I first met Jennifer Cockcroft when I joined the inspire tribe led by Lauren Barber – a group of women working on making their soulful business ideas into a reality. She had already taken the leap from corporate land to following her passion when we met, so she was miles ahead of me and where I wanted to be! She has beautiful website and Instagram feed filled with so many colours, and an Etsy shop filled with her creations.
In September this year Jennifer ran a ten day creativity challenge. Now for anyone who doesn’t know me in the “real” world, I have always been very clear and firm in the knowledge that I am NOT creative. This goes back to childhood and being told that art wasn’t my thing. I still can’t draw much more than stick people 30 years later! But in the interests of supporting my fellow tribe member, I signed up.
And do you know what? It turned out to be an excellent decision! And I learnt something new - I’m actually pretty creative after all!
I’d always taken creativity to mean artistic. Good at making things. This has never been me. BUT, creativity is so much more than that. Jennifer says “creativity takes courage. You already have both within you, and tapping into them will open up ways to express your unique and amazing self for the world to see.” It can be anything you want it to be.
“I believe that everyone is creative, and that creativity is a way of expressing your unique combination of experiences, inspirations and individual spark. It's like a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets, and hopefully means you are able to create better things more often. But sometimes, like any muscle, it gets a bit tired and worn out”
During the challenge I designed my monthly newsletter. I came up with designs for some infographics on chronic fatigue. I started having ideas and enjoying playing with colours and patterns. It felt easy and it felt fun. That challenge unlocked the creativity I’d kept hidden for pretty much my whole life. That I had never believed I had. Me – the totally not artistic person had a creative side – and loved it!
There have been lots of shifts in my life over the last year or so. It wouldn’t be over stating it to say I’m just not the person I was before I began this new journey in early 2016. Each time something shifts it opens up a new part of me, shining light into the shadows. And creativity is one of the things I’ve found hiding there.
I’d been looking online at retreat weekends, but hadn’t ever really found the one that ticked all the boxes for me. It got me thinking that maybe I wasn’t the only one looking for the same thing, so what if I were to set one up myself? Would it be worth it? Would anyone actually want to come? Unlocking that hidden creativity was sparking a long list of ideas, and I wanted to try everything all at once!
Rather than run off in a million different directions at once, I picked one to follow through on. To run a one day workshop where I help women get in touch with their soul voice, their authentic selves to find out what they really want and need. Then to use that knowledge to create vision boards to help them get to that dream.
To help me put that idea out into the real world, I set up a creative coaching call with Jennifer. Its something she’s recently started offering to help people tap into their creative sides and support them on their creative journey. So it was a bit of a no-brainer as far as I was concerned!
We had an hour call over skype where we talked through my plans. How I wanted to run the day and the things I’d need to think about before, during and after the event itself. I thought I was pretty clear on what I’d need to do, and had a few practical questions I thought Jennifer would be able to help me with. I was right – she had answers for all my questions, and she had lots of questions for me too. She helped me think though several scenarios I’d not considered before and gave me new things to think about and ideas to try. I’m using all that advice to help me create my own vision board for how I want the workshop to go. And I’m so excited to run my workshop in the new year!
I’m so grateful to Jennifer for everything she’s done for me. She’s opened me up to new possibilities and guided me past the fear that was holding me back.
If you’re even vaguely interested in picking up any kind of creative activity I cannot recommend talking it through with Jennifer more. She is one awesome, talented lady! Take a look here at what she offers.
And check out her Etsy shop too – its fab!
So, thank you Jennifer. Thank you for helping me find one of the missing parts of me.
If you fancy learning more about the workshop I’m running and would like to book you place, take a look here.