WHY I GOT MY DEGREE BUT I DIDN'T CHASE A 'CAREER'

WHY I GOT MY CAREER BUT DIDN'T CHASE A CAREER

This is my story and the message I want to give is this - Never shrink your goals and dreams to fit someone else’s comfort zone.

Confession Time.
I didn’t go to uni to get a degree and have an ‘amazing’ career.
This is the real reason.

I grew up on a tiny little island. Not a tropical one, just a little rock north of France.
Its beautiful there. I had a great childhood.

But around about 16/17 years old I realised I didn’t fit. There were too many people. Too many small minded people. It was a safe bet. I could see my future mapped out there. Leave school. Go work in a bank. Hate it. Get married. Have kids. Hate it. Ok, maybe not hate, but I knew that wasn’t for me.

I craved something bigger. Something more. I knew I needed to get off that rock. And experience life (and the world) on my own. I knew there was more for me than working in a bank. So in 2001 I squeezed my (super-supportive) parents goodbye, hopped on a plane and left that tiny rock behind. And spent the next four years studying Textile Design at Uni.

But really I was studying life. I spent every break on a mini adventure. Visited all the nearby cities and art galleries. I spent the summer holidays backpacking abroad. I met people from all over the world. And soaked in their stories They taught me things I had never heard of.

I read books about self development instead of textile design, I was art journaling instead of writing essays. And everytime I visited home. I realised I had outgrown it a little bit more. I was winning.

I met up with my two best friends, one was working...in a bank. The other had a baby. We weren’t really aligned as friends anymore. They didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand them. The said I should come back home. Family members kept asking me that my ‘plan’ was, they told me to think about my future, that I couldn’t ‘keep doing this forever’, to grow up and settle down. I questioned myself for a little bit. Should I be settling down? Should I get a ‘proper’ job? My grandmother certainly thought so.

But I kept thinking, for what? For who? No, I wasn’t ready yet.

That wasn’t my path. I wasn’t going to shrink my goals to fit someone else’s comfort zone. I wasn’t going to deny my truth to fit the timeline that society created for us. I finished uni and spent the summer teaching foreign exchange students. I loved it. I went back to uni the next year with a clearer focus. I studied teaching. But I couldn’t work in a school. I didn’t fit. I needed more.

I studied and taught in Peru. I went to Cambodia, I taught english and textiles to women who were Polio and Landmine survivors so that they could work and support themselves. I still craved these experiences that had more depth, more meaning, more impact.

This way of living filled me up.
It wasn’t the ‘right’ way to do things.
But it was the right way for me. It was aligned with my truth. And without all of those experiences I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t know with certainty that helping others though Creative Heart Healer is exactly what I should be doing. It all led me here.

I am glad I went to uni and that I’ve never had a ‘career’.

Never shrink your goals and dreams to fit someone else’s comfort zone. 

If you are feeling like you are not where you supposed to be. Start exploring. Life. Take the time to figure out where you do want to be. The answer isn't always obvious. Or right in front of you. It takes exploration and being open to where it leads. Remember this. Education is not just school or uni. Education can also be a conference, an online course, mentorships, podcasts, new experience, travel.

You can take in education in so many ways. You don't have to fit into the boxes. 

“Where do I schedule myself in?”

THE SELF CARE ASSESSMENT

 I hear you, asking “Where do I schedule myself in?” I get it. Your super busy. You want ‘me’ time. You know you need it. You crave it in fact.

But there is just not enough time.

Where on earth do your schedule yourself in? Before work? After? What about the husband? Kids? And chores? Hobbies? Cooking dinner? Alone time with your humans? Who’s gonna walk the dog!?

So you end up not scheduling yourself in at all.

YOU are at the bottom of your own to do list.

Scrap that. You’ve fallen of it all together.

Who’s got time for self care, self love and journaling when there is so much to juggle?

The real question is, how can you afford NOT to schedule in time for yourself?

When you’re worn out, run down, burnt out and at breaking point, who is going to step in and take care of everything? Ermmm.....It’s still going to be you. 

How can you care for these people with all of your being, when all of your being has been squashed flat?

It’s SO important to look after yourself. To be the best version of you so that you can support the people you love to the best of your ability.

The only way to ensure you have time for yourself is to make it.

Find it. Make it. Schedule it in. Stick to your schedule.

It doesn’t matter where, when or how it fits in to your schedule. It just has to be there.

