Be Well May Letter: Self Care

Dear Be Well Farmer and Earth-worker Friends,

We imagine you are likely thoroughly immersed in the demands of the Spring season.  Birthing livestock, seeding ground, transplanting starts, fixing tools or machinery, onboarding CSA customers, starting deliveries, and the list goes on….

It can be overwhelming to edge out of the quieter, restful winter months to face the sudden surge of Spring and the to-do list, growing as fast as the fresh Spring grass.

“Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here, but today, I let myself feel it all.”

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

This month we offer an invitation to pause from what may feel like the relentless demands of the season to breathe and notice the spaciousness around you.  Consider the following invitation —

A May Wellness Invitation

Throughout this month, as you are able, pause for 5 minutes and notice the spaciousness around you, the space between your fingers, your toes, between the squares of the fence, the branches of the newly budding trees, the clouds. Breathe in that spaciousness, the abundance of air, and notice your lungs filling with it. Breathe out and notice your lungs at rest.  Continue slow breaths, bringing your awareness to the spaciousness in your outer and inner landscape.

“You are never more essentially, more deeply, yourself than when you are still”  -Eckhart Tolle

May Wellness Lunchtime Reading/Listening

  • Staying Healthy on the Farm: “A healthy farm needs a healthy you.” Do you agree? What small way might you increase your health this week? Read the short blog post here.
  • Farmer to Farmer Podcast:   Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm on Self-Care, Managing Relationships, and Addressing Social Justice and Food Issues on a For-Profit Farm.  Karen says “The work of farming is labor intensive, but also you have to put into your farming attitude the realm of self-care, because if you don’t have self-care, you’re going to burn out.   Listen Here.
  • Self-care is mental health maintenance. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly to be effective. Read the article from Successful Farming magazine.

Be Well Project News….It was wonderful to see many of you at our winter webinar series.  We are pleased to announce that we are working on planning a Winter 2022 Wellness Retreat for Farmers and Earth-workers. We hope to partner with some of you to help envision an in-person program with opportunities for self-care, reflection and connection.  More info will be released soon!

And here is a closing poem.  Where-ever you are, may the songs of birds surround you this month!

Off in the woods in the quiet
morning a redbird is singing
and his song goes out around him
greater than its purpose,
a welcoming room of song
in which the trees stand,
through which the creek flows.

-Wendell Berry, from Sabbaths, 2011

Wishing you a peaceful month,

Violet, Leslie, Daniel, Anu, Jennifer and Rachel
The Be Well Farming Team

Violet Stone

Violet is the coordinator of the Reconnecting with Purpose project, which offers farm and food system educators and change makers a retreat space to explore challenges and renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. She is also a collaborator on the Be Well Farming Project. This project creates reflective spaces for farmers and food producers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster quality of life. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
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