: 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 Jayna Anderson-Roy, and I currently live in Eddystone, Pennsylvania.
How do you define yourself & your work?
I'm an herbalist, artist, food enthusiast, animal loving, day-dreaming bookworm.
I co-run a metal fabrication studio, Boonies Design & Fabrication, with my husband. I'm the brand leader of 5th Dimension, a holistic herbal skincare brand. My work is focused on tending to self and community, and elevating space.
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 ~
I recently moved back to Pennsylvania where I grew up, and am on a new routine. My husband wakes me up every morning after he's showered, walked the dog and cleaned up a bit. If I wake before then, I tend to hide under the covers and drift slowly awake. After I'm up, I like to anoint head to toe in oils or butters before dressing. I have dry skin, and daily anointing with oils stimulates circulation and softens me up for the day. As I dress, I sip an oat milk cappuccino before heading over to my apothecary. I prefer to handle my communications in the morning, before organizing my daily activities for work. I try to post on social media early too so that I can keep my phone aside and not think much about it.
Work looks like a lot of emailing, facilitating orders going out, playing with new formulas (always) and a lot of research. I'm still moving into this new space, and a lot of my day is dedicated to making each room feel nice. I'm impacted by the way spaces look and feel, so it'll likely take me a few more months to get my new workspace configured for my needs.
I always take a long lunch, where I typically craft a warm veggie grain bowl, large salad or enjoy some soup. My husband and I spend an hour eating lunch, making tea, straightening up and giving our pets some attention. We then head our separate ways to finish out the day.
I have an insatiable appetite for information, so when I’m not busy with operations, I’m usually reading or studying. I'm currently virtually studying at the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies, which is giving me much to study.
I like to finish work by 4 pm. After work, we head to the woods. Spring comes on much slower in the Northeast than in the Deep South, and being outside is alleviating some of the sluggishness I feel from this. I like to finish work early to give me ample time to edge out of work mode, put the phone away, light my candles and slip into comfortable clothes. I take my time making dinner, one of the best parts of my day. Food is my love language, and I love to show myself some love with a nourishing meal.
After dinner, I tidy up the house and take a shower with my love. Showering with my husband is an activity that opens us both up; we might be cracking up laughing, releasing any emotional stress from the day or simply just daydreaming together. Afterward, I practice my full skincare routine.
In the evenings, I either reach for a book or cuddle up for a bit of television. In Spring, I have a mocktail on hand every evening. Lately, it's been tart cherry, elderberry syrup, elderflower glycerite, lime & seltzer. Yum!
I almost always read in bed before falling asleep. By the time I'm ready to fall asleep, it's usually a deep one.
You are an herbalist, skincare formulator, & artist ~ how do you prepare yourself &/or your space to enter into this practice?
I like to start by organizing. Naturally, I am a bit scattered, so I have to commit to being organized. Building it into my day helps me feel focused. While I’m not naturally organized, I thoroughly enjoy cleaning, so after I organize, I clean space. I see this as a mindfulness practice, allowing me to move through the clutter of my mind.
Another thing that is very important to me is the visual beauty of things. I like my space to look cute, and feel fresh. I often rearrange my work space, hang new art, take art down, make little altars. When my space looks beautiful, is organized and clean, I can get lost in my work for hours. I often do.
What do you do/not do if you are feeling stuck around your work?
I just leave work. I work for myself, and while that often entails long work days, if I am not having it--I just leave. I’ll go nap. I cook for hours. I turn my phone off. I usually start the next morning with a family walk in the woods. Nothing refreshes quite like time in the woods. I need a lot of creative rest, as my creative energy is under daily high-demand; if I don’t tend to myself, I have nothing to give, so I always prioritize taking time for myself.
Do you have a movement practice?
I’m very much into strength training lately. I like to stretch and practice my kettlebells. Until recently, I had no interest in strength, but I’ve felt monumental shifts in my physical & mental body. I’ve historically been more of a runner, biker, yoga person, but moving with weights is providing me with a lot of satisfaction these last months.
What does structure mean to you, or what is your philosophy around ritual/routine?
Structure, to me, means rituals and practices that carry me through my day. I used to view structure as something to avoid, as I felt constricted by it. But in time, I’ve found structure to be grounding; my day ebbs and flows in unique ways, but it’s tethered by routine.
I like to tend to my spaces and body in small ways throughout the day. A mid-day stretch, an evening vacuum followed by lighting candles & cozying up with tea or cocoa. My dog and I play in the mornings and evenings; I play with my cats mid-day and evenings. It’s moments like this that build relaxed structure in my life. When I’m having a tough go of it, moments of cleansing, play and comfort show me tenderness and give me the space to feel what I’m feeling.
What are you listening to, reading, or watching these days?
I'm currently reading How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. It feels appropriate right now as I step away from trying to be and do every aspect of my business. Call it the book medicine I need most right now.
Currently listening to Angel Music. It feels soothing and peaceful as I work, and it's been my go-to replacement over the fast paced tunes I usually crank in the studio.
Any last words of wisdom?
Find small moments in your day to look forward to. A bit of chocolate after lunch can go a long way. It might not provide you with purpose, but it reminds us that we are worthy of feeling good. There is a lot of collective pain and trauma in this world; any small moment of rest, joy, and pleasure can be a grand gesture to yourself.
How can we find your work?
IG & pinterest @5thdimensionherbs
Thank you so much, Jayna, for your beautiful work in this world & for sharing your rhythm devotion with us ~
I connect the bark essence of Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) as a beautiful companion to Jayna Anderson-Roy & her work in the world.
I made this essence during the late morning from a beautiful bright pink Crepe Myrtle tree growing along the paths of Hampton Park in Charleston, SC in the humidity of June 2016.
When I first began traveling to the Southeast over a decade ago, I was struck by the marbled bark of the Crepe Myrtle trees that seemed to be scattered everywhere once you crossed into Virginia & continued your way southwards. I called it the Horse Flank tree, & it was years before I found out this tree was called Crepe Myrtle, named for the colorful panicles of the flowers whose texture is like crêpe paper.Crepe Myrtle bark sheds throughout the year in long strips or sometimes mottled bits, leaving the trunk smooth & silky to the touch as if it had been planed or sanded down.
This is an essence that speaks to us of that same peeling & regeneration: a stripping away from one form to the next, a shedding of the old skin & stories to reveal what lays beneath: layer by layer, bit by bit. Despite its plumes of vibrant flowers, Crepe Myrtle bark is an essence that strips us down to the basics, to an elegant simplicity. Crepe Myrtle bark teaches us how to integrate our days, releasing the excess, shedding what is no longer needed so that we can move with ease & strength throughout our lives. It is from this place of unification that we can truly allow our selves & our work to burgeon forth unabashedly.
Similarly, I also love to work with Crepe Myrtle to help people ground into themselves & to find comfort in their body. Crepe Myrtle gently calls us into the body, giving us the permission to truly love who we are & to deeply, abundantly, joyously nourish & celebrate the body. Thus, it can be a really lovely essence for those struggling with body image issues or those who don't feel at home in their forms. It is also very helpful for giving a sense of orientation to body for those who have frequently moved from one place to another, or have trouble setting roots down in one place for long, or who are often traveling for work, choice, or happenstance. This essence encourages us to bloom where we are planted.
Call on Crepe Myrtle bark essence to help with the process of undressing yourself while remaining both fully grounded & in ecstatic blossom; to start fresh & fearless wherever you are standing; to invite in a consistent practice of release, ease, & simplicity into your days.
Find a bottle of Crepe Myrtle bark essence for yourself or a loved one here ~