Hi everyone, how are you all doing?
Excited for Christmas with a relaxation on the rules? Or on a tailspin trying to work out your 3 families bubble? Well whilst you try and figure that all out, after the year we’ve had I want to talk about hope for the future, and what guises determine how that may pan out.
This is a last-minute decision, after various ponderings but then I noticed this was Blog post 88 and that sealed it for me. You see 8 is my lucky number; my anniversary is on the 8th, my little sister was born on the 8th, and the number 8 seems to follow me around a lot. Plus, I like the symmetry and infinity design of it, you could put a pencil on it and have hours of fun going round and round!
I’ve long been a believer of not only lucky numbers but also signs out there that the universe is watching and ready to hint when you least expect it. I know this sounds very ‘woo woo’ but from a young age I’ve had a strong sixth sense, and vivid dreams that have turned out to be true. And recently this has been playing out more in every-day situations, I’ll give you an example a few weeks ago, so you don’t think I’m going mad:
After a busy, stressful few weeks I talked about in my Blog 2 weeks ago, I was on my usual dog walk and selected a podcast to listen to at random from my library. It turned out to be Brene’ Browns ‘Unlocking Us’, the latest edition.
As I stomped about in the woods in my wellies, I was aware of feeling heavy and a bit rubbish. I’d started with some sinus pain that morning, and put it down to the previous horrible few weeks eventually catching up with me, as often does when you’re not longer in that, ‘Lets just get through this’, survival phase.
My mind was racing and running over the last few weeks, until I finally tuned into the seductive calming, authoratitive voice of the infamous Brene. She was interviewing Gabby Rivera, an Author, about many things, but a huge part of it was about her debut novel; ‘Juliet Takes A Breath’. When I heard the title, I literally took a sharp intake of breath.
Now the focus of the novel was not in anyway related to anything I was going through, but those words: ‘Juliet Takes A Breath’ were repeated over and over by both women throughout the interview. And it felt like a huge message. I sat on the bench in the woods and did just that, took a deep breath, feeling quite emotional if I’m honest, because I’d been so caught up in survival mode, yet again (i.e a fairly permanent state this year!), that it felt like a huge release, like I was now allowed to stop and take a breather, put the crap month behind me, and start again. Completely surreal, yet highly effective to say the least!
As well as listening to these external signs, over the last 4 years of practicing and doing the internal work I increasingly listen to my intuition more and more because there is proof in the pudding that it’s serving me well.
Take my latest collaboration for example, working with Keeley from Bloomindales, my local florist who’s become a customer of mine in terms of my art-cards and a community spirited friend who I respect and feel genuinely in tune and connected with when it comes to not only business values, but just generally on what life’s all about.
I love it when this happens, it feels truly magical when you’re on the same page as someone and this year more than any other, it has happened alot.
And I do believe there is some manifestation and higher frequency energy at play here when this happens. Like the stars are moving into their correct and rightful place because the passion you have is so powerful, it’s nudging you along. And when that energy is doubled, it’s like a magnet – like attracts like.
It’s this magical aligning that has brought me many exciting and challenging (in a good way) opportunities this year. But like Santa, you have to BELIEVE that it can happen, or those opportunities will seek someone else, more willing to take a chance and put them into action, a bit like what Elizabeth Gilbert says in her iconic book, ‘Big Magic’ – that ideas are their own entity and seek the appropriate people to action them and bring them alive.
There have been two stand-out occasions this year where this has happened to life-changing effect, and bizarrely both situations were pinned on my vision board from the year before.
So firstly, I got to work closely with Psychologies Magazine, an absolute dream after being a subscriber for many years, it may even be decades by now! It did require some initial action on my part, I kept showing up, posting my Blogs on their Psychologies Connected Community FB page, but then much to my surprise and delight, Suzy Walker, the Editor-in-Chief read it, and then asked me to do a Live interview on Facebook (which received 6.7k views!).
I could have panicked and said no, that I wasn’t ready, but one thing cancer teaches you is to be ready for anything, and just do it, whilst you’re healthy and fit enough to! And Suzy was lovely, I was a bit star-struck to be honest, but she was so warm and down to earth, she put me at ease straight away. That then lead to me doing the ten, ‘Gain Creative Confidence’ Live sessions on @psychologiesmagazine Instagram, which have been watched by over 12k viewers now – both nerve-wracking and an enjoyable thrill!
Next up has been working with the wise, inspiring wonder that is Wendy Showell Nicholas, one of our WOW members who has many strings and skills to her bow; she is a registered counsellor and psychotherapist, NLP master practitioner, coach, independent social worker, author, mindfulness teacher, educator and finally a speaker in workplace wellbeing, phew!!
Again this was a very serendipitous moment, I’d written an email to her to get her advice on me taking up coaching and would she be able to teach me a thing or too, that I then saved as a draft because I hadn’t got my scan results and so I thought it was too early!
Meanwhile just 2 hours later, Wendy sent me a text requesting my help on a business project, we immediately set up a call and the rest is history! We’ve been working together ever since, me practicing ‘coaching’ her on her business ambitions, and Wendy providing insightful feedback to help me progress, whilst also striding forward in what she wants to do, supported by myself and some coaching tasks to challenge her. And I find this work sooooo interesting! It’s reaffirmed that this is another direction I want to go in, to become a creative coach.
