A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting outside a pub with a cold glass of white wine in Saltburn up in the North East, looking out to sea. It was early evening and the sun was beginning to set in spectacular fashion over the water. There was a line of surfers waiting to catch a peach tinged wave and on the horizon the maritime lights of ships twinkled.
I sat with my hands wrapped around my glass, and looked out, drinking it all in.
I want this, I thought. This is my happy place, by the sea. I want to be able to come down to the shore in the evening and watch the boats, listen to the waves and the cry of the gulls. I want this to be my life.
My mind began to wander, as it often does at times like this and I began to ask myself some questions.
How can I get from where I am to where I want to be?
It suddenly struck me, like the proverbial brick at the back of the head - I needed to focus on my passion and my purpose in order to move my life forward. I was suddenly acutely aware that I had been drifting along in life for quite a long time and this gave me the jolt that I needed.
Although I am already living one of my biggest dreams in being an artist, I knew that there was more in life for me than just creating art. I saw how over the last few years, despite enjoying my work enormously a small dark hole had begun to emerge inside, and it had grown bigger turning into a depression. Although I live in a nice corner of the world, it wasn't where I truly wanted to be, and I knew it. I cried often, I felt trapped and stuck, and didn't know what to do to change. I saw a doctor during that time and took medication for a few years because I was at such a loss as to what to do, only knowing I couldn't stand another day feeling so bloody lost and wretched. I eventually went to see an herbalist, who helped me wean off the strong medication with soothing herbs and tonics, I went back to yoga, started to walk and cycle, swim and meditate. I made changes and felt better, but still I knew I wasn't 100% fulfilled and now I know why.
Outside that pub, watching the surfers that evening I realised what I wanted to do and I realised what had been holding me back for so long. I wanted to teach art, I wanted to share what I do with other people, it was only fear of course that was standing in my way. In that moment, the desire to have the life of my dreams was stronger than it had ever been and I knew it was time to take action instead of sitting back and wistfully hoping for something magic to happen. I knew I would have to do the work, I knew I would have to invest my time, my heart and my soul into it, and I'd have to look fear in the face and tell it squarely where to go. I knew I would not be able to move forward and achieve what I wanted if I played it small.
We came home from Saltburn and my head was bursting with ideas...for classes, workshops, online courses...as well as blog posts and emails sharing what I know...I felt so fired up and excited but also a little nervous - this is new territory for me, but nerves are good, it means I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and moving forward.
It was the night after we came home that I was lying in bed unable to sleep, my mind still full of new ideas when I had a light bulb moment:
A Christmas workshop, an afternoon of painting Christmas heart decorations with a small group of people in a lovely location...I envisaged fairy lights and mince pies, laughter, fun and conversation and everyone going home with a wonderful decoration that they had created in a creative and inspiring environment.
I'm so, so pleased to tell you that I have booked a venue and will be releasing the booking information for my very first workshop soon! I am so excited to share this with you, and hope you will be able to join me in Yorkshire, in November for a really special afternoon.
If you would like to be on the waiting list you can sign up very easily on my homepage - just scroll to the bottom and fill in the last sign up form, I will be sending more information out in the next week or two all about where, when and how much etc.
This is just the beginning of a very exciting new journey for me. I now have plans to host online classes and possibly local weekly art classes too, as well as sharing heaps of content with you online here. I am fired up and feeling happy like I haven't in a long time and I know that I'm heading in the right direction, on the path to my dream life. It won't happen overnight, there will be some tough obstacles to overcome no doubt but for the first time in years I now have a purpose, and a vision. I know where I'm headed.