If it means waking up twenty minutes earlier, do it.

If it means sacrificing XZY once a week, do it.

If it means asking for help, do it.

Your future self will thank you for doing this now.

Don’t wait until you’re squashed flat. Prioritise yourself now.

Be proactive not reactive when it comes to self care.

I encourage you to take The Self Care Assessment - it can be a big wake up call to see where you are investing your energy and where there are gaps to be filled.

. Hit reply and tell me if there are any areas where you scored lower or higher than expected? Are you surprised with your answers? Is there anything you might start to change as a result of the assessment?

STOP PEOPLE PLEASING. IT IS NOT ADMIRABLE.

STOP PEOPLE PLEASING

People pleasing impacts on your self care and health BIG TIME. (free preview of AYHO below!)

I have a confession to make.

I used to be one of those people. You know, a people pleaser.

I always said yes. I wanted to help people. People relied on me. I didn’t want to let them down. That's a good thing right?

Wrong.

People pleasing impacts on your self care and health BIG TIME.

Now I know that finding time and making space for me and my journaling is THE most important thing I can do.

I learnt that lesson the long way. About ten years ago I was feeling burnt out, run down, juggling too many things, I had recently moved house, I was supporting family members through a difficult time while trying to deal with the breakdown of a long term relationship, Everyday I could feel my needs getting squeezed out, yet still I said yes, yes, yes whenever anyone asked anything of me.

I continuously put other people’s needs before my own thinking this was the ‘compassionate human’ thing to do, or I made excuses that left me feeling guilty about it afterwards.

Why? Because I was afraid of confrontation.

Why was I afraid of confrontation? Because I wasn’t in tune with the reason I wanted to/needed to say no.

Eventually I couldn’t keep it up. I had to get away. I went all the way to Peru to figure this stuff out! I spent two months there, teaching, avidly journaling, hiking through the Amazon jungle and climbing to the top of the world at Machu Picchu .

The mindset work I did with myself in my art journal (without really realising) in this time was a game changer for me.

I returned back home with a sense of purpose, direction. I knew what I wanted, what my heart needed. I knew what to say yes to and when to say no. I felt a calm, inner confidence. I had compassion for myself like never before. Things just made more sense. I had clarity.

I KNEW that I needed to take care of me, prioritise myself, make space for me each day if I wanted to support others to the best of my ability.

I have kept this practice going, I check in with myself often. If saying yes is not in align with my core values I say no (I teach you how to discover your core values in AYHO and how to make decisions that support them and goals that align with them)

I get to live my life on purpose now.

I find time and make space for my journaling. I schedule it in. Without guilt.

I am living more from intention and less from habit.

Living. Not existing.

I am pleasing myself as much as pleasing other people. And it is not selfish. It is called self care.

Nothing is stopping you from living life on purpose too. Except of course yourself and your current mindset.

One of the biggest mindset blocks I have experienced as a coach is that people believe they do not have time or space for creativity. It is possible to find time and to make space.

It all starts there.

So, to save you from travelling all the way to Peru, I put everything I know about mindset shifting and art journaling into my course Art YOUR Heart Out. I so passionate about the importance of this so I am offering you the chance to preview Module One (which teaches you how to find time and make space!)

THE SELF DOUBT DETOX

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Rid yourself of the toxic self talk that stops you from making a decision. Decisions that stop you living your best life. 

Turn your indecision, confusion and fear into clarity, certainty and confidence (plus a free 5 step plan to 'doubt' your self doubt below)

Do you feel like you are constantly second guessing your own decisions?

Are you always defending yourself and your choices to other people?

Do you worry that you just can't handle change and challenges? 

Do you waste hours comparing yourself to other people?

Are you convinced you will never amount to anything?

Every SINGLE time life asks you to make a decision, the inner battle begins.

The over-thinking and over-analyzing. You HAVE to scrutinize EVERY. LITTLE. THING. before you make a move. You NEED to know how everything is going to work out. 

The fear is real. The self doubt is strong. It's all too hard and overwhelming. You don't make a decision and you stay in that stuck place. 

Indecision is safe. I get it. You're doing your best. You're surviving.

But wouldn't you rather be thriving?

It's time to take back control, ditch self doubt, stand up for yourself and make a damn decision.

The Self Doubt Detox is a 14 day online course to help you do just that. 

Are you in?

Get your Free 5 Day Doubt Self Doubt Plan when you join the wait list.

