Creative Project – Talking with Aija about The Happiness Jar App

Welcome to the Creative Project! This is the fourth interview in a series I’m doing with people who are working on a creative passion project in their lives. By ‘creative project’ I don’t mean just things related to the arts – but anything that is about bringing something fresh into the world, creating something that wasn’t there before and drawing on your own creative energy to make it happen.

What is the difference between people who get behind their ideas and make them happen and those who are swimming in ideas but never get moving on them? How are people making time for their creative projects and weaving them into their lives?

What can we learn from others who have backed their ideas with action?

I want you dear reader to be able to glean any gems from their experience that might help you with your own creative projects. I’ll even share stories about a couple of my own creative projects, and some of the learning I’ve done myself along the way. So let’s get started!


In 2016 Aija Bruvere created a free mobile App The Happiness Jar based on the principles of Positive Psychology. I stumbled across the app late 2016 when it was just launched and being shared by a colleague of hers in a business group that I’m in on Facebook. I thought it was a great tool and wondered more about how and why she thought to make it. Here Aija describes the creative process, the importance of trusting your instincts, and the next steps and vision for her project.

What is the happiness jar app? Can you explain it for someone who’s maybe not familiar with the concept of a happiness jar or how apps work? 

The Happiness Jar is a very simple tool (an app) on the mobile phone to allow anyone to notice, capture, sort and store happy moments. Instead of having a physical container, box or jar where you could put notes about your happy memories (which is also a great idea!) The Happiness Jar mobile app would always be within easy reach, right there on your phone. Keeping track of happiness becomes really easy, you can take new happiness snapshots or go through existing memories adding the special ones to your happiness collection. It is like visual gratitude journal (plus you can add written descriptions of happy moments too). The Happiness Jar is for your eyes only it is your personal treasure chest that does not get shared on social media or anywhere else.

You get to store all the happy photos or notes and you are also sorting them and creating your personal happiness timeline and profile. So after a while it becomes clear if more often happiness for you is about for example Positive emotion or maybe Enjoyable activities Relationships or perhaps Achievement or sense of meaning and Purpose.

What inspired you to start this project? What was your vision for how it might help people or bring benefit to the world?

I remember really clearly when the inspiration came – it was after reading Elizabeths Gilbert’s extremely popular post January last year about keeping a physical Happiness Jar where you would have to put a note in with at least one happy memory every day. At the end of the year you have 365 colorful and beautiful memories to look back at. And then I thought ‘but what about people who travel a lot or don’t have space or time for a physical jar – there surely must be a digital happiness jar?’ But it did not exist! So I decided I needed to create it.

This idea of happiness pathways is taken from a famous theory in Positive Psychology by Martin Seligman, but with this app it is your actual memories and experiences make your classification and the jar very personal.

I believe it is very important to appreciate little daily moments of happiness because that is how happiness and wellbeing is created long term. My vision still is that The Happiness Jar makes the world a happier place one memory at a time, it lets us store and recall small happy moments and ensures that happiness is something of here and now not something forever in the future.

How did this project fit in or relate to the work you already do?

It is very much in line with the work I do. I am a Positive Psychology coach, a Happiness coach. I work one on one to improve wellbeing and happiness as well as give workshops and seminars on Science of Happiness for companies, I teach a Happiness project course at a Business school and I also lecture on Happiness on cruise ships. So The Happiness Jar app is another more practical application of ideas I love to spread and promote.

Do you have a technical background? Had you worked on any app development projects before? Did you feel daunted by the technology aspect?

I do not have a technical background and I have never worked on an app development project before. However this project actually flowed with ease and grace. I feel the key is to create a team of likeminded people who also just love the idea and then create clarity of what is the minimum we have to do for this to be a success.

Who (if anyone) did you team up with to make your project come to life?

We had a very small team of 3 people: Me Aija Bruvere as the creator, author of idea, leader and then the team leader-programmer for technical execution and development Edgards Zvirgzds as well as a designer Liva Asmane for creating the visual aspect of it.

