Artist, Mother and Sensual Therapist Stacey Elara of Faes Faith talks about Motherhood and the inspiration behind her Photography.
Q. What is the inspiration behind your Artwork and Photography?
A. The feeling something gives me, maybe a song, a shape, a grain of sand. I feel I create something beautiful when I feel the form of formlessness that something sings to me. I especially love curves and texture and earth and plants and water, and bodies, anything that feels like an extension of myself. Be it my body, my soul, my energy. I feel my inspiration when the beauty of something penetrates me, and only then can I create something that feels like true soul nourishment for me.
Q. Can you tell us more about Faes Faith?
A. Faes Faith began as an apothecary when I started my journey as a medicinal herbalist; But since then, she has evolved, just as I do. Essentially, Faes Faith is a community, a healing space that holds me and my devotional practices, she allows me to hold others and facilitate the right space holders for the people who need them. Right now, we are in a period of rest and repose, gathering the tools we need for the next part of our journey which speaks so much to my journey as a mother and healing medicine woman.
Q. How do you manage to unwind and spend time for yourself?
A. I’m going to answer these questions as one, as for me, work and self-care fall into the
same category, as well as having found the space for mothering to be a healing practice for me. My time as a stay-at-home mother has given space for me to learn and develop and grow my passions, of which I have so many. I am interested in so many things and I love to explore them all. I love to learn and study, and do things through trial and error, and much of my work has been that. I don’t often see what I do as work, because mostly I create for myself as a way of self-care. What I write is healing, how I move is healing, what I feed myself, how I share myself and what I create is healing. And beautifully, this all bleeds into how I choose to show up and hold space for others. Not just for the people who come to me, but for my children too. So, when I do something, I do it quite organically, as it has to fit effortlessly into my daily life. Whether that be taking photos, editing them, creating a dance, holding space for another, completing a reading or attending a meeting, it all has to be done with compassion for myself and the needs of my children too.
Q. What is the most rewarding part of Motherhood?
A. All of it. It’s all so beautiful, even the messy parts. I know this is something you hear often, but this truly comes from a space of divine surrender and gratitude. It’s all such a beautiful learning experience and home for such wonder and imagination. It really is all so beautiful.
Q. What is the most important piece of advice you would give to future Mothers?
A. Allow yourself to surrender to the medicine of it all. Give yourself permission to say
no to the rules that you once followed and don't force yourself into a system that doesn't support the truth of what being a parent is. a parent truly is. Self-care can be done as you take care of others too, it’s all about going with the flow and not swimming against the tide.
Q. What is the biggest misconception about Motherhood?
A. I guess the biggest misconception about Motherhood is that is it on a scale of extremes, perhaps either extremely undesirable or extremely desirable in many spearing ways. Be it, the changes of our bodies, our moods, our energies, our time.
And everything else that we’ve taught Motherhood could be, and what we lose from becoming one. There is no image of a mother that you must portray, nor are there any parts of yourself that you must regain. The most valuable and least taught lesson of Motherhood, is the one, that comes with the understanding of Motherhood being an entirely potent transition, and more than anything, it is most important to enter this space with an open heart and a willingness to learn yourself a new.
Q. Do you have any traditions with your children?
A. I love holidays and celebrations, I love feasting and honouring the changing of the
wheel (the seasons). In our home our traditions are a mixture of old and new, things I've grown up on, and things we’ve began as I became a mother. Each year we might do something a little differently, because I like to honour my personal flow and where we all might be, but the heart of the celebration stays the same, and that’s all that truly matters.
Q. Has becoming a mum changed the way you approach fashion and the way you dress?
A. Oh yes, most definitely, I don’t often shop and when I do it will be for forever pieces that are made with love, or things that come from a charity shop. I now look for comfort, rather than anything else, but it has to feel sensual and alluring to me. I like clothes that fall effortlessly on my body and give me space to move, I love natural fabrics like silk and cotton and linen and bamboo, I’m a very sensory person, and love comfort in freedom to move. I have also developed an aversion to shoes, especially to high heels, even though I do love the look and style of them. I just find them so uncomfortable on my precious feet, so in the summer I simply wear a good pair of sandals (if I do wear shoes) and in winter, I devote myself to one pair of great boots.
Q. What challenges did you face when dressing during your pregnancy and how did you overcome them?
A. Honestly, I’m not even sure that I remember, I’ve had three full term pregnancies, and with each, I got to experience them through different seasons. So, each one presented a different challenge; but of course, in summer it was quite easy, I basically wore nothing at all, or really loose clothing which is easy to find. I do remember, however, struggling with the jeans and trousers I owned, not wanting to buy new ones just for the pregnancy, but luckily, I found a really useful button extender I didn’t even know existed and that served me so so well. I think most people think pregnancy clothing would be the real issue, but for me it was post-natal – finding things that didn’t sit on my belly, and tops and dresses that allowed for easy boob access. I realised things had to be comfortable, attractive (so that I felt good) and practical for the uses I needed.