These consistent co-incidences have continued between Wendy and myself, which only boosts my belief that this partnership was meant to be.
It’s also very much about finding your people, and I’m extremely lucky (although we did create it!) that I have the wonderful WOW Wednesday group, the local accountability group that myself and Clair @asocialnature created to support people with a dream.
My partnership and friendship with Clair was yet another moment destined to happen, a long story but basically we followed each other on Instagram for a while and finally realised we lived near to each other and then a mutual friend introduced us!
Since then, working with Clair is like looking in a mirror to a large extent, we are VERY similar, have the same INFP personality and born 4 days apart and it makes working together extremely easy, because we know what each other is thinking.
So, when it came to setting up the WOW Wednesday group, it was a no-brainer and we excitedly gathered like-minded people, drawing them in, ready and willing for deeper conversations, connection, support and to share ideas.
The people that make up the membership of this group are our people, a whole tribe of interesting, unique, passionate humans that we enjoy spending time with and learning from their vast experience, soaking their insight and enthusiasm up like sponges.
Having a great team around you makes a massive difference in terms of accountability, your terms of success and gives you the hugely satisfying feeling of giving something back and making a difference.
‘I love having my little WOW community. It really helps to stay connected with others when you work for yourself and don’t have people in an office to build working relationships with. I love that I now have a network of people who work in different areas to me, and have learned so much because they are generous with their skills, knowledge and talents.’
That might be specific skills, or may involve mindset and how you approach your work both normally and throughout challenges. I like to think that this is mainly where I offer most value, as well as problem solving, ideas and suggestions, given the amount of extra research I do each week via podcasts, reading and belonging to several Facebook groups! I can then pass on what I’ve learned if relevant to benefit the WOW Wednesday team.
And I’m well known for my positive outlook, but that’s because I’ve been through many challenges, especially this last year with the cancer treatment journey, and I refuse to let it beat me, sometimes it takes just sheer bloody-mindedness to get through stuff and to find your fighting spirit!
That said, you can be the most positive person ever, but you still need to do the work, put in the hours and energy to get to where you want to go, it’s not just going to magically appear by clicking your fingers.
I have big plans for 2021, and it seems the stars are aligning to help me, I’m very much a typical Aquarian and according to Red Magazine, it’s our year, yep I’ll take that thank you very much!
In essence what I’m trying to say is just go for it, in whatever you want to do in life. I read a great Quote in Psychologies Magazine this month that said:
‘When everything is uncertain, anything is possible’
Which basically means why wait until the ‘right, most perfect’ time, because if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict life, in some ways the only thing you can expect, is the unexpected BUT you can build the resilience and awareness of how to react to challenges and take action, so that you are able to cope better and aren’t thrown you completely off track.
So how can you start the New Year off on the right footing? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get you thinking:
The first question is so important, to reflect on what you have achieved, because it’s proof right there that you can get the things done that you want to. Reflection is a vital part of the often ‘unconfident creative’.
It’s hard to silence the inner critic, it can sometimes require daily practice, but having that list visibly in front of you can lead you back to the positive, kinder voice that we all need to tune in to, and banish the destructive annoying rant in our heads that we all know deep down is not reality.
It’s a self-taught, learned behaviour that as humans we naturally hear the negative chatter louder and pay more attention to than the positive cheerleader in us, but that doesn’t mean we are doomed to listen to it for the rest of our lives.
It takes hard work, but it can be achieved, not only for yourself, but also for the benefit of others around you – you have to demonstrate that you believe in yourself, if you want others to believe in you too, and that means telling the inner critic to shut the hell up!
It’s not easy, but so worth it when it becomes more consistent, so why don’t you try asking yourself,
‘What if I believe I can do anything I put my mind to today?’
It may seem crazy, but by thinking and asking yourselves these questions, it’s switching your mindset into that one of ‘growth’ which is what teachers, and parents, try to teach our children all the time, so why not employ that advice with yourself and try it on for size?
I want 2021 to be the year we take back control of our own destiny, not necessarily of external situations, because that’s impossible, but we can control how we respond to external influences – like the main image says, you grow through what you go through!
So, with increased resilience and new hope, especially now we have a vaccine (thank you awesome scientists and NHS who are currently planning the logistics!), I am looking forward to 2021, and all the opportunities it may bring – like a fresh new notebook ready to hold your new wishes and dreams.
I hope this blog has inspired you to do the same, please let me know if it’s struck a chord via the comments box below, because essentially, these blogs, my musings, tips and everything I share here, are to help and encourage you to pick up those creative dreams and run like the wind with them!
And if you need extra help with that, you could always join our WOW Wednesday group. We have a special ‘Founding Membership’ offer on throughout December only, see link for details, and if you’d like to try us out first and see what all the excitement is about, then get in touch via my Instagram DM or the contact form on my About Me page and you can join a meeting session via Zoom, for free, as a taster introduction, over the next few weeks.
Until next time, I hope the festive spirit is bringing you joy and you’re looking forward to a cosy Christmas with your loved ones.
Take Care, stay safe, Juliet, The Curious Creative x