I think the right people attract when the idea is clear and the world is ready for the idea, I had never worked with that programmer or designer before but it was clear the connection and team vision was formed around The Happiness Jar idea specifically.

What did you learn about your own creative process along the way?

That at first there is this one very clear idea and the conviction I have to do this, then there is the expansive stage of more ideas associated with it and how to make it even more impressive and great. So there is this huge influx of related and unrelated ideas at one point. And then I had to ground it, to narrow it down to the minimum simple clear idea again to make it happen within the short timeframe. Team work and discussions are helpful in the creative process.

What stage are you up to now and what will come next?

We have just released the app and done initial push for promoting it mainly through our own networks and on Facebook. So we are still at the launch stage. The focus right now really is the promotion (getting people to know about it but with no budget for promotion) and also on building the version for Android phones which proved more difficult and time consuming than we though. From idea to reality, getting to this stage, took about one year.

My vision for the project is that the The Happiness Jar app will have a second stage that requires building a platform. Luckily we were able to create the app on a shoestring budget, investing a lot of personal time and enthusiasm but to go forward we would need an actual investor who believes in the project to take it to the next stage. So I guess the next stage is not so much about the creativity it is about creating a new business model.

What has been the response so far? How do you feel about the app?

The response from the right target market is very positive – people really say they love the idea and that they love how simple it is. It feels good to have created it in just one year from inception of the idea and in just 4 month from really getting the team together and creating a plan of how we are going to do this. While we have the vision for further expansion and that would require investment, the response from potential investors however has been much more reserved. But I guess our task now is to build up number of users to the point that investors are convinced people love this and it is worthwhile.

How do you feel about yourself as a creative person after making the app?

Manifestation of a creative idea does have a certain sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. There is for sure an aspect of Happiness in it that is associated with Meaning and achievement. I guess the creation of The Happiness Jar can go into The Happiness Jar as something very positive that has happened for me in 2016! (laughs).

What tips or suggestions do you have for someone else with an idea who wants to make it happen?

Ideas that take you out of your comfort zone have a huge creative potential.

It is paramount to find the right people who can help make the idea into reality.

Trust that inspiration and idea that comes to us also comes with certain responsibility and we have to be grateful that it has come and can also make the world a better place by helping it manifest.

—-

About the interviewee:

aija-profile-picAija Bruvere is a coaching psychologist and business consultant currently living and working in Sydney, Australia. Besides having a degree in Economics and Business Adminstration as well as Masters degree in Social sciences Aija has obtained her Graduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology from University of Sydney, with particular focus on applied Positive Psychology. Aija Bruvere is passionate about sharing scientific research and making it applicable. Aija is the owner and founder of ABM Consulting, a firm specializing in executive coaching, workshops and seminars. Since 2008 Aija Bruvere has prepared and facilitated series of personal development seminars and workshops that focus on leadership, goal attainment, transformation, success and happiness. In 2015 and 2016 Aija has run seminars and retreats in Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore and Latvia.

More about Aija Bruvere: http://aijabruvere.com

More about the free mobile app The Happiness Jar: http://thehappinessjar.com

About the interviewer:

JadephotoJade Herriman is a Sydney-based transpersonal art therapist, Barbara Sher coach and facilitator. She works with clients to help bring more creativity into their lives, plan for their professional development, manage big life change and go after their dreams. She works with groups, individuals and online to deliver workshops and help support people work towards their dreams. She brings a playful, flexible and creative approach to serious issues, and draws on many years of experience working in organisations in project management, policy and research roles to bring practical solutions to her clients. To work together one on one or find out more about future workshops contact her HERE.

 

 

Filling the creative well – what inspires you? (music)

Sometimes immersing ourselves in one art form can inspire us to work on another. Here I speak with four visual artists and find out what tunes are lighting them up.

What is playing on your stereo right now?

