What is wellbeing? (and why does it matter?)

What is wellbeing?

It is easy to think that good health means just the absence of disease, injury or pain. But is that really what we are all aiming for? Wellbeing takes things a few steps further. The New Economics Foundation describes wellbeing as “how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.”

So it’s more than just being healthy. It’s also more than having material wealth: “Some people believe that wealth is a fast track to happiness. Yet various international studies have shown that it is the quality of our personal relationships, not the size of our bank balances, which has the greatest effect on our state of wellbeing.” (Better Health Victoria). Wellbeing may be linked to the deep satisfaction we find in our social connections.

It might relate to a persons social, economic, psychological or medical state. The Black Dog Institute says “In positive psychology, wellbeing is a heightened state that’s beyond just feeling happy or having good health. It’s a condition of flourishing, where we thrive in many aspects of our lives.”

Why does it matter? 

“…perhaps few subjects are more crucial to understanding the world, and our place in it, than understanding what it means for human beings to flourish” – Happiness and Wellbeing Research

Wellbeing isn’t just about attaining some heightened happy state. It is also about keeping us resilient in the face of stressors. “A strong sense of wellbeing contributes to good mental health. It also helps to protect us from feelings of hopelessness and depression, acting as a ‘guardian’ of our mental health” says the Black Dog Institute.

How do we find wellbeing?

Wellbeing is found through having many helpful elements present in our lives. These may include (but not be limited to):

  • feeling relatively confident in yourself and have positive self-esteem
  • feeling and express a range of emotions
  • using our strengths
  • building and maintaining good relationships with others
  • feeling engaged with the world around you
  • finding pleasure in losing ourselves in things we find challenging and enjoyable (aka attaining ‘flow’)
  • contributing to a ‘greater’ cause in a way that creates meaning
  • connecting with feelings of gratitude, satisfaction and contentment
  • being stimulated ‘enough’ by challenges, new experiences and learning
  • living and work productively
  • coping with the stresses of daily life
  • adapting and managing in times of change and uncertainty

Wellbeing takes ongoing focus and care 

Wellbeing is not a static state where we achieve it once and for all and can then forget about it. Instead we may need to revisit the things in life that help us feel well, and do this again and again, especially in the face of challenges. One new definition is that wellbeing is the “balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges faced” (Dodge, Daly, Huyton, & Sanders 2012).

“Wellbeing is not a beach you go and lie on. It’s a sort of dynamic dance and there’s movement in that all the time and actually it’s the functuality of that movement which actually is true levels of wellbeing (Nic Marks, Radio 4, 7 January 2012)

Setting up some regular practices, or habits, and some social structures that embed our wellbeing activities might help.

For example:

  • making a regular catch up date with friends that help you feel engaged, confident, and free to express a range of emotions
  • finding paid or volunteer work where you can use your strengths and contribute to a greater cause
  • signing up for a new course or class where you can meet people and learn new skills
  • deciding to call key friends or family members for a chat on a regular basis rather than relying mostly on social media for contact
  • having some ‘go to’ activities or resources that you can use in times of stress
  • having some hobbies or activities that you can immerse yourself in and that are both challenging and enjoyable
  • doing volunteer work as a way to extend your social networks
  • working on your self image with a counsellor or coach
  • having a counsellor, therapeutic group or support group where you can deepen skills in relationships and express a range of emotions
  • practicing acknowledging and accepting stressors and challenges through journalling, meditation, or other forms of reflection and self acceptance
  • attending to any social, economic, psychological or medical issues in your life that may be reducing wellbeing, including getting help where needed

Of course the activities that help might look different for everyone, and we may draw on some of these resources more at some times than others.

How does revisiting the concept of wellbeing help in your situation? Which aspects of a flourishing life might you want to attend to going forward? 


[Note: text in bold /emphasis in text by this author, not the original sources].


Black Dog Institute ‘What is Wellbeing?’ https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/clinical-resources/wellness/general-wellbeing

Better Health Victoria https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/wellbeing

Dodge, Daly, Huyton, & Sanders (2012) ‘The challenge of defining wellbeing’ International Journal of Wellbeing http://www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org/index.php/ijow/article/viewFile/89/238?origin=publicati

Edinburgh Napier University https://www.napier.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/research-environment/research-themes/wellbeing

Mind UK www.mind.org.uk 

New Economics Foundation (2012) Measuring Wellbeing: A guide for practitioners, London: New Economics Foundation.

