I write this after a very ‘successful’ day in the creative life I have outside of the rat race. It’s amazing that as I reflect over the day I have realised that one of the things that both motivates me and paralysis me is other people.
What does this mean? Recently I have been spurred on by watching steps other people have made in the creative world. I then have followed these steps and have been successful in being selected to hold workshops in a beautiful studio near where I live.
However. In the same fortnight I have seen other creatives produce work similar to some commercial projects and I have become paralysed and disheartened.
It’s alarming for me to realise how I allow other people to have both positive and negative affects on me. The saddest thing is that I know it is my interpretation that makes this so.
I learnt in Sept 2013 that what I see and what I hear is influenced by my life’s experience. What is seen or heard is filtered through this experience and I then make assumption, judgements and decisions based on the filtered information.
Just learning that this happens has helped me a great deal to not react. It gives me time to stop, think, wait, access the reality of this filtered auditory or visual information and then act.
Today, although I am not a puppet to anyone else’s strings, I do realise that I still have threads attached to other people’s opinions, behaviours and actions. On any given day though, I have a choice as to whether this paralysis me or motivates me.
What makes a great teacher? I was, a grade 1 ‘outstanding’ tutor of post 16 education for a number of years. Does this make me a great teacher? No. I could play a very good game for 50 minutes. Did it enhance my teaching? No, if anything it took away from my ‘greatness’. Did the observation and grade make an ounce of difference to my students or the perception they had of me? No. So what does make a great teacher?
After 13 years of teaching. I would quite easily answer this question with a bullet pointed list.
• Listening – how many teachers listen? I leant all about my students by listening and observing, I may even go further to say I cared!
• Addressing the students by name – in the over populated classrooms in England some students are overlooked. I always felt it was important to address each student by their name from the day they enquired about my courses. After all, without them I had no job. They needed to know they mattered.
• congruence. I would always work along side the students. I would do the collage, painting, printing. I didn’t dish out orders, I was involved. I demonstrated and let them make their own learning by being part of it.
Will I be remembered for my Grade 1 ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED? I doubt it. From what my student say to me even months after I left the ‘rat race’ of teaching is that I was someone who ‘cared’ to me. That is the best teacher of all xxx
I love learning. I love seeing what else can be done. I am learning that there is so much more to this digital world and that I can sometimes become baffled with terms, jargon and technology that quite often, I can be paralysed.
So where do I start?
Since I started venturing into the creative world from the rat race I have quite often taken the lead from others who I deem to be successful.
I have been honoured to feature in blogs by such people and for my work to be ‘shared’ between Facebook friends.
Recently I have been asked to run workshops within two different environments. I see this as shoots sprouting from the seeds I have laid down over the last months where my posts have been few. I have secured a part time job which gives me a sense of accomplishment and also gives me be luxury of time to pursue my dreams.
It has given me security to know that I can afford to sow seeds in areas that may be unfamiliar. I can try new things and learn new methods without the fear of not ‘making it’.
The first few months of being self employed I cast my net far. I threw caution to the wind and tried many things. In pulling the net closer at the end of the year, I could see how successful my catch was. What stayed and what needed to be discarded. What needed to be shelved and what needed to be nurtured further.
In doing so I could then concentrate on what have me the greatest pleasure. Quite often it has very little to do with monetary gain, but more about what stayed true to myself. My vision, my core values but most of all that fed my creativity.
Today I have learnt that it’s not all about asking it’s about giving. It’s not all about selling but engaging with the people who spend time ‘following’ or ‘connecting’ with you. Today I have learnt that it is time to give back! I am open to learning all I can. Xx
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Me Time.” It has spurred me to admit that I have neglected the ‘Me time’ of blogging. It has been a while since I created a new post but its like missing a friend….a couple of day is normal in between coffee dates or meeting up, but a couple of months and you really do put pressure on a friendship to last the course.
My humblest apologies to my followers as I haven’t given myself even a small amount of time for ‘Me time’ or in fact ‘you time’ to nurture the new shoots of friendships that began to grow at the start of writing my blog.
Someone asked me the other day about blogging and stated that they too had concerns about them being interesting or engaging…. I admit it would be impossible to be both those things daily but, as always, I told her the main purpose of my blog was to be honest. To show me as me with my flaws but also to show you my strengths.
It was during this time that I realised I hadn’t watered my shoots for a while, or connected with those people who have so kindly read, responded and commented on my blog.
So today, I have made some tome for me to write to you to thank you for sticking around and that I hope to start giving myself time to nurture these friendships and hopefully create space to produce more.
If you have followed my blog you may know that one of my utmost important values in my life is honesty. I have walked away from many a friend or family member who found it impossible to be honesty. Dishonesty by omission is not excluded in this value.
I can write a short blog post or Facebook status, but it would never perfectly described just how integral this core value is to me. I won’t go into the several reasons that could account for this lack of trust as, in truth, what would it solve to drag up past experiences that have shaped the person I am today? Today I try to live honestly in a sadly dishonest world.
The sad thing is I still have that childish belief that other people hold honesty in as much importance as I do. Awareness is marvelous until it extinguishes the hope that people feel the same way. I never cease to be amazed at the behaviour of humans and I came to the conclusion last night that some people are so afraid to live honestly in this world.