Gretchen: I listen to really loud – probably annoying to other people – stuff. In my art therapy groups I often play solo piano, really calming stuff, but in my own work it kind of fluctuates, sometimes I need to be more peaceful, no words, calming, other times I just need more energy. So that really inspires me, I have playlists with certain stations that I go back and forth to like sometimes some New Wave. Punk, The Smiths, The Cure is my very very favourite, New Order, 80’s, 90’s stuff.

Nancy: Strangely, I don’t listen to a lot of music while I work. When I do, I put on a Playlist I found on Spotify called Women Rise Up. I love female vocalists and especially those with positive and encouraging messages.

Barbara: Michael Franti – he is my favourite yogi and social activist. His music never ceases to uplift me and inspire me to really dive into life.

ChrisI grew up on a steady diet of classic rock, and then in High School and early college I got into heavy metal, later I got into the punk scene, I love bands like The Clash, bands that were really trying to say something about the fate of working people. And later I discovered folk music. I really resonated with people who would stand up for what they believe and speak out. I also love Yo la Tengo. We found then in grad school and my daughters – I have a 9 year old and a 5 year old – recently bought me an album for my birthday.

Is your vision lopsided? Maybe it’s ok.

So I just wrote out a vision for my life this year – clear prose that talks about what I want, in the future tense as if I already have it. A vision board in words if you like. And I noticed something.

It was mostly about work, making art, my wardrobe, my house, homewares, and how things felt.

I red it over and panicked. Oh my gosh! Am I some awful shallow person? Am I focusing only on nice cushions and how things look, and heaven forbid – comfort??

Then I thought some more. Maybe I am just focusing on the bits I want to adjust.

There’s plenty going right in my life. In relationships, friendships, family, education and learning, health, connectedness. But there are some things annoying me in relation to my house, my wardrobe, and even the pattern and mix of my work-life.

So perhaps it’s natural to hone in on that and create a vision of how exactly I would like that. So I can create it!

If you have done a vision board and are worried it’s unbalanced, or your dreams for the future hinge on just one aspect of life, maybe rather than judging yourself harshly for this or worrying about it, you could see it as a sign that everything else is probably ticking along fine!


If you’re not sure what you want or feel like dreams are just something other people have, maybe you need a hand uncovering your wishes. Book a dream discovery session with me to develop your own personalised vision and vision board at the super special price of $120 for 90 minutes*.

Click through to my Contact pageand send me an email and I will send you a link to my calendar to book a time that suits.

*Only applies to bookings made during March and April 2017.  

Mental health moments

The problem with our critical inner voice is that it’s very easy to believe it.

At the time, when it’s loud and convincing it’s easy to believe.

Mine sometimes says things like this:

– you are so fat, all those wellness people are judging you

– you have nothing interesting to say, and you’re awkward, and no one likes you

– you’re so weird and not saying enough. They can all tell. They think you’re stupid

Seriously. These exact words. The last time they flared up I was at a networking event. It started out well, I was feeling positive and a bit apprehensive. I started ok, I did, but then I fell out of a conversation and things got self conscious and weird.

(This is despite being aware of it, despite years of therapy, despite being trained in counselling.)

Once that narrative starts up nice and loud I tend to get swept up in it. After all if those things are true, I should probably just slink off home – right? I should probably never go out. I should probably not try talking to anyone because they won’t enjoy my weirdness rubbing off on them.

I left in a bit of a funk – here I was fat, weird, awkward and everyone knew it.

Later, when the mood sweeps by, the clouds shift, a blue sky emerges, I feel fine. I feel calm and OK with myself and think I’m no more awkward or weird than anyone else. I resume normal programming. I enjoy socialising and even meeting new people. I become the person who helps other people not feel awkward in groups by talking with them, or introducing and connecting people.

So these experiences, and the voice in my head that convinces me I’m not worthy, actually helps me be finely attuned to other people and social dynamics. It helps me know fully in my body what uncomfortable feels like and to absolutely want to help make situations like this more caring and accessible to others.