Happiness and Well-Being: Integrating Research Across the Disciplines. Saint Louis University. Wellbeing Research FAQ http://www.happinessandwellbeing.org/wellbeing-research-faq


Image by leninscape on Pixabay

Working with a coach isn’t always easy

Working with a coach isn’t all ticking off tasks and getting things done. Coming up against resistance, freaking out, feeling annoyed, resenting the tasks, questioning everything, procrastinating can all be part of the journey.

I think the very act of being in a coaching relationship as we try to work towards something we care about helps us see ourselves and our experiences more clearly.

And it’s sometimes very challenging!
We can think that therapy is deep work and that in contrast coaching is all about light, easy and fun: ticking off tasks and being transformed instantly into a unicorn loving, organised, shiny superpreneuer*. But in reality it’s not.

Changing how we act in the world and what we do can deeply challenge our view of ourselves and bring up all sorts of fears. Writing a blog post for the first time can trigger all those voices of criticism that you internalised from childhood about standing out or being too big for your boots. Updating a CV and going for jobs can make space for grief about your career to surface. Naming a vision or a dream can bring up all your feelings of worthlessness, or pessimism, or whatever else is laying beneath the surface.

But that’s OK.

The cycles of awareness, then accepting, and then bringing compassion to ourselves is the deeper work that happens underneath the ‘getting tasks done’, ‘working towards a goal’ or ‘getting systems in place’.

So what I mean by that is if you’re finding it a bit challenging,  ‘you’re doing it right!’.

Coming up against resistance, freaking out, feeling annoyed, resenting the tasks, questioning everything, procrastinating can all be part of the journey. As can feeling relieved, feeling inspired, feeling supported, feeling focused and getting things done. We will just bring gentle awareness, acceptance, curiosity and compassion to all these experiences.

So are you ready for coaching? Are you feeling brave and like diving inwards as well as getting stuff done in the outside world? Are you feeling like you would like company and support on the journey? Are you feeling like shining some compassionate light onto the shame and ‘should have’s’?

Does any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear how coaching has helped you, or what you would be most excited about experiencing if we were to work together.

*Oh yes I made that word up myself 🙂


Honouring your multiple interests

This article includes some tips from fellow multipassionate ‘scanners’ (or multipotentialites) on how they are combining their interests to create a great life. Barbara Sher describes scanners as follows: “Unlike those people who seem to find and be satisfied with one area of interest, you’re genetically wired to be interested in many things, and that’s exactly what you’ve been trying to do.” This is how six different scanners from around the world are combining their interests (and their passing passions) into a satisfying life. 

“This year I sat down and listed all the things I wanted to do. I needed to make money whilst at the allotment, making art and walking the dog and doing something in the community. As a result, I’m dyeing local wool using natural dyes found in local plants and asking people to weave small patches on 3d printed looms. These are being joined together to make a blanket of colours throughout the year. I hope this will show the true value of artisan made pieces, and encourage makers to charge fairly for their work. I’m blogging about the process so if someone has one of my baskets they can follow the wool right back to the dyepot or farm. An unexpected side effect is that people recognise my degree in Computing and I’ve been asked to build websites for other people, something I enjoy and a useful supplement!” – Caroline Finnigan from happymakes.org

“I have a photography website – this lets me code, design, write, photograph, research, market, sell prints – tons of skills everyday! I also quit work earlier this year to travel – I get to learn language, eat new foods and fruit, learn how a new city and transit system works, everything is new and a challenge all the time.”– Shimona Carvalho  from www.sidecarphoto.co

“By alternating most interests for 2 hrs a day. By building my lifestyle on the foundation of travel (first by emigrating to Australia then by house sitting) so that provides heaps of excitement and thus other projects become ‘fillers‘”.  – Marianne