CREATIVE SELF CARE : A 'HOW TO' WORKBOOK

creative self care a how to workbook

Transform yourself from clueless self care seeker to enlightened, action taking self care giver.

For the ones who are ready to do it differently.

For the ones who are sick of the soulless self care solutions that plague the internet and feel like just 'another thing to do'. For the brave. For the creatively courageous. The caregivers with the big hearts and the overwhelmed with the broken hearts.

For the ones who are ready to say no to the quick fix and a wholehearted yes to the magic of the creative thinking.

For the guilt ridden, people pleasing pushovers who can't say no. For the ones who are tired of being swept along and want to start living on purpose.

For the curious.

For the pretty Pinterest quote collectors craving real change. For the ones at the bottom of their own to do list. The chaos jugglers.

The ones who want more, but don't know what 'it' is.

THIS. This is for the ones who are ready to shake apart their old world.

Because your current self care practice doesn't seem to be working for you now and I can guarantee it won't start magically working for you in the future.

THIS IS FOR YOU. 

ART IS LONG AND LIFE IS SHORT [SO WHY DO WE COMPARE OURSELVES TO OTHERS]

art is long and life is short so why do we compare ourselves to others

“...Pick up this colour, put this little circle of paint here, write this over the top with this stencil…”

Is it just me or does nearly everyone have the same STYLE in their art journals at the moment? Same colours, supplies, stencils (Urgh! I despise stencils) same lettering...and on and on I go.

It really rattles my cage and actually saddens me when I see artwork and journal pages that are carbon copies of another.

Don’t get me wrong I think it’s great that there are so many tutorials online now and that art and creativity has become popular and more accessible BUT wouldn’t it be EVEN BETTER if you could learn how to take these techniques and infuse YOU into them. If they weren’t just step by step tutorials but encouraged you to play in the process of creating, to break the rules and weave YOUR story into your pages?

I believe that there are two approaches to making art and art journaling.

1. You can make it to look pretty, to get validation or praise from others

OR

2. you can make art for you, for the process, to release and to untangle your truths and explore and take risks….

 

It’s a no brainer to me.

Because art is long and life is short. Your art journals will be around a long time after you’re gone; imagine future generations flicking through those pages one day, imagine if they told your story, exposed snippets of your hopes and dreams, what if they could read your nuggets of wisdom, how special that could be.  

Life is too short to copy others; connect with yourself, forge your own path, tell your own story. I urge you to play in your journal, take risks and make mistakes, discover your own style along the way.

I remember when I first started art college my tutor asked me, what would you do if you left your sketchbook on the bus? My reply was something along the lines of, oh just call the bus company and see if they have it or buy a new one. It was no big deal, I just had some drawings in there that ‘I had to do for my course’. Fast forward to 6 months later and I was starting to find my way, my sketchbook held everything important to me. Things I’d collected, notes to myself about ideas to explore, they were fat and bursting at the seams, I was squeezing so much in because I didn’t want to start a new one. I was attached to THIS book. My tutor picked it up one day and asked me again how I’d feel if I left it on the bus one day - I’d be devastated!

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That book was a part of me. I wasn’t just learning new skills and techniques for the sake of it, I wasn’t just creating art for the sake of creating art, I was learning and growing in the process. I realised then that I was documenting my life and making sense of it as it unfolded.

And THAT IS THE VALUE of true art journaling.

I urge you to STOP COMPARING your art to anyone else.

I urge you to SAY NO to pretty spreads.

I urge you to BIN THE STENCILS

I urge you to RESIST being a copycat

I urge you to make your art journal an extension of YOUR LIFE.

In both art and everyday life, stop comparing yourself to others - be a voice not an echo.

where can you lay down your life as it unfolds?

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Life is busy and life is messy. I know you wish you could just get it together. But how?

with the help of my FREE COURSE: GET CREATIVE AND HEAL YOUR HEART - how to find time and make space for creative self care.

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You are balancing so much; the appointments, the shopping lists, the to-do lists, the cards to send...

You are carrying so many heavy things; the worry, the questions, the goals and the tangled ache...

WHERE DO YOU LAY IT ALL DOWN?

WOULDN'T IT BE AMAZING IF YOU COULD FIND SPACE FOR IT ALL, IF CREATIVITY COULD BECOME YOUR SELF CARE TOOL. IMAGINE IF YOU COULD FIND THE TIME TO GET MESSY AND CREATIVE WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY ABOUT IT.

