Somehow, we are in March already, and the biting winds of winter are giving way to milder weather. The need to stay home and cosy, immersed in recovering my creativity and focusing in on rest, is gently ebbing away, replaced by a rising sap of energy to do, to be, to clear the decks and straighten out the creases and crumples that a season of resting has left behind, and feel the movement of the wheel of the year once again beneath my feet. It is Mother’s Day here in the UK, and I am finding my thoughts are centring on the challenges of motherhood and the beautiful shifts I have been feeling as this year has unfolded it’s leaves.
For us, here in our Northern Hemisphere home, January has always been for resting, recovering from the year that’s been, garnering energy for the year to come. This year, more so than ever. February too, is a slow and gentle month, where we remind ourselves that despite the constant messages of modern society to the contrary, it is okay to rest. A slow stepping back into growth and renewal. I am reminded regularly that for mothers, the world over, this is thoughtful, intentional rest is so difficult to achieve, when we carry the mental load of family life around with us in everything we do. This patriarchal modern society we’re drowning in has coerced us into forgetfulness of the importance of rest and taught us women that it’s our job to be always busy, to carry it all, to do and to be all things to all people. Yet all our old stories, all our women’s wisdom handed down in voice and through our DNA tells us how vital it is to rest. The Cailleach, ancient Gaelic goddess of winter, old woman wisdom, the Great Mother, with her Blackthorn staff to steady her, tells us of the importance of winter and rest – and while she brings winter, and harsh winds, and forced rest to the landscape, she is also a Goddess of creation, as all women are: and where there is space for rest, in the landscape, and in us, there is always, eventually, a creation of space for new beginnings. Transformations. Metamorphosis. Change. RESISTANCE and REBELLION!
As March rushes in, full of green shoots and early blossoms, bright daffodils, and birdsong, I am reminded that the same is true of my creative work – that this rest, this pause I have tiptoed through, that I am stretching my arms outwards in, like an awakening from a long slumber, has given me the gift of possibility, of new directions, of renewal and of hope.
Where it is true that we have spent generations sleepwalking our way into a life where the belief that the sum of our worth is measured in our productivity, has been ingrained into the very fabric of our being – it is also true that rest, real soul felt rest, is the most powerful form of rebellion against a system that is stacked against us. To dive deep into my creativity, I know I must stand in a place of calm, well rested, mind clear for a while of the heaviness of mothering and all the mental load that we carry with it, shedding all the skins I wear until it is just me. Myself. Soul bared to the magic of creating in paint and words and cloth.
How to gather up the space and the time to rest? It can feel impossible, when there is so much to do, so much to be for so many. Carry the expectation of it, the hope for it, with you. And then find it in the small moments, wherever they may be. Carve it out in a walk in the wilds, breathing in landscape medicine as you go; find it in the sunrise over the garden, or the sunset over the sea. Catch it fleetingly in a song, the pages of a book, a star strewn night. Find time to rest not just in the depths of winter, when all of nature is designed to slow down and renew, but wherever you can as the year turns over. A little here, a little there, letting this now be the story that we tell our daughters, who also have rebellion in their blood. And wherever you find it, and make time for if, know that restorative rest is as revolutionary an act as anything else you can do in your life. It is time to remember the ancient voices of all the women who stand behind us. The light returns. All things (and feelings) pass. All will be well. The divine feminine is rising up and her song is one of rebellion. Can you hear her?
I have begun creating patterns for the things I love to make – you can find them here.
And in celebration of spring, I am running a sale in my Etsy store – help me clear space in my workroom for the new creations that are bubbling and brewing in my heart.
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One thought on “Revolutionary Rebellion – Restorative Rest for Creative Mothers”
Such beautiful and true words, thank you! I needed to hear this
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