Let's be real. We all took a break this past year during times of shut down and mandatory quarantine. And I'll be honest here, I took a huge break from doing henna.
I just had no motivation whatsoever with all the confusion and hysteria with the coronavirus to delve into new designs, seek inspiration, practice, or even make new product. I fell out of love with henna. I didn't spend my time during lockdown going through social media, and spending excessive hours on my device soaking in content. Instead, I did what I had been wanting to do for awhile - spend time with myself and my family, do more self-care, seek out new adventures, draw more.
Since the summer of 2019, I had started a notebook, which I had hoped would include dreams, goals, aspirations, and inspiration to expand and grow my henna business. I had hoped that during the summer of 2019 I would be able to fill the 60 pages of this book with all of these things. But I never did. Instead, when lockdowns hit early 2020, I decided to bring out my notebook and fill it with the things that I had sought out to do almost a year before. But that didn't happen either. Instead of filling my pages with thoughts, list, plans, Inspirations for products or services, new marketing ideas, or social media strategy, I instead filled my book of lined pages with random and completely inspired designs.
I found my love for a new type of floral Motif which I then started incorporating into my body art. I was able to use a variety of pencils and pens just to Doodle designs that I wanted to. I didn't feel any pressure to doodle something beautiful because it was on a blank piece of paper. Instead I just used the line paper, knowing full well, that this was just a rough draft of everything. In April 2020 I stopped everything henna related. I didn't attend any of the free courses that so many artists around the world were offering. I didn't scroll through Instagram or Facebook just to kill time. I took a huge henna hiatus. I decided to unplug from the henna world in order to create my own henna happiness. And this is just the right time for me as well. In the earlier months of 2020, I had started to fall out of love with henna. I had personally felt a little bit too much pressure on creating content and making myself more available on social media. If anybody knows me personally, you know that I hate putting my face on social media, or even being on my device all the time. When I had my son a few years ago, I had already decided that I was going to keep him screen free for as long as I possibly could. Part of that decision meant that as a parent, I also had to be off of my device.
At the start of lockdowns, I had a very good friend and marketing expert post something that truly inspired me. He asked a question “are you consuming or creating?” At this point in early April, I was not inspired to create whatsoever. And my little hiatus from henna helped me to become a better henna artist and bring more happiness to my henna. It wasn't until May 2020 that I decided that I'd start creating designs and implementing the inspiration that I had sought in created in my rough book. So I started creating instead of consuming content. My first step of action was to eliminate all of the apps on my phone that were unnecessary and causing me too many distractions. My second step was to limit my time on social media, to the Basic Essentials. I set up a timer on Instagram to make sure that I was only on the gram for 10 minutes a day. I also unfollowed about 850 accounts on my instagram and created a strategy that helped me focus on what I wanted from Instagram. Instead of following hundreds of people, I decided to follow 100 people and engage with them, learn from them, seek inspiration from them, and support them.
Once I figured out that I didn't want to consume too much content, I was able to clear my mind and create content. The creation of content also stemmed from the fact that I wasn't mindlessly scrolling, so I was able to devote more time to making things happen. I tinkered with watercolors, started playing the drums, started baking (which I absolutely hated until May 2020), tried out new henna mediums like white henna and jagua, and started applying henna on unique body parts and objects, which I had not done before.
I went from being bored and uninspired with henna, to being happy with henna art. I didn’t have strict tasks to focus on, so I made a personal goal to do 1 piece of henna body art a week. That wasn’t too hard to accomplish, and for many weeks, I was able to larger pieces than what I intended to when starting. Through my hiatus, I was able to also dabble with chalk art and support my husband in his artistic endeavors. I ended up purchasing a couple of spiral bound white page notebooks, which we both used to sketch our brilliant ideas, and then proceeded to burn the pages in a late summer bonfire. I took my toddler’s art supplies and played around with paint and let him make big artistic messes. He started getting more interested in henna, and asked for simple design pieces for his hands. My little actions with henna brought so much happiness to my henna world. Instead of staying out of love with henna, I fell back in love with henna, and am continuing to love the ancient art form daily.