: Rhythm / Devotion : is a series of interviews intended to illuminate the connection to ritual & rhythm in our daily lives. This series explores the intimacy of routine, the magic of the ordinary, & how these small acts of devotion set the stage for larger workings in the world ~
What is your name & where are you in the world?
My name is Yarrow and I live on the East coast of Scotland, in a small town by the sea. The light is changing very beautifully throughout the year here and the weather can be quite intense and dramatic. There is a very tidal beach down the road with lots of oyster catchers and some seals as well as beautiful black cliffs.
How do you define your self & your work?
I am a queer writer and a celebrant as well as a web designer and small business mentor. I am trying to not identify with my work too much and to remember that I am also a passionate reader, a plant cuddler, a friend, a weird art maker and a dreamer.
Will you walk us through what a day in your life looks like? Begin with how you greet the morning & guide us until you close off the day in the eve ~
My puppy wakes me up very early and we usually go to the beach first thing. Then we come home for breakfast and a cuddle before I shower, brush my teeth and do my morning pages. I also usually draw an oracle card and pick a flower essence (from you Chanelle!) to have in my tea. I then stretch a bit, potter around while listening to gentle music and tidy up so I can start work in a clear space.
My first half hour at my desk is usually dedicated to emails, which I am trying to disconnect from afterwards for more clarity throughout the rest of the day. My work day is a real mix of technical support for my clients as well as web design, admin, teaching and mentoring. From Monday - Wednesday I have client calls in the afternoon and then Thursday I am all about catching up on design projects and admin. Once a week I teach a class in the Embodied Business Community I run, which I love doing.
Me and my dogs always go for 2-3 longer walks that punctuate my days and give me a chance to hug trees and look at the sea while listening to podcasts. In the evening I cook simple meals, call friends, read books (always too many at once) and sometimes watch a film on the projector. I try to get away from screens several hours before bed and sometimes do a little meditation as well as some aromatherapy magic. Writing this down I feel a real sense of gratitude for the life I have created and how it suits me, but I'd like to bring in some more time for non-commercial creativity like aimless watercolouring or weaving.
You are a writer, a community-minded business mentor, web designer, & ritual enthusiast ~ how do you prepare yourself &/or your space to enter into this practice?
My preparations and nourishments feel much more like decluttering and unlearning to me than about "adding" things in. My practices are sweet and simple - living and working in a clear, colour coordinated and comfortable space, saying no to things that are overwhelming or stressful, trying to stay with myself and my truth as much as possible. I don't have a smartphone anymore and am generally trying to be mindful of how I take care of my body, my heart and my mind, even if this is never perfect. I want to be discerning with what I am letting in and do less doom scrolling so that I can be more present and effective. There are also always small rituals anchoring me throughout each moon cycle, which feel grounding and soothing.
What do you do/not do if you are feeling stuck around your work?
I try to let go of my expectations, to stop comparing myself and to really, really enjoy my free time and freedom in general. In the first few years of building my business I never truly switched off, which wasn't sustainable. I now take the last week of every other month off, which feels really good and gives me more resources to get unstuck. I also don't usually work on Fridays and am giving myself time and space to explore other interests.
Do you have a movement practice?
Mh, yes, but I would love to connect with it more. I do bits of dancing and yoga at home and we walk a lot each day, but I think the pandemic has made me feel a bit stagnant in my body and I'd like to get moving again. There is a bit of a sense of being very still so that nothing bad happens, but I'd like to tell my body that its still safe to dance in my bedroom.
What does structure mean to you, or what is your philosophy around ritual/routine?
I really need a lot of structure in my life, but what that looks like can be totally fluid. I tend to have seasons in which I stick to the same kinds of meals, walks or rituals and then suddenly I need something else and shift. It feels playful and fun and I think it comes down to having a good relationship to my senses and my body, to being a bit feral and connected to the seasons.
What are you listening to, reading, or watching these days?
While working I am listening to gentle nature sounds - birds, waves or a fireplace, nothing too distracting. I am reading lots of Nathalie Goldberg's books about writing at the moment, like Writing Down the Bones or Wild Mind and it's glorious. On Netflix I really loved Trinkets and Sex Education.
Any last words of wisdom?
I hope we can let this time change us. I hope we can learn to grieve and change together and that we'll come closer to what it means to be human.
How can we find your work?
@yarrowmagdalena on instagram
Thank you so much, Yarrow, for your beautiful work in this world & for sharing your rhythm devotion with us ~
I connect the flower essence of Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) as a beautiful companion to Yarrow Magdalena & their work in the world.
I made my Star Magnolia essence from a single blossom as a big rainstorm was rolling in on the afternoon of 16.February, 2018 in Raleigh, NC.
Star Magnolia essence is an augur. It is one of the first plants to flower here in early Spring, each of the buds opening at a different time, almost as if we are being given little snippets of its message ~ that the light & warmth is in fact, coming; that we need to begin to open ourselves towards the sun.
Because of this, I find Star Magnolia essence to be filled with courage & resilience, inspiring us to bloom & go for it, to go out on a limb. On that note, it also helps us to get into pace with our own timing, reminding us when to bloom & when to stay in bud, & that there can be different parts of us doing both at the same time. Not every single piece & part of us needs to be open all at once, Star Magnolia reminds us of this & teaches us how to close overly receptive spaces within us, as well as how to honor the spaces within us that are still gestating, the ideas & dreams that are not ready to be shown yet.
I find that Star Magnolia can also be helpful for instilling a single-task mindset vs. one of multitasking. It can also be helpful for soothing overly spontaneous & impulsive people, those who feel pressured to be overly productive. Star Magnolia reminds us to stay true to our unique design, & to the sustainability of our creations & output. It bestows patience & reminds us that we don't have to bloom all at once.
Star Magnolia has a strong core, & helps us to always remember our own inner strength, inner timing, & center of self. This essence teaches us that we are better able to connect to others & inspire them by living our core beliefs in the world. Star Magnolia flowers are graceful, open, ready to receive yet also reserved. Call on Star Magnolia to remember your own beauty & strength, to be fearless & so soft all at once.
Find a bottle of Star Magnolia flower essence for yourself or a loved one here ~