This week I share with you some background on why I set up my business Archeus (ten years ago!), some of my thoughts on how I work with Nature to help and support women in midlife and all the changes and transitions it brings from menopause, to changing relationships, caring for ageing parents, and all the grief and joy, living and dying of life.
I think of everything I do as earth medicine for the midlife woman and it is informed by touching oneness in a childhood event, discovering the wisdom of ancients, working with the healing power of plants, understanding the physiology of menopause and wanting to offer ways of supporting body, mind and spirit.
Beauty on Eden
Niki Bezzant - This Changes Everything
NatFem Botanics | Perfume |Plant Essences:
Hello, and welcome to the soul garden. I'm Georgina Langdale, founder of Archeus, and I'm delighted to have you here with me today. This week's episode is all about filling in the blanks. I had an email from a woman called Linda at Beauty of Eden in Ashburton in New Zealand. She's been selling various products of mine for quite some time now. And she got in touch the other day. And she said, she's about to set up some menopause support groups. And she wanted a bit more background info into the work I do. So she could share that with the women that come to her for that support. And I thought, well, actually, I haven't really talked in a long while about the sort of overview of what I do and the approach I take. So thank you, Linda, this episode is dedicated to you. So in this episode, I'm going to look at what I do, or what I make and why I make it. And I'm going to start at the beginning. And that is, I'm a woman in midlife. I'm in my mid 50s, went through menopause a few years ago. And I just think this is a really amazing time of life. It's not always easy. In fact, at times, it can be incredibly hard. But I think also for us as women in midlife, we are given an invitation to open a door onto a whole new way of being. So it is this time of life. That really is the is the focus of everything I do here at Axios. I started Archeus 10 years ago, gosh, can you believe it? I returned to New Zealand after living back in the UK and Germany for I don't know, the best part of 25 years, I came back to New Zealand because of one of the big issues that face us as midlife women and that is aging parents, I could see that it wasn't going to be long before my parents, we're going to need some support and help. And I'm an only child we emigrated to New Zealand we have no other family here. So yeah, it was going to be me to come back and be there for them, which I did with a huge amount of, of love. But it meant that I had to basically start life all over again. Part of that starting life over was thinking about who am I really what is it that I want to do? What do I feel the offerings I have in life to give and that is why I kious was born. I wanted to create a business that would support women, particularly mind, body and spirit. I started off by making natural skincare products. So in my background, I have trained in herbalism, massage therapy, energy work, a whole range of stuff, anatomy and physiology, all of these sorts of things. And I wanted to work with that knowledge and fact I'd wanted to work with it for years. So I had always been dabbling and exploring and trying and making and but I thought this is time to really open the door and do that. The other thing that informed that desire to create I guess in fact, there were two things is one when I was a child, something really traumatic happened and it was almost in that event that was almost like a near death experience. I left my body. I was a kind of quantum equation. I was me in my body experiencing what was happening but I was also off floating in the dust motes and the rafters and in that, that floating, I connected with oneness. I felt oneness I saw oneness. I saw how everything is connected. did. And after that event, I could see energy moving through the natural world, in plants, trees, stone landscape, you name it. And I was able to tap into that energy to help me heal. I've always said this as a kind of bottom up approach to spirituality, that tapping into that oneness that I could see in nature, or tapping into the energy, the plant allies that resonated, that had that sympathetic vibration with my own sense of being was incredibly powerful. And eventually, over the years of my life, that led to a very deep and heartfelt and earth based sense of spirituality, that energy, that oneness God, Spirit, Goddess, whatever you want to call, it, became a central part of my life, and approach to life and approach to death as well, I must say. The other thing that contributed to Archeus was the work that I'd been doing before I came back to New Zealand, had been with the United Nations Environment Program, and with the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew. And so that work really brought home to me the scale, and the, the, the, you know, the issues that we have, in terms of our environmental and ecological impacts, degradation of ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity, and how, how all of this is affecting, well, everything because everything is connected. So I wanted to do something that gave back to nature that maybe helped us find, again, I connection with nature, and spirit and cosmos in a way that we used to have, in the days before things like the period of enlightenment and the industrial revolution, I felt that there could be a really wonderful blending of that ancient knowledge and wisdom and way of being with contemporary life, to help make a better future for us all. And I wanted Archeus to embody those ideas. I started off making natural products, it seemed like an, you know, an easy start point, I could use that herbal knowledge, create beautiful products that would help people, but would also tread lightly on this earth. And, and that's what I did. Now. What happened, though, is at the same time as Archeus was launched, back in 2013, at almost exactly the same time, as it was birthed into being, my mother was told that she had six months to live, She lasted 18 months, but this became hot. I mean, while it's my mum, so of course, it has a profound effect on one's life. And for me, it also impacted the business because I started making things and working with plants, in terms of balms, oils, salves, plant essences, any way I could to help her on her journey through cancer. And what then started to happen was other people started coming to me to say, could you make something to help with this or that, you know, this