Category Archives: Honesty

What motivates you?

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.

http://www.thestudios.co/Workshops/collograph%20printing%20from%20idea%20to%20completion.html

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.

Today. I have been motivated. What motivates you?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Can Be Taught!.”

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

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Honesty

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.truth

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.

‘I’m ok!’

On The Daily Post today the post asks for us to think about the following..

‘You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?’

I read some responses and thought about who I would choose. Now, if I was to think with my head, I may choose someone who has world wide influence, or maybe a political figure who could make a huge difference, but I have very little knowledge about politics or war and wouldn’t be so arrogant to pretend that I had.

As ever, I listened to my heart. I would choose my mum. My mum died suddenly 8 and a half years ago, I don’t miss her with the intense grief I had at the start but I am still aware that it would be good to tell her little snippets of my life, small messages or statuses which let her know the simple message, ‘I’m ok’.

When I had bereavement counselling for my mum, the counsellor asked me what I missed about my mum. Although it was painful I told her. I missed her honesty, her laugh, her companionship, her listening ears and shoulder to cry on. In all, I missed her friendship. Then came the honesty I needed when the counsellor said… “Well your mum is gone, you now have to find these things you miss about your mum in the people you have around you.”

As harsh as it may seem to hear those words, It stopped me in the longing stage of my grief and forced me into acceptance. I had longed to have my mum back, to give her messages and let her know ‘I’m ok’, ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m sorry’, or just to tell her about my day but I knew deep down it was an impossibility, I just didn’t want to accept it.

Today I carry my mum in the friends I have around me. I have a wealth of people who hold the same values and give me love. I know I will never fully fill that hole left by the loss of my mum, but that my life will grow abundantly around the hole so the pain will lessen. For me this has been true. I give thanks every year that I haven’t been swallowed up by grief and that my life is rich because of what I’ve learnt.

When I see a robin, I see my mum and they inevitably show up when I am with people I love and care about. So what will my message be to that person that I wouldn’t normally have access to?

Simply, ‘Mum, I’m ok’ xxx

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To thine own self be true

Following yesterday’s post, I’ve tried today to live in the now and I’ve had a lovely day. Apart from the odd phone call about possible work I’ve managed to stay in the present without worrying about the next pay cheque or opportunity of work.

I suppose that’s the only downside to escaping the rat race. No longer do I look forward to the 22nd of the month when I could breathe a sigh of relief that money was coming in and when I had the luxury to buy what I wanted without thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I want for nothing. I am not destitute and I am in a fortunate position, but it’s a insecurity that is years old.

When you’ve worked to build a career and the wage that rewards the effort, I have found it difficult to go from that, to waiting to receive a call asking you to work. The answer? Make my own work!

As a self employed artist, it’s about finding a problem to solve that would form a regular income. I’ve also got to consider the ‘impulse buyers’ and have pieces of work that are affordable. I’ve read in a book that someone has made a living writing a blog and travelling. Wow! If I didn’t have such self doubt I’m sure I could do that! Hahahahahahaha

Anyway about the ‘now’. I want for nothing, I have shelter, food, warmth, love and security and I am enjoying the freedom of not being involved directly in the rat race. I’m allowing myself the gift of time to build a career around what I love but also what I believe I am good at.

I went into teaching to change people’s lives, to make a difference. I know I did that in the years I worked within FE.

However over the last 7 years the students I worked with changed my life and perspective. They helped me to become more loving, compassionate and more supportive to the ‘underdogs’. The ones that no one wanted to work with, but those I found I had a natural ability to work alongside.

In those 7 years I became the best teacher I could’ve been. I was ‘outstanding’ according to OFSTED and I saw miracles in the lovely students I worked with, so why, you may ask, did I leave?

Because I could no longer protect them. I could no longer assure them that they would be ok and that no one could hurt them in my care. Systems were put in place that meant that I couldn’t create the haven that they craved nor keep the wolves from them. I felt powerless.

