A conversation with muse Amy Isles Freeman
We had the pleasure of spending a glorious Spring evening with basho muse Amy Isles Freeman, bathing in rays of golden sunlight and witnessing her honest, sensual spirit. She spoke with us about her skin and self care rituals, ideas of womanhood, female power, beauty and much more.
"Dancing in a field in summer, where my skin is sun-kissed and I just beam from ear to ear. And then some other, naughtier moments... "
Do you know your skin type? Has it changed in your adult life and if so how?
I think I have combination skin - it dries out, but I have to watch what I put on it, as I can break out (from products). After years of dealing with spots, in varying degrees of severity, I have seen that it's not chocolate or dairy or chips or wine or sweets that make me spotty, just my hormones!
My skin was very spotty in my teenage years, calming down a little as I grew into my twenties. I have had all kinds of issues with hormonal contraception, struggling to find something that works for me, and putting myself through the trials, using myself as a guinea pig, offering up my skin to be plagued once again, it has definitely effected my adult life.
I love my skin, I have been very blessed with an olive complexion from an unknown relative, so when it's blemished, angry, red, my confidence can shatter.
Do you have any self-care rituals that ground, nourish or energise you?
I always wake up far earlier than I need to, so that I can enjoy some time alone in the morning with a cup of tea, pottering, thinking about the dreams of last night and what might happen today.
I go through periods of time where I swim often. That makes me feel so strong. I taught myself front crawl in my early twenties and it gave me a confidence in my body that had always been snatched away from me, having been told that I wasn't good at sports.
How do you reconnect when you're feeling out of touch with yourself?
That's a hard one - I am surrounded by wonderful women, who help me no end when I am feeling out of sorts. I take a break where I can, just to sit and do nothing, listen to music or watch easy going television. Sometimes I swim, sometimes I go and see the sea. I write a journal, I see my therapist. I have embraced the help that I need to keep healthy, and I am not ashamed of needing it.
If I can face it, a solo dance in my living room to some embarrassing music usually helps.
Do you have a creative discipline or passion which you dedicate your time to? How does it impact your health and wellbeing ?
I have a few... I have built a business woodturning and painting bowls. I also have a radio show, which I curate with dedication, and see as creative. My artistic endeavours became too commercially minded for a while, and went from being incredibly healing to destructive, and the radio show became a relief, a beautiful breath in the middle of my week where I could immerse myself in thoughts and theories, and swim underwater through music that held me. A break from making any work, early this year in Thailand, allowed me to come back to my art, renewed and alive again, and since then it has fed me once more. The way I approach art is inexorably linked to my mental health.
When do you feel your most radiant self?
Dancing in a field in summer, where my skin is sun-kissed and I just beam from ear to ear. And then some other, naughtier moments...
Is there an inspiring/empowering poem or quote that you could share with us?
'I am not afraid of my truth anymore and I will not omit pieces of me to make you comfortable' Alexandra Elle.
What is beauty to you?
HONESTY. Silliness, laughter, empathy, dancing, radiance. The ability to question and decipher ones own thoughts and feelings, or at least the willingness to try. Kindness, humour, generosity of spirit. Confidence, sincerity. Openness.
How do you embrace your own sense of womanhood?
I am lucky that as I progress through life, I naturally lean into my identity as a woman more and more.
I am learning to love myself, looking into my shadow and shining a light on the aspects of myself that I previously just couldn't face, accepting them and seeing that with the dark and the light I am whole. I can see how this process is so much easier for women - socially we do not ask men to do this in the same way, we do not teach boys to reflect in the same way, the same things are not expected of men as they are of women. I embrace the tools that I have learnt as a girl and now as a woman, and try to use them to become the most honest version of myself.
My radio show allows me the time to really think about the issues that effect me and other women. I give myself that time to sit and mull it over. I then broadcast my ideas! My dad told me that my show was 'subversively feminine', which I liked. I feel like that's a fairly accurate description of me. I embrace being a woman with a voice that I have found for myself on a community radio station in Falmouth.
Amy uses our Anti-blemish blend, recommended for her hormonal breakouts and to bring refreshment to her sun drenched skin. We really encourage you to see her beautifully hand-painted, wood turned vessels here, and listen to her radio show, here.