“I found a good-enough job that is more than good enough: while it pays well enough to keep me alive and fund my side interests, it also allows me to pursue interests at work and to switch interests every few years. Because it’s only a 9-5, 5-day-a-week job, it leaves plenty of time to do other things that I want to do, such as tutoring high school students, volunteer travel, designing board games, paint, train to be a yoga instructor, teach photography, coach rowing, and so on. Naturally, I don’t do everything at the same time, and pick up new interests while dropping or rediscovering old ones. I love doing things that allow multiplying of interests, for example tutoring high school students means getting to sharpen my science, calculus, French, art history, English, social studies, and so on in order to keep up and explain it to someone else. It’s never not both challenging and fascinating.
There are too many things I want to learn and not enough time to learn them all, plus as I age, I have less and less energy after a full day. I don’t have a plan, but when I get a sudden flash and see an opportunity, I jump on it. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to volunteer my photography for an NGO project abroad, so I found an organization that made these connections and was selected to go to Botswana. This year…I’ve got something else that sprung out of my head a few weeks ago that may turn into a 3-week assignment across Canada.
One of the things I discovered about myself is how much I enjoy the adventure of not knowing what’s going to happen next. This is what I enjoy about travel, about meeting new people, about starting on a new interest. I see everything as possible, so it’s only limited by how much I want to pursue.
The way this works for me is to never worry about having to make a living from all of my interests. This way leads to folly for me. I don’t have an entrepreneurial drive to see something through and then keep doing it over and over for years until it starts to see results. I don’t have the ability to pick something to specialise in and become an expert in: no matter how long I continue to photograph, and no matter how much I get paid to, I will always be an amateur.” – Margaux Yiu from margauxyiu.com

I let myself get excited whenever I find a new passion of mine, I allow myself to fully dive into it, and the really fun part about this is: I never know what things stick and what don’t. It’s like running through a field of flowers while covered in honey and later checking the kind of blossoms sticking to your skin. (That’s a weird image, but let’s pretend it’s pure poetry 😅)” -Steffi from oilonpaper.com

“My life since finding out that I am a scanner has been very interesting; to have learned that it’s not about final stage product as a goal but the learning and enjoying part of the project is a goal. It made me feel confident that I have achieved happiness. It doesn’t have to be complete product to show to others. It’s not only about admiration from the audiance, sometime it only about fulfilment of finding a solution for my projects.
I therefore started to not put pressure on my projects, working on each of them only as much as I feel like and leave it until nextime.
The funny thing is that when I started putting unfinished/in progress projects on FB, it has made people feel like they are joinnung me with my journey, I’ve got question from people on how to make the particular part of the project, which is the kind of question that makes conversation goes on and on. When I posted only the finished product, sometime people have less questions to ask!” – Patrick 

Does this idea of building a life that honours all your interests resonate with you? Do any of these tips inspire you? Tell us below!

JadephotoHi there! I’m Jade, a creative business owner, art therapist, artist and certified Barbara Sher life coach based in the Inner West of Sydney. I love using art therapy and coaching to help people see themselves and their situations in new ways, and helping others create, connect and work towards their dreams.

If you would like help to design a life that uses all your interests, or work towards a long held dream I can help!

Check out my coaching page for info on how we can work together.

best wishes





Why I love coaching

Now. I know when we work in the ‘helping professions’ there can be an expectation that the MAIN reason we do things is for the warm fuzzy feelings of knowing we’ve helped someone along.

But after 15 years working in my last profession (what? yes, I had another career until quite recently. More about that over here) I learnt the hard way that doing things just because you think they are important and someone should be doing it is not a recipe for long term career satisfaction. You also need to do things that play to your strengths.

And when I say strengths, I don’t mean just mean skills, or ‘anything you do well’. I mean more specifically your FAVOURITE skills.

Using your favourite skills, the ones that are FUN to use, the ones that come almost ‘naturally’ to you, the ones that you barely feel like you even have because they are so familiar and come so easily. Using those skills, A LOT, is a key part of job satisfaction – well I reckon it is anyway.

And to tailor our work to our favourite skills, we need to get pretty good at spotting when we are ‘in flow’, when work is satisfying, and we we feel like we can get lots done pretty easily. We need to notice these moments and observe what exactly we are doing when we feel like that – and then we need to structure our work so we get more of that. I reckon.

