#howimend: Artist Hayley Starr On Personal Growth Post-Breakup



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By Kate Paguinto



Hayley Starr is the powerhouse role model everyone needs. She is an artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, writer and all-around creative who is known for her collection of otherworldly products including psychedelic paintings, activist t-shirts and funky jewelry. 

Hayley generously opened up to us about how creativity and self-care helped her heal post-heartbreak.

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If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

"Feel it, gurl! Feel every single emotion. Hold nothing back, especially tears. Feeling the emotion is the only way through!"

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

"Strength, but also that it’s most often not about the other person, but about a reflection of something I need to learn about myself. When something hurts that badly, you can rest assured that it’s a deep wound that’s calling to you for your attention."

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What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

"Self care, asking myself what I need and then following through. A spa treatment? A weekend away by myself? With the girls? Always reach out to your girls! Call on them and tell them you need their help. Your girls know you and have your best interest at heart; they’ve also likely seen you through other breakups and can see the patterns when your broken heart causes you amnesia."

Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

"Smoking, alcohol, food. I realized that these vices were only stuffing the feeling down further, making it harder to reach… and if feeling the feeling gets you back through to the other side to joy, then anything holding you back from feeling must be eliminated."

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

"That Love is one of the most important reasons you’re here on this planet. Heaven is pure love, and in a realm where you’re given the choice to love or to fear, choosing to love with an open heart gets you closer and closer to the experience of Heaven, while on Earth. Fear brings you closer to the imaginary experience of hell. When breaking up, there are so many fears: Will I ever meet anyone as good as they were? YES, without fail, every single person you date next will be better than the previous one. Am I lovable? Of course you are!!! Duh!!!! Am I destined to be alone forever? Oh silly! Of course NOT."

Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

"Absa-freaking-lutely and yes. I am friends with every ex but one. As a matter of fact, I’m not just friends with most, I am BEST friends with nearly all of them (that is admittedly coming from a woman with 22 best friends), if they’ll allow me. Some men have a hard time staying friends. That’s ok, I respect it."

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What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

"Trust and faith that as I work through my problems and layers of emotional complexity, that I experience more joy and an open heart. Think about this for a minute: Breakups are where most of your growing occurs, and to meet the best partner you need to be your best self. How do you get to your best self? You do the work on yourself! And again, where does that come from? LOVE, BREAKUPS AND HEARTACHES!!! If there’s truly only meant to be one partner for you, that means that by plain and simple deduction, you’ve got a lot of frogs to kiss. Embrace relationships no matter how long they last. Be thankful for what that person showed you about yourself. Mend and find another and if it happens again, thank that person too! Each gets you closer."

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Kate Paguinto

Kate is a Content Strategist and co-owner of Dizzy Cactus. She likes puns, Wes Anderson, and the Oxford comma.

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