Posts Tagged 'creativity'

Sparkle…

Many moons ago, when my daughter was in Sixth Form, the lady heading up the careers section at school called me. ‘We’ve got a evening planned for the girls Jane, where we’re helping them with their CVs and offering careers advice. Could you come along and help?’ I popped it into my diary without a thought and carried on with my day.

Ignorance is bliss.

I arrived at the school that evening and found my way to Ann, who was busy directing everyone to their seats and she pointed to mine. The event was being held in the main hall, which was imposing at the best of times, and she had highlighted a chair at the end of a semi circle of fifteen seats, which had been placed in front of many rows fast filling up with expectant pupils.

‘What is that?’ I enquired.

‘It’s for the panel of speakers, Jane.’

I gulped. ‘Speakers, what speakers?’

‘Well’ she smiled (yes, really) ‘you all give a short ten minute speech and then we reconvene in the library and the girls choose who they want to have a longer session with.’

It was a bit late in the day to suddenly be asking questions, so I went and sat down, silently praying for help.

I found myself seated to a lovely professor from a local University and we introduced ourselves and smiled at others on the panel. The evening started and the first speaker stood up and did his bit. It didn’t take a degree in rocket science to work out that each speaker was an expert in the fields of careers, human relations, marketing and public relations. I wasn’t and I was the last one in the row.

During a brief pause, I mentioned this to the new friend seated beside me. He confidently predicted that every single aspect of career advice would have been covered by the time they got to us.

‘What are you going to talk about?’ I squeaked at him.

‘I am going to fall back on being a professor and my chosen subject at University’ he grinned back at me.

‘It’s surprising how fast you can go off some people’ I hissed back at him, with a smile.

‘I’ll buy a coffee in the break’ he whispered.

So, like a bush fire out of control, it fast came to be my turn to speak and I remember that moment as if it was yesterday.

I stood up and looked along the rows at all the girls and smiled at them. Then I started to walk along slowly at the front and as I talked my hands wove expressions of their own. I spoke about inner sparkle and how each of them was unique. How they all have inner energy and they just needed to find the places where it could fly free. Testing, discovering, honing and learning to trust their own instincts as they went along. There was no such thing as mistakes, it was all about discovery. Honouring themselves and the sparkles they flew with along the way.

I spent time afterwards talking to some of them individually; about their hopes and dreams, supporting those who had no idea what their inner sparkle was yet and about the expectations being placed on them and how to weave in and around those. There were many shared hugs that night.

I was reminded about feeling our inner sparkle today, as I was nattering to a blogging friend in America about taking chances. Yesterday evening, us girls gathered for an Aqua Zumba session at the pool and as the ladies were gracefully lowering themselves into the water, a special buddy looked at me and winked.

‘I’m dive bombing in’ she said and launched herself in at the deep end.

I hesitated for a second and then took off after her. As we surfaced spluttering and creased with laughter, our inner sparkles called out in delight.

Note to selves: stop talking and close mouths before entering the water!

Community love at Kollektiv….

Carla at Kollektiv

This week at the craft group, I met Carla and her buddy Rachel, as they dropped in to introduce themselves.

Carla has started a community hub and shop on Seabank Road in Wallasey, just up the road from where I live. It’s a community interest company (CIC), not for profit, and she is selling bespoke quirky furniture and arty home furnishings. All made by local artists and from locally sourced materials.

Her plan is to ‘yarn bomb’ trees and lampposts from Vale Park up to Seabank Road. There is a collection of unique shops up there and visitors are unaware, as they visit the promenade and park, of the treasure trove just a few streets away.

I popped in to see her yesterday lunchtime and I struggled to tear myself away.

Kollektiv is filled with a host of creativity and hope. It’s a loving energy that comes from Carla and wraps around everything. From the way all the creations are displayed, to the light spilling in across the floorboards that have been sanded and decorated with different rose patterns.

Chairs have been placed outside and different planters of painted buckets and wellies are filled with bright summery flowers, alongside water bowls for visiting dogs. Andy, next door’s antique and second hand furniture dealer, was sitting there drinking a cup of tea and sharing some of their cake. One of his re-vamped chest of drawers was displayed in Kollektiv’s window display. People were stopping to talk to Carla and share what they create and to ask how things were going. She is so natural with them all, that this is way more than just a shop.

I commented to Andy that he will flourish with the nurture from next door and his answering grin said it all.

Go Carla, as all are going to benefit from your loving spirit. ❤

A day’s freshness…

Tip toeing through the stillness of the house, I observed the sunrise from our ‘garden in the sky’.

Unplanned this weekend, my lovely young neighbour (who lives on the same floor as me) and I sat on a shared blanket outside on the flat roof and knitted together. She is gracefully flowing through on some life changes, as am I, and our conversation weaved in and out with the yarns we were using. At one stage she looked at me and said:

‘Gosh, look how my scarf is growing as we talk. While my hands are busy, my thoughts are coming out whole.’

We shared ideas and plans and after we’d both finished work yesterday, we carried on as she tested out my new sofa arrangement. I am sure our gentle murmurings and shared laughter drifted downstairs.

I did something on Saturday night that put a foot back in the past temporarily and that called for loving dollops of self forgiveness. Then yesterday I wrapped my addled brain around the GDPR implementations (European data privacy) needed for my blog and web site and researched a new software platform for my work. All flowing changes and also, sparks for memories of things and connections that have been tried and left in the past.

Us girls talked about how we are coping with our changes, how things are unfolding and we both become aware of something that underpinned all we were sharing. We change our clothes every day, yet the cloak of emotions we carry can stay the same.

