I know, I know, you're judging from the title that this is going to be another cheesy blog post. But I want you to try to look past just "henna" and see what this craft represents. Truth be told, everyone will have a different takeaway. But our passions, values and interests define who we are. So never underestimate the power of a pen if you're a writer, a brush if you're a painter, a lens if you're a photographer, or a plant if you're a henna artist. It's the vehicle in expressing who we really are, channeling our voice into the world.
Looking at this from a more altruistic perspective, you actually become an active impactful member of society too. You're so much more productive and contributive when you're doing something you love. So this not only feeds your own fulfillment but also serves society as a whole. That's some pretty powerful stuff! The world needs creative makers like us, no matter how "un-seriously" people take us. If anyone tells you otherwise, be kind to them anyways, they have more to lose than you do.
The E A R T H without ART is just "EH"
Yes, I'm just your average girl with a henna cone. But this henna cone is an instrument of passion, creativity and a bridge of so many: weddings, birthdays, bachelorettes, etc. Without further ado, here are the life lessons that henna has taught me...
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1) POWER OF ART AS A THERAPY
I realized that we really don't give enough credit to the art world. We fail to see that art can really serve as a form of therapy. It evokes wellness and meditative purposes. Henna is not just an aesthetic of beauty and that's that. It uplifts spirits of cancer patients who get henna crowns, mom's to be who want to celebrate their pregnancies, self scarring individuals who get henna as a preventive measure and even anorexics who get adorned to feel better and more confident in their own skin. The list goes on and on.
2) BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER
Henna is without a doubt a bridge that brings people together. Let me put it in an analogy that can resonate with just about anyone (even if you're not a henna fan). Let's say you go to a party. It's pretty dead and the guests are leaving one by one. Uh oh! What do you do? Me personally, I'd try to introduce the party with pumping upbeat music and take to the floor goofing off with silly dance moves. The party starts picking up until it hits the roof on fire! The power of music and dance has brought the people together - same way henna does. When I'm at a sangeet party, birthday or any other event, henna acts as a tool that entertains people and give them something to relate to with one another.
3) BUILDS CONFIDENCE
When I'm often left feeling down or in a blue kind of mood, I take to my notebook and doodle henna patterns as a way to make my mind take to rest. This almost instantly uplifted my mood and made me more confident. Back when I was still in the corporate world, if I was about to enter an important meeting or even talk with a client over the phone, that little notebook was my confidence booster. It allowed my active brain to rest, distracting me from the issue that was actually making me nervous.
4) NATURAL CAN BE BEAUTIFUL (it is beautiful!)
I truly believe that the world is designed to make you feel bad about yourself. All the tv ads, billboards and magazines have a strong intention of making you second guess yourself whether you're pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, yada yada yada. That drive in lowering your self esteem is meant to make you PURCHASE! Whether it's make up, plastic surgery, high end fashion, it's all just a profit making machine with no consideration of your wellness whatsoever. And don't forget the horrible things that fall under that umbrella; like: animal testing, child labor, etc. Henna has really showed me that beauty can also be 100% natural without making people feel down. Real henna is the product of just a plant that is completely harmless and emits beauty in an organic and real way. This trained my mind to believe that I don't have to put layers of make up to enhance the way I look. Henna is truly raw and this shifted my perception that beauty can be raw too.
So in conclusion, we SERIOUSLY need to stop second guessing whether our creative brains will not be of service to ourselves and the wider community. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it again... you're so much more impactful when you create the thing you should be creating. Hiding behind a stable job pays your bills on the short term, but crushes your soul on the long run. Are you making money? Sure. But it's actually costing you so much more. See what the life lessons are from your craft and adopt it fully!