motherhood: sarah lindsay

motherhood: sarah lindsay

We spoke to Sarah Lindsay, founder of SALA Studio in her beautiful home. She shared with us beautiful words and thoughts on motherhood, family, and rituals to bring a sacred space to the every day. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family… 

Hi I’m Sarah. Mother to to baby O, and space holder at my studio SALA. I feel very lucky to have cultivated an environment which honours the tides of our changing lives. The SALA community is incredibly supportive to the ebbs and flows of my changing life and I always feel so safe and loved in the studio. It is this net that holds me and enables me to be the best, more present mother I can be when I am with Ophelia, and I am eternally grateful for it!  

What aspects of growing up up have had the biggest impact on you and how do they influence your parenting? 

I have spent the best part of ten years chasing gurus and healers around the globe. It took me close to that long to realise no one else really has the answers. There’s always a temptation to hand over your inner power looking for short cuts, but once I realised life isn’t about finding the right formula, but about being curious and buoyant enough to respond to life’s changes without jeopardising your inner peace, everything changed for me. It was the lesson I needed to learn before motherhood. I’ve always been incredibly headstrong, but learning to let go enabled me to finally be present. This has been my biggest gift in motherhood, and I continue to lean into this lesson.    

Are there any any rituals or traditions you’ve carried through to the way you parent your children?

I am incredibly ritualistic as a person. I believe in creating sacred in the mundane, every day. For me this is more about a way of being, rather than a lifestyle. The ability to fully pour yourself into any activity or thought. I try to encourage Ophelia to see magic in everything, without distraction. Can we be fully absorbed in playing with these bubbles without thought of the next game? I try to embody this by separating my work and mother mind- which isn’t always easy. But when I’m with Ophelia I try to be entirely with her, without my work emails or mental to do lists. I try to give myself permission to be only mother. I’m not saying it’s easy, or that I always manage it, but it’s something I value and work toward every day.

What helped you feel calm, supported, and connected during those first few weeks and months?

Baby O and me are so lucky to have Josh. He is the anchor of this family. He’s able to see clearly when I over think, be the laugh when I am convinced the world is too busy, too heavy. He is an incredibly present parent and partner. No task is divided between us, we both just do whatever is needed, in all aspects of our life. He carried us through those first months, until I found my feet. 

What was the best piece of wisdom you’ve received or can give when it comes to parenting?

Very early on I had a conversation which really resonated with me. It was about how we can sometimes force our children- inadvertently- into the structures and routines which suit society, forgetting each baby is a developing person. How many different sorts of people do we know? Introverts, extroverts, none neurotypical, creative, process based? Well all these people would have been different kinds of babies with varying needs. Lean into getting to know your baby, authentically and intimately. Create routines and rituals which nurture the person your baby is and suit your relationship together, rather than a ready-made plan you try and slot your baby into. For me, it helped me cultivate an incredibly intimate relationship with my daughter who I already see is being supported to develop into her own authentic self. I’m just holding the space around her as she unfurls.  

What are your favourite ways to spend time in nature as a family?

Well Josh and I are not beach people at all, Ironically living here in New Zealand, arguably the best beaches on Earth. However baby O is! She absolutely loves the beach, the sand, swimming! Because of this Josh and I are trying to become beach people very reluctantly (if you see us we’re the ones fully dressed in black, complaining about the sand). 

A day with...

I live… in Ponsonby

I’m reading… Woman Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés 

I cook…every day, food is definitely this families love language!

I’m listening to…Essie Jain right now. I think it’s the changing season, I’m calling in the calm

My weekends start with… a family walk to Daily Bread.

One thing I can’t live without… My yoga mat. Meeting myself on the mat intimately is how I continue to anchor my own inner compass I lead from.

Are there any rituals or traditions you’ve carried through to the way you parent your children? 

Growing up we didn't observe any rituals or traditions, but that's given us a wonderfully free base to what rituals we want to create for our own family. It also means there aren't really any cultural expectations on us to continue something with a long legacy and J and I have enjoyed a lot of trial and error over the last 5 years as we find our feet on what traditions are most important to us.  

What are your favourite ways to spend time in nature as a family? 

My husband and I are really big believers in encouraging free play. So, we like to be "prepared" for all eventualities (rarely pack light) but then for us, the best days out in nature are when we let the children dictate their own play. That could be going on a search and retrieve "mission" for logs/shells/treasures... A favourite that tires them out, gives them freedom and allows them to be intrigued... and later as a family we will come together to build/discuss what it is the girls have found and prompt a new game with our findings. 

 Image credits: 

Styling: Africa Daley-Clarke @thevitamindproject 

Photography: Kasia Fiszer @kfiszerfoto