I was often told to keep my emotions out of the role, but how could I? When you are working with the most vulnerable how do you keep robotic, lifeless or unattached?

As an artist I am emotional, I feel, I see and observe many things. I feel pain with other people and cry alongside the strongest of characters. I also feel tremendous joy when I know the battles that people have overcome to gain qualifications or achievements that they thought they would never get!

I am me and, although I am far from perfect, I can’t and won’t change the person I am to fit into any one else scheme anymore. I will not force a square peg into a round hole just to please others. I have to be true to me.

Of course I miss the money, the security and excitement of the 22nd of each month, but what I miss, I gain in the new adventures and connections I am making whilst I’m making this transition from rat race into creativity!

I am open minded and willing to learn. Any comments or suggestions on how to grow my little business would be greatly appreciated xx

Thanks for reading x

http://www.beckyfield.com

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Awareness

“You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. ”
― Anthony de Mello

I am a little undecided about what to blog about tonight. I don’t aim to be a master of writing nor a philosopher on life but it does help to share my thoughts and artwork to help people get to know me and what I am about.

That, in itself, is a massive step for me as I lived behind masks for years. I know today this was because I didn’t really like myself enough to let people get to know me. Today I like myself :-).

Ok, so two subjects have been whirling around my head and in some way they are entwined. The first is awareness. I love the subject of awareness. My life over the last few years has led me to become aware of myself, my thoughts and how they affect my behaviour.

“People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.”
― Anthony de Mello

I love to people watch. Some call it awareness, some judgement, but I call it self preservation. I watch, I become aware, I judge and then I preserve my sense of self. I no longer hide behind masks or pretend. I learnt the meaning of the word congruence and, as a visual learner, I pictured two parallel lines. I wanted to be congruent in all my life. I wanted to be, and live, in line with my thoughts and feelings and be honest and open. What a great freedom this has given me.

A couple of days ago I posted about my values and being true to those values. Escaping the rat race enabled me to do just that. To draw new parallel lines that meant I was true to myself, my loves and passions.

The second subject was about putting people on pedestals. I personally find it dangerous. No man or woman should be put on a pedestal. We are all human and we make mistakes. I have a friend who says ‘high expectations, low serenity’. We are not faultless and to place someone in an unreachable position leads to unhappiness when our needs are not met. If people put you on a pedestal the same is true, you fail to meet the needs of others who raise you up.

Tonight I sat in a room and watched. I could write a general description of the people in the room from my perspective. However, as Antony de Mello says, “You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. ” Another person in the room tonight would see a completely different picture. They would feel a completely different vibe and both of us would be right for us. I saw people lifted up on pedestals and also with people who sought validation for what they were saying.

Art is very subjective, it can be viewed very differently by whoever chooses to look at the piece or series of works. It would be fabulous to create something that could be seen as ‘dynamic’, ‘original’, ‘ground-breaking’ or ‘beautiful’. I wait expectantly to see/hear people’s opinions of my work but in reality, the only persons opinions that should matter is my own. I only need to answer the questions of whether I fulfilling my creative needs and being true to myself?

In truth, I find it uncomfortable to think that I don’t need affirmation from others. I am not yet at the point where I don’t need to seek the approval of others and I envy those who have that self assurance. I still have a way to go in fully believing in my skills and abilities. There is work to do in creating and having faith in my successful identity as an artist. I have only just begun to see the value in my own gift, rather than in the gift of teaching others the skills I already possess.

I write not to gain assurance from others but I love it when I get an email to say that someone is following me. It helps me to realise that I have a voice, that I am worth reading about and that I am not alone in this journey of self awareness. Hopefully I can help in your awareness journey by walking with you hand in hand. Maybe we can share what we see and learn new insights.

