Creativity. It’s powerful, personal and present – in all of us. Sadly, many of us leave behind the bold, vibrant, vital force that is creativity when we leave childhood. I’m here to tell you that this matters. Why? Because when we open ourselves to our own creativity, our fear disappears and we ‘discover something wonderful. We discover our selves.’ In the creative space – without which no new ideas, solutions or creativity can emerge – we are free to move on – with ourselves, our work, our relationships. We become emotionally engaged. I’m with John Lennon here; well, as a child of the sixties, I would be, wouldn’t I?
There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.
Sceptical? Let me reassure you. I’ve spent the last 25 years bringing business, spirituality and creativity together to one end: to help others to grow in some way firstly through my holistic business training and latterly with my creative business coaching and mentoring. I draw upon my 20 years of corporate expertise as a PR Consultant, as well as my own experiences as an entrepreneur, so that my coaching flows with the wisdom and learning that I have gathered through the many changes I have been through.
Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives, teams, groups, individuals on the cusp of change and organisations such as: HSBC, NatWest, The Samaritans, Harrow Enterprise Board, The Breakthrough Centre, Sun Alliance, Save & Prosper, Nursery World, celebrities, L.B. of Richmond upon Thames Women’s Group, Symbiosis Music amongst many others as well as those clients for whom confidentiality is vital. And I am an associate tutor at The University of Brighton.
Now you want to know how come I’m qualified to do this; of course you do. Long story short: I embraced my own creativity at the age of five when I first danced in public. Since then, I’ve developed it – and myself – in more ways than you can shake a stick at, darling. These include directing and acting in comedy plays, choreography, singing, founding a community arts project, writing and leading a writing group, and last but of course not least, writing and performing poetry and doing stand-up.
It all began…..
when I arrived at the inevitable mid life crisis and wondered where to and why? It was at this point that I found myself wanting to do something different that helped people in business in a more direct way to fulfil their potential. I’d created and run workshops about PR for clients and realised that that was what I wanted to do – training and personal development. By this time I was running my own PR consultancy which had taken off to a Mayfair office with a blue chip client list and staff. I discovered that I needed not just a USP for my business, but a vision – you’ll find it the last line of my poem Shout The Sun: “Nothing is ever out of reach!”.
Almost in answer to my change of thinking and working with vision, came several opportunities to deliver holistic business training workshops. Listening to my intuition, I discovered that the more I used creativity in my workshops the better my participants learnt and the more fun they had. I used stories, poetry and invited them to try out the creative space with games, role playing and improvisation to uncover their vision, enhance their marketing, clear their fear and create confidence. After considerable research into how we learn, manage change and how the brain works I discovered that my intuition was spot on in that by using creativity I was making it easier for people to learn, anchor and to change their behaviour.
At this time I also began to explore the world of Mind Body Spirit; learning to meditate and to do creative visualisation. Then it was considered very ‘flaky’ and far from being the mainstream life skills that they are today. I spent time with a university professor at the leading edge of organisational change researching energy and applying the chakras to business cultures and their landscapes. These began to move into my workshops as I discovered the benefits both personally and professionally for my own business.
Creating a Coaching Process
My creativity extends into having created my own coaching process.We all live by our personal stories and mine is full of life challenges and experiences, some extraordinary – from corporate burn out to daring to follow my dream – and it is these that I have often found reassure my clients; because I’ve done the journey; know the way, although each person’s journey is unique. Coaching is about shining a light into your darker corners and ‘holding you in the space’ as you recover your inner power, asking key questions along the way.
My coaching process and The Golden Wheel TM evolved from my work as a holistic business trainer where I consistently found that change always begins within and that what people most needed in their businesses was creativity, good communications and confidence. The Golden Wheel provides a simple holistic business model for steering through the waters of change and growth and to keep heading towards increased profitability. A compass is always essential on a long journey, so I created The Diamond Compass TM to help with the work/life balance.
And of course humour and laughter not only being great for well being and stress management make dealing with change more fun! My mentor Dr Patch Adams, the international clown doctor and humanitarian confirmed that! As did the 800 nannies who voted me ‘best guest speaker’ with my coaching led and interactive talk called Making Interviews Child’s Play.
My signature workshop Switch Off to Switch On TM took longer to emerge. It integrates poetry with coaching. Not in the way you would expect if you were attending a poetry writing workshop, but one in which you enter the creative space and invite your whole self and your whole brain to explore and recover your inner power through metaphor, the subconscious and intuition with key coaching questions to further reveal the insights you need. This is why it is such a powerful tool for personal and business issues and a swift one too.
Back on Stage
Fearing typecasting as a flat-chested spinster because of my natural comic timing, I set off on my journey to free my bosom and soul by writing and performing my own material. My alter ego – Iona Jette – emerged from the wardrobe and with her my passion for poetry returned. I am a member of Equity.
Now as I fully inhabit the role of ‘grey raver’ – a new socio economic group comprising the over 60s or Baby Boomers – there is a certainty that comes from truly knowing who you are and being comfortable in your skin – slightly lined though it may be! – and that life will always be a work in progress.