The story of how this blog came to exist at all is actually quite interesting, so I thought I would share it with you. A few years ago, it was obvious that I was enduring my life, not living it. I was in a job that I thought I loved, but there was something wrong. Frustration was building. I felt I was being hemmed in and that I was capable of much more. In short, I thought that I wasn’t being as creative, in my work, as I wanted to be, but I didn’t have a clue about how to move to a place in life where I was doing the work I loved to do best and enjoying my work more.
My wife, a superb researcher, found a life coach that specialised in creative individuals. This was somewhat of a very lucky break for me. I had talked to career counsellors and all manner of advisers about how to sort my career frustrations out and some had offered useful advice, but nobody really got me. You see, since childhood, I had been somebody that lived in my imagination. It’s the source of everything for me. I have a powerful imagination. I would dare to venture that I have an exceptional one, in that I have the ability to peer into the future and see how to take current technology in that direction.
Janet Whitehead understood me immediately. In her life coaching practice, she had seen people just like me (only uniquely different) all the time and had known how to move them from being stuck toward making changes in their lives that were more in tune with their inner needs and talents. In short, she understood the problem of being highly imaginative and creative, but being stuck in a job that really wasn’t paying attention to those aspects, or utilising those peculiar characteristics in any meaningful way. She nailed the nub of my problem. It was that I was being technical in my work, but not getting to use all of my considerable imaginative, creative and innovative powers.
Beyond diagnosis, what separated Janet’s style of coaching was that she had useful and immediate solutions, which could start to alleviate the frustration and get you to start building the life you needed rather than putting up with the life you already had. This is by no means an easy and instant solution. What you learn is that there is work to do, over a long period of time and that you’re going to have to take it seriously and stick with it, to move from an unsatisfactory working life to one that pays attention and honours your unique gifts or proclivities. That said, Janet gave me practical, doable first steps.
One of those was to learn to simply show up to honour your creative self on a regular basis. OK, your job might be denying you the opportunity to express that massive creativity, but nothing could stop you reorganising your life to pay more attention to that frustrated and ignored talent. The idea is that you can habituate yourself to regularly and routinely just sitting down and doing creative work. In my case, the exercise involved starting a blog, to set down, in writing, the many thoughts and feelings I had about the life of a creative person. In some senses, it was a relief valve, to let me say, “Hey, there are different human beings in the world and some of them see the world a bit like this”. Another aspect of the blog was to self motivate – to tell myself stories about being a creative being that got me used to the idea that being the way I was could be not only ok, but actually valuable and useful. A third plank of the reason for writing this blog on this subject matter was to share insights about how to become somebody that paid attention to their creative being, without starving to death (I still might, but things could go outstandingly well too. You just don’t know). Maybe I could provide useful information that helped others.
So, Janet challenged me to write regularly and to use that habit to begin to learn how to paint more, how to make more music and how to change my technological life into one that absorbs that imagination of mine and produces technical works the like of which have never existed before. The irony is that, while you think you’re in your comfort zone, going to work and earning a living, not stretching yourself or challenging what your company expects of you, in fact you are in severe discomfort, even agony, when your working life does not resonate with who you are at the core of your very essence. Nothing is worse than having a whole side of yourself that you force into the shadows and never use. It’s uncomfortable in the extreme. The challenge is to move from that situation to one where your best self is applying your core values and motivations to your daily work. That is the true comfort zone, but you have to take some pretty scary risks to get there and it takes a lot of tenacity, courage, honesty, openness and application to make those big changes in your life.
This blog is now approaching six hundred posts, spanning some four years. I’ve kept it up. I’ve proven to myself that I have a lot to say about being a creative person and that I can stick to the practice of honouring that creativity and giving it voice. I have used this discipline to move my painting and my music to better places too. Creating music and art no longer fill me with self doubt or fear of an audience (most of the time, anyway 😉 ). I’m working on moving my technical work onto this basis too.
I owe a lot to Janet. Those few brief months that I worked with her, one to one, over Skype, have made a lasting and significant impact on my life for the better. Janet’s life coaching actually works and works well. Her insight and wisdom is more valuable than you can even imagine.
Unfortunately, even the most brilliant people have setbacks and this was true for Janet. Her life coaching practice was dormant for a short while, because she had to face and conquer some health difficulties. I am delighted to announce that Janet is back on deck (this is a more apposite metaphor than you might at first think). She fought and conquered cancer and went on to fulfil one of her dearest dreams. She sailed on a tall ship as a crew member, doing things she had never done before and having a ball at it. As a recovery tactic, there could be none better and Janet, as always, lives her life in an inspiring way.
I don’t usually recommend products and services in this blog, unless I personally have used them and can recommend them without compromise to my honesty and integrity, both of which I value highly. I am here to tell you that, if you are a creative being that needs some coaching and help, Janet is back and working! You can also share in her wisdom and insight and move from a situation where you might be struggling, as a creative being, to one where you begin to thrive. Here is Janet’s web site:
At the moment, Janet is planning a course, in the very near future, which sounds like a blast and offers a cost effective introduction to her life coaching philosophy. You might never move to a one to one session, because that might be out of your reach or it just isn’t for you, but you can dip your toe into the waters of making big changes for the better, in your life, through this short course. It might show you what’s possible, in your life, if nothing else. I commend it to you.
You might also like to wear your creativity in a visible way, making a statement about how important your creative self is to you, so that other people begin to respect and recognise it too. T-shirts that achieve that lofty goal are here:
This post somehow turned into a shameless plug for what I think is the most valuable information and support that an artist could ever hope to find. I don’t care. I think Janet is an extraordinarily gifted coach and I am so glad she is working again. I’d like to think that, through reading this post, other people can find Janet too and benefit from her advice and kindness. She’s an understanding and compassionate coach and you will learn that you’re not alone, not weird and that you are a hell of a lot more, as a person, than even you might have suspected you are.
If you’re looking for answers and ready to make some changes, so that you can live the artistic, creative life you’ve always dreamed about, consider Janet. I don’t think you will regret your decision. I certainly can’t endorse what she has done for me highly enough.