Tag Archives: boldness

Growing new ideas

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One aspect I love about being self-employed is the freedom to grow and develop new ideas. Sometimes these work, sometimes they don’t, which can be hard, but I really value the space to be able to try and the space to be able to think creatively. Over the last couple of years, I have realised that I really enjoy the creative process of thinking and developing new projects/ resources and I am learning to be braver about trying to push these forward and see if they can grow and take off.

Over the last year I have been working with my husband and 2 close friends on developing one of these new ideas, it started as an idea for a children’s illustrated book to explain Bipolar to children and then developed into the idea of making this into an animation as well as a book. Over the last 5 weeks, we pushed forward a crowdfunding project to fund this idea. We knew we were being highly ambitious in the amount we were trying to raise and we were really unsure if it would work ,if anyone would want to back it. We didn’t raise the full amount we needed, but we did have pledges for half the amount .

When you try out a new idea, you often don’t have a sense of whether it will work, it can feel really risky, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position of risking rejection and criticism and that is very hard. The flip side of that is people do support you and you discover that people love you and believe in your idea. That has been my experience, as a group working on the Mummy’s got Bipolar project we have all been deeply touched by the support we have been offered, the generosity of people. Alongside this the incredibly moving comments from strangers telling us that they didn’t know how to tell their children about their Bipolar, messages of encouragement from people living with Bipolar telling us there is a great need for this project.

This morning I went for my usual Sunday morning walk around the meadow at the back of our house. This is a space where I can think and reflect. This morning I noticed a small horse chestnut tree sapling growing on the edge of the meadow. I loved noticing the beauty of this tiny new tree and the possibility of the great tree it might grow to become. We have been really encouraged by the support we had through sharing the idea of our project with others; our project feels a bit like that tiny tree, I still don’t know quite what it will become, but we are going to try and continue to see if we can make it grow.

Being supported

 

 

IMG_0050It is the last week of the school year for my nurture work, this is a week to say goodbye to staff who I have worked so closely with all year, a time of final sessions with the children who have become very important to me and will also leave a little of themselves in my memory. It’s a time to tell staff once again what an amazing job they have done, to remind them of the progress they have made with the child; and it is a time to tell the children for one last time this year that they are special and how much I have loved working with them.

The end of the school year is a time to stop and reflect, my main reflection has been how important support is. In our nurture role, we are in an unusual position that we can work with a school and child for a year, we can support them by visiting them weekly, by being there, not just advising and telling them what to do but also by being hands on and modelling the work. One teacher told me she appreciated having someone to rant to, others have said they were grateful for having someone who they knew was there for them and supported them through some very stressful times.

We all need people in our lives to support us, people, who will come alongside us and tell us we can do it, to encourage us. A week ago I and a small team launched a crowdfunding project for a children’s book and animation project called Mummy’s Got Bipolar. When we initially planned for this I had not anticipated the strong feelings I would have with it. I wrote the children’s book, drawing on my own experience of my Mum having Bipolar and my experience of working with other families and children over the years. I foolishly didn’t really realise how brave I needed to be to do this project!. I find asking for support in this project quite hard, I am not a natural promoter or marketing person. Also because it is a subject that I believe in and I care about it has brought up feelings of vulnerability and fear of being rejected. Earlier this year I read a book by Brene Brown called Daring Greatly, I didn’t realise at the time how important her words were going to be to me. Brene talked about having the courage and being brave to step out of your comfort zones and take risks. That is definitely what I have done this last week, but this has only been possible by people supporting me. It has been a very scary week! but various family and friends have been there, given me encouraging words, supported the project, offered ideas and suggestions. Without their support the last week would have been a lot harder. There is still another 3 weeks of the campaign to go and I know that ongoing support is going to be vital to get us to the end.

If you’re interested in looking at the campaign a link  is here

Choosing to be bold

 

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There have been various moments this week when I have been thinking about boldness and how sometimes we need to be bold. We need to step outside of our comfort zone and safe place to discover something new, sometimes this enables us to do something that brings us joy and sometimes this can be scary and feel uncomfortable.

At the beginning of the week, I met with a friend, Julia. She was telling me how she has been offered a job in the Congo with the UN. I love her passion and her courage. I find her belief and determination to be involved in justice so inspiring. I was struck by how taking this job is a bold move, it is to an area she has never worked before and not an easy place to be. Another friend, Jenny, has been bold this week; over the past year, she has been treated for breast cancer and has spent this weekend running the Palestine half marathon. She was raising money for breast cancer services for women in Gaza, as the cancer service in Gaza is massively inadequate. This year has been really tough for Jenny, but again she is a bold woman, who has come through treatment and has continued her passion of running. She chose to raise money for something she passionately believes in, the act of running for Jenny brings her joy but she says the act of asking for donations makes her feel deeply uneasy and uncomfortable, so again an example of being bold.

At the start of this weekend, I helped organise a poetry event with Ian Adams and my husband Iain Cotton showed some new artwork. Somebody asked the question to Ian if he was able to earn money from making poetry, which made him laugh, as this is very very hard!. What struck me while listening to both men talk about their work and creativity was that the very act of choosing to be creative, of choosing to do something that brings them joy, but also choosing to do something which puts them in a place where others will make a judgement about their work, is bold, and at times that can be uncomfortable.

Over the last few months, I have been working on a project developing a children’s story book about living with a parent with Bi-Polar. This is a subject which is very important to me for both professional and personal reasons. I asked two work colleagues this week to look at a draft. This felt so scary, I have huge respect for their knowledge and expertise in working with vulnerable children. I realised as I sent them the draft their opinion really, really, mattered. If they thought it wasn’t very good then I wouldn’t go forward with the project, but I knew that I needed to put myself in this uncomfortable position if this project was to move forward. For me that was a bold move, thankfully their feedback was good and really helpful!.

To be bold can be scary and it can be uncomfortable but it can also lead to some great things.

 

Image of a  finger labyrinth carved by Iain Cotton