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Freya Haley: Authenticity & Self Care

Freya Haley: Authenticity & Self Care
 
Could you give us a small description about you?
I'm an artist, video maker, dancer, retreat facilator, yoga instructor and general all round creative from Western Australia Whadjuk Noongar country, living on Bundjalung country (northern rivers NSW). I love nature, swimming, sun, insects, animals,  compassion, empathy and music.
  
Self-care comes in different forms to every body. What are your practices?
My all time favourite self-care practices are dancing- particularly movement interwoven with yoga and presence practices, journalling and getting into nature.
 
What is your natural state of being?
Curious, joyful, open, connected, compassionate are the words that came to my heart. I also love Adyashanti's version of naturalness which is basically a form of meditation that is letting go, acceptance and surrender. 

What drives you to live your life authentically?
I honestly feel like I'm allergic to inauthenticity sometimes lol. I think the main driver is the peace of my own heart. I always feel much more connected, seen, valued and loved when I am true to whatever I am feeling or who I am in the moment. By contrast, I feel tight and anxious when I try to pretend I'm someone else or feeling something else. I guess the tangible discomfort of not being vulnerable drives me to be more vulnerable (even though vulnerability is super uncomfortable too sometimes!). 

With all the happenings in the world and our own painful experiences, life can sometimes feel disconnected and ungrounding. If you’ve felt this way, what do you do to center yourself?
In these experiences I turn to nature first. If I spend even just half an hour walking through a forest or park, even just 5 minutes lying on a patch of grass staring at the sky- I feel re-centred. I ground in particular by dancing, using big stomping movements, shaking or very somatically moving emotions around. Journalling is also a potent medicine for me- starting with an "i feel" statement and letting the rest of it pour out of me. I do a lot of internal processing and learning about myself through writing. 

When did you realise that you needed to dive deeper into your emotions to heal?
I held a lot of anger in my younger years due to disempowerment and childhood sexual abuse. I realised I was numbing myself out- not experiencing a full life because I was living through the lens of anger. 
The moment that feels like this realisation became concrete in me was when I told others about my experience. I realised I wasn't an "angry person" and that I had really just been going through something alone, holding all the shame as my own. I told others and it felt so liberating to cut chords of shame. I think I've had lots more awareness of my emotions since then, diving deep as you can go into all the challenging emotions and also experiencing more deep forms of joy, connectedness etc. 

What inspires your creations?
Nature and music. 

What was your first experience with empowerment? How do you carry that with you as you go about this existence?
It was actually dancing to Beyonce, haha! I remember feeling like I was channeling her empowerment into myself and learning what it actually feels like to be confident, through her expression. I still feel the most empowered when I dance. I can channel all sorts of stuff and also work with my body and emotions that lay there. 

We love self-care and crave it most days. Do you have any tips you’d like to share?
My favourite self-care tip would be to learn how to listen to your body. Map out how you feel, your natural cycles and your triggers. Checking in with yourself multiple times a day asking "how do I really feel?", then asking "what could I do for myself that would help me feel nourished/safe/empowered?"

What is your relationship with your body? How do you connect to it?
My body is my safe space- I used to feel my body was tainted, I now really love the physical element of being able to exist in this vessel. I love connecting to my body physically by dancing, through gentle yoga such as yin, eating organic and nourishing food and by massaging my body with nice smelling oils.
 

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