Category Archives: Self belief

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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Disheartened

Well I’ve finished my 2nd craft fair and I must say I have come back totally demoralised. I’ve received comments such as ….. ‘Treat it as an experience,’ ‘the trouble is you have too much of YOU invested in your work’ or ‘different meat for different stalls’ but I can’t help but feel disheartened.

It’s not that I don’t believe in my work, but that I am still trying to find the angle to pursue or avenue to take as a long term pursuit. I’m not looking for sympathy or consolation, I’m not really sure what I need to make me feel better but I am going to do what I usually do and that is rest, recharge and reassess. Sometimes I just need to sit and think, reflect and trust. It’s the trust part that I find very difficult. But that’s another post!

Thanks for reading. Hugs and love xxxx20141018-234411-85451713.jpg

An extra hour to your day!

Good news — another hour has just been added to every 24-hour day (don’t ask us how. We have powers). How do you use those extra sixty minutes?

Wow, how many times have I wanted to fit more into a day, what would I do? To be honest, I would commit myself to a daily blog rather than just random posts. I would take time to learn from experiences bloggers and try to make my blog interesting, visual and find ways to get people to interact.

I read many blogs and follow ones that resonate with me and I would love to be as engaging as they are.

For example I received a comment on my post ‘Goodnight Shirley’ from Storyshucker. I was privileged then to start following him after reading ‘write it for her anyway’ I have also become a regular follower of Leanne Cole Photography and have had some of my photographs featured in her fabulous weekly posts for Monochrome Madness. Through this blog I have been introduced to photographers that I would never have known before and been encouraged to venture into new creativity with my camera.

As a newcomer to the world of blogging both of these experiences have encouraged me. However with that extra hour I would learn all about pingbacks, learn more about what helps to engage others and enjoy the experience rather than worrying if anyone is reading my blog, or asking myself such questions as; are they interested? Have I said too much? Was that post too negative? Too confusing? Too vague?

Or maybe I would just sleep that extra hour as I’m exhausted from questioning my every word. It would be lovely wouldn’t it?

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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.

‘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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MM30 – Monochrome Madness 30

It’s nice to be a part of such a talent of photographers and being featured amongst the impressive work of Leanne Cole. Not long ago I would neve have considered daring to send my photos to anyone but the excitement to know whether or not you have taken a striking picture that claims it’s space on the blog is too much not to be part of. Leanne, as ever, gives honest feedback and inspired me to just keep on ‘keeping on’. Again a privilege to be featured and to see such beauty and perspective in the work of others. Thank you x

‘Love affair with your own b£&@!?£’

I heard this tonight and what a fabulous way to sum up the belief I can often have with some long held negative thoughts and opinions (bull£&@)) about myself. Quite often these beliefs are like a pair of old slippers, extremely comfortable, well worn and that, for some strange reason, I find reluctant to let go of.

Some beliefs are so ingrained that they have taken on the very steps I walk, the mannerisms I have and almost morph into me. Sometimes I don’t recognise the ‘bullshit’ and, quite often, believe wholeheartedly that what I tell myself, about myself, is the absolute truth. Thank God for perspective, for friends who can stop these thoughts simply by challenging their truths.

In ‘The four C’s’ I spoke about the four types of people I surround myself with today and I am grateful that these people give me a full and honest view of myself in ways that can be both positive and challenging.

I’m not saying I surround myself with people who pat me on the shoulder or continually stroke my ego, but people who care enough it give me the truth.

Another way it has been described recently is that you can surround yourself with so many different people and they are all staring at a beach ball. (Me) Each person has a different view point. Some see red and yellow, some blue and white but they are all seeing the same object/person.

The love affair with my own bull£&@ had to stop at some point. Running away from reality was not successful and it has been only by relying on the help of others that I have been able to start truly living.

A love affair can be something sordid or something truly beautiful. I want to dance through life wearing life like a loose garment, but before I can do that I need to take off the corset of self criticism/abuse or what was so aptly put tonight, bull&@£&. I need to untie the laces that have kept me from facing fears or trying new things and get rid of the limiting beliefs about not being good enough or that I was a ‘beautiful mistake’.

“Happiness is an inside job” said William Arthur Ward and I need to start feeding myself up on positivity and love for myself, from myself. Today I feel the happiest I’ve felt for a long time. A weekend that has been incredible and has shown the truth to me… I am good enough and that isn’t bull)&@&!

*I do not usually use bad language in my blog so please do not stop reading. This quote had to be used without being watered down. Sometimes it needs to be knocked in with a hammer rather than being stroked by a feather.

“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

Blue Flower 001

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