Here is why I love coaching:

  • It is left and right brained* – It is highly creative but a sharp eye for analysis can also be a bonus – I love this! I love to flit between the two.
  • It is incredibly client centred as you enter the world of your client to understand its landscape and find ways to help them where they are. What fun! I love seeing different world views up close, and figuring out what the beliefs are that are creating barriers to movement.
  • It is playful. Without enthusiasm and a light touch coaching just creates a list of things to do. With playfulness and enthusiasm it helps create a sense of possibility, energy and urgency. I love playfulness!
  • It is incredibly diverse – you get to learn about the world, different professions, locations, different life experiences. Each client brings their own universe and I am lucky enough to be learning as we speak.
  • It is about feelings – if you ignore the feelings attached to people’s dreams and actions you miss the point. I am not scared of feelings and I’m happy to make space for the tough ones.
  • It is all about support – I think the world is happier place when we have allies and champions and helpers and encouragers on our side. It makes me happy to know my client isn’t having to face things alone.
  • It requires improvisation – some coaches use a fixed script or set of steps, I plan each session to meet the unique situation of the client – and half the time end up improvising and creating something new in session. I feel comfortable doing that and it brings me such joy to be relaxed enough to change direction, trust my gut and ‘dance’ with what is unfolding.

All of this helps me understand myself better as someone who enjoys thinking, enjoys learning, enjoys creating support structures and enjoys authentic, deep connection.

What do you love about what you do?

What does it tell you about what your favourite skills are?

How could you spend more time putting your favourite skills to work?


*Look I don’t want to get into this but there is a lot of recent research that says left and right brain are not as separate and distinct in their function as people have believed. So here I’m just using it as a metaphor but noting that it’s probably outdated terminology.

We show each other our selves

Some days it feels like it all comes together, like the professional ‘mask’ is aligning quite beautifully with my souls work. I LOVE how my coaching clients keep appearing and teaching more about who I want to work with. They teach me what it is I have to offer, and what it is I want to express. Sometimes I still feel like I’m ‘too much’ and that all my interests and experiences don’t fit together or make any sense…. but even just today I see a new way my experiences dovetail to offer unique support for a certain type of client.

My experiences that saw me facing the world feeling alone and anxious, my perfectionist tendencies that saw me push through challenging ‘head’ work for 15 years and suffer wave after wave of burnout, my transformation and reinvention as an art therapist and coach embracing ‘heart’ work, and now my learning as I go of running a business. I see that ALL the darkness, all the suffering contributes to the empathy I have for my clients who have experienced trauma or burnout. I see that ALL my drive and runs on the board in my old world of work means I can meet my driven, high achieving clients with insight and compassion. I see that ALL my zany hobbies and wild passions for learning and making things mean I can meet people with multiple interests with lived experience of how to give our passions time, how to celebrate our wins, and how to celebrate our multiple facets.

I see that my art therapy work helps me hold the space without fear when things go ‘deep’, and that my coaching work helps us keep looking forward and making sure dreams for the future sit at the centre of our work together.

So despite the pressure to find a niche and specialise in just one kind of client that abounds in this field, I feel more like I am a constellation of knowledge and skills and gifts that can meet clients who also have a constellation of life experience, knowledge and skills and gifts, and maybe we meet somewhere in the middle, or some of our parts mirror each others’ enough to have a useful exchange.

It’s the Little Things

I was working with a coaching client recently who wanted to do some regular writing for creative expression, and she reflected ‘I realise now how it’s so hard to do it alone, and really it’s the little things that make a big difference’.

The little things like where you will work, how long you will do it for, what ‘rules’ you’ll have for yourself, how flexible you will be, what motivates you, what success will look like.

I agree with her. When it’s our own dreams we can expect ourselves to jump from here to there with nothing in between. But figuring out those little things demystifies the process and helps build the bridge that we will follow to get there.

Every big grand dream is made up of tiny, detailed, boring, humble, prosaic, unglamorous steps.

The rock concert with lights and the rush of emotions and big hair and slick dancers is preceded by years of practice and hustling and lugging guitars and meetings and hoping and cursing. It is held together by roadies in dusty jeans, and gaffa tape, and cords and bottle of water and schedules and tour buses and passports and all the tiny details that help bring a dream to life.

A dream runs the risk of seeing like a job lot – we either have the lot of it, at once, right now, or we can’t get there at all. It feels like an all or nothing affair. We are impatient, and we would rather not work towards it but rather keep the wish holy and pristine and safe and hovering just out of reach in the ‘some day’.

