Anna Summerhayes is a ceramicist, songwriter, poet and healer living in the Blue Mountains, NSW. A grounding addition to this series, enjoy this inspiring reflection of enjoying lifes most simplest pleasures.
If you’re feeling uninspired, how do you transform your energy?
I’ll look at what is around me and change it. If I am with people and need to be in solitude, I’ll honour that. If I am in solitude and need to be with people, I will reach out. If I feel I have been stagnant I will move - whether it be a gentle flow or ecstatic expression - I find it helps move the stubborn and stuck energies. If I have been moving too much I will find time to sit and be.
What rituals do you have in place to take care of yourself?
Moving to the Blue Mountains into a home that backs onto bush has opened up a new set of rituals - like freezing cold waterfall bathing, bird watching and fetching water at a local spring. Plus the classics - warm baths, green tea, saunas, movement, writing, calling my mother, making herbal brews, sweeping the floor.
Who has been an expansive influence to your career so far?
Allegra Monk, my best friend. Her belief in my artistry, and her soul's understanding of mine has allowed the most transformative mysteries in my life and career to unfold.
How do you successfully get out the door on time?
Something I recently learned is there is a correlation between having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (which I do), and being late.
I was only diagnosed within the last two years so I am still uncovering all the ways in which it plays out in my life, and being chronically late is one of them.
It wasn’t until I started working with someone else who has OCD, who opened up about how he has lost many jobs due to his chronic lateness, that I started reflecting on how I am almost never on time for anything.
So, in short, I don’t successfully get out the door on time lol. Working on it though!
How do you manage boundaries with your phone or computer?
I find that my body provides a clear signal when it is time to transition away from using a device. I start to feel sick, so I honour that and do something that restores a feeling of balance.
How do you overcome feeling anxious, uncertain, or nervous?
I find observing or having a conversation with a bird can bring wonderful perspective to those emotional states; how insignificant they are when presented with the mystery of the Kookaburras laugh.
What are your rituals for sparking creativity?
I get a lot of inspiration from observing people. People watching in any public space gives me many ideas. There is nothing more interesting than scenes of life unfolding as they are. The smallest interactions become masterpieces.
Also, being around other creative people, whether it be woodcarvers, poets, ceramicists, chefs, sculpturists, musicians, facilitators of any kind, anyone who is passionate about anything sparks creativity in me.
What are you working towards?
I am working towards working with death. This year I am training to become a Death Doula.