Hello and a very happy new year to you all! I trust you all had a merry and restive festive season.
I love the opportunity that this time of year provides to find time to reflect on the year that has passed and set a new intention for the year ahead. I feel a renewed sense of motivation, possibility and hope in the air thanks to the "clean slate" feeling and it's encouraging to see signs of new life starting to appear already.
How do you feel about "New Year's Resolutions"?
For many years now I've been upholding an annual tradition of dedicating a day early in the new year to completing a process designed by Selina Barker called "Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019" which "guides you through a journey that helps you to say a proper farewell to 2018 as it comes to an end and create a vision and a plan to help you to thrive and create a life you love in the year to come." (Project Love).
2018 was declared as my year of "joy" and what more of a joyful year can you ask for than one that is packed full of creativity. I learned that joy, for me, is not so much about a feeling of excitement but is a surprisingly gentle emotion.
2019 is my year of "inspiration"; I intend to be more curious and trusting about my sources of inspiration; to nurture and feed them. Between January and March I have committed to three actions to nurture my sources of inspiration:
1. Plan weekly artist dates
2. Visit three seaside towns
3. Draw at 7am and 7pm everyday
The key to making these things happen I've realised is putting them in the diary, setting alarms but most effectively, having people to hold you to account to your actions. And that's where you come in, as this is where I will be sharing with you, dear readers, my sources of inspiration throughout 2019.
Investing in yourself
Over the years I've invested in many forms of self-development from psychotherapy, art therapy training, yoga and coaching retreats, family constellations events, Selina Barker's individual and group coaching programs to name but a few and will continue to do so throughout my life. But most recently, I made a significant investment in career change coaching with executive coach, Jane Sassienne, Bridge Partnerships, who encouraged me to make the most extraordinary, terrifying yet rewarding move of my entire life - to become an artist.
Since making this investment, I have mostly been focusing on building my artistic practice and business in Studio 102, Hackney Downs. I honestly can say that I have never felt so motivated to work - on Monday mornings I am literally chomping at the bit to get into the studio and I also never get the Sunday night dread feeling anymore! That's not to say that I don't still suffer the odd existential crisis as well as the odd moment of paralysing fear but their grip is definately becoming weaker as I more resilient at fighting off fear.
But there's another investment I made in myself last year, which I've not really advertised to the wider world yet, which completing my coaching qualification, under the leadership of Viv Grant, Integrity Coaching, who has been a huge source of inspiration to me for many years during my life as a school leader and beyond.
When people ask me what kind of coach I am, I think the phrase that most effectively describes my style, I think it's most accurately described by one of my clients themselves, who kindly informed me recently that I am "a rare mixture of being creative and wise yet organised and disciplined enough to make things happen".
The powerful combination of active, non-judgemental listening and being held to account for your actions which coaching provides helps people to make significant progress in their lives - taking them from where they are to where they want to be.
If you want 2019 to be the year that you finally made that change towards improving your personal or professional life that you've been resisting making for years because let's face it - it's hard making changes on our own, we have to face a lot of fear and barriers and overcome them. My advice is don't go about it on your own but know that in order to really see yourself to the other side of that change, you're going to need to invest in yourself and remember that every time you invest in yourself you are doing something that your future self will thank you for because you are your greatest asset.
I'm right here for you and would be honoured to help you take the next step, send me an email and we can arrange a time to have a chat about the changes you want to make in your life. But in the meantime, here's the link to the coaching page on my website and I'll leave you with some testimonials from some of my coaching clients to browse through and wish you all a very happy new year!
'I had been working on my PhD for more than four years - had missed every self-imposed deadline - and the end still felt out of reach. It seemed like I would never finish. I wanted Marigold to help me get my thesis submitted. Without any knowledge of the subject and without experience of doing a PhD herself, Marigold seemed to understand the approach that was needed to help me move forwards. Together we developed my work plan, and by holding me to account, she helped me take the incremental steps towards completion. I've now submitted my thesis - I'm proud of it, and enormously relieved - and I'm extremely grateful to Marigold for the role she played.'
'Coaching with Marigold showed me that with the help of other people, I can achieve far more than I can alone. Coaching brought clarity to objectives in my career and empowered me in tackling those, especially the uncomfortable ones! In the time we worked together, my career took a large stride forwards, achieving the goals that we targeted at the beginning and heralding new enthusiasm for my ability to succeed.'
'Marigold has a way of coaching which is truly attentive and imaginative. her high level of professional skills and integrity make me feel valued, encouraged and respected. Her feedback and questions are full of insight and honesty. During and after our sessions I feel heard, inspired, reinvigorated and well supported. her brief summary of the session by email gives me a structure to work with that is freeing , realistic and clear, rather than burdensome. She helps me to trust my own creative imagination which is truly empowering and unusual.