These experiences also mean that I understand clients who struggle with anxiety, and strive to create a safe space in my one on one work and in groups where clients can be honest about our inner voice and how unhelpful it can be sometimes. Because this inner voice, this loop / mindset/ inner critic is an issue for most people. Not just people seeking help through therapy, but most people who are going about their lives are held back at some time due to doubts and fears that often express themselves as negative self-talk.

It comes up in art therapy sessions, it comes up in coaching, and so it should; because our inner scripts are often our invisible limits – they can shape what we will and won’t try, they tell us strong stories about what we deserve or what it is possible to experience in life.

How about you? Do you have any bitter, hurtful or challenging narratives that pop up when you are stressed or feeling low? Have you worked to replace them with kinder narratives about yourself? Do they give you insight or empathy you can take back into the world? Have you ever worked to change one and replace it with something more useful?

Why I love doing this thing…

imageI have been sharing paintings I’ve been doing on used, deconstructed teabags. I’ve been inspired for a long while by Ruby Silvious to try by teabag art and recently my art friend Fran of Studio 64 Marin kicked off my resolve to give this a try by sharing her gobsmackingly gorgeous mixed media faces on teabags. So… I’ve been painting these almost weekly for about three months – a long time for a passion project to last for this scanner.

Barbara Sher (yes that Barbara Sher!!) just asked me on a facebook forum what the paper adds to the process for me (great question, as ever, she’s not the Godmother of Life Coaching for nothing!) and I thought I’d share the answer here too: ‘why I love doing this thing’ 😀

(Why I love painting little portraits from my imagination on used tea bag paper…)

Well firstly, and importantly, I think it helps lower risk to use inexpensive, ‘nothing special’ paper (‘it’s just a little scrap of paper’ I think to myself) because it helps my inner critic stay quiet, lowers the stakes, lowers expectations…

And I love the idea of recycling…

And the crumpled and stained nature of the paper adds texture which I really enjoy working with and around…

And I love that it’s a set project so I can just a grab a bunch of papers and start painting without worrying ‘what will I work on?’.  I personally love the restrictions of size and materials so I can then play with infinite variations of paint within that – specifically my creative mind doesn’t waste valuable painting time pondering what size or shape of paper (or non paper materials) to paint on, and it doesn’t get overwhelmed or stuck by thinking ‘but what am I making? But what will I do with this?’. Because I’ve decided to do this as an ongoing project I just skip the deciding part and start making. It reminds me a bit of my wonderful ICAD experience.

I also love that I don’t set any limits or restrictions on colours or have any preconceived notion of what the faces will look like. They come out moody, snooty, happy, wry, silly, goofy, sad and everything in between. They come out how they want to and I just stop when each one feels done.

I actually love the small size because it suits my way of working well. I like to sit down for a burst of painting and create maybe 4 or 5 faces on one sitting. Slow and steady doesn’t win my race, I like short bursts then plenty of everything else for a week or two before I start again. This keeps it feeling fresh and fun and delicious to me and not stale or forced. I honour this way of working and know that it works for me.

So that’s it! Why I’m enjoying my teabag face project.

In fact earlier this week I decided to commit to making 100 of them and then exhibiting them somewhere this year (whether that’s a gallery or a loungeroom wall or something in between!).

I’m sure this will trigger some resistance for me (to be honest it already has), so I’ll be sure and share any tips I have for working through, around and alongside resistance once we set a goal we care about.

It matters! Arts and culture for kids

The arts and culture are not an add-on, or a nice-to-have, but are part of the fabric of our society, and that young people have a right to experience the best, and to be given the opportunity to make their own contribution to the continual reshaping of our civilization. We must celebrate our successes, build best practice, and learn from each other; in challenging times, it is up to us to be the champions of young people’s hopes, talent and ideas.”

Let your kids make art! Let them study arts subjects at school! Support a school system that includes the arts! It will help them learn, stay healthy and be active members of civic society.

And here is some evidence to support that claim…

1. Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%.
2. Learning through arts and culture can improve attainment in Maths and English.
3. Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school.
4. Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.
5. Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
6. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer.
7. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults.
8. Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend.
9. Children who take part in arts activities in the home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine.
10. People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.”

