Adornment & Care of the Soul

Inner Wisdom, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver eye of horus charm

Care is what a nurse does, and "nurse" happens to be one of the early meanings of the 
Greek word therapeia, or therapy. We'll see that care of the soul is in many ways a return to 
early notions of what therapy is. Cura, the Latin word used originally in "care of the soul," 
means several things: attention, devotion, husbandry, adorning the body, healing, 
managing, begin anxious for, and worshiping the gods. 

- Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

Around a year and half ago I stopped designing one-of-a-kind jewelry to sell in my shop. I had become deeply disconnected from the creativity in my work and noticed I wasn't wearing anything I made. The root of this disconnection came from me always asking the questions, "I wonder what people will wear and how much people would be willing to pay for this piece?" Because I was no longer designing by simply playing with beauty, but rather from a strategic selling point, my heart didn't connect with my work.

So I stopped making necklaces for other people to buy and started only designing pieces for myself to wear. This was incredibly liberating. Not having to think about cost, labor, price points, seasonal colors, popular themes, etc. and just delight in spontaneous creative connections and not thinking about time and material was so healing. I started enjoying the process of making and wearing jewelry again.

Inner Wisdom, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver eye of horus charm

Then last month during my Mending Body e-course, I did this exercise "What would my soul wear?" and had a huge revelation about myself. I'm pretty sparse when it comes to material possessions -- like a vagabond with only the essentials in my pack. However, my soul wants to wear layers and layers of jewelry and in particular necklaces. The weight, feel, and energy against my chest is so important to me, but I had never allowed myself to indulge in this kind of lavishness. Maybe I'd wear some simple earrings in the past, but apparently layers of gems and precious metals is incredibly important to my soul.

As I was exploring this new insight, I came across this quote by Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul. Seeing that the ancients believed that adorning the body was important and essential shouldn't have been so mind blowing because many artifacts left from tombs are remnants of jewelry; however, I had never made the emotional connection between adornment and nurturing the soul. 

Now I see that this past year and a half of choosing to design for only myself, was a way for me to cultivate a relationship with and care for the deepest parts of my soul. So if you are an artist that has a tendency to want to bring others happiness by going along with their desires, and you feel disconnected from your work, I hope you take an opportunity to step back and see what your soul wants to be making.


  1. Wise words. It is interesting to me that I came across a similar discovery about myself recently. Although, I wouldn't have thought about it in those terms but certainly that would be at the core of it. I just made some earrings for a charitable organisation who gives them to women undergoing chemotherapy. My motivation was simply to give back a tiny bit of love. In the process, I thought about how wearing earrings while I was going through chemo was my way of finding a way to focus on something other than how strange I looked to myself. Looking at it your way, it was my soul speaking out saying that my external appearance wasn't really me was it? And oh how those earrings nurtured the core of my being. I love stumbling across these new ways of looking at life. Thank you!

  2. good idea, beth...you've got me thinking this morning...beautiful eye necklace, love the stone choices you've put together...

  3. Beautifully said Beth. Often we forget about ourselves in the rush of this fast paced world, but going back to basics and nurturing our souls first can only bring good for us and to those we give and those we love.

    1. Thanks, Yolanda! I like this idea of returning to the basics. What a great way to put it :)


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