My safe

In this pandemic, we’ve all heard the word ‘safe’ a lot – with regards to taking the necessary precautions to not spread or contract COVID-19. We’re used to thinking of safety in terms of physical wellbeing but more and more, I think of the importance of emotional safety, being safe to be yourself without feeling under threat of attack, criticism or judgement. 

It’s a weird one too as certain environments are only safe for certain things. Like, have you ever been standing in a nightclub or house party and thought how strange it is that everyone has assembled specifically for the purpose of throwing their bodies around in various configurations we call ‘dancing’? But we’re in agreement this is a safe place to do that. However, try that mess in the middle of Ikea and it’s a different story. 

Without knowing it, I think we all look for that safety, especially in our interactions, our friendships and partnerships. We want to be with people we’ll feel safe with. That’s part of what makes a good friendship or relationship – people giving us the safety and space to  be our ditziest, silliest selves or share our deepest secrets. 

For me, I didn’t grow up in a particularly emotionally safe environment. There wasn’t a lot of room for free self expression. And even though I’ve made my peace with that, it can etch defining traits into our characters. It was only a few years ago I saw how much I always want people to feel ‘safe’ because of those early experiences.

Where some people feed on cruel mickey-taking, I hate it. Even professionally, during my stand up days, when I interacted with an audience member, I hated the idea of them feeling foolish or picked on. I wanted them to feel great. Once, I gave a guy a lap of honour because he did such a great heckle. I literally ran around the whole audience cheering him, wanting him to feel like a champ.

They say, your wound becomes your work and it’s true that having people feel great and feel safe is something that’s important to me. I used to wonder how this would show up in my work and it’s only now, after recording over a dozen episodes of my podcast Creative Sauce, I can see that what I’m really doing is creating a safe space for myself and my listeners to explore our creativity. And honestly, it’s not even about being an artist. It’s just about life, that’s really all I talk about on the pod. I just look at it through the lens of the artist. 

When I hosted these creative conversations on Instagram, what I really loved was the community that built up between the folks that would join me every Sunday. Even though they were in many different countries, everyone rooted for each other. Those Live streams were a safe space for us all just to be, wherever we were on our journeys. 

I would love to create that again, a space where we can come together,  on-line and give each other a lap of honour, a pat on the back, words of encouragement to help us along whichever path we’ve chosen. 

Until I get that in place I just want to give a massive shout out to all the creative warriors who’ve walked alongside me, who’d given me the freedom to express my creativity, supported my many changes of direction, re-stringing of my bow, missteps, breakdowns and breakthroughs. And big love to all those Sunday night creatives who’ve joined me on my podcast journey. I see you and I appreciate you. 

My new podcast for the creative in you, Creative Sauce with Andi Osho has a new episode every Tuesday – come join the convo! Creative Sauce is on all the main podcast outlets: Apple, Spotify and Deezer. There’s more info over on Insta @CreativeSaucePod.

Creative Sauce Podcast

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