Source (of the 10 points and the quote above): ‘Imagine Nation, the Value of Cultural Learning’. Cultural Learning Alliance. 2017. Download full report here: http://www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk/images/uploads/ImagineNation_2_the_value_of_cultural_learning.pdf?mc_cid=c8b74fb7b5&mc_eid=cb33862c36

Read the Key Research Findings in full at:
http://www.culturallearningalliance.org.uk/evidence

First year of business – Systems overload

So many freaking systems.

That’s what I remember from my first year of business.

So many decisions about software and so many process that I realised I didn’t have, and so many records to keep.

Imagine the most horrified emoji face you can muster. Yes, that’s how it felt.

After all, I just wanted complete freedom and flexibility and creative potential, regular income, great coffee and inspiring collaborators and no paperwork whatsoever. Is that so much to ask??

Apparently here in the real actual world, yes.

So what did I do?

To start with every time I found yet another system or process that I didn’t have that it seemed everyone else had I died a little bit on the inside. ‘Seriously?? More things to do??” I wailed in my inside waily place. Mostly I wrote them down somewhere and lost the list and found it again with pangs of guilt weeks later. I would have these moments of elevated hope, when talking with someone who actually had and uses these systems – hope that I would do the follow up work and that I would somehow become a new person who was excited about tidy completely efficient systems. But this would usually wear off within a few hours and I would return to my usual lumpish disinterest in such detailed admin things. Once I learnt about them I could see their benefit and how they would help me. Sometimes the concept of it all excited me. But hand on my heart the doing or setting up of them never ever excited me. Each time it would sink to the bottom of the to-do list like a marble in a fish tank.

I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants, random and messy.

Part of the avoidance came from not knowing. It’s super hard working in a vast wasteland of unknowns and risk. Not knowing the territory it can be tempting to to venture out. What? I have to get out of my comfortable chair and walk though the potential for confusion and regret?

But what I learnt over time is that it settles down. At first I honestly thought there were ONE MEEEELLION scheduling systems for me to choose from. Eventually it felt like just 3. Eventually I just chose one and when that one felt not quite right I chose another one.

Same as an invoicing and book keeping set up – I just ended up choosing one because my coach had worked with it. And it will do for now until I move onto the one that costs more but I plan to master soon.

So know this.

A) If you don’t super love this stuff you are not alone.

B) Overwhelm is a self-perpetuating panicky thing that really you could better do without.  If you are learning something new and drowning in options try not to compound it by shrieking things at yourself like ‘Oh my gosh everyone else knows what they are doing! I must be a complete loser! When will I just make a decision! I have to make a decision! I can’t make a decision!’. Find some way to take the pressure. Unless the wheels are falling off today from not having it, give yourself permission to not think about it for 3 months. Maybe you have too much other stuff going on and not enough information to make a good decision just yet.

C) You don’t have to be using every cool app and all the best most efficient software to also be offering something of value to the world. I have worked with some AMAZING coaches and empathetic, generous, insightful healers who use less tech than me. Did I get any less from the session just because there was something old skool in their bookings system or they aren’t all over social media? Not at all.

D) So what if you’re messy. I am: I really really am. I often wish I wasn’t (because I dream of being somehow more slick and stylish and having vast tundra-like surfaces and spaces with lots of artful throw rugs) but plenty of time I barely even notice because I am just a happy little fish swimming in creative mess. YOU CAN STILL RUN A BUSINESS if you are messy. YOU CAN STILL OFFER VALUE if you are messy. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO have a bare desk, or shiny laundry, or straightened thighs or skinny hair or posh to-do-list like the woman you read about in the Sunday paper to make a go of things. You really don’t. Books have been written in tracksuit pants and policies drafted with baby food in hair. You can have chipped and shitty nail polish and still be strong and awesome. You can not know what the heck to do about X or Y this week and still know a lot about Z.

E) You’ll make a decision when you need to. When it becomes more of a pain in your butt to have no system, or the time you are spending doing something manually starts to do you head in – you will change!

