Category Archives: Rat race

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?

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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Forever a student.

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

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Right place, right time

Sometime you just have to be in the right place at the right time. This morning I was enamoured by a dolphin swimming in the sea, it’s not an everyday occurrence here in England but today the performance was just for me.

The day ended much as it began with being in the right place at the right time. I hadn’t planned to capture photographs today but the opportunities were there. Not only were they there, but I took them.

I was reminded today of going that extra distance to get the fullness of what can be seen. Life can be like that. You can go so far, taste the sweetness but then stop often thinking that either you don’t deserve any more, or that to go further would spoil the experience. However, by going further, your perception can change, the sunset deepen and the richness becomes richer. Why settle when you can have more?

Moving from the ‘rat race’ into creativity has opened up a whole new world. By challenging myself to enter into more experiences I am learning more about myself, others and that life can really get brighten if you just go that little bit further! X

Why not comment on where have you found yourself in the right place at right time and share your photos xX

Here are mine to start you off. Enjoy the views! Xx

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Commercial ties

How I would just love to sit at home and craft all day but sadly bills need to be paid and money certainly doesn’t grow on trees. (So I’ve been told)

As an artist, I need to create all different types of works to suit the markets around me. I have been called the ‘Del Boy’ of the craft world as I am still finding out what works, at what doesn’t. I’m trying to shimmy into new areas of business to see what feels right and I am having a great deal of fun in the process.

Today I have created and framed some more commercial ideas to sell at local fairs. All the pieces are from different areas of my new life since leaving the rat race.

Firstly there are the empowering quotes, (my fella calls them poison pen works). These are sourced from the personal development group I have been attending since February. A great source of encouragement and the works are created from such inspiration.

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The second lot of pieces have been based around hobbies and from the great network of people I have met since joining the creative circles. I have been inspired to make more personalised gifts for Christmas rather than items that are just for the 12 days and then recycled in a car boot or yard sale (for my international followers).

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Then there are the selfish passions such as flowers that I have previously looked at and shown in my posts. The beauty in the natural environment that keeps me in the moment rather than chasing dreams or fearing the future.

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I hope that the creative juices continue to flow as I venture into more commercial projects. I spoke to a lady recently who said that, should she start to think about her hobby as a money making project, that she dries up creatively. Although I have to see ways of making money, (stuff work, let’s play) I do not want the commercial ties to suffocate my creativity.

I have so many ideas that I want to start, that this sitting around being creative is merely laying a foundation on which I can, and will, build upon. I have friends who support me, business men to guide me and a power greater opening doors for me that I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow may bring. I can’t remember feeling this way for a long time in the rat race, but today, I am grateful for all that I have. For the journey it has taken to get to where I am, I will always be grateful.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
― Confucius

Well, the start of my blogging journey was encouraged by the book ‘Stuff work, let’s play’ by John Williams and today I can look back and think…I’m giving it a go, if nothing else. I am trying all sorts of adventures to find the one that feels most like play and then…. Hoping to find ways to get paid for it.

It’s a difficult task when your identity has been wrapped up in a profession for so long. It is hard not to hold on to the security of the ‘Devil you know’ and just trust that all will be well and that all my needs will be catered for. I have no particular faith, but I do believe that there is something greater that brings positive things into your life. I just need to believe that I am deserving of these things and that they will come.

I have been given a talent. I am an artist, and although that feels uncomfortable to say, it is true and I love doing what I do. I also love people. It is a source of pleasure to be surrounded by creative and loving people, but I have learnt this year that in order to fill myself up I need solitude.

In the solitude, I can hear the truth, when I stop that racing chatter that feeds the negative thoughts I tend to see reason. When I take a walk and look at the incredible detail in flowers I know that there are things at work, far bigger than I can ever imagine. It doesn’t have to have a label of God, Spirit, Universe or whatever is your preference but I do have to have some acceptance that something is at work.

When I was a child, I believed. I had a unquestionable faith that I would be ok. Amongst the madness of childhood and all it entails, I was ok. I grew into the loving, caring and wonderful person I am today who is surrounded by people who believe in me. (Quite often more than I believe in myself).
I was fearless in my approach to life and took life as it came. I would always see the positive in people and situations. In short, I had faith.

That is what I want again. To walk with assurance that all will be ok, that I will find a job which doesn’t feel like work. That I will reinvent myself as an Artist and unravel my identity that has been wrapped up in the rat race for so long. That I will be free.

