Cassy is a fellow blogcadette and I've been lucky enough to chat with her at two blogger events. Her website, CassyFry.com, celebrates every facet of creativity and her positivity and passion for the arts is infectious. I know you're going to love her insights on how to use creativity to amp up your self-love! Creativity has saved me from myself countless times.
As soon as I learnt to read, I used books to escape reality, to discover new worlds and connect with other people (even if fictional). Then I started to write angsty poetry, listen to songs to transform my mood and fell in love with the thrill of throwing myself around to live music.
In bad times, the art I put on my walls and the tear-stained journals I scrawled were a reflection of my fears, insecurities and depression. My identity became tangled up with low self-esteem. There was a part of me that thought my darker side was what made me interesting, but it paralysed my own creativity.
There are many myths about creativity, but one that springs to mind is that of the tortured artist, that suffering produces the best art. Happy people have no stories, right?
Suffering has provided inspiration for many beautiful works of art, epic novels and moving music, because it is a part of the human experience.
Life’s challenges inspire me, but I couldn’t create or communicate them in any meaningful way without self love. Those tear-stained journals are a confusing mess, but my memories of those times will continue to influence me.
My discovery of self love and my own creativity happened simultaneously. They continue to fuel each other.
Being creative, whether that is colouring, crafting or writing, has given me distraction from problems when I needed it, but also space to reflect on them.
What you consume or create shapes your existence, and you can use it to reinforce good or bad feelings. I’m not suggesting a creative equivalent of clean eats. I’ll never give up dark angsty music, bleak books or theatre that makes me cry.
For me, self love is about understanding and treasuring yourself as you are. Balancing your light and dark sides. Knowing what will make you happy, when you need to be challenged, what will help you and what will hold you back.
You won’t always have the answer straight away. You need to practise self love daily to keep understanding and embracing all that you are. Being creative can help, plus it makes it fun too!
Here are some creative self-love actions you can try:
- Keep an art journal rather an a rant-y diary, list, draw or write the happy things - compliments, memories and hopes, mix in beautifully illustrated bittersweet quotes to taste.
- Connect with other creative people, share your work, knowledge and enthusiasm. Join a local group or find people on line (you could join my DIY Creative Club!).
- Have a ‘go and see’, take a break and open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences - visit an exhibition, go to an arthouse cinema, dance to live punk rock music or take part in an immersive theatre performance.
- Woo yourself by writing a love poem or song to yourself (this can be hard, but it will make you feel amazing, I promise!)