F) Decisions don’t always happen how we think they should. Sure I know all about ‘proper’ decision making. I could bore you senseless with talk of cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis and deliberative valuation. I could! But I wont! because we’re friends and friends don’t let friends do MCA. Just joking. What I would say is this: we are not robots and we rarely make decisions the way we actually think we do. So it might be that after WEEKS of telling yourself you ‘should’ read all the fine print on three different online options for doing something very fancy and necessary in your business, and that you ‘should’ then find three different people who have used each one and interview them and make a table listing all the… whatevers… what you ACTUALLY do is wake up one morning and absent mindedly watch a you tube video about one of them while eating a piece of toast and then think ‘oh that doesn’t sound so bad’ and then download it while you sip your tea and watch a youtube video about a turtle that is friends with a kitten and then kind of sort of make an account and give your credit card details. AND THAT’S OK. If you start using it and it was better than before and it cuts all the anxiety and you can always stop and use another thing later – BLOODY BRILLIANT.

So that’s my wise words on overwhelm from tech choices. Basically just: ‘yes, you might have it, don’t worry I did too. It kind of goes away if you ignore to long enough. And maybe you kinda know the answer already.’

(Don’t worry, that’s not how I do MCA’s.)

Creative Project – Barbara talks about making creativity at the heart of her life

Welcome to the Creative Project! This is the third interview in a series I’m doing with people who are working on a creative passion project in their lives. By ‘creative project’ I don’t mean just things related to the arts – but anything that is about bringing something fresh into the world, creating something that wasn’t there before and drawing on your own creative energy to make it happen.

What is the difference between people who get behind their ideas and make them happen and those who are swimming in ideas but never get moving on them? How are people making time for their creative projects and weaving them into their lives?

What can we learn from others who have backed their ideas with action?

I want you dear reader to be able to glean any gems from their experience that might help you with your own creative projects. I’ll even share stories about a couple of my own creative projects, and some of the learning I’ve done myself along the way. So let’s get started!


Today I’m speaking with Barbara Courtille about her art making practice: how it fits into her life and how she recently approached developing a website to share her work. I’ve known Barbara for a number of years and her consistency in her art making practice, the way she weaves the threads of what is most important to her into her life, and the pragmatic way she approaches work really inspired me. She also once told me about her regular practice of giving away pieces of her art stealthily in a public place… which inspired me to do the same and led to me discovering the Art Abandonment movement.

Tell us a little about your journey with art making? When did you start? What have you done over the years?

I’ve been making art as far as I can remember. I was one of those kids who could stay quiet and absorbed in the creative process for hours.

After high school I worked as a graphic designer for a few years, at the time I thought it may be a creative job but it wasn’t so eventually after a set of synchronistic events I found myself at art school in my mid 20s. I really thrived in that environment, it was so liberating to be surrounded by other artists and to be making art each and every day. After art school, a group of us got together and set up a studio space from which to work and we began to exhibit as a collective and separately. It was a very fertile creative time but eventually we all wanted to broaden our horizons and went our separate ways moving to different cities. I continued to paint full time and exhibit until poverty and the tax office prompted me to find a ‘real’ job. And so like many artists, I continue to juggle the work/art balance, always looking for ways to increase my ‘art’ time and to reduce my ‘work’ time. It’s a dance that I continue to refine.

What does art making do for you? What is your relationship to your creativity?

It’s a huge part of my experience and I really can’t imagine life without creativity. It’s an integral part of my being, I don’t view it as an external thing that I do, it’s just a part of who I am.

Art seems intimately linked to your spirituality and emotional wellbeing, specifically your yoga practice. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Art, yoga, spirituality and wellbeing for me are intrinsically linked and one of the same. I experience asana practice as an art form using breath and body as the medium. I bring creativity and ritual into my teaching of meditation and making art is a form of meditation in itself, it’s being totally absorbed in the present and in the process. It’s the best place to be!