You can’t skip the details.
You might not want to think about the details.
A good coach can help you bring the dream into the here and now and get you moving on taking small, safe, practical steps that get you on the path to where you want to go.

Growing ideas from flower to seed

A lot of clients I work with have great ideas but these ideas don’t come to life. Why is that?
Let’s talk the Birds and the bees – remember high school biology?

When a plant makes a flower it is putting all that gorgeousness out there ready to catch the pollen from another flower. It lays there open and colourful,hoping to attract a bee, a moth, a beetle or even just the wind to bring pollen from another flower over into its deepest recesses. When the pollen is absorbed into the centre of the flower the flower is pollinated. It then starts to grow its fruit.

The plant needs to nourish that tiny fruit with its seed nestled inside and have it grow and mature. When it’s mature the seed deep inside the fruit is fertile and ready to be planted and grow. Then something needs to pick up the fruit and take it somewhere that the seed can grow. This can be gravity, the wind, an animal munching on the fleshy outside of the seed and discarding the core…etc.

That moment of pollination is just the start. The formation of the idea is not the endpoint.

Our ideas are much like this.
– We need to be open to outside influences to receive that ‘aha’ which pollinates our idea.
– We need to hang onto the idea and not throw it out into the world too soon before we’ve had a chance to let it grow
– to nourish the idea we need water, light, air and that which nourishes us
– Eventually when it’s ripe we do need to let it go
– We need to find a way to move it from ourselves to fertile ground
– to get the idea into the world we need to make our idea appeal to a particular audience who will find it delicious, they will help carry it to fertile ground
– and then we need to get on with growing the next flower
Just like a plant, not every flower needs to be pollinated, not every infant seed needs to be matured and planted.

But isn’t it enough just to have the ideas?
Yes, having ideas is beautiful. It feels good.
Or rather it can. If you are happily producing ideas and they are entertaining you keep going!
If you worry about losing them, write them down.
But if your ideas feel like possibility that you aren’t bringing into the world and that makes you sad – sad for your lost opportunities, worried that maybe you will never do what you love or take a chance on creating something – then maybe your idea’s want to be nourished and sent out into the world in mature form.

Meanwhile the plants also contribute to lush fertile soil that seeds grow well in (by dropping their leaves, by supporting tiny bacteria underground, by doing fancy things with water). Not just for their seed, but all around them.

Is there a stage of idea making that you find challenging? Do you tend to drop your ideas before they are mature and have a vehicle out into the world?

How are you making the world a safer place for other people’s ideas? How could you create a nutrient rich space for growth whether it be your idea or another’s?


Get moving on your ideas in 2017: If you would like help to get unstuck and get your ideas out there I am your girl! With 15 years project management experience – dreaming up projects and helping bring them to life with community groups and partner organisations locally and around the world – I thoroughly understand what it takes to make ideas ‘stick’ and grow. On top of that I have personal experience of bringing my own creative work into the world, baby step by baby step. I GET how close to our hearts our dreams are and how hard it can be to move forward on our own ‘stuff’ – the most precious but sometimes last on our lists stuff – even if we are capable and smart and competent in other areas of our life.

I love to work right along side you as a mentor, guide and sometimes even team member on your project. I will be your cheer squad, brainstorm partner, strategy whizz, accountability boss, and ally as you face the brave and courageous work of saying your dream out loud and moving towards it.  Don’t go it alone, when help is available. My coaching packages are HERE. Drop me a line today to get started or ask questions HERE.

Creative project – Amanda Candy on getting on with it and the fine art of collaboration

Amanda Candy is a coach who recently designed and made her own ‘oracle cards’ including collaborating with an artist to get images created, and liaising with printers to get them produced. Today I talk with her to find out what inspired her to do the project, whether she had to overcome self-doubt to get it done, and what she suggests to anyone else trying to get their project off the ground.

This is part of a series of interviews I’m doing about people going after their dreams, and making creative projects happen. And when I say ‘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?

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! 

Amanda Candy is a coach who recently designed and made her own ‘oracle cards’ including collaborating with an artist to get images created, and liaising with printers to get them produced. Today I talk with her to find out what inspired her to do the project, whether she had to overcome self-doubt to get it done, and what she suggests to anyone else trying to get their project off the ground.