We both let a little fresh air into our cloaks this weekend and I feel lighter this morning. ❤

Sparks in the gloom…

Life has flowed with a few challenges lately and I've been left gasping for air at times.

I lay there in the middle of one sleepless night and simply did not know what to do to soothe myself. My wisdom said 'Stay still and do nothing.' Then I sensed a lovely dog in spirit on the bed beside me and felt my Gran and her Mum, my Great Gran, close by my side. A feeling of calm settled in and I could let the feelings I had be, just as they were. Breathing in the experiences, breathing out the feelings.

I needed unconditional love, so the next day I asked my heart family if I could borrow their lovely boy, Boris, the German Shepherd. 'Absolutely' was their swift reply and he's coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. ❤

That sparked another idea and I ordered insurance, new wellies and some marketing postcards. Say 'Hello' to Jane's Dog Walking Service. My old flowery wellies have done two years sterling work, so I took my new ones out at lunchtime today and christened them in the sea. I also found some more sea glass and treasure to add to my collection.

My heritage is rich with hand crafts, so it is no surprise that I turn to that for comfort again and again. My lovely buddy Pam and I set off on Friday to a local art gallery, as they were running a Creative Think Tank, with taster sessions on all sorts of crafts being showcased. I had it in my head that I would finally get to have a go at wood carving, which has been a long held dream, and willow basket weaving. You just know this didn’t go to plan don’t you? We had a great time and saw all sorts of wonderful things, while discovering that the basket weaving and wood carving courses were out of our financial reach right now. Then the unexpected happened. I had made a connection with one of the receptionists when we arrived and he was looking after everyone by keeping the whole event flowing. Pam was absorbed trying out a Viking weaving loom and having a great time. I glanced up and Mark came over and said ‘There’s more going on in other rooms Jane, can I show you?’ So off we went and I found myself at a table where a lovely lady was demonstrating rug making with re-cycled materials. I took a seat and Alison let me have a go weaving strips of old t-shirts into hessian and I was right there, in the moment. She showed me what materials to try and what to back the rugs with. The edging stitch that holds it all together is new to me, but my Granny said in my head ‘I can show you that Jane’. I’d discovered a new joy. As I sat at home later, knitting, my creative sparks started to fly. I have been a painter since I can remember when and for the last few years it has stopped ‘talking’ to me. With the rug making I can chalk and ink my design on the hessian and by hooking in re-cycled materials, there is more leeway. It doesn’t have to be precise and as the freedom of this sunk in, well I am sure my heart singing could be heard far and wide.

It’s been dark and raining like ‘billy-ho’ today and then just as I finished my new wellie walk, the sky brightened and the clouds looked as if they had been brushed on the blue.

Just being…

The bulbs I planted up in my Granny’s tea set went over and I replaced them at the weekend with pale pink primroses; the label said Woodland Vale. I walked into the bathroom yesterday and there a delicate scent in the air and they looked happy in their space.

It has been very windy, with snow falling recently and I have been sitting sharing with clients over the phone, watching the sea gulls riding the thermals. At times it’s been so blustery out there that they have been suspended in the sky. A right royal squabble between them drew me from sleep early this morning and as I opened the curtains they took off to ride the wind again.

Lately I have been finding my flow in our local fitness centre. A bouncy playlist is vital for the treadmill and other muscle building equipment, as I have discovered it’s not the place to meditate. Yoga was a tad unsettling as I found myself in an advanced class and the youthful teacher came over halfway through and asked ‘Have you got an injury dear?’ Words did not fail me and I left her class early. My newfound gym buddies suggested I try other yoga teachers, as there are four classes running there. I am still pondering on that one. Aqua Zumba is so much fun, it’s by far and away my favourite activity so far.

I have also discovered new creative workshops locally and am happily signing up to take part in those.

It’s been a tough time as sharp change blew through. I have just let myself be and nurtured a loving space to be in. Sparks are starting to appear and it’s proving interesting to follow them and explore. ❤

Creative comforts….

Work is challenging at this time of year and a few days ago I found myself needing comfort from a change of scene at midday. I took off in the car and made my way to a haberdashery store in Birkenhead. Ohhh, the bliss of standing there amidst all the materials, ribbons and yarns and new choices to be made. I came away with an uplifted heart and a bag of lovely soft wool to make Georgie’s next jumper.

Often I find myself suggesting to clients that they find comfort in creativity. They often cry out ‘But I am not creative Jane’. I gently point out that we all create with our days, spaces, meals, communications and actions. The simple act of tidying a drawer, sorting some clothes, organising a space, re-arranging a shelf or even a room can bring comfort. It’s all creativity. We can also be creative with writing, painting, sticking, colouring or making something.

I was blessed to be surrounded by loving, creative women as I grew up and my Mum, both my Grannies and my Great Granny taught my sister and I all the handcrafts. What gifts they bestowed along with rich memories.

There was a lovely blog post recently from Natalie Wordless Wednesday… as she shared the quilts she and her sister were creating. It reminded me of the creative ‘sharings’ with my Mum, my buddy Pam in South Africa, my sister Debs, the knitting girls, Kirsten, lovely Em in New Zealand, special Penn, Nancy downstairs, my sailing buddy Wendy and so many more. All linked by our stories and sharing what we are creating; all linked by loving comfort. ❤

Gifts of grace…..

A sky of milky glass as the tide arrives with a respectful hush and in silence life flows with shafts of sparkling light.

Deep gratitude felt for stillness and the graceful gift of vulnerability, as light shining through the cracks creates space for creativty and change.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops – at all” Emily Dickinson


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