I have always had a love of nature, as a child whiling away many hours in the fields behind the house, and throughout my life walking the hills, woodland and seashores near my home. I’ve been drawn to engaging creatively in life, making things, drawing, using collage, dancing, swimming in wild seas, doing thing differently. I’ve worked in the hospitality industry, managed a Complimentary Health practice, led walks (Soles & Souls) and facilitated a variety of art workshops and classes.
Mindfully Creative is a synthesis of Creativity, Mindfulness and Nature. I studied Art (printmaking) in Sydney in the 1980’s and have taught a variety of art classes over the years, in particular life drawing. I’ve explored a wide range of media and have an eclectic approach, enjoying the contrast of working on the one hand in a wild, spontaneous and free manner with paint and mixed media, and on the other hand working very carefully and precisely in pen and ink to create detailed designs and mandalas.
I see the patterns of interest and engagement that weave in and out of my life. As a child, I loved drawing and making crafty things. I also loved spending time in nature. In my early 20s, I travelled to Australia on a working holiday visa, fell in love and stayed for 7 years. I took the opportunity to go to art college and subsequently set up several community art classes, mainly in life drawing which was my biggest passion. Back in England, art went on the back burner for a few years until I moved to East Sussex, where I set up classes and workshops, and spent time drawing and painting in my garage studio. When my daughter came along in 2001 my creative attention got diverted into raising this wonderful being. Now I find myself drawn back to bringing creativity more fully into my life and sharing the process of how to engage in the creative flow with other people, through classes and workshops. I also have a regular meditation practice, bringing Mindfulness to all aspects of living and teaching and completed a Mindfulness Teacher Training course in 2016.
I am now devoting myself fully to Mindfully Creative classes, teaching the Zentangle method and engaging in my own art practice. I am also a qualified life coach.
I believe we are all creative by nature, though sometimes the creative part of us can get surpassed by ‘more important’ endeavours or get thwarted as we grow up. Fortunately it is possible to rediscover the part of us that loves adventure, trying out new things and seeing what curious, unexpected creative outcomes emerge. Young children are innately creative and create new worlds through play. As we grow up creativity can blocked for one reason or another. Often a childhood experience of having the latest painting or play dismissed by a busy parent can stifle your creativity for a lifetime. The creative part of ourselves is very sensitive and needs nurturing with a gentle, kind heart to grow and flourish. It needs to be given space to try things out, and make mistakes without judgement. The critical voices that arise in response to some of our creative endeavours may try and guide us on a sensible path, but they can get in the way of being spontaneous and open to whatever emerges.
In the west creativity is often seen as a result of great creative personalities and we herald well know creative people as brilliant. However there is also a different way of viewing creativity as something less personal, as more of a universal process that we can discover ways of tapping in to. So it’s less about ‘our’ creativity and something that ‘we’, the ‘ego’ creates, but more about finding the creative flow that we can meld with. To this end it helps to ‘get ourselves out of the way’! What I mean is finding a way to bypass the critical conscious ego part of the mind that jeopardises the possibility of allowing creativity to flow.
‘Getting yourself out of the way’ can be achieved by becoming mindfully absorbed with the process of making something, so that the process takes over and the mind becomes calmer and more focussed. In the various classes and workshops I run I will introduce different ways to help you become more present moment by moment as the creative process unfolds.
I really appreciate the chance to walk with others in a mediative silence, appreciating the sounds, sights and scents all around; it's a much fuller experience, somehow, than just strolling along chattering the whole time. (But of course, it's good to talk to other people for some of the time!)
I just wanted to thank you for the glorious walk on Saturday afternoon ... and with such nice people. I really enjoyed myself and it cheered me up no end! I shall look forward to the next one.
I enjoyed my morning out with Louise and the other walkers on a ramble across the South Downs. Louise's gentle presence encouraged us to be aware of our surroundings, and softly suggested some meditation for the walk. I was particularly grateful for the balance of silence and social time - too often hiking with a group means trading silence for companionship; how nice to have both! I look forward to discovering another corner of my neighborhood with Louise.
I just wanted to say what an amazing time I had on the Chailey Trails walk, I've still got beautiful images floating through my mind. I really liked the group too and felt really comfortable with everyone and the poems were lovely. Walking in silence was a treasure for me and I'd love to spend more time out in nature doing this.
I had such a sense of achievement at the end!
It was wonderful to discover as a group that it's possible to appreciate the beauty of nature and feel inner stillness at the end of the walk.
That walk at Isfield was magic. Thank you so much.
Thanks for a lovely walk yesterday, it was great to go on such a relaxing and unhurried walk. The quiet time is a wonderful idea - giving time for just taking in the surroundings and just thinking! Look forward to joining another walk in the future.
Many thanks for the most enjoyable walk around Chailey on Saturday. I have driven past that area many times, but had not realised what beautiful and tranquil countryside lay away from the main road. I enjoyed the social aspects of the walk, but also the quiet times, at which point I really became aware of the birds singing and calling, and also the small, almost imperceptible noises of the woodland.
Just to say Thank You for a lovely walk yesterday. I felt so good afterwards and it will spur me on to do other walks.
We had a completely blissful day Foraging by the Sea - it was one of the nicest days we've had for ages. So thanks very much indeed - and thank Anna too - she was outstandingly informative! It was really interesting. Thanks again.
Thankyou for the list of berries from our Hedgerow Harvest walk. As it sit and see the rain pouring outside I can think back on that wonderful day and treasure it for the wintery days ahead; it was such a treat.
I don't know if it is my imagination but I do feel much more relaxed today and grounded, centred, call it what you will. It was a lovely day and I'm so pleased I decided to book for the Yoga & Walking Retreat. I look forward to similar days to build on some of the good reflections I had whilst in that wonderfully held space yesterday.
I loved the muddy walk yesterday. Lovely people, new horizons and time to think or try not to
I so enjoyed our foraging walk yesterday. A beautiful setting for both nourishing information and tasty morsels from the hedgerows! Excellent time well spent with lovely people to chat to on the way.