Art is a therapy, a friend. You can always trust in creativity and it never lies. Where else could you feel such love, such happiness than being completely and utterly at peace with a collograph or painting?
A friend messaged me this tonight. Your comments are appreciated.
Definition of Honest from Urban Dictionary
A divine attribute we often wrongly assign to one we admire, but sadly, like telepathy, honesty is a characteristic not inherent in humanity. To be truly and completely honest with someone, one must first be truly and completely honest with one’s self. Since our species is incapable of seeing past its own fears, desires, prejudices, convictions, emotional attachments, memories and flawed perceptions, man is not capable of viewing an unfiltered reality. Every single conclusion a person comes to is first carefully screened and reviewed through a series of subconscious unrelated facets of collective reasoning and thus all humanity is blind to all truth. Thus, no one is truly and completely honest with themselves and thus cannot be truly and completely honest with others. The most anyone can hope to give is their honest opinion. But that’s all it is, an opinion.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Golden Key.” What box would I open? I thought about sitting in on ‘big wig’ business meeting just to make sense of the madness of the business world or ‘rat race’ but would this benefit me in any way? I doubt it and what a waste if I only had one key.
I could think about a box full of the secrets of life but again, would this guarantee a happy contented life or just a life where there was nothing to look forward. A life where the element of surprise and adventure would be lost and there would be no need for hope as you will have the blueprint.
So then, what else?
If I had a golden key, I would unlock the brain of the depressive. I would trace the steps to find the source of where they lost all hope and look at the impact that words had played in their measure of self belief. I would sift through all the wreckage that had build up and search and search to find gems which have been overlooked or easily forgotten when the dark cloud or black dog has got its grip.
I would make a board of all my findings, plaster a wall and surround myself with memories of the positivity in life and bring my back on the path of hope. I would burn the negative findings so that I wouldn’t get enveloped in them again and make a ‘to do’ pile of pieces that I would address when my self belief returned.
The fact is just this though. I have that key already. I have access to all this if I would give myself time and trust in others to help me. The key isn’t hidden, its just been mislaid. When its time, it will appear and I can then unlock ‘infinite precious things’.
Thank you Hannah for reminding me to write my blog. I don’t know if anyone else is like me?. Being a female, I am meant to be able to multi-task. I openly admit that I fail to do that at the best of times but probably more so that I have started working again.
I try and plan creativity into my working week and some weeks, since starting back at work, I have managed to continue with creative projects, some other weeks it may be the odd photo in the hope of remaining part of Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.
I don’t want you to think I take my readers for granted, after all, it would hardly be worth writing if nobody spent their time to read. The Daily Posts ‘Ready, Set, Done’ have been an excellent way to write a blog without over thinking and worrying about the subject matter, punctuation and grammar and the I am always encouraged by the wonderful sound when someone comments or likes your post.
So, lets make a commitment …… to post regularly, to jump back into creativity and start spinning more plates in an attempt to multi-task, and generally show you readers that I appreciate your time in reading my blog.
Thank you Hannah for bringing back into what is important to me. and thank you to readers for continuing to read.
When i initially read this I instantly thought of a suit of armour. Sadly I feel it necessary to wear this armour as I do not tend to be too resilient (yet) to what other people say or do. During my teaching I learnt from an anger management course, that what we hear may not necessarily be what was spoken, and what was seen may be misinterpreted by individual life experiences.
But as I think further about my inner most self in its true, natural form it would probably look like the Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon from the seeds of the thistle plant. I saw this piece on display in the Textile Hall at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK.
It sums up the fragility of my innermost self.
Would I dare to wear it? It would probably be a case of how long would it last if I did? Until I build up my resilience to people, places and situations I would probably say no….
The armour would be more appropriate in this day and age, but if I was among friends who love me and know my true inner most self then I would wear it, and if it should break or become tangled, I know they will help me to mend.
I’ve not written for a while as I have been questioning many things in the usually way… Just asking ‘Why?’
It’s not that I have become disillusioned with blogging or my creativity but sometimes you do question why? Why? or even – ‘Whats it all about?’. As you may have read in a recent post ‘Goodbye Shirley’ I lost a friend. The question of why, when you see the love that people had for her at her funeral, evidently becomes at the forefront of your mind. The feelings of powerlessness for the family and friends left behind is overwhelming at times and leads you to question so many things sadly left unanswered.
You also begin to question why you waste precious time worrying what other people think of you or your work. it is evident that what is important to some is of no concern to others and they also probably ask the question ‘why?’ on so many of life’s little idiosyncrasies like I do.
We have been given brains to use, but the questioning can sometimes be all consuming. ‘Why?’ creates a never ending hamster wheel of unanswered quesions and can feel you leaving exhausted and without answers at, what may feel like, an endless period of time.
I have often stated that it would be good to see a blueprint of how life will be turning out. Maybe that would be ideal and we could have all the answers. The difficulty is not in the constant questioning I assume, It would not happen. What would happen would be to truly believe that things in life happen for a reason and learn to trust that the reasons will be revealed.