My Creative Journey
My journey of creativity started when I was at school, and when my Mum introduced me to lots of crafts. At school I became passionate about textiles, photography and dance. Like many of us who are still searching for their passions, I put them to one side to follow an academic route for sixth form and university.
I moved to Bristol and found my home here as a student, arriving in 2000 to follow my dream of taking my passion for the planet and geography further. Following 4 years of study I gained an MSci degree in Geographical Sciences from the University of Bristol, it was some of the toughest years I experienced, feeling out of my depth at times, and some of the very best times too. I love understanding the formation of landscapes, the nuances of weather and clouds, taking ‘field trips’ into the British countryside, and making sense of how people and spaces interact together. I’m an all-round Geography nerd and have been a National Geographic subscriber since 1999 and want to consume all I can about nature and it’s impact on us. Understanding nature, the seasons and how our landscapes have formed has been a huge passion of mine, and led me to grow a keen interest in outdoor photography, noticing the seasons and capturing nature in action.
After graduating from my degree I bucked the trend (at the time) deciding not to return home or go to London to work, and chose to stay in Bristol. I knew in my heart it would be a place where I could create a work life ratio on my own terms that suited me. Demanding graduate jobs that would take away my free time didn’t inspire me, what did was creating a life on my own terms and shaping things in my own way.
My creativity was reignited again during my 20s following a period, of what I now know was something resembling depressive feelings and thoughts, at the time they were the dark clouds engulfing my mind. I experienced moments of overwhelm, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, as well as a low mood and then experienced deep grief after losing some key friendships because of how I was showing up in the world. At the time I felt incredibly ashamed and talking openly about your own mental health back then wasn’t what it is now. My family and a few close friends were there to listen and could see the difference in me and that I was the shell of the person I once was.
I was overwhelmed and I knew that things needed to change. I decided to take a natural, non-medicalised route to unravelling who I had become and took ownership over mending my mindset. I began to notice what sparked positive feelings inside me and spent time mending my mind using visualisations, journaling, exploring the use of Bach remedies, and finding ways to let go of negativity and work through grief. Connecting to my interests of handmade crafts, noticing the details of the seasons and nature around me, and urban gardening became my self-prescribed therapy.
In 2011 I took a life-changing three-month sabbatical from work and travelled to the other side of the world, following my dream of seeing and photographing the beautiful landscapes and cultures of Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. During my trip I had a lot of solo time to think, to process the changes I had been through, and make plans for the future. I began making connections and unravelling who I was and thinking about who I wanted to be. I realised the power of a positive mindset, using my intuition, my personal determination and strength, as well as connecting more to my own creative passions of nature photography, gardening and handmade crafts bringing me home to my true self.
Following my trip away in 2011 I started my blog, The Pink Button Tree, documenting my creative journey and how I connected with seasons, nature, urban gardening and handmade crafts. To help heal, to build my journaling practice, to keep the momentum, and to shape my way of living, I connected to a word each year guiding my creative journey and what I wanted to bring into my life. This practice is shaped and inspired by the One Little Word class run by the brilliant Ali Edwards that I join each year. My words have been Grow (2013), Embrace (2014), Simplify (2015), Awaken (2016), Thrive (2017), Nurture (2018) and Bloom (2019). You’ll notice these words that I’ve shaped my years with are the names of the coaching seasons I’ve created. Alongside this I’ve connected to the seasons by writing Seasonal Manifestos and sharing these since 2016. Both practices form a deep part of my personal process of connecting to the seasons, understanding nature and the world around us. It keeps me grounded.
During the most recent years I’ve trained as a qualified business and life coach and am an NLP Master Practitioner. For full details about my experience, qualifications and memberships I’d love for you to take a look at My Experience and Qualifications page.
My creative life at the moment plays out around the small fringe hours that I have around looking after our daughter Chloe, our pup Juno and looking after our home. That moment when I sit down and write, pick up my camera and create are moments that fill me up and make me feel like I’m having a moment for me. My journey of being a coach to creativity seekers is part of that. I hope that you will have the opportunity to shape your creative life and make your dreams a reality too.