Hello Beautiful People,
As you may have seen, I've just added my 5th and final section to SKYDANC3R: Dream. This joins the other sections, Music - Ocean - Chill - Planet. It's been really important to me to gradually share these five areas of my life, and bring them together here.
We live in an age where things seem complicated, people are disempowered, and don't know where to turn or get the support they need and want. I wanted to bring all the positives from my experiences together, to show people how you can work through and out of your difficulties, and into a happier, healthier, more authentic life.
Having recovered from severe anxiety as and adult and severe depression as a teenager, I know what it takes to recover and survive. I also know what the mild versions are, and how to recognise them and recover quickly.
When we talk about the planet and environment, I really think that this disconnect humans have from their environment, and lack of care for the planet is very much connected. In nature, unhealthy animals do not look after themselves- their nests are messy and they have poor self-care, whereas healthy animals groom regularly and have healthy, clean habits. As humans are just animals, I wonder if we're the same? With this boom in mental health issues, is this lack of self-care extending to our environment and planet?
So I feel that initiatives to combat mental health issues, and also positive environmental action, could be really key to both helping humans and helping the environment. There are already initiatives in place for treating mental illness with green space or blue space - eg walks outside, or getting in the ocean. So why not add an environmental action angle onto this?
Working professionally in climate change & health for me was amazing but also very challenging, because of the level of obstacles, lack of funding and slow processes involved for action. Therefore I learned the hard way the importance of having something that you love to bring you happiness and energy, that will sustain you and give you a break from the daily challenges.
That's why it's important having something that brings you joy - for me, it's music: DJing, playing piano, singing, creating. This is something that I know many creatives feel guilty about, and sometimes I do too. But the truth is that when you create something that makes you happy - for example, a song or a painting - that happiness doesn't stop there. When someone sees or hears it - even you - it brings happiness to them again. I had a friend who has a creative business, and a day job, and she said she felt guilty spending time creating. I told her absolutely not to feel guilty for it, because it's important to get your creativity out, and that if your intuition says to be creative, you need to obey that.
When I think of unexpressed creativity, I always think of Hitler. He failed to get into art school and told he wasn't good enough. What if someone had just given him a paintbrush and told him to be happy?
Self-expression is such a relief. Whether writing, singing, painting, dancing - giving your soul that outlet and permission is always, always going to make you feel better in the long run. Self-expression isn't the same as having to share it with the world, you don't have to share if you don't want to, but do it for yourself at least.
Anxiety and depression - in my experience - have also partly been down to not expressing myself, or not taking action when I needed or wanted to. Usually getting on and doing something is never as bad as the anticipation of it. And then you get the satisfaction of it! So whether you're taking the first steps and getting a diagnosis, and starting to work through any issues with a health professional, or learn more about how the brain works, or perhaps be more engaged with your community or express your feelings towards certain people.
Often it is the anticipation as well as the action that prompts anxiety, but I really believe that you work your way out of anxiety and depression - and by work, I mean a concerted effort to face up to yourself, and learn and welcome more positive and healthy behaviours and habits. And put a lot more soul into your life. Creativity comes into it's own when we need to heal. It works in ways I don't understand fully, but it does work. It has a power and magic and beauty of it's own.
Creating and sharing my own music, is my personal creative endeavour, but it took me until I was 26 to take music seriously and start developing electronic music. It didn't feel important enough and too personal to share previously. Whilst yes, I do just want to work on music, I also feel the need to share my experiences working on positive action towards your dreams, and environmental action.
Learning how to set up and run a dream project is really a powerful and wonderful thing. Having set up and managed various projects and startups, I know the basics - from vision to nuts & bolts - of how to get things off the ground and running.
Recently, I have written a book (in editing stage now), called The Dream Chaser's Handbook, and I have also opened up creative & lean startup mentoring services. Whilst I am booking DJ sets, and creating new music, I also want to be able to offer support and guidance to help others set up their own dream projects. For more information, you can visit my mentoring site www.nellsanders.com.
Next week, I will be running a workshop for a local charity on anxiety and music, based around my Music and Chill sections. It's been a good opportunity to help me start to reflect on anxiety and music, and the journey that's got me here. I look forward to sharing more in the near future.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and the dynamics between the different sections. I'd love to hear any thoughts you have.
Love & peace,