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How Model Nathalie Darcas Finds her Creative Energy    

How Model Nathalie Darcas Finds her Creative Energy

Art by FISK

By Sadie Newman, founder of Inner Piece

Even though model Nathalie Darcas doesn’t believe that creativity needs to produce a tangible product, that hasn’t stopped her from ample creative output. Born to French and American parents and raised in Australia before settling into her current home in California, Nathalie puts her creative energy into the world by playing the harp and surfing. She does all that while also juggling her busy modeling career, where she’s worked with brands such as Free People, Aerie, and Rip Curl.

I wanted to interview Nathalie for Inner Piece because, along with the creative streak that runs through her, she also has a beautiful curiosity for others and tries to really understand what is really going on beneath the surface. Unafraid to tap into that side of herself and hear out others, she brings light and positivity to any conversation.

What do you want people to know about you?

My dad is French, and my mom is American, but we moved to Australia when I was 10. As disorientating as it was at the time, I think [moving] was one of the greatest gifts. It has given me a sense of ease when it comes to fluidly moving around for work. I have been modeling for ten years now, between Sydney, New York, and LA. I now call California home. California was the first place I really felt a connection and a curiosity towards the creative energy within me. Or perhaps I have gotten to a place in my life where it flows more readily. I can be very introverted. I thrive on alone time. However, on the flip side, I also have a very playful energy. At the start of quarantine I fostered four kittens, which was impulsive even for me. Stagnation scares me, seeing the snow-capped mountains on a wintery Los Angeles morning makes my heart erupt with joy, surfing keeps me present, and my favorite food is Nutella crepes.

How do you bring creativity into your daily life?

Over the years, I have noticed certain activation tools that help me connect to a creative energy within myself. I often listen to psychology- or spiritual-based podcasts when driving. I think it was on a podcast that someone said, “You can’t solve a problem from the same energy level,” and this couldn’t feel more true to me. What I have found connects me to the times when I have a creative download—that feeling when your veins are pulsing with this intense energetic high and the world feels like it's abundant in possibility—is feeling clear-minded, meaningfully engaging, and connecting with someone who inspires me. Taking myself for a nature bath where I focus my attention on all the different sensations around me is a form of grounding that’s hugely beneficial. Also, the more I tap into my feminine energy, the more I find creativity is interchangeably present. 

How does creativity help you and is it connected to your mental well being? 

I have come to realize that being creative does not necessarily have to express itself in a tangible form. On an intuitive level, I feel that the way we engage with the world can be our creative process. How we choose to live our lives and how much energy we pour into our highest dreams and desires is a creative process. How you live, where you live, your connections with others and to yourself, you can choose to lean into that and feel completely inspired by it. When I am feeling creative and inspired, allowing my imagination to run free, that is when my mental wellbeing really thrives!

What have you learned about yourself during these strange times? How has it impacted your mental health?

I have become very interested in looking at old subconscious neural circuits that have been firing over and over in my mind since early childhood. Feelings of unworthiness, whether it be in work, relationships or friendships. I’m coming to understand that these are just conditioned thought patterns and am actively trying to fire new neural pathways of worthiness and abundance.  

When did you first become aware that mental health was something that you needed to pay more attention to? 

I have been in tune with the state of my mental health since early teenage years. Full disclosure, being aware does not mean it was smooth sailing and floating in a happy bubble of mindfulness. What I mean is that from an early age I have been quite in tune with my emotions, the highs and lows, the mundane and icky ones. I learned quite early on that when a very painful wave of emotion was passing through, I was never one of those people that could put it off to the side and deal with it later. The only way out was through, and the more I could sit with it, no matter how uncomfortable, the sooner it would dissipate. 

Who do you turn to when you need to talk about issues related to mental health?

My mom has always been my go-to person! When I was about 17, I went through my first heartbreak. I was also feeling a lot of stagnation in my life. I had all these grand plans of what life should look like, and the reality was that things were happening extremely slowly. I remember coming home one day and just sitting on the end of her bed crying. Looking back, I laugh at my young, naive self. I think that was my first bout of depression intertwined with the first of many existential crises. The point is, there has never been any judgment or expectations from her. Whatever I was feeling she had also felt, and that was hugely comforting. I think we experience the world very similarly and speak the same emotional language.

How do you know when you are in a good place with your mental health?

I will often notice a feeling of lightness and also more of an ease socially. I will be more inclined to call a friend for a chat, and there will be this bubbling sensation of euphoria within me. It is also a tell-tale sign when lots of creative project ideas start to pop up in my mind! I think my mental health tools would be similar to my accessing creativity tools. I really do believe the two are interchangeable and live on a similar energy level. A morning walk, listening to the birds, feeling into all my senses is a sure way to up my mood. Also, connecting with a friend or a family member, no matter how introverted I might be feeling in the moment, will always recalibrate my mind to a healthier place!

What is something that you wish you’d known sooner about mental health?

There are forever going to be highs and lows. When you are high, enjoy it, be present with it, but also know that when you are low, this too shall pass. And also be present with that. I think negative energy can be quite sticky and has a gravitational pull. We must actively work to bring our default setting to a higher energetic place. I have experienced this firsthand as I have gotten older. I definitely believe my default setting is at a much higher place energetically today than it was ten years ago.

Keep the conversation going by commenting on this story below. You can also connect with us about whatever’s on your mind by texting The Local Optimist Hotline at 310.299.9414.