This course will teach you why and how to make creative self care a priority - guilt free, stress free and cost free.

This 5 day course covers:

  1. Why creative self care is important to your well being
  2. Shifting your mindset to identify your self care needs
  3. The 3 biggest mistakes people make in their art and creativity adventures
  4. Crafting a creative nook at home and writing your own mantra
  5. How to build and nurture a creative self care habit (even though you're super busy!)

This is for YOU if are a complete creative beginner or newbie self care seeker and want to dip your toes into the world of art and creativity, find out what its all about and open yourself up to the soul medicine of creativity.

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This is self-care re-imagined. If you're ready to get creative and start healing your heart with art, hit that button below to enrol in this FREE COURSE.

TRUST IN YOUR BONES (TURN SELF LIMITING BELIEFS INTO BRAVE WISDOM)

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New workshop! To teach you how to create your own Box of Brave by learning to turn your self limiting beliefs into nuggets of brave wisdom.

Look out below for an audio file excerpt from the Trust in Your Bones workshop!

This is one of my most favourite creations, and  I want to tell you a bit of the back story, I think you will find it as inspiring as the tutorial itself. 

About 8 years ago my family went through a bit of a tough time. We all 'handled' the situation in our own way. My Dad cut himself off, my middle sister threw herself into her work, my younger sister found support in her friends, I went to Cambodia volunteering and my Mum, well she soldiered on and supported us all through our heartache and her own.

 

She has always been the constant of our family. She is always there no matter what, she will always put our needs before her own. She is Mum. But it was around this time that she started to remember that this is not all she is. She started to remember her big dreams, she spoke to me often about wishing she was brave enough to travel the world too, or brave enough to try this and that. But amid the Mum life and the globs of chaos she had forgotten how. Forgotten why. Lost sight of her deepest needs and inner truths. She was stuck somewhere in between.

It was her that inspired me to make The Box of Brave. I packed it full of love, strength and bravery. My goal was to remind her that she IS that brave being she wants to be, that she has the strength inside herself to make bold decisions, to take wild adventures and to live the kind of life she wants to live. 

It has become both a reminder and a reassurance to her. A comfort. She tells me it is one of her most treasured possessions (don't all Mum's say that about their kids creations though!) Sometimes she will pick a notelet and carry it in her pocket as a sort of mantra for the day. Other times she will carry the whole box in her handbag or leave it sat on her desk at work. I never imagined it would become as valuable to her as it has - as I now live on the other side of the world and we can't always have a chat or hug whenever we feel like, it makes my heart happy that she turns to her box of brave instead.

I have taken this idea one step further an combined the creative art project with a creative thinking exercise that will support you in overcoming self limiting beliefs and turn them into nuggets of wisdom, to fill the box of brave with.  

By flipping your self limiting beliefs over into reassuring more positive beliefs you open your brain up to new possibility. The possibility of other options, of other outcomes. If you focus on the negative, you will only see the negative options. If you focus on the positive you will look for more positive alternatives. This isn't just pie in the sky wishful thinking. Its about allowing yourself to SEE WHATS POSSIBLE. Learn how you can flip your self limiting beliefs in the workshop:

TRUST IN YOUR BONES WORKSHOP

Learn how to overcome your self limiting beliefs and trust the faith within. Create a precious box full of little nuggets of your own heart's wisdom to support you in times of doubt. You will learn how to:

  • Discover your self limiting beliefs
  • Flip them into reassuring words of brave wisdom
  • Create your own box of brave

The workshop consists of an audio file and a step by step PDF.

Currently only available as part of a bundle when you get CREATIVE SELF CARE : A 'HOW TO' WORKBOOK

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3 SUPPLIES MYTHS [THAT STOP YOU GETTING CREATIVE]

I'm going to take a bet that you fall into one of these two categories: #1 - you have zero supplies and feel completely overwhelmed with what you need to just get started #2 - you have so many art supplies and don't know how to use them all.

sound familiar? Both of those categories hold you completely stuck. the preconceptions we have about the supplies we need to get messy and get creative often make us fall at the first hurdle and prevent us from actually ever getting started.

Here are three big myths that I want you to keep in mind when you are next gathering your supplies.