I know you are a life coach who specialises in working with women who find themselves empty nesters, so how did you find yourself creating a pack of oracle cards?

I’ve been using oracle cards for many years now and have trained with Doreen Virtue and Sonia Choquette becoming a certified Angel intuitive and Six Sensory practitioner which helped to deepen my connection with cards and myself. The first time I ever read cards fro someone else was about 10 years ago I walked past a shop that was holding a card reading workshop, and it was starting just then, and I just went in there and did it. That was the start of getting to know my intuition and realizing I’d been doing it all my life.

The reason I created the Inside Out Oracle card deck was that a year ago I was heading away travelling for six months with just a backpack and could not decide which deck to take with me so I thought I’d create my own and take them along on the journey.

Do you have a history of using oracle cards with your clients? How do you use cards for yourself in daily life?

Cards have been an integral part of my professional and personal life. When I work with a client I tune into them prior to our session using a tool known as automatic writing. This allows me to cut straight through to what the client needs to work on and then I use the cards to validate the information I have receive and to fill in the things I may have missed.

I use that as a way to leap in and get to the core issues with clients, as a way to work through, for us to get beneath or below the surface appearance of what is going on for them. We then explore it together.

When using the cards for myself I ask them to guide me and give me action steps to help me to move forward. Sometimes I use the layouts that I designed for the pack, sometimes I just intuitively pick out the number of cards I feel that I need. Then I do some automatic writing afterwards to tune into the deeper meaning for myself.

I know this project was a ‘passion project’ – in that the whim took you and you ran with it because it felt so ‘right’ – even though you didn’t know much about graphic design or getting products made. What gave you the confidence to step up and follow this project through?

I’ve always been someone who once I come up with an idea I run with it. It’s something I like to help my clients to do as well. “Go for it” is one of my mottos. Knowing I didn’t have all the skills required to make them didn’t put me off as I knew in my heart that they would come to fruition. I had that inside feeling we often get – that inner knowing. I trusted that I’d be connected with the right people to help me and when I met Emma Veiga-Malta the artist at a networking event she had no idea about Oracle cards but I really liked her and I wanted to work with her we clicked. I hadn’t actually even seen her artwork when I started talking to her about collaborating – I just knew I liked her and felt drawn to working together. And that was fabulous because once I did see her artwork I knew it would be perfect for this project. Once I shared my vision with her she instantly saw what I was aiming for adding in her own special interpretation to my ideas.

Did you have any doubts?

I am not an attention to detail lady, I am a big picture lady. I was lucky that Emma was such a detail focused person, she would say ‘we’re going to have a timeline, we’re going to have a deadline’ and I would say ‘great’. That just pulled me into action, and the fact that I collaborated, I knew and I know that on my own I could have never have achieved this. I had to bring in other people. And that’s what added to the experience and made it more joyous for me.

There was never any fear – just an inner knowing that these just needed to come to birth.

I had an idea, I had a vision, I had a lot of thoughts. If you involve somebody else, what I’ve learnt is also to allow them to also have their own vision of your project. If you explain it well enough they’ll usually have ideas you haven’t even thought of. And to be open and willing to accept that. Not to be so rigid and stuck. If I had been rigid and stuck about some of the pictures that I particularly wanted I think the end result would have been completely different. I think just having that flexibility and allowing the process to flow and be more fluid is really important; trusting the outcome.

How has following your intuition and making these cards shifted things for you in your business?

Making these cards has given me a new dimension for my business as an added tool that I can offer my clients as something they can use for themselves which empowers them to find the answers within. I’m all about self-empowerment and the cards teach that.

What advice would you give someone else who feels drawn to creating something even if they have doubts and aren’t sure what place it might take in their life?

One main thing I’d recommend is patience. I think I’m someone who wants something to happen immediately. You have this idea and you want it out there tomorrow. I think with any creative endeavor a key thing is to have patience, because it isn’t going top happen overnight. If you force the process and you push it, the end outcome isn’t as fluid and eloquent as it could be. I think you need to be less focused on the end point, timewise (unless there is some fixed deadline), because this is an ongoing journey. With this project, for example, from beginning to end this project will probably take about a year. In October 2015 I first came up with the idea, then I got them printed February 2016, spent the next six months doing readings and selling cards to people I met on my travels, and now, back home in October 2016 I’m looking at printing options for my second run of cards, refining them, and using what I’ve learnt from working with them to design workshops to help people use them for their own personal use or with their own clients.

