Welcome to the very first interview of my new blog series called Sacred Space and Healing Rituals featuring the very beautiful Melissa Parke Rousseau. When I arrived to Melissa’s I was greeted with an aphrodisiac cake so can I say more? Melissa inspires me with her natural artist eye for all things sacred and healing. I am beyond happy to get to share a glimpse into her healing spaces and rituals.
WHAT ARE YOUR RITUALS ::
All my days now are steeped in the art of ritual. For so long, my life was filled with protocols + treatments, which had replace any kind of joy I felt with acts of self care. It had become tedious, painful, and seemed never ending. However, as I began to find the joy again in reconnecting with myself through ritual, I began to have a very different outlook on healing, and my entire journey. Just the simple act of being in ritual keeps me in the present moment. The past fades + the future doesn’t cause me panic.
I begin everyday with my mental gratitude list, followed by my breath medicine practice, stretching, movement, and a bounce on my re-bounder. All followed by tea or a super healing warm tonic. Connecting with nature daily is vital for me. My favorite rituals by far these days are my nightly superfood DIY face masks and easing into one of my healing Spirit Soaks, the ritual bath infusion line that I have created utilizing the most potent + healing herbs. The Deep Earth blend has truly changed my life as it was specifically crafted to soothe the debilitating chronic pain that accompanies Lyme Disease. It also helps me to ground and come back into my body before bed. Deep healing through the art of ritual is the essence of the entire Parke Rituals line. Reconnecting with myself through the act of ritual + self love, combined with my powerful creative outlets has transformed my life in ways that I had stopped believing were possible.
I’m also deep into my utterly amazing herbalism apprenticeship, so crafting medicine, tinctures, healing salves, prepping my herbal infusions, and basically immersing my self as a full time student of plants brings me the purest form of delight.
ABOUT PAINTING ::
After exactly an 8 year and 1 month break from painting, or creating art in general, I have returned to one of my favorite mediums. And the ideas, inspiration, passion, and joy has been pouring out of me. I’ve actually picked right up where I left off all those years ago, and even further back into my art school + RISD days, in terms of themes of motion, fluidity, earth, cosmos, and the feminine aura, however my palette has changed from dark to light-filled, and the mood has gone from anger to pure hope, joy, + love. I have been adoring experimenting with new mediums and the magical combinations of coffee, herbal tea, spices, acrylic, watercolor, + metal dusts.
HOW DOES IT APPLY TO YOUR HEALING ::
All creative outlets, along with creative ideas, ceased to exist for me when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I became her caretaker in her final year and a half on this planet. She was an incredible artist + painter and we had shared studio space prior to her illness. She was my soulmate and so many parts of me died during her battle, and even more so when she ultimately passed over. As much as I tried to get back into my jewelry design or other artistic outlets over these years, I had just lost all desire to create. I was too far gone into despair + grief. For some magical reason, I could feel this might be the year that would be different. I started with one canvas and just a few paints, her brushes, and her watercolor set. And that was it. The floodgates were miraculously reopened and I haven’t stopped since.
It has most certainly also been a huge catalyst in my healing from Late Stage Lyme Disease as well. Being creative is, and always has been, my purpose for living, but it had been completely severed for so long. Now I’m feeling like this beautiful shift back into my creative self has been the most healing therapy for me. Out of all the insane protocols + treatments that I have been on for so many years throughout my journey, painting has become of my most powerful healers.
WHEN CREATING YOUR SPACE WHAT THINGS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU ::
Comfort. Laid Back Vibes. Beauty. Vintage Rugs. Inspiring Art. Good Storage (still working this one out). My space is my quiet, calming haven. I can become overstimulated very easily with too much clutter + bright colors, so I definitely appreciate a white wall, clean lines, and great light filled rooms. I do adore my collections of trinkets, but these have been paired down to only the most precious keepsakes, family mementos, travel + vintage finds. All my textiles, pillows, blankets are faded + very worn in as I also have a puppy who loves to join me on the couch and sleep in my bed. Plus I want my friends to feel at home here to just lounge + stretch out for hours. That is very important for me. To offer a sweet, calming, inviting space for them.