life

getting unstuck

getting-unstuck-mycreative

This has been an interesting year. Exactly a year ago I arrived in Trieste full of optimism and excitement (and joy at seeing my fiance for the first time in two months). But I quickly fell into what I retrospectively call my ‘period of stuckness’. I kind of panicked. In London I had been building towards something in my career but I now felt that I had turned a page and suddenly had to start a new chapter. I had a blank page staring at me and I suddenly had writer’s block, except it was for my life.

Don’t get me wrong things were happening, I was planning a wedding, I was exploring my new city but I felt stuck in what my ‘career’ was going to be. You know that all important part of your ‘you’ which makes you a worthwhile person and a provider to society?

So a little while ago I received an email from Marie of Kit and Caboodle Coaching offering a coaching session. I pondered it for a while and as the month moved on I realised that this ‘gift from the universe’ was something that I could really use. A little bit of guidance and steerage to help me see my stuckness from a different viewpoint. What better way to act like I love myself then giving myself time to work out what is going on in my head.

I had met Marie a few years ago and knew already that she was super approachable and easy to talk to. I practically ran home after dropping my mom at the train station after her visit because I was so excited about our session. Obviously as I don’t live nearby we had a skype chat which we both found worked really well. We were both able to sit down with a cup of tea, pens and paper and get into a very comfortable ‘chatting zone’.

We started off the session by clarifying what I wanted to achieve by the end (something I should perhaps do more in my everyday life) and then moved on to some activities. Over our conversation, Marie was able to pull out things that I was saying and highlight what I was saying back to myself. She turned my ‘stuck period’ into a time of ‘incubation’, a time that I had needed to nest and feel safe. Plus she helped provide some clarity for me now that I was ready to start ‘writing my life’ again.

Our conversation revolved mostly about work because at the moment that is the area I feel I need to concentrate on. Sitting down and having someone asking questions, some easy but some quite hard, and helping you breakdown the answers is really useful. Having that someone be a professional who has done this for a good many years makes it even better because she isn’t your best friend nodding and agreeing with you but someone who will dig down.

The point of coaching isn’t to provide you with the answer or the paths. It is to help steer you towards your answer. I suppose I kind of knew the answers before starting, but perhaps hadn’t been thinking about the questions in the right way. Marie was like the ‘ghost of Christmas present’ helping me to see things a bit more clearly.

I came to some pretty big realisations from the conversation. Like what I need a ‘job’ to provide me with. And that the idea of a ‘career’ doesn’t really fit into my picture of what I want my life to be. And helping me figure out some next steps. Pretty impressive for 90 minutes right!?

Well do you know what is even better, Marie is being a lovely human being and offering you some special discounted sessions. So you know what, you should head over to her site and make that happen! Also you probably want to follow Marie on instagram because she is a creative genius.

kit and caboodle coaching offer

a broken chair in a subway

Last week I read this piece by Karmomo on non-attachment to technology. This spoke to me on several levels. Firstly just the principle of non-attachment. I really want to ‘want’ less (irony much). Maybe I am a little bit buddhist or something but I the art of enoughness is something I mostly fail at but often consider. I had never thought about this though in terms of technology. I spend so much of my life on my computer. It is a beautiful tool in that it creates connections, allows opportunities and let’s me catch up on the latest episodes of my favourite shows. But perhaps my reliance on these tools is too strong.

So this week I am practising non-attachment with my technology. That is not to say I won’t use them but will be working on using them less and seeking other means to meet my requirements of connection, entertainment and inspiration. Also rather than saying ‘no’ I am saying yes so these are five things I will do this week:

1. Make a real life inspiration board.

2. Read a book, maybe a real in your hands with pages kind instead of a reader. Where is the line with this one?

3. Take some pictures with my film camera.

4. Talk to a friend about some of the workshops that I am doing (which are all happening online!).

5. Write a letter to a friend.

How about you. What do you think about non-attachment to technology? And what ideas do you have to practise it?

weekend diptychs

inside-outside-window-and-plants-mycreative

It was one of those lovely weekends. We had friends visiting. We explored. Went to the beach at sunset. Ate lots of food. Drank lots of tea.

Two diptychs: One is from beginning of the weekend and the other the end.

the-sea-mycreative

1day12pics-september-1-mycreative 1day12pics-september-2-mycreative 1day12pics-september-3-mycreative 1day12pics-september-4-mycreative

Wow I can’t believe how many people took part in our September #1day12pics. It was so great to see. Do head over to some of the other people who took part too.

I didn’t have a perfect ‘per hour’ day but the sentiment was still there. It was mostly pretty relaxed with not much happening in the morning, then heading out for coffee, grabbing something to eat from a street market that had popped up and then heading up to the mountains for a lovely long walk. I finished the day off doing some lettering and making a poster of my new daily motto.

I did try to work a theme of shapes but it did feel a bit forced so although some did reflect it I don’t think the theme was as helpful this month as it has previously been for me. I really need to come up with a theme before hand rather than deciding what it is after the second picture!

read ‘em and eat

kranz dal ciocolato from Dal Mas Pasticerria in Venice

This week was mostly about working at my new job. I am working some extra hours to start as some things need to get done before the kids roll in on Tuesday. It is really great been back in an environment where I actually get to speak to people every day (Tim aside). I am looking forward to getting into more of a routine though once the school year relaxes into ‘normality’ (whatever that is).

Yesterday we went to the Venice Film Festival which is where this breakfast shot is taken. Need to work on food photography that is taken while eaten while walking to catch a waterbus.

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READ ‘EM >>>

No ‘real’ reading this week. Hopefully I will get back into my Gabriel Garcia Marquez book this week.

EAT >>>

Generally the first thing I know do when I arrive in Venice (okay this is only the second time I have done it, but still) is turn left out the station, walk for about 5 minutes and on your right you will find a, likely busy, Pasticerria called Dal Mas. Inside order a kranz dal ciocolato. You pay by weight and it is a little pricey. One of these bad boys rocks in at about €4.50 to €5.00 but they are good! Like seriously good. We ate ours at the Vaperetto stop waiting for a waterbus to the LIdo before 10 in the morning and it did keep me going until we had dinner at 7pm.

read ‘em and eat

read em and eat - a grapefruit for breakfast

A simple one for a busy week.

I started my new job and so far so good. In fact, it is probably the best first week of a job I’ve ever had because on Thursday the new ‘recruits’ (an annual occurrence at an international school is the slew of new starters) were taken wine tasting over the border in Slovenia! So the week also included lots of socialising with new friends to be and trips to Ikea (because you never pass up a trip to Ikea) and of course getting into the tasks with my new job.

A new challenge for me is now working out again how to have a regular blogging schedule while working (although I am still incredibly lucky that I will only be working part-time)

READ ‘EM >>>

No offline reading this week as I was mostly working, drinking local wines, eating copious amounts of cheese, making an evening trip to Ikea and wondering how I was only able to eat 3 gelati this week (which I tell you is a massive downturn from my summer average)!

EAT >>>

Have you ever been to The Wolsely for breakfast? If you order the grapefruit it comes in a silver bowl filled with ice and already segmented so you don’t embarrass yourself in such a fine establishment by squirting juice into your neighbour’s eye at the next table. This morning was a much simpler affair with me squirting juice all over the place but boy I love a good grapefruit. I feel my life might be improved by the purchase of a grapefruit spoon. My mom had one when I was a child, but I can’t say I have seen them in shops as an adult. Have you?