What do you hope to communicate with your artworks? What ripples do you hope they make in the world?

I like to inspire people to make art in whatever way they enjoy whether it’s the traditionally recognised art forms of painting, music, dance, writing etc. or in the endless ways that humans are creative such as cooking, gardening, dressing up etc. Many of the activities that we partake in can be approached with the intention of creativity and that makes all the difference between a fulfilling (and for some spiritual) experience or one that is routine and mundane.

Let’s talk about about your recent projects: creating a dedicated website to share your work. Were these challenging steps to take? What were your fears, or what challenged you about these steps?

It was never my plan to have a dedicated website for my work, it’s something that happened slowly and organically.

I resisted having my own website for many years as I feared that it would be yet another admin task that would use up too much of my creative time. As it turned out, I really enjoyed designing my website (yoginithreads.com) and instead of seeing it as another to-do task, I approach it as a creative project in itself. The website remains a work in progress and I enjoy tinkering with it. I have lots of ideas for its growth in the future.

What did you have to learn to get these steps done?

For me it was about removing limiting beliefs (I don’t have the skills to do it, it’s too hard, it will take up too much time etc. ) Like all big projects, it’s a good idea to take it one small step at a time, focus on the one task in the present and try to not get too overwhelmed by the enormity of the desired outcome.

Any final words to leave us with? Anything else you’d like to say?

I believe that if you bring creativity into everything you do it can significantly transform your experience. Treat each moment with reverence, learn, grow, be brave and most of all, be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, you have your own unique essence which makes you special. By being yourself and allowing your creativity to shine, you can also inspire others to do the same.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

About the interviewee:

Barbara Courtille is a French born artist working in Sydney Australia. She is a dedicated yogini, meditation teacher and founder of Yoginithreads. Her work is heavily influenced by yoga philosophy, feminine power and ancient wisdom. See her work at: www.yoginithreads.com

About the interviewer: 

Jade Herriman is a Sydney-based transpersonal art therapist, Barbara Sher coach and facilitator. She works with clients to help bring more creativity into their lives, plan for their professional development, manage big life change and go after their dreams. She works with groups, individuals and online to deliver workshops and help support people work towards their dreams. She brings a playful, flexible and creative approach to serious issues, and draws on many years of experience working in organisations in project management, policy and research roles to bring practical solutions to her clients. To work together one on one or find out more about future workshops contact her HERE.

 

Feeling the feels – tired

Energy levels and what to do with them have been a big theme for my personal growth the past few years. (Oh hang on – is ‘personal growth’ a bit of a new agey cliché? By all means replace with ‘learning/ musing/ reflections/ new habits’ or whatever works).

What to do when I feel dead tired like a lump and have no oomph or get up and go whatsoever.

How to use energy when I have it.

What deflates me.

When I need to rest.

When I am tired in the mind versus tired in the body versus tired from a sugar slump versus tired from not enough sleep. When I feel icky from having absorbed complex emotional stuff that I need time to process. When I feel tired because actually I’m sad. When I feel sad because actually I’m tired.

Getting much better acquainted with what tired is.

I am finding my 100 words for tired like the fabled innuit and snow.

And finding a way to make space for it, accept it and make room for it without fear or judgement or ‘should’. Without fighting it and ‘pushing on’ or ‘soldiering on’ or ‘just doing it’.

I am trying to feel the rhythms of my body much more keenly and create a life that adjusts to them, respects them and works around them – not forcing my body to stick to routine and expected outputs that my mind makes up.

Because who am I to know what important work my body might be doing while I am tired and rest? Which cells might be tinkered with and replaced, which emotions are being sifted through, which memories stored, which ideas are growing in the subterranean dark of my subconscious. I am moving to respect my body’s wisdom much more – even if the Goddess of Efficiency and Productivity is no longer receiving her sacrifice.

Even if my sense of self (attached to energy, creativity and outputs) has to subtly shift over and adjust sometimes to make room for tired, not-creating, listless or idle me.

I practice expanding to embrace both. I practice feeling peace with it all.