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You are enough

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What a day! It amazes me at times how much faith people have in me as a person. As a friend I am considered loyal, honest and loving. As an artist, I have been considered gifted, talented and original. As an Educator I have been given the accolade of ‘Outstanding’ or as my students say ‘The best’. It’s wonderful.

I’ve tried dressing up my new business into a catchy name, creating a brand thinking that I, in myself, am not enough. I have come a long way since leaving the rat race but so much of myself hid in the labels assigned to me. I was a teacher, a behaviour manager, a colleague for 13 years and when I decided to leave that role, I floundered for a while not really knowing what or who I was.

I know I’m probably not alone in feeling this way. It has taken me a while to find happiness without being dependant on the social status and pride wrapped up in being a professional tutor in FE. I felt naked for a while but thankfully over time I have dressed myself in new clothes.

I have been guided by people who knew how to handle and be gentle with this chrysalis. The caterpillar who needed time to lick her wounds and to re-evaluate her life. I needed to reassess what was important to me and to develop the strength of becoming strong so I was able to break the shell and emerge into the person I am today.

There is still work for me to do and tonight has been the start by getting rid of the gimmicks, the names that hide me as me and get to the core of who and what I am. I am Becky Field and this is the start of my story.

Morals are good Becky, but they don’t pay the mortgage.

This was said to me almost a year ago. Being the impulsive person I can be, I submitted my resignation after a (bleep) senior manager threatened redundancies at, my then, place of work.

Have you ever done something that was impulsive? This episode in my life highlighted to me that the rat race was no longer for me. A profession I had worked in for 13 years had diverted from my original idea of ‘making a difference’ to ‘making profit’, I knew it was time to make a change.

How did I know? That inner feeling that you feel when your values are challenged. The sense that all is not well. Now call it what you like. instinct, God consciousness, awareness, gut feeling, whatever. You know. And I knew.

I didn’t know the exact value that was challenged at that time, but I knew I wasn’t willing to play a part in the catastrophe that I could see happening. Fight or flight? I hung up my gloves.

‘Morals are good Becky, but they don’t pay the mortgage’ my manager said. She accepted that I wasn’t prepared to dance to the tune but she did make me see sense. I saw that being irresponsible, by acting on impulse, meant I wasn’t fulfilling my responsibilities and she gave me the gift of time to make a decision, rather than an impulsive reaction.

The grand gesture I made and the determination in which I handed in my notice soon melted and I agreed to stay until I found another job. Now don’t get me wrong, it was as much for the place that I worked as for me. I was an ‘outstanding tutor’ who had the ability to work with all types of students. I was, if I say so myself, outstanding.

However, I was tired. I was tired of fighting the behaviour when all I wanted to do was teach in the hope of making a difference. I was tired of being surrounded by paperwork when all I wanted to do was be with the students and listen whilst we drew/painted or designed. I was just tired.

In November, I eventually stopped fighting. I gave up and over a period of 3 months, I decided I could no longer be anyone’s puppet. I wasn’t prepared to dance to a tune I no longer enjoyed, so I decided to write my own.

It wasn’t easy. I first had to find out what my values were. Then I had to look at what would match these values and not conflict against them. On doing this I found the reason why I was discontented in the rat race. It went against my values. The main ones being honesty and kindness.

During the last few years I did not find the rat race to be an honest environment. Nothing was ever straight forward. Dishonesty and ego were hidden amongst abbreviations and jargon which was like a secret code I wasn’t privy to. Kindness was found in individuals who were few and far between and usually, such people, were highlighted as weak or were taken advantage of.

When did people lose sight of the qualities that are free? We weren’t born unkind or dishonest.

Today I surround myself with people who share the same values. I have challengers who make me think about things, but I no longer fight them. Today I have a choice in what I do. I pay the mortgage (just) by doing things I enjoy, by working where I want, when I want, with people who I want to work with. What a freedom that gift of time gave me.

I will be forever grateful to that manager, who is now a friend. Morals are good and I can pay the mortgage and be true to them.

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