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Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Sophie Parker

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Sophie Parker

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.

If you would like to find out more about Sophie’s work and classes, visit her website, or connect with Sophie on Facebook or Instagram.

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I have created a Nourish 7 Day Challenge,with a free downloadable Nourish Toolkit PDF, giving you nourishing ideas for each day’s prompts, including links to breathing meditations, calming yoga sequences, gorgeous natural face & body pamper recipes, soothing sleep essential oil blend recipes, mindful walks, craft DIYS and lots of great tips on peace, sleep, creativity & kindness. CLICK HERE FOR THE DETAILS.

To see more Create Nourish Interviews, click here.

To see my blog post series about the stories behind my art and affirmations, click here.

To see my positive affirmation mixed media art, click here.

To see my blog post series about my holistic journey to wellness with Rheumatoid Arthritis, click here.

To see my Nourish blog post series, click here.

To see my blog post series about mixed media art for beginners, click here.

Inspire: How to choose a word of the year and use it to create positive change

Inspire: How to choose a word of the year and use it to create positive change

Choosing a word of the year can be a lovely way to set a positive intention of what you would like to bring into your life during the new year. Here are some ideas for choosing a word and how to use it to make small, positive changes throughout the year.

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Nourish: 25 ways to find calm when you’re overwhelmed

Nourish: 25 ways to find calm when you’re overwhelmed

Overwhelm can happen for many reasons, it may be a case of having too many things to do, too many people making demands on your time, challenging and tough situations, or emotional overwhelm to name a few. Learning to find your place of calm during times of overwhelm is an important aspect of self-care and nourishing yourself.

Here are some things to try when you’re feeling overwhelmed to bring you back to a place of calm:

Continue reading “Nourish: 25 ways to find calm when you’re overwhelmed”

Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Unique

Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Unique

‘You are a one of a kind, beautiful, unique treasure’ is a true celebration of our beautiful minds, bodies and souls.

I want to encourage you to take a minute today to celebrate and honour the beautiful vessel that is your body. Our bodies work so hard for us and often all we do is focus on what we’re not happy with.

Continue reading “Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Unique”

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Sarah Presley

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Sarah Presley

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.

This week, I’ve been talking to Sarah Presley. Sarah is a mother of two, a Reiki Master Teacher and a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Trainer. I’ve known Sarah for many years and have taken Reiki 1 & 2 and a meditation course with her. Not only is she a fantastic teacher but she is also a great inspiration in the way that she follows her heart and lives her life. I call her my wise owl as she always comes out with some very wise and normally spot on advice!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you have created a business doing what lights you up?

My name is Sarah Presley and I live with my husband, 2 sons and dog in the relaxing and peaceful setting of Winterbourne Down in Bristol, where I am a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Trainer and Reiki Master Teacher.  I love my business and I love my life.  I sing in a band, enjoy running and yoga and also being creative (I am currently playing with some mosaic tiles and covering an old guitar!).

In 1999, I was diagnosed with M.E. and I was told that it was likely I would have it for the rest of my life. I was only 26. There was no magic wand to getting better and so I decided to explore many different holistic treatments as well as reading lots of self-help books. It was whilst reading a book on Buddhism that I discovered meditation, and more specifically mantra meditations – and I became hooked!  I found, over time, that my health and well-being started to improve.   My journey with Reiki began in 2003 and I have found this gentle, yet highly effective treatment, to be empowering and life changing – it helped to switch the light back on.

I felt inclined to use my life experiences to positive use and help others. After extensive training, I set up my own Holistic Therapy business and over the years it has evolved into a business I am so proud of and a job that I love getting up for each day.  Some days see me offering one-to-one sessions in meditation or reiki.  Other days involve teaching beginners, intermediate or advanced meditation groups.  I could also be teaching the various levels of reiki or teaching people to be Meditation Teachers in my role as trainer with the British School of Meditation.

 

Sarah Presley meditation create nourish inspire interview

How has your life changed since you decided to do what lights you up and did you have to overcome anything along the way?

It was really important to me that I “practice what I preach”, so working in this field and supporting so many people does mean I really have to look after myself.    Since becoming self-employed 15 years ago, my health has grown from strength to strength and I have been M.E. free since 2004.  I maintain a daily practice of both meditation and reiki which really help me to keep in the best balance.

Being self-employed constantly means finding the courage to face situations that can be outside of your comfort zone.  I really struggled with self promotion to start with, as well as creating a charging structure that worked well for both me and the client.  I often would give away my time freely and really did not honour the experience I was offering.  But I always have the attitude that everything in life gives you an opportunity to learn and grow.

Sarah Presley meditation create nourish inspire interview

How do you nourish your soul in your daily life and does creativity play a part in this?

So many things nourish my soul!  Reiki and meditation play a huge role in this, but so does spending time with my husband and children as well as my lovely dog, Meera.   I have been in bands since I was 15 so playing gigs brings lots of fun.

