Unveil your artistic Self;
rehabilitating the creative inside you
'Woah woah woah, hang on Leah, I didn't sign up for this 'creative' rubbish! I came to you because I've been struggling with overwork and tiredness and feeling burned out'.
Yes, gorgeous, because you've been squashing down your creativity.
Look, I don't want to be all artsy fartsy, swishing around here in my kimono top and telling you to connect with your inner child.
I get it. Don't forget, I was a lawyer for 12 years, and a very serious lawyer in waiting for many many years before that.
Your work is important to you, your home life is important to you and you have no clue where you would find something more in it?
It's a problem that needs some creative thought, doesn't it.
No I'm not being sarcastic, don't look at me like that.
At some point in recent history it became accepted that in order to be a decent, functioning member of society you had to work hard and be self-sacrificing and I'm here to tell you that that is EXACTLY why you are struggling so much with being overworked and unable to say no.
More years ago than I care to count I was surprised, really taken aback, to find out that one of my friends was going to an art class once a week.
At this point I was a lawyering training working 60-80+ hours a week between my day job and working overtime until 8pm 2-3 days a week, 10-4 on a Saturday... I was *exhausted*.
So when I found out that my friend couldn't make arrangements on one particular evening because she went to a weekly art class (she had even gotten an easel, this was serious business!) I'm ashamed to say that I was bewildered.
Here was my friend, who ran her a very busy business with her husband, and she was indulging in something that didn't make her money?
Could not compute, could not compute...!
And then over dinner one evening she started telling me about her class and how she felt and how proud she was in her development and how frustrated that she couldn't quite get this one thing... and I saw this dreamy, far away look in her eyes.
But I wasn't ready, not then.
I'll tell you another little anecdote from my past.
Did you know that I was, still am in fact, a jewellery designer?
My jewellery sells to hundreds of people all around the world and I am the premier producer of steampunk plugs for stretched piercings.
Yes, you heard me right. No I don't have stretched piercings, or tattoos. But I bloody love them.
I had been making jewellery for maybe 18 months when I was approached by a local journalist who was doing a piece about steampunk for a local magazine, Clifton Life Magazine. I was then making resin jewellery with a focus on steampunk, watch pieces, copper leaf. It was all inspired by a necklace that my mum used to wear, a necklace that I now have tucked upstairs in a jewellery box.
I was flattered; a few of my colleagues in law knew about my jewellery, I'd even made one or two pieces for the people around me, but I kept it quiet for fear that they would think I was weird or strange.
The article came out and I was so pleased with the result... until, at a networking and training event, a prominent barrister to whom I gave a ton of work walked up to me and said 'Leah... do you by any chance make steampunk jewellery' in front of a half dozen other professionals.
Oh jesus, here we go, the gig was up.
I'd forgotten that almost every prominent lawyer in Bristol lived in or around Clifton... the place where this monthly magazine was delivered for free....
Except, he didn't mock me. Not a bit. He was surprised, taken aback a bit but he told me he thought that the jewellery was beautiful, and I could see that he was viewing me in a different light. Suddenly I was a bit more three-dimensional, I had hobbies and passions that went beyond my being a lawyer dealing in death and taxes.
Why am I telling you this?
Being found out as a creative was one of my biggest fears. I carefully anonymised everything that I did online for fear of a colleague, a rival, a client, finding out what I was doing and judging me for it.
Seems kind of funny now, doesn't it?
It went so far that I didn't even label myself a creative. I put my work down, pretended it was just about the money, that it was just a silly little thing...
As you know by now, words have meaning. When I put down my work as a jeweller, I put down who I was, what a part of me meant.
This isn't just me talking here, there is science to back up what I'm talking about.
Creativity has recently been explored by researchers keen to examine the effect of exploring an art on the brain. So here's a little list of scientific factoids
- Stress kills creativity but being creative kills stress
- Creativity can help alleviate anxiety, combat depression and creates a habit to regularly lift one's mood
- Dopamine = the addictive hormone (think chocolate). Creativity = a dopamine pathway
- When you become invested in a form of creativity you are better able to handle novel scenarios, because you become used to thinking on your feet, to reacting or to creating new skills via new neural pathways.
In short - creativity is the fast track to lower stress, lower anxiety, less depression, more creative thinking, more adaptability... I could go on forever.
But what if you think you're not creative?
As a kid you got handed crayons and you scrawled and drew on the walls until you were happy and your mum was tearing her hair out.
If I had given 5 year old you a barbie doll you would have made up a fantastic story about what barbie was doing and what she was saying.
Reading, writing stories, making up scenarios, wanting to play with playdoh and kinetic sand, making a card for mum, trying to bake a cake out of anything you could get your hands on and putting it all in your easy-bake oven...
Creativity comes so easily for kids because they don't put pressure on themselves to achieve, to be the best at everything. They have time, perhaps, but that time is still regulated by the grown ups.
Creativity is within you and you simply need to unlock it. Stop judging it and holding it to a standard and just let it out. Be with with it. Experience it, find new things.
And if you think that you have no hobbies, never have done, aren't creativity and don't know what I'm talking about...then you need this EVEN MORE because you've repressed it down so hard and the key to so many things you desire in your life is unlocking your creativity.
Look at it this way; it's like any other area of your life. You have to learn and experience and grow. None of us wakes up one morning with all the words (even the really good words, the best words) or running before we shuffled on our bums. So why on earth did you think that the second you put pen to paper that you had to write Shakespeare, or Wilfrid Owen or Liz Gilbert.
They are their own people, you are your own unique self.
By investing a little time and a little energy in rehabilitating the creative within you you will receive tenfold results in your stress, energy, enthusiasm, confidence, creative thinking, ability to withstand pressure, ability to come up with the creative solutions that no-one else thought of...
All because you unlocked a little bit more potential, a little bit more 'maybe I could...'
How does this work?
This is a short, immersive course in to the world of creativity.
Together we are going to look at what your brand of creativity looks like - what you would do if you 'had the time' (and why that really isn't a thing), what you did as a kid, what your creativity could look like now.
We will find ways to create this a small but effective habit in your stress management toolbox.
I will share about my own journey through creativity to inspire and guide you.
You will receive 14 days of content delivered right to your inbox but this is a LIVE course which means....
a private Facebook forum and not one but TWO live workshops with me to talk about your creativity practice.
We start on Monday 26th June so you have to be quick.
Take a moment, trust your gut and decide if this is who you desire to be.
I am so excited to share this part of my story and journey with you!!