It all started when…
My primary sense of self comes from being a creative person. I've always been obsessed with words: how they look and sound, what they do. I'm a poet, primarily, though I play around with whatever I can lay my hands on.
As a wickedly shy child, I watched, listened and theorized constantly about the people around me. Through this I gathered the skills to navigate and communicate, and accidentally became good at understanding what other people experience.
Teach to learn
As an adult, I began helping people.
I've taught at all levels from preschool to university. I've supported strangers in a variety of challenging life moments through a crisis phone counseling service. I've worked with refugees and mothers looking for a fresh start.
When I started teaching literacy and numeracy skills to adults, I realized that many of my clients were struggling with another skills gap. They needed to learn how to be more motivated, to believe in themselves, to work in practical ways with difficult thoughts and feelings, and to be able to visualize a better future.
This inspired me to learn how to break down these abilities into smaller parts, so that I could help my clients develop them bit by bit. I began to apply my new skills to my creative life, and was amazed by the transformation. The impossible tasks became possible. The dark nights of the soul became territory I felt safe in, despite their challenges.
This wild life
I've always been drawn to communities rich in art, writing, music, theatre and dance. Through these communities, I've had countless conversations about every aspect of creativity you can name. I know the recurring obstacles that creative people hurt themselves on. And I know what people have done that helps.
For many of us, being creative is something we do because we have to. The consequences if I don't write are bad. At the same time, creativity is full of risk. This is true at every stage from impulse right through to sharing work.
I have a strong drive to suffer less and have more fun. I want to reduce the old, known and unnecessary challenges in my creative life, so that I can face new ones.
This has led to me learning or inventing the skills and processes I now share with others.