Many of you who are familiar with my business are likely thinking "oh hey, I know her!" because Arielle has been a part of Picot from the very first year of its life. She was our shop's General Manager and the rock of organization behind 3 years of Picot Markets. When I closed the brick and mortar store, she went to the Pacific Design Academy for Graphic Design which (along with a few other things) lead her to create Homebound Tarot, an experience that is truly an extension of her soul. She is kind, deeply insightful, witty, supportive and a joy to be around. She's woven all that into the guts of the guidebook that she has created and what has made this particular set so unique. She's also the creative visionary for label design on our tea blends and hand sanitizer. I'll let her take it from here, as I realize that I could go on about my appreciation for her for a long time. One final thing to note - She wouldn't let me share the Instagram account that she mentions here, so I've left her contact info at the bottom of the interview and I'll deal with her wrath later.
What does self-care mean to you? Do you think the term is over-used now or does it still hold its meaning?
To me, self-care is decompression. Anxiety management. Doing things that cause my body and mind to release tension.
Alright, and here’s my opinion on the term - keep in mind I could go forever on this topic!
Self-care isn’t just face-masks and wine-nights in. It can be hard, ugly, and personal. I do think that “self-care” has become a blanket statement for anything we want to validate: want to spend money on something frivolous? Call it self-care and it’s OK. We want to eat something we’ll feel guilty about? Call it self-care and it’s good for you. Want to procrastinate your work away? A Netflix binge becomes self-care. In my opinion, the word self-care has become a bandaid for the shame we feel when we do something we know we probably shouldn’t be doing.
That being said, I think self-care is still very relevant, and self-care means different things to each person and that needs to be honored, but we should also recognize that taking care of ourselves is not as simple as eating a doughnut when we’re having a bad day, (ok sometimes that really is all you need but you get what I’m saying).
I’m also totally guilty of all the above by the way! I think a good way to differentiate what’s “bandaid self-care” and what's "real self-care", is to consider what the thought was going into the act. Did you plan it as self-care before doing it, or did it become self-care partway through as a rationalization? The intention is everything.
A lot of times the things that are true self-care for me are things I don’t actually want to do. Like cooking healthy meals, taking a shower on a day I’m really struggling, properly filing paperwork so I don’t freak out come tax time. Self-care isn’t meant to be indulgent, it’s meant to be nourishing. Sometimes you get both, but not usually.
What is your favorite food to make at home, for yourself and guests?
I love baking breads! But I never really make the same ones twice. These last few weeks It’s been focaccia, cinnamon twists, fry bread (sweet and savory) and pizza dough. Before we all had to become shut-ins, my partner and I had regular Sunday Brunches at our house with whichever friends are in town, and it demands a great big team breakfast hash: homemade hashbrowns, Red Barn bacon, all the veggies, scrambled eggs and hot sauce. That’s the stuff.
Do you have a creative project on the go or in the works? Something that isn’t business-related?
I recently started an Instagram for posting book reviews. I made a new year's resolution to start reviewing the books I read on Good Reads. Since Instagram is a platform I’m comfortable on, I started there then I just copy them over to Goodreads where I feel like everyone is far more intellectual than me, haha! I love playing around with photo compositions and coming up with creative ways to highlight what I’m reading. And nope, I’m not sharing the account - but If you find me, fair game!
Tell us about your connection to Tarot and how this became a tool for you to create a deck and guidebook for self-care and anxiety. Did you notice something missing through what was being offered with other decks?
I’ve been reading tarot for myself for about 4 years. And by no means do I consider myself an expert. Since the beginning, I’ve found Tarot to be a personal experience. Maybe because I’m such a private person when it comes to emotions and sharing the deep stuff. I’ve never actually had my tarot cards read by a professional reader, (I’ve seen a psychic, but that’s a story for another time.) It’s something I do solo.
I’ve always written down and reflected on my readings, but a couple of years ago while doing The Artist’s Way I began using tarot cards as prompts for my morning pages. What I found in those pages, the realizations I was finding in myself, and how I felt walking away from many of the journaling sessions was comparable to leaving a therapy session.
Because tarot has been such a positive tool for my anxiety management, I wanted to create a deck that opened that possibility to others who had potentially never even thought about tarot before.
I found there was a lot of fear, gatekeeping, and misinformation surrounding tarot cards, so when designing Homebound, my goal was to strip those parts down. The cards are calming and simple and intended to be read for yourself. And I’ve carefully crafted the Guidebook to be a tool in deciphering the cards from a position of intuition, and self-reflection rather than the traditional predictive and symbolized approach.
Aside from tarot and journaling, what else do you find helpful for managing anxiety?
Honestly? Medication. But that’s me and mine. Also, this exercise I did quite a few years ago to help manage anxiety has changed the way I’ve thought about it ever since:
Visualize your anxiety as its own entity, separate from yourself. Draw what it looks like - mine’s a weird little shadow guy (it actually inspired the figures in the homebound tarot). Write out how it behaves when not given the attention it needed, and what it needs regularly to feel better. My anxiety’s list of needs is simple and not that much different from having a pet!
- Take it for walks
- Keep the apartment clean for it
- give it lots of water
- Don’t feed it too much caffeine
- listen to it
- Start my mornings by acknowledging it and having an intention
And as for some more fun activities that everyone can try: bake something, take care of your home, create a playlist on Spotify, read - read a lot, listen to an audiobook, and get outside.