Do you find holidays a time of peace/stress/shopping/rest or somewhere in between all four?

Are you going to get the next holiday over before you set big goals about losing weight, giving up drinking, smoking, swearing, and taking up running, herbal tea and affirmations?

Are you feeling that in between all the shopping, cooking, working, caring and making sure everything that needs to be done is done….but there is something missing? Something you can’t quite put your finger on or are afraid to look too closely incase it might come out and it will be too big, too much, too hard to achieve?

Are, a secret, functioning creative?

If so, then welcome to the tribe, and know that there are a gazillion of us in it, of all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of aspirations and if you are reading this then I am guessing you are getting ready to come out.

All I ever wanted to do was write and paint.

Simples. So I did write a bit, got a few pieces published, won a few competitions and sold a few paintings. Even sold a design for a jeans label. Then I did just about everything else you could think of. Working in retail, as a tour guide, in a bar, a restaurant, travelled, learned a foreign language (greek to be precise), taught English as a foreign language then returned to Ireland to spend a very large part of my adult life working in the homeless sector and social care industry.  I dabbled in both writing and painting at the same time but was far too busy to do either in any great depth, despite having minor successes in both along the way.

Then I became a professional life coach, a mentor and a trainer of coaches.

So I could coach people to become artists and writers.

(Sound familiar?) I qualified to  train people to become coaches so they too could coach artists and writers. By all accounts I was a successful coach too, being featured on the Tern TV/BBC series The Last Resort as the consultant  coach and working with clients in Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany.

I had very little time to write or paint because I was so busy empowering people to write and paint, or whatever their dream creative goal was.

Along the way I discovered may inspirational books including Julia Cameron’s seminal book The Artist’s Way. Another career change followed by a couple of bucket list achievements  including opening a second hand bookshop and a return to education in Trinity College Dublin to do a B.A. Hons in Irish Studies, I was now writing at a rate of knots; essays, dissertations, summaries whilst selling other people’s books, who had no doubt being coached by someone to be a writer or an artist.

A second book shop and a growing facilitation and training business followed until finally,  by chance, and it is usually how these things happen, a conversation with two customers gave me an opportunity and/or the courage to put on a course that was not predetermined by a brief, nor a request from a company or organisation, but based on the 12 week program that I had been using consistently throughout my 30 year “career”.

The first Artist’s Way course took place in The Scarecrow Book & Gift Emporium in Sonairte, (www.sonairte.ie) in Julianstown, Co. Meath in May of 2016. What happened next took me by surprise in a big way…the second and third course filled up and by the end of this year there has been five successful courses with another three booked for 2017. Although we started out with the 12 step program, all the tips, tools and exercises I had come across and developed over the years became an integral part of each session, as did a make and do section, and of course, plenty of tea, coffee and a fair amount of biscuits.

Having trained under Dr. Madan Kateria (www.laughteryoga.org) as a laughologist  somewhere along the line, (I know!) it seemed a great fit to put on laughter workshops to complement the groups, so we did. A one day workshop “Life Lessons from Fairy Tales” came out of an interest in how things really affect us empathically and “Heal Your Money Story” is now also part of the 2017 program and was developed out of an interest in how some people are successful with money and how their skill set and approach to money is from a lot of others.

So now I am writing and painting and working with people who want to write or paint or sing or make stuff. So if you are reading this blog and have an itchy scratchy feeling that there might be something more out there for you than you are doing at the moment, join us here on Creatively Thinking and meet like minded individuals, get inspired to get creative and recover the things you did that made you lose track of time when you were a child. All courses start in late January when the Christmas pud will be a distant memory and nature will be starting to make stuff every where we look! 🙂

And for today…do One Little Thing...

A stick figure, a doodle, a four line rhyme, an apple pie, just make a start and if you think you are too old check out Debra Eve’s Later Bloomers here  at  www.laterbloomer.com, the woman is a treasure trove of inspiration!