I’ve learned from some very wise people, that intention is what creates magic from the mundane. When I am brewing up this or whipping up that, I try very hard to clear my mind and focus on my desired outcome. I try to be mindful in most things that I do and I understand how that mindfulness influences my work.
Equally important to my productivity is atmosphere. I strive to create an environment to enhance this sense of presence. I simmer some herbs on the stove, burn some incense, play soft music. I have a special blending pad I made myself years ago that I put under my mortar and pestle when grinding herbs. I make pretty label for my concoctions even though I may be the only one who ever sees them. I am all about aesthetics. It feeds my soul. Those are the times I do my best work, when my heart is full of the everyday beauty that is my life.
I can’t remember a time when creating wasn’t a sacred event for me. Even back when I was only an ointment and soap maker, I was aghast when a friend told me that she watched television while she stirred her soap to trace. It seemed almost sacrilegious to my way of thinking, to take one’s focus away from the simple beauty of the task at hand.
I don’t just apply this idea to my herbal practice and I am not the only person in my home who is reactive to their environment. Steve also understands how the energy in the home effects our attitudes towards our daily tasks. In the days before the holidays when I was sitting at the table working on cards to send to friends and family, he would be sure to change the CDs and keep the holiday tunes playing while he cooked dinner. We hummed along to the music and created together. Sometimes when I am very lucky he will sit down and the piano and play for me while I work.
I am always the most creative in the winter; when I’ve burrowed in to the warmth and peace of my home. My heart is full of the everyday beauty that is our life and it spills over into all that I do. I find myself thinking about what I can do to keep this feeling of peace and contentment through the year. I can’t say that I’ve come up with any earth-shattering epiphanies. Each season brings its own energy and its own level of activity. I think that learning to appreciate each season in turn, is part of becoming wise.
Tonight as we turn slowly toward the new moon, I am enjoying the stillness of the winter, the flickering of candle light, the scent of the pine oil simmering on the burner and sending out a message to the Universe to keep my friends safe and well.