A conversation with muse Cat Sarsfield
On a beautiful bright summers evening, our wandering friend and basho muse Cat Sarsfield spoke to us about finding a sense of home within herself during her travels, and the rituals which help ground her wherever she may be.
" The more that I show up on the mat, especially in different environments, communities and countries, the more passionate I get about really re-educating myself and others about stretching our minds and raising awareness about issues close to my heart. "
Do you know your skin type? Has it changed in your adult life? If so how?
I've been pretty lucky that I've inherited my mother's skin and it's mainly normal, perhaps a little on the dry side especially coming up to my period. I notice that if I do get blemishes then it tends to happen in key areas, and usually one at a time. I've definitely seen my skin change as I've gotten older - although it's fairly clear, it reacts to different environments as I travel quite a lot; so going from tropical, jungle climes to harsh cold north american winters and then desert heat has confused it a little..
Do you have a creative discipline or passion which you dedicate your time to? How does it impact your health/wellbeing ?
I'm finding that a lot of my creative outlets are intersecting and passing through one another at the moment; I practice yoga regularly and I'm in the process of training to teach. It's in this discipline that my physical and mental and emotional wellbeing cross paths, and within that so does my love of music and writing. The more that I show up on the mat, especially in different environments, communities and countries, the more passionate I get about really re-educating myself and others about stretching our minds and raising awareness about issues close to my heart. I think it's impacted my wellbeing in waves - it's an undulating motion of rude awakenings, sometimes vast sadness, sometimes deep happiness; but mainly of gratitude.
When do you feel your most radiant self?
When I'm surrounded by the people who I don't feel I need to change or make myself smaller for.
Do you have any self-care rituals that ground/nourish/energise you?
Mornings are when I take the time and space to root down. I've spent the last 8 months on planes and trains, moving and living in five different countries; yet there are little rituals which keep me grounded. Usually it involves rising early and spending time in the ocean or on my mat (or both if I can manage it!) - and then always coffee. When I'm back in Cornwall in my shed, it's the simple act of putting my percolator on the hob and chopping wood for the fire; in India it was the post-surf chai highs; in California I would sit with one out in the vineyard before it got light; in Vancouver it was taking it down to the seawall and watching the mist and the mountains. It's the constant which carried me through.
What is beauty to you?
I used to think beauty was peace and simplicity and whiteness. Now I see beauty in the complex, colourful and messy bits of myself and others.
How do you reconnect when you're feeling out of touch with yourself?
First I sit my emotions and let myself feel them, deeply. I cry a lot - and that used to bother me, and I felt shameful. Now, I just go with it. And then when I feel ready, I get on the mat, listen to music and if I have the opportunity to, I'll cook.
How do you embrace your own sense of womanhood?
By creating a community and an environment around me which nurtures femininity. We're lucky in Cornwall to have a strong tribe of women at our fingertips - it's time spent eating, drinking, exploring and starting conversations with them which helps us embrace this womanhood.
Is there an inspiring/empowering poem or quote that you could share with us?
"If the homeland is small, one dreams it big." Ruben Dario.
Is there a location in Cornwall that is special/important to you, if so why?
I love the South Coast - the coastline from Rinsey to Praa to Prussia Cove is probably my favourite in the world - the blue calm set against huge rock faces and little coves. But there's something about that Helford River magic which never ceases to amaze me.