isn't about cure. This is not looking for cure, it's looking for support and balance, and helping, you know, ease or provide relief of various symptoms and things. And so every product in the aqueous range grew out of responding to a request from someone to help with something due diligence as a huge part of the way I work. So alongside all that herbal knowledge and ancient wisdom and connection to nature, and all of that stuff, is research into scientific research, clinical research. I really feel that a lot of power is to be gained from that kind of complementary approach because I make natural products does doesn't mean that they can't be part of an integrated approach to health care. You know, I'm really really for that very, very strongly. The products I made started getting recognized with awards, so shortlisted for various awards in the UK globally and here in New Zealand. So that was very, very rewarding to see that the formulations that I was creating, were being recognized for their efficacy and gorgeousness elsewhere. Most recently, my Nat Fem Super-soothing balm, which I'll talk more about in a moment, was shortlisted for best new intimate care product in the UK. That was in 2022. I was really chuffed about that. Archeus evolved or the product range evolved through needs being met for people but over time, what I saw and what I could relate to the most as a woman in my 50s was the needs and wants of women going through the menopause transition and really embarking on their midlife journey. So now today Archeus meets I hope or or caters for the needs of the midlife woman in a number of ways. I have the NatFem Botanics collection of products that I've created to help women with symptoms of menopause, but also with the changes to our body and our skin as we enter midlife. I have a collection called Atelier Signatum Naturalis, which is natural perfume. I've spent a long time studying aromatics, and I've trained with the wonderful Mandy Aftel in California, an incredible natural perfumier. My approach again to this is drawing on ancient wisdom. So it used to be thought that aromatics were a way of creating medicine for the spirit. And that by working with different aromatics, we could balance out needs of the Spirit to help them nurture and nourish the soul. So my natural perfume collection is is inspired and created to be a medicine for the spirit. I also make plant essences so you may be familiar with Rescue Remedy Bach flowers Rescue Remedy I studied with the Bach flower Institute in the UK, you know a gazillion years ago. But I make my own plant essences from plants growing organically in my gardens, and in other places that have special meaning and significance to me. And I love working with plant energetics that really support women. You can find the meadow mine plant essence in the NatFem Botanics collection. And I also have a catalog of plant essences that I'm making in my gardens that can be purchased from me also. The other offering in terms of products is Astrobotanics. This kind of brings all of that together. Astrobotanics is a process of creating a very personalized, completely personalized, be spoke skincare products and plant essence blends for the individual. So when someone purchases my Astrobotanics offering, I look at them in the way that the ancients would have that Hildegard of Bingen would have in the 12th century and Marsilio Ficino in the 15th century. And that is i i Take note of their astrological alliances, so I can see them in a way writ large, writ large in in the cosmos. By doing this, I work with these ancient ideas of finding your Sympathetic Vibrations and synergies, the plants that are going to step up for you as allies that will help you emotionally and physiologically. So Astrobotanics is something very, very special. These products are just part of the story because we you know, we're more than just a body and we we are a whole wonderful, complicated, fabulous person. And so I really want to recognize that in the things I created Archeus with that in mind, I offer courses, workshops, training, my podcast and blog. I'm really trying to create a space for the midlife woman to be seen, to touch in on all the parts of life, not just not just skincare, you know, in a way, that's kind of the smallest part of what I do. When we as women reach midlife, we have so much on our plate. You know, this is a time where we can find ourselves sandwiched between the needs of our own families, maybe children, partners, the needs of aging parents, the needs of friends, we may be reaching a point where we're questioning the the, the way that our work may fulfill or not fulfill us. We may be looking at ourselves on wondering, is this all eras? Who am I really? What am I here to do? What is the legacy I would like to leave behind? And so here at Archeus I am really dedicated and committed to helping us work through those aspects of being a midlife woman. I actually think of everything I do as Earth medicine for the midlife soul or the midlife woman and I call it Earth medicine, because of everything, being grounded in this idea that we are very much part of nature, we are nature, we are energy. When we look at ourselves as part of nature, great healing can occur. We can find the allies in nature that are going to help us navigate life in of changing and complex world. They can we find ways of developing and growing our compassionate way of being and also finding resilience to help us get through the tough times, be it the tough times of our own menopause transition, or the tough times of the things that life throws at us. One of the offerings that I have available very soon the waitlist is open is a nine week program called Earth medicine for the midlife soul. And in that I am creating this program to help women in midlife, unlock the door to a deeper way of being really start to unlock their sense of self to grab the power that midlife transitions give us you know, a lot of people see midlife as an ending, but I see it as an invitation to step into a deeper way of being. This is a whole new phase of life way or opening up for us. And so I want to help you kind of grab that with both hands, and make it truly your own. And make your own way of being in this world. Hopefully or being in this world with compassion and love and resilience, and creativity and grit. And yes, navigating grief loss. All of those aspects of life too. When we work with nature, we can work with the seasons and rhythms and and use them as ways of helping us navigate our own stuff. So Archeus is a place that can help you do that. When I step into