I have always loved books and been in awe of the power of the written word. Words help us escape, connect, arise from our ashes and inspire.
After many years working in broadcast media, in marketing & public relations, I changed trajectories and became a counsellor. I became fascinated with human nature. I also experienced a health challenge and wanted to know if my thoughts contributed to my illness.
I began journalling and then started my own blog, to help others facing similar challenges. Like the Phoenix, it was illness that helped me walk through the fire, reawakening my love of writing. This difficult but productive time saw all my work experience in counselling and communication merge and augment my career to include writing. Everything I've learnt and experienced, now informs my work as a writer.
Today I write about personal growth, environmental issues, and creativity, along with a smattering of short stories and poetry.
I've had my first Short Story published in an anthology, 'Allsorts' (Book 2019). I also write news articles for Hawkeye Publishing which you can read here.
In my previous life, I wrote media releases, copy for brochures and newsletters. Today, my love is feature writing and non-fiction writing.
If you'd like to read my work, visit the Features page here.
One of the best things I've done is to give myself permission to explore my creativity. I have dabbled in drawing, print making, crochet and sewing. I love the meditative and often revealing nature of creativity. Creative pursuits are a great kind of mindfulness practice, and can be a soothing remedy for anyone suffering with anxiety and/or depression.
Creativity can also have positive side effects. For example, I use my sewing skills to help the environment by making reusable shopping bags and, quilts for sick children, using bright colours and designs to cheer them up.
The creative act of writing and journaling is also very healing. It can help unlock hidden beliefs and becomes a great record of our journey and progress.
Creativity isn't just about paints and coloured pencils. It can be found in plating up a beautiful meal, creating a garden, or even repainting an old pot and growing flowers. It can be as simple or complex as you like.
Apart from the satisfaction of making something with our own hands and minds, creativity helps us heal and find balance because the act of creating helps us move into a calming, meditative state.
We should also pursue a creative activity that we love, no matter how odd or quirky. Do it despite what others think, particularly, that harsh critic inside our heads.
For perfectionists, pursuing their creative passions, in spite of the critics, is one way to achieve freedom from old, negative thoughts and to start living an authentic life.
I write about creativity and especially the blocks we encounter like perfectionism on my blog here.
Helping others was instrumental in improving my health. Despite feeling unwell, by doing something achievable, like writing a blog to help others on a similar journey, I stopped focussing on myself and my perceived limitations, I realised that I was still able to achieve something useful and contribute to others.
Having worked in communications, as a counsellor and in pastoral care, I've learnt that there are times when we need support with life's challenges.
To this end, I write blogs and features on how to find opportunities for growth and the gaining of wisdom in difficult situations. Challenges can present opportunities to learn the skills we might be lacking, like resilience. When we're better armed, we can face our future with skills that support us moving forward.
If you are struggling right now, then seeking the help of an experienced counsellor might be the best gift you can give yourself.
I also encourage people to start writing, to journal their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, the simple act of writing can help us find an answer or at least can act as a starting point for further exploration.
Meditation, Contemplative Prayer, mindfulness, time in nature and engaging in creative pursuits can also be extremely healing and calming, especially for anyone suffering with anxiety and depression.
I share more of my own experiences with various techniques on my blog here.