What a wonderful place that would be to exist. So what’s stopping me?
I think I will get out of my own way, and as a true friend says, stop thinking. My old boss (now friend) use to say, ‘You are where you’re at…. Now what?’

Answers on a postcard please!

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Thoughts are like seeds that grow in your mind

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I don’t know about you but I have been brought up to be self sufficient. Currently it kills me to be reliantly on others, waiting for phone calls to work in the rat race so that I have the funds to be creative. I was going to entitle this ‘spinning plates’ as I feel that’s what I am trying to do.

I want to do so much and there is not enough time, or money, to do all the things I want. I have exciting plans and yet know that there are some ‘shoulds’ that I have to do first before I can surround myself with loads of happiness and be creative.

I haven’t always felt like this. I have had jobs with lots of money and yet haven’t had the strength or motivation to do anything due to unhappiness and ill health. When I took the decision to leave a well paid job, I knew it was absolutely necessary for my life! I will never regret making that decision. Today I have a good life and I love it but unfortunately I carry with me that financial insecurity of my childhood which can tarnish my view today.

Why is it that the only negative in my life is often at the forefront? When I look at the reality of my life, I have everything I need. Thankfully I know that these feelings are fleeting and when I start to work on my creative tasks I get lost. The plates spin by themselves and all is well. When I concentrate on only one aspect of my  life, quite often it can become immense and impossible to control. It grows like a huge beast over powering the positive and whitewashing hope. It loses all sense of proportion.

“Thoughts are like seeds that grow in your mind… once they take root and are given light they will flourish. It is up to you to chose whether they will be weeds or Flowers.” Kim Bayne

What I need to do is to keep everything in its right place and its right size. Count my blessing and focus on the positives in my life. I need to surround myself with flowers and bask in their beauty. Until next time X

 

Self indulgence

Had a brilliant day and it has finished as it started, with friends. It’s been a while since I have felt so self indulgent without the feeling of ‘shoulds’.

Today I wanted to spend time with new and old friends who make me feel good about me.

For many years I have held on to ‘friendships’ through obligation. When relationships had clearly run their course, (I see today) I would drag them on wringing out the very last drop. I would always be the rescuer as it gave me a purpose, and when I was no longer needed, I then became a victim who persecuted.

Today I spend time with people who, like me, have travelled the distance. People who have been to very dark places, but who have survived. Despite adversity, and probably because of it, the new and old friends have a greater understanding and compassion for themselves and others. We, together have bonds that are beautiful rather than the chains of obligation of previous years.

Self indulgence today is a gift, to truly allow yourself a day to just be. A day where you can eat cake without worrying about the scales or sit drinking tea knowing that whatever chores need doing, can wait until tomorrow.

What a blessing not to rush through life and to be able to witness the joys of animals or the colours of flowers. Doesn’t this self indulgence sound perfect? Well it is. Just for today.

A perfect day today, a reminder of what lies ahead in my journey from rat race to creativity.

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Adventure

This weeks Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘Adventure’.

Both pictures I’ve taken are of everyday life that I see daily. But these are special. How often do we underestimate what goes on in everyday life. The picture of these gents enjoying a morning stroll with their dogs. Who is having the adventure?

The second is of my dog who whilst watching over the last few days has been a blessing. Seeing his face light up when you pick up the lead ready for ‘walkies’. Every walk is an adventure. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to wake up with that sense of expectation and joy?

I certainly have a lot to learn about this word ‘adventure’ and maybe a change of perspective is in order. The adventure from Rat Race to Creativity should be seen as an adventure rather than finding it difficult to overcome the obstacles of fear.

Today, my pledge is to be ‘more dog’ and treat life as loose clothing, enjoy it for the adventure it’s meant to be.

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I finally have a voice that is mine. How brilliant is that?

It has been a busy time since I got back from holiday. Thank you for sticking with me and continuing to read. I have just read ways in which to increase my readers and thought I better keep you up to date on the creativity I have found since leaving the ‘rat race’.

Although I am just starting out as a professional Artist, I have sought confidence in asking to display my work, offering lower prices for items that will benefit my little ‘business’ and I keep venturing to try new things to see what works and what flops tremendously. I have started to re read ‘stuff work, lets play’ by John Williams and thank goodness my intravenous dose of personal development starts again tomorrow. I can not wait to gather with people who actually care about themselves and have the willingness to learn ways to develop themselves. I finally have a voice that is mine. How brilliant is that?

So I bid you goodnight and will leave you with some of my exhibited pieces. Please feel free to add comments as I am willing to learn today.

Lots of Love

Becky X

 

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