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Imagery by Chanelle Blackburn


12 - 12 - 18

A historian with a background in museum research and curation, Tara Mayer is known for reading artwork and objects as fluently as she does texts. For over a decade, she split her time between Paris and London and a few years ago she settled in Vancouver, where she currently works in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. In a profession known to cultivate an introverted and single-minded commitment to intellectual achievement, Tara has been forging a wider path.

We know of few academics who’ve achieved such success in balancing the life of the mind with the nourishment of their own creative pursuits, wellbeing, and family. Her native Maui serves as a frequent and beloved retreat for family holidays and it’s here that we accompanied Tara for an afternoon swim with her daughter. We’re very excited to share these images and Tara’s rituals for life and wellbeing.


Ritual for self love...

Amidst the whirl of work and mothering our girls, I take time on weekends for some advance meal preparation: I season and roast vegetables, soak and cook legumes, bake some fish or soft boil eggs, and make a golden, turmeric-tahini dressing. I also wash tons of greens and have jars of fermented vegetables, toasted seeds, and nut butters around to compose big bowls of these things – in various combinations – for quick lunches during the week.

Ritual to rejuvenate...

In one form or another, rejuvenation involves a submersion in nature: On Maui, it’s usually dips in the ocean followed by warm naps in the shade and in Vancouver, it’s time spent tending our garden or long, rainy walks. In Paris, the closest thing to that feeling of submersion was an afternoon at the hammam, especially in winter.

Ritual with friends, family & loved ones...

Intimate weekend dinners or brunches with friends at our place are a favourite. I grew up in a home where good food was very important and enjoy cooking and coming together around meals. There’s also such tenderness in slow weekend mornings with our girls piled in bed with us and I look forward to uninterrupted conversations with Sebastian, which usually occur in hushed voices, over cups of tea late at night.

Ritual to create a sense of calm and order...

I’ve found that I think most clearly and feel happiest when my surroundings are kept minimal. I have annual clear-outs – of wardrobes, bookshelves, drawers, even the pantry – to ensure that whatever we’re holding onto is either useful or appreciated for its beauty.

Ritual for productivity & organisation...

I’m fond of mornings generally, but when work is particularly intense, waking up early seems to offer all kinds of possibilities. At home I follow my toddler’s still-unpredictable rhythms and mornings are a time when she’s reliably asleep so I’ve come to cherish that stillness and use some mornings as a time to collect myself and others just to scramble and get lots done.

Ritual for creativity & inspiration...

Nothing inspires me like travel. It stirs the pot and prevents stagnation. I’ve spent my whole life travelling and still keep lists of places I want to explore. In innumerable ways my tastes and daily habits are renewed by absorbing life in other places.

Ritual for intimacy & connection...

For me, intimacy and connection are rooted in truthfulness and vulnerability. I’ve stayed miles away from social media and I’ve never sought hundreds of friends, but I go to great lengths for people in my life with whom I feel the freedom to be whole, honest, and imperfect.

Sans Journal

Sustenance

Spiced Chia Hot Chocolate

This luscious and warming Spiced Chia Hot Chocolate nourishes both body & soul. Loaded with goodness, our vegan take on this classic, provides a super dose of antioxidants and omegas to nourish & restore. Think of it as a hug in a mug..

View recipe

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