Since I was young I remember always being involved with something. I always had to be doing something. Sometimes anything other than nothing and to this day I am the same.
I would paint, I would sing, I would write, I would wonder and dream. I would be with friends and we would paint, we would sing, we would write and we would wonder and dream.
Throughout my younger years I wasn't interesting in learning but I did know how to spend my time, usually when I was alone, creatively and in an expressive way...
Dont get me wrong not all my time during my youth were spent wisely and there were a few years that got lost and ran away from me and with the times that I did find myself taking part in self expression and creativity I remember it wouldn't always be that productive or with any real intent other than a day dream. You would sometimes find me writing a play or a movie script - endless hours of useless material really in actual fact but the benefit itself of spending my time in this way, the expression of writing, helped me develop in my writing and creative skills overall in my later life that I now apply to plant based recipe developments and writing articles such as this one.
I also know that when my body asks for it that I always slow things down, an sometimes but very rarely, I spend my time doing nothing at all other than taking a bubble bath, applying organic coconut oil to my skin and hair, getting into my comfy cotton white sheets and watching my favourite VHS movies back to back by binge eating and sipping Chamomile tea.
Even the expression of myself in laziness is done to the best of my ability without a hint of guilt.
There were and are times when I place on my music and dance around my room either alone or with friends, sit and take hours upon hours of stretching and self reflection on my, or someones bedroom floor, I would and still write for hours to share my experiences or write about what I have learnt or about what I still yet don't know.
Others where I sit in silence, smoking a joint and reflect & meditate until the early hours of the morning and still to this day do somewhat similar.
At times and for many years I committed myself to the expression of creating art for weeks at a time along side my daily yoga practice, along side my expression through writing and continuing to do so now alongside working as the head plant based chef and yoga teacher!
I don't really ever stop - I love creativity and I love what I do so why would I stop?
Before I never really thought about the benefits. I just did it. This is how I have always lived through my self expression. Creating and experiencing beauty!
Over the last few years I have found that I have kept that creative expression of myself even when officially turning into an 'adult' and watching most others around me 'grow up' and stop their expressions and replace what they loved with working the 9 - 5, getting married, having children and beginning to do what the adults around them did.
Me, I worked many 9 - 5 jobs and did things that weren't in line with who I was but I stuck to my guns when it came to knowing what I wanted to become and that I had full control to what I would find myself doing when I had time off or when I had free time and knew someday what I loved to do most would be the thing that would make my living - no matter how hard it may be to achieve.
I try every day to express myself in some way. I try to use all the time that I have wisely and efficiently and use my time in a healthy, creative and productive manner.
And from there we get to here, the four main reasons why I believe one should be practicing in self expression now...
1. One of the most important things that I learnt along the way of healthy self expression for myself through art, yoga, writing and everything in-between is to develop these healthy practices over unhealthy practices.
We all know where our weaknesses lay, we all know there are certain practices that aren't the best habits for us but yet we still give in.
By practicing healthy expression of self takes up time, time that could be spent in the indulgence of not so healthy practices.
2. When it comes into the expression of self you can uncover what it feels like to tap into your potential and what you are capable of.
Sometimes we know that we aren't reaching our potential no matter what it is because sometimes day to day grind takes over and we find we might not always have the energy when it comes down to it but by developing the habit of self expression one can discover how good we are at a particular task or hobby or skill and find great satisfaction in what it is that we enjoy!
3. When you spend your time productively this act itself can eliminate or minimise stress and anxiety.
Keeping yourself busy through self expression can ease and calm the mind. When you find yourself absorbed in task or completely involved in spending time doing exactly what it is that you like to do it keeps the mind in healthy activity not allowing a vast space to worry or overthink the potential struggles and complications of the everyday living we face.
4. Within the act of self expression, being creative and finding out what it is that your passions are, what thrills you when you are doing it, basically finding more out about yourself you are on the way to a space of fulfillment and contentment through accomplishment and action.
I am so grateful that I found at a young age the many things that make me thrive. I am even more grateful that I have managed to hang onto and refine the very things that I love to spend my time doing and the most grateful that now doing what I love is now actually my living!
I have refined my body and still in the process of refining my mind by spending my time within a disciplined yoga practice; refining the way I think and perceive by spending time reading, writing, contemplating and reflecting; refining the efficiency of my hands by creating plant based cuisine at every opportunity I can get and now I get to call it my main source of income and work and lastly; refine my creativity by continuing to paint and work on my new art series.
Where do you find your self expression ? An if you have found you lost the ways to express yourself why don't you spend a little time finding what makes you thrive again!