If you could make one profound difference in people’s lives, what would it be?
I would connect them with the natural world. Through this connection together we would begin to live more sustainably, take steps to reduce our impact on this marvellous planet, learn to be kind to ourselves, our fellow humans and all other life on earth.
Thank you so much Sophie; it’s really inspirational to hear about your passion for nature and your wonderful tips on how to start mindfully spending more time outdoors to benefit our wellbeing.
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