1. *EXPENSIVE IS BEST* You do not need the most expensive supplies. Especially if you are a beginner. Expensive supplies can give us immediate paralysis because we are too scared to use them in case we 'muck it up' and waste our money. Our nice expensive paints just sit in the art box never getting used. Cheaper supplies give us permission to wreck them! To really push and see what they can do and have fun doing it.

2. *THE MORE YOU HAVE THE BETTER* Not true. If you already have a lot of supplies you will probably be familiar with the paradox of choice creeping in - stopping you from actually getting started. So keep things simple, fight the urge to buy everything at once. When you are ready to sit down and get creative, limit yourself to just two or three different supplies to stop the overwhelm. 

3. *YOU NEED ALL THE COLOURS IN THE BOX* More becomes less pretty quickly. Sometimes its best to start with just three colours and a white - its very easy to make MUD with more! You can create just as good pages with 8 oil pastels or paint as you could if you had a box of 24 - true story!

HOW TO CRAFT A CREATIVE NOOK AT HOME [WITH VERY LITTLE TIME AND SPACE]

If you're frustrated that you never seem to have the time for YOU and YOUR CREATIVE OUTLET, if your art supplies are left unused waiting for you to find the time to use them, then the chances are you will still be stuck and feeling overwhelmed until you do this one thing. Craft a creative nook at home. I challenge you to do this today (with help from the free CREATIVE NOOK CHECKLIST!).

WHY is having a creative nook so important?

One of the things that holds up back from exploring our creativity is the 'excuse' that we just don't have the time and space to do it. 

While this is often true there are steps you can take to make your creative time more accessible. The first step is to craft your own creative nook at home.

By doing this you are immediately freeing up future time to be messy and get creative, you are removing the excuse that you do not have time by ensuring that everything is set up and ready to go. At ANY time!

Easy access to quick creating = happy heart.

Having a creative nook that you can just sit in each day can inspire and motivate you - just because it exists!

But more than that, a creative nook is an invitation. Having your art supplies within reach, or having your art journal open on the desk, is hard to resist. With this set up quick creating is super easy, you don't need longer than 10 minutes to splash on a few backgrounds, to doodle a few lines and marks, to jot down some thoughts. You can work in layers -just a few minutes here and there - over a period of days or weeks, you will be surprised by what you can achieve in small snippets of time. 

Crafting a creative nook is the easiest way TO MAKE TIME FOR ART AND CREATIVITY.

Your creative nook does not have to be a dedicated art room, or take days to set up, it can be as simple as a corner of your living room or kitchen with a small desk/table, a box of supplies that can be stored underneath and an old bed sheet to cover the floor with. Have a look at my Pinterest board for some inspiration >>

TAKE ACTION:

- Get inspired

- Grab your art stash

- Download the checklist >>

- Start to craft YOUR creative nook today. 

WHAT IS ART JOURNALING?

Whether you want to call it an art journal, visual diary, sketchbook, daily journal, they are all one of the same. I like to think of my art journal as a vessel to contain those parts that spill over the edges of life and often get lost in the busy and the chaos.

an art journal is the perfect vessel to contain it all. 

Over time your art journal becomes a safe place and a guiding post. A place to explore, to take risks, a place where the creative and the emotional sides of you collide with beautiful results.

I choose to use my art journal as a place to collect and to record life as it happens. It can contain paintings, photos, scribbles, poems, magazine cutouts, mixed media collage, fabric scraps, trinkets. 

If there is one thing I want you to know about art journaling it is this THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO ART JOURNAL.

Please don't put pressure on yourself to create the perfect journal, it is always a work in progress. It is much more about the process and what you feel and experience during it than the end result.

I truly believe that creativity is the most personal and honest remedy to the inner and outer chaos we come across at unexpected times in our life. And that self care lives in the layers of paint and mark making.

There are hidden benefits that emerge from an art journaling practice and these are the self care and wellbeing elements that are tricky to pinpoint but are always underlying.

The process of creating allows you to push your boundaries and take risks in a safe place, you learn so much about your story and your needs that you learn to look at yourself with kind eyes. Through making mistakes and experimenting with new techniques comes the skill of surrendering control and learning that you can’t always control the outcome. The best part is that they become your memory keepers in a way that nothing else can because throughout the journey it encourages you to look deeper into the world around you, trying to find all the beauty you can to document.

In my course Art YOUR Heart Out: Art Journaling as a self care tool, we dive much deeper into this topic. If you want to learn more and get on the wait list for enrolment (as well as be in line for free training and goodies) you can do that now.