I’m taking a little, unexpected break from blogging this week, so while I’m very much ‘head empty, no thoughts’ I’m very excited to introduce you all to my friend Sian, who’s recently started a cosy, mindful platform named Be Messy Be Magic. Be Messy Be Magic is a space devoted to embracing the messy parts of ourselves, stepping into our magic and breaking the boundaries when it comes to talking about mental health.
What is Be Messy Be Magic?
Be Messy Be Magic (sometimes stylised as BMBM) started as a hashtag in 2019. I popped the words “Be messy.” in bold yellow font, on an off-white background in Photoshop, exported it as a .jpeg and shared it alongside the caption:
“When you were a kid, were you were taught to stay in line? To be quiet, to do as you are told, and not to make a mess? For me this translated into anxieties, fears and being an absolute stickler for the rules. And, y’know what I want say to that now? Shit off.
I’m allowed to take up space. I’m allowed to be messy. I’m allowed to not have all the answers, I’m human, not a robot! Heck, even robots mess up sometimes…
When it comes to finding out who you are, it can be very difficult to navigate that space when you feel as though there are dozens of guidelines you need to stick to. How can I be me if I need to be x, y and z too? My opinion? As long as you aren’t hurting yourself or anyone else, you can be whatever you want to be and you can do whatever you want to do.
With this in mind, I dare you to jump into a creative project this weekend, and share your creation with the hashtag #bemessybemagic. I want to see what you create!”
In hindsight, Be Messy Be Magic was far more than a one-off post, to hopefully inspire people to make things and show me them, though. It was the culmination of all the fragmented sparks of realisation I was experiencing during therapy at the time. The ones that came together to let me see that in order to step into my magic, I had to embrace every single messy part of myself.
I guess that stray ‘were’ in the first line said it all really…
Be Messy Be Magic then evolved into an all-encompassing statement of encouragement and expression. A full sentence that spoke of mental health, but also self-growth and self-love. And in late 2020, the Be Messy Be Magic Instagram account was born.
Who is Be Messy Be Magic?
After lots of first person referral, I feel like I should probably introduce myself!
My name is Sian, and I’m a twenty-something human from Hertfordshire, in the UK. I take portrait photographs (some of which you may have spotted of Michelle on Daisybutter before!), I film and edit videos, make art, write… You name it, if it’s creative in the slightest possible way, I probably do it.
Portrait by Ami Ford
I have a combined 15+ years of experience living with five mental health conditions, and everything that comes with that. From participating in counselling and therapy, to picking up techniques and helpful insights along the way.
For a long time I’ve been trying to find my way in life, and online. Trying my hand at all different jobs and forums, until I began working more steadily on Be Messy Be Magic over the last year. I had initially approached it as a project completely separate from myself, but soon came to believe that because of the aforementioned, and how that plays into what I share, it made sense to feature myself here and there.
It feels good to be able to write that Be Messy Be Magic has been the first outlet that allows me to combine my creativity with my knowledge and experience, in a way that is easily accessible, shareable and healing. Whilst it’s still early days, I feel like the space provides me with somewhere to belong as well as stand sure on my own, and connect with a likeminded community.
Whenever I think of Be Messy Be Magic I feel hope bubble. I’m really excited for everything that is to come.
Where can I find Be Messy Be Magic, and what’s next?
Currently you can find Be Messy Be Magic on Instagram, sharing content with an overarching focus on mental health and self, in the form of:
- Helpful resources
- Notable accounts
- Relatable and insightful thoughts and experiences
- Tips and techniques for:
- Caring for/managing mental health
- Exploring self
- Self care
- Talking about mental health.
So far we’ve had a charity fundraiser, made playlists together, and chatted about our feelings in Instagram Lives. In the future I hope to complete more fundraising activities, organise other collaborative projects and show up in real-time in new ways. As a little exclusive for Daisybutter, Be Messy Be Magic may be streaming in the somewhat near future… 😉
At the moment, as the space continues to grow, I’m relishing being able to experiment and figure things out. The state of social media seems to shape-shift with trends and interests, so I’m working to find out where Be Messy Be Magic stands amongst it all, and what it can offer. Right now I’m just enjoying the process!
Links I’ve Loved
- I have adored Lorraine Pascale ever since I watched them create the most decadent, chocolate ‘I can’t believe you made that’ cake on BBC’s Baking Made Easy. You can imagine my delighted surprise to find Lorraine had begun making and sharing brilliant posts, related to healing and overcoming childhood, establishing healthy boundaries, relationships and self esteem, on Instagram.
- Therapist, and OCD advocate Alegra Kastens shares invaluable work on their Instagram account, Obsessively Ever After. Whether you live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or not, their content is both affirming and informative.
- I have watched this TedTalk countless times at this point. I adore how comedian and performer Jordan Raskopolous talks about living with High-functioning Anxiety.
- Fronted by Jordan Stephens, the #IAmWhole mental health campaign works to encourage young people to speak out about, seek help with and get support for their Mental Health. They run a range of projects, from a Digital Detox Day to Music for Mental Health. Jordan also hosts the Whole Truth podcast; a chatty and relaxed listen, filled with relatable and important conversations with familiar guests.
- Another podcast that’s worth tuning into is Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place. Having grown up with Fearne Cotton presenting all over TV and radio, it’s easy to lose yourself in the rhythms of Fearne’s interviewing style, whilst enjoying the interesting dialogue their recognisable interviewees bring.
- The Happy Newspaper, because we need uplifting news in our lives.
- … and The Happy Broadcast, because we need lots of uplifting news in our lives.
As a longterm reader (and previous lurker…) of Daisybutter, I also want to add a thank you on the end here to you, Michelle. I appreciate you so much for opening up the floor, for thinking of me and letting me share Be Messy Be Magic on this special corner of the internet. I am so grateful to you for everything you do – in the work you create, on and offline, and as a wonderful friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you 💕