Am I a fantasiser or a dream-builder?

dreams_come_true_by_lolaartland-d4nlatn

Fantasisers:                                              Dream-builders:

Rely on luck                                                   Rely on discipline

Focus on the destination                          Focus on the journey

Cultivate unhealthy expectations         Cultivate healthy discontent

Minimise the value of work                     Maximise the work they do

Look for excuses                                          Lead to action

Create inertia                                                Generate momentum

Breed isolation                                             Promote teamwork

Wait                                                                  Initiate

Avoid personal risks                                  Embrace risk as necessary

Make others responsible                         Make themselves responsible

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No regrets

imagesCA8EAPMRI caught up with a friend this week that I hadn’t seen for a number of years. We had one of those gorgeous friendships where we would just sit and talk; in the garden, in the car, in the house, anywhere, anytime.  After arriving home at the wee hours of the morning, it was reassuring to realise that we still do!

One of the things my friend said to me, as I was catching up on weddings, babies, house buying and general life events, was that she wasn’t happy where she was but didn’t know what to do about it.

I got excited as I began to tell her about this blog and the reading and writing that I have been doing. I do hope that she gets a lot of enjoyment and useful tips from here.

What stood out to me though was the immense challenge it was for her to stop and say the path she is taking is not the one for her. I guess I have taken for granted how easy it is for me to change my journey. Over the years I have made many changes and taken on various challenges to get where I am today. But for my friend she saw it as failure, or even worse, invested time and effort that is now wasted as she begins again.

It reminded me of an episode of Once Upon A Time. Regina, Emma and Snow are tied up to a tree with ropes that tighten their hold as each of them regrets something they have done.

Regina breaks free from the tree because she has no regrets! She is the Evil Queen, she has done many evil things. But she loves her son, Henry and she recognises that everything she has done in her past has brought her to the point she is at now with her son.

I think that is how I feel with my journey. I have had many ups and downs and taken many winding roads to get where I am. But if it wasn’t for all of those decisions I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be equipped with the skills and experiences for this, my new dream and adventure.

What experiences have you had that you can tap into and use the skills and experience from to realise your dream?

Creativity and madness

2010-MadhatterWhether a stereotype or not, creatives are known for their erratic, eccentric behaviours; the sudden bursts of brilliance in the middle of the night, the manic journey to birth a creative project.

Creatives have a reputation for being a little unhinged, or crazy. In fact a study over 40 years in Sweden has directly linked bipolar and schizophrenia with artists and scientists.; from dancers and photographers to researchers and authors.

For many this is a barrier for receiving treatment, the fear that they will lose this overflowing source of creativity. I too was afraid of this when I was diagnosed with Depression in 1997 and was recommended medication. I refused point blank to take it. When the diagnosis became Bipolar in 2006 I stopped to reconsider. It is true that my flow of thoughts and creative ideas was stifled somewhat on medication but over the years, I have found a way to tap into this at will instead of being bombarded constantly by these thoughts and ideas.

Gila Lyons, quite eloquently, describes the struggle with managing creativity and mental health issues.

I feared that taking medication to ease my anxiety and panic might destroy my urge or ability to create. I had heard of many artists who had gone mad or suffered from horrible depression, and took the popular prescription of the day, never to write or create again.

Now medicated, my creativity no longer consumes me. I lead a balanced, fulfilling, happy life with great relationships, a career I enjoy and a quiet confidence. Things I could not have achieved without medication.

And now I begin my journey back into creativity…