Creativity has always played a huge role in my life.  As a child, I thought I wasn’t creative as I wasn’t very good at art!   I am so glad that creativity isn’t just about being able to draw!  I discovered song writing in my teens and this continued to be so helpful in my 20s, especially when I was diagnosed with M.E.  At one time, I set up a soft furnishing business and I would make curtains and cushions by order.  In my early 30s, I almost retrained as a garden designer due to my love of gardening, but instead have continued to enjoy gardening as a hobby (I also took on an allotment for a couple of years too).  Lately, I have been playing around with mosaic tiles and I am currently covering my son’s first guitar – this is proving to be so much fun.  Finally, I have started writing a book – the book I wished I had to help me with my health years ago.  It’s main theme has Mindfulness Meditation through it, but it is full of tips on helping to deal with worry, anxiety and anger too.

What helps you to find peace in everyday life?

Every morning, I start my day by taking Meera on a 2 mile dog walk.  I take this time to connect in with nature and with myself.  I recognise if I am holding on to any emotions from the day before and I consciously release them.  Sometimes I will recite a mantra too.

I never go a day without doing reiki on myself too, whether it is a short 10 minute session or 30 minutes, I will make sure I give myself a top up everyday.  I also always make sure I meditate at least once a day for at least 20 minutes.

What piece of advice would you give to people going through a tough time or struggling with their health?

First of all, accept where you are right now.  This will help you to stop fighting against the tough time or health issue (fighting against it wastes a lot of energy).  Accepting doesn’t mean you give in, it just means you are willing to face the situation.  Secondly, remember you are the coach driver in your own life and so get all the people on board that can support you to get back on track.  This could be your GP, or it could be a complementary therapist, or a counsellor.   Recognise that ultimately you are responsible for how you move things forward, but also recognise that this is also a moment in life and not the whole picture.

Sarah Presley meditation create nourish inspire interview

Who or what inspires you?

Being around my husband and kids makes me want to be the best I can be.  Every client that comes to me, and every student I train, inspire me to continue to improve on what I do.

If you could make one profound difference in people’s lives, what would it be?

I would love to help people to see that it is an honour to be in our bodies experiencing life as we do.  Life is made up of twists and turns, ups and downs but we have the amazing ability to witness this and experience it too.  When things take the twist, it is just life, not a punishment, and everything gives us this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow and improve.  I thought my life was over at the age of 26 when I received my diagnosis, but it was then that it really began.

Thank you so much Sarah; it’s really inspirational to hear how you managed to overcome  M.E. holistically through reiki and meditation, and now seek to help others with your training and experience.

If you would like to find out more about Sarah’s work and classes, including her fantastic blog, visit her website, or connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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I have created a Nourish 7 Day Challenge, with a free downloadable Nourish Toolkit PDF, giving you nourishing ideas for each day’s prompts, including links to breathing meditations, calming yoga sequences, gorgeous natural face & body pamper recipes, soothing sleep essential oil blend recipes, mindful walks, craft DIYS and lots of great tips on peace, sleep, creativity & kindness. CLICK HERE FOR THE DETAILS.

To see more Create Nourish Interviews, click here.

To see my blog post series about the stories behind my art and affirmations, click here.

To see my positive affirmation mixed media art, click here.

To see my blog post series about my holistic journey to wellness with Rheumatoid Arthritis, click here.

To see my Nourish blog post series, click here.

To see my blog post series about mixed media art for beginners, click here.

Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Reaction

Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Reaction

‘The one thing you can control is your reaction’ is such a powerful message. Often, in the past, I have thought it is incredible difficult to control my reaction, particularly in situations which result in strong emotions. However, I have recently been working on this as a way of helping to lower my stress levels.

Continue reading “Stories Behind the Art & Affirmations: Reaction”

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Suzy Reading

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Suzy Reading

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.

This week, I’ve been talking to Suzy Reading. Suzy is a mother of two, a Chartered Psychologist, Yoga Teacher, and Health Coach. She specialises in self-care, helping people manage their stress, emotions, and energetic bank balance. It was her life experience of motherhood colliding with the terminal illness of her father that sparked her passion for self-care, which she now teaches to her clients, young and old, to cope during periods of stress, loss and change and to boost their resilience in the face of future challenges. Suzy is a contributing editor for Psychologies Magazine and the Psychology Expert for wellbeing brand Neom Organics. She figure-skated her way through her childhood, growing up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and now makes her home in hills of Hertfordshire, UK. Her first book ‘The Self-Care Revolution’, published by Aster, is out now. I’ve recently read this brilliant book after being a follower of Suzy’s blog for a while; I found it to be a fantastic insight into the different ways we can use self-care for our wellbeing, as well as containing lots of practical activities and ideas to top up our energy bank.

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Nourish: Listening to your body

Nourish: Listening to your body

‘Listening to your body’ is the first in my Nourish series, which will be looking at ways you can nourish your mind, body and soul. It felt important to talk about listening to your body to begin with as it helps to guide you to know what you need.

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Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Gabrielle Treanor

Create Nourish Inspire Interview: Gabrielle Treanor

Create Nourish Inspire Interviews is a new 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.

This week, I’ve been talking to Gabrielle Treanor, who created gabrielletreanor.com. I’ve been reading Gabrielle’s blog for a couple of years and I love her down to earth approach to dealing with worrying and overwhelm.  

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