this ancient lineage, you know of women healers and hedge witches and sages and mystics through time. I also believe that knowledge is to be shared and handed down. And so within this earth medicine offering, I offer courses and workshops on, you know how to make your own products from nature your own skincare or aromatics and things as well. I want to hand that knowledge on to help create will help add to that sense of, I don't know self sufficiency, have I forgotten the word self directed, fulfillment. And even being able to consciously make things from nature for ourselves, for our family, for our friends, is all part of that way of being. I have workshops to teach you also how to work with plant energetics through working with plant essences, because I want to put that power in your hands, you know, to be part of your toolkit for navigating this time of life. For a number of years, following the death of my mother, and then caring for my father, through his journey with dementia, and then his death, I started running training in nature based non medical end of life care and compassionate care. And I started running courses of my own and I love that. What I found after a while, though, is I really wanted to kind of back the truck up a bit, and bring that understanding of death as a natural part of life into the offerings I create for living life right now. You know, and us as midlife women, we have to kind of think about how we're prepared and ready for dealing compassionately and consciously, with the ending of things as well as the beginnings of them. I think that it deepens again, our way of being in the world. Niki Bezzant, the New Zealand journalist and author wrote an amazing book. This changes everything, fantastically helpful book for women navigating the perimenopause transition. And she and I were talking recently and she said to me that she thought that I was helping people helping women, nurture their interior world and I you know, I absolutely loved that it's so true. That's what I want to help you do. Nurture your interior and outer world and do it in a way that connects you with that ancient wisdom of these mystics and wise women through time to help you as you navigate this next phase of your life and help you as you show up for others. One of the things I love about what I do is the connection and communication I get with people who study with me or or buying products. You know, when women write and tell me how the vaginal dryness balms I've created as part of the NatFem collection, how that has helped them with that often quite debilitating problem, natural problem that we get as we go through menopause because of the effects of dropping estrogen levels. When they say how it has offered relief, that they have been looking for years and tried so many different things. And finally, here is this natural, gentle non estrogenic product that is helping them feel like a woman again be able to have intimacy again be able to have daily comfort again, you know stopping that awful splitting when you walk feeling. I mean so much to me with regards to this idea that I love integrated health management over the years and increasingly I get approaches from doctors, women, health specialists, pelvic health professionals, gynecologist and so on for information and things about To the NatFem Botanics vaginal moisturizers so that super soothing balm, which is vegan all made with plant oils and butters and things and, and then I also have original ban which includes beeswax. Anyway, quite a few are actually letting their patients and clients know about NatFem Botanics if you're listening to this and you are a health professional and you're interested in having samples for your clinic, you're or you have any questions generally you're very welcome to get in touch. On my website Archeus.nz there's a page for info for health professionals. So if you just go there, there's a form that you can send through and, and we'll we'll connect. So it is a whole range of offerings all designed to nurture and nourish the life and times of being a midlife woman. And I hope that you find something that will resonate with you. Every purchase helps me donate funds to a variety of causes. Over the years I've given money to the Kew Gardens Millennium seed bank project, I have supported the Argyll East primary school with funds to help the kids do their riparian planting and ecological restoration work around the school. And the reason I do stuff with that school is because it's the first school I went to in New Zealand when I arrived here with my parents when I was eight years old and it's a little rural school in Hawke's Bay. Lovely place. I've also supported Pa McGowan national living treasure when it comes to Rongoa Maori. I've supported his Tiwaiwaka project, which is all about helping us really gather up that sense of stewardship to look after our land the phenoix. And I also regularly am giving funds to the Women's Refuge. Because I figure that you know, us women have got to look out for each other. I hope this has given you a little bit of insight into the offerings I have here at Archeus. And that there are touch points there that you may be interested in connecting with. You can find everything online online at archeus.nz. And you can follow me on social media @ArcheusNaturalLiving that's on Facebook and Instagram. And @ArcheusGeorgina on YouTube. So that's it for me for now. I hope this has helped. And I look forward to connecting and maybe even wrapping up some little bit of gorgeous goodness for you and sending it your way. And I'm actually going to finish with a poem by Thy Nhat Han, and it goes like this, I think is a lovely poem for the midlife woman. The cosmos is filled with precious gems. I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning. Each moment you are alive is a gem shining through and containing earth and sky, water and clouds. It needs you to breathe gently for the miracles to be displayed. Suddenly, you hear the birds singing the Pines chanting, see the flowers blooming the blue sky the white clouds the smile and the marvelous look of your beloved. You the richest person on earth who have been going around begging for a living. Stop being the destitute child. Come back and claim your heritage. We should enjoy our happiness and offer it to everyone. cherish this very moment Let go of the stream of distress and embrace life fully in your midlife arms. Thank you so much for joining me here today. This is me Georgina Langdale and you've been with me in the Soul Garden and you can find my offerings at archeus.nzuntil next time, goodbye