I think that there are times in your life where you just have to let down any blocks that you have and you take an opportunity and you run with it. Especially if it calls out to you loudly or consistently. We often may not have the ‘how’ we are going to do things but if you have a clear ‘why’ and enough belief that you can do it then get on with it and take the first step. The rest will come.

I’ve used this philosophy when I opened up my accommodation business, walked 800km across Spain and cycled 2,500km through France. You have two choices. ‘give up’ or ‘get on with it’.



About the interviewee: Amanda Candy is an intuitive leader and Certified Life Coach who supports women between the age of 45-55 through times of life transition such as empty nest, to feel confident in making decisions that are right for them rather than pleasing everybody else. A certified Angel Intuitive with world renowned Doreen Virtue, Amanda has also trained as a Six Sensory Practitioner with Sonia Choquette, studied Mediumship through Arthur Findlay College with Tony Stockwell and helped present Hay house events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with facilitators such as Brian Weiss, Robert Holden, Neil Donald Walsh, Lisa Williams. Read more here.

JadephotoAbout the interviewer: Jade Herriman, BSc, MSocSci, DipTAT is a Sydney-based transpersonal art therapist, Barbara Sher coach and facilitator. She works with clients to help bring more creativity into their lives, 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 is pleased to be presenting a full program of art therapy, creativity and coaching workshops in 2017 including a series of Women’s Wellbeing groups, monthly mixed media art workshops, and coaching programs for people who want to kickstart their creative project. 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.

The C- word

Some thoughts today on comparison…I know I sometimes find myself comparing my ‘progress’ to others’, maybe you do too. Some reflections:

* Maybe the things that take a lot of energy for YOU don’t for others. They might find them easy and fun and they do them quickly because they’re good at them (whether through training, natural gifts or years of practice, or both, who knows). Like for me the idea of speaking another language is vast and terrifying and exhausting – some of you do it every day. You might find the idea of regular writing of blog posts and social media feels overwhelming, for me it feels easy and fun. I find the idea of preparing and cooking a three complex course meal in one day and then cleaning up after it completely exhausting – my husband does this and more each day because he is a trained and practiced chef. There are countless other examples.

* There are always people doing more and always people doing less – comparing yourself and judging yourself or them doesn’t help us to do more

* Just because one horse likes to walk and another likes to run does it make the running horse bad somehow? Or the walking horse? Or the horse having a snooze in the paddock? Or the horse distracted by a nice flower? Aren’t all the horses welcome to be who they are and do what they like?

* We all have the same number of hours in the week, but we all have different priorities, circumstances and energy levels. Some of us have caring roles for family members. Some of us have day jobs. Some of us might spend the whole week on house, family and errands. Some of us have creative and spiritual practices happening ‘behind the scenes’. Some of us want time for reading, or travelling, or classes, or volunteering, or bird watching, or tightrope walking, or polishing the silverware, or ironing our underpants – some of us don’t. Each of our lives has a different mix of activities and commitments based on what we love to do, feel we need to do, choose to do, and what we feel physically and emotionally able to do.

* Different commitment leads to different outcomes. Some of us work 8 hour days at our creative pursuits/ business/ whatever else, some of us work 8 hours a week or fortnight or month on it. Or others might be lucky to spend 8 hours a year on it (like me and learning languages for example). Some of us are trying to make coaching/training/writing/ art/ sport/ whatever other pursuits a full time income, some are doing it as an add-on to an already established business, for some it might be a hobby or nice occasional income. Comparing just the outputs of people without seeing the different levels of inputs doesn’t make much sense. Of COURSE the person who attends language class every week will have mastered much more than me occasionally listening to you tube videos on Spanish for travellers, or pretending I can learn Icelandic by watching nordic noir and copying the sounds they make occasionally (yes, I actually do this, it make me very happy!). How can I feel agrreived at their progress if I wasn’t similarly willing to head out to class each week and do the homework?

What about you? Any thoughts on comparison and how it makes us feel? When is it helpful and when is it not? How do you get yourself out of comparison loops? When do you find it actually useful for your own progress and inspiration?