Brighton Pavilion is arguably the most stunning landmark in Brighton, and honestly quite underrated. I remember visiting Brighton a lot as a kid, long before I moved here, and never once went inside the exotic palace, I only ever wandered through the gardens.
I admit I did finally go last year, but I’ve always meant to return for another look. It’s a luxury you have when you live somewhere: it’s not a one time thing. I’d like to think if I lived in Barcelona, I’d go weekly to the Sagrada Familia… just to see what else I noticed with each trip.
So mid-week, I took myself on a little field trip, partly as a reminder that being your own boss means you can do ridiculous things like that, and experience that strange mixture of guilt, appreciation and smugness.
That said, Brighton was mega busy - and all the kooks were out, despite it being a weekday afternoon. I’m talking someone walking a cat on a leash, two people in bare feet, sunglasses you’d only find in fancy dress shops and so on. Their idea of fun, I guess.
OK so the Pavilion. It isn’t cheap, at £13.50 for an adult. But when I think about the upkeep of the place, I don’t resent the charge too much. I think we’re spoilt in the UK because so many of our cultural attractions - museums and galleries - are free. You come to expect it.
A little history of the Pavilion, in the 1780s, George, Prince of Wales was recommended he take up lodging in the seaside town of Brighton. The idea was the sea air would do him some good - he was not a healthy dude.
He took to Brighton like many of us creative rebels do: enjoying the extravagant fashion, arts, architecture, drinking, womanising and gambling opportunities the city offers. Not much has changed then. Somehow, he was given the money to transform his originally humble lodging house into a modest villa, which he furnished with Chinese export furniture and beautiful hand-painted wallpapers.
In 1815, George hired John Nash to transform the villa, growing it to the ostentatious palace we see today. This guy did not do things by halves - George wanted somewhere to throw some seriously epic parties, and indulge his love for comfort and beauty.
There’s loads more to the history of the Pavilions, which I’ll link to here, but one thing I love and have to mention is that during WWI, it was transformed into a temporary hospital for Indian soldiers. I kind of love how George’s somewhat selfish and extravagant tastes and all the money and resources that were piled into this structure, all got put to work: it was finally used for something that did some good, something that mattered, something that saved lives.
Another notable event that needs to be seen to be believed is the impact the big storm we had in 1987 - the great chandelier in the music room was dislodged and basically fell through the floor. It looks surreal.
Which brings me onto my favourite room, which is without a doubt the music room. It has dragons carved everywhere you look, the ludicrous chandelier which has all been nicely restored, and this ornate and luxurious carpet which warrants a sign ‘please remove stilettos before walking on carpet’ which I love. It really is a feast for the eyes.
You also get a nice little history of the palace in video format, halfway through, which I love. For whatever reason I’ve never taken to audio guides - I can never get the buggers to work - and museum captions always leave me feeling a bit flat and uninspired. But video is usually really well done, so I appreciate that. Plus it’s nice to sit down.
I typically sped through the tour, and what took me around half an hour, could easily take you half a day if you did it properly - there really is a lot to see, and you can stop for tea midway.
I also love the gift shop which doubles up as a tea room - can’t have a spot of culture without some consumerism, right?
All in all, I rate the Brighton Pavilion a 7/10. A decent way to spend a bit of your day, not exactly adrenaline-pumping but good clean fun.
Let’s say you’ve been at this game for a while now. You might have even been listening to The Creative Introvert Podcast since it began, way back at the start of 2017. You might have even been doing some of the stuff I’ve been recommending. Taking action, journalling, finding a supportive community, showing your work.
But. Things aren’t moving as quickly as you hoped. In fact, they’ve stalled. They might look like they’re even moving backwards, like when planets go into what astrologers call ‘retrograde’. Planets never actually go backwards by the way, it just looks like it does from our perspective.
And that’s actually a great analogy here: I promise you, no matter what it looks like, you’re not going backwards. Everything that happens is more data. More information for you to use and move forward real soon.
But I’ll admit it might look bad.
You might have set a goal months ago, a SMART goal: it was specific, measurable, actionable, realistic AND time bound. Or so you thought. That deadline has come and gone and you haven’t achieved that goal.
No doubt, that sucks. As an avid goal setter, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve missed the mark. And it sucks. It does. I won’t try and sugar coat that one.
The only upside - and actually, it’s quite a big upside - is that in every case, in every missed goal or disappointment - I learned something or I grew in some way - more confidence, more skilis, or just something totally batshit crazy came out of left field.
So yes, there’s the silver lining. But more importantly, what are those lessons that we can learn in our failures, disappointments and mistakes?
Here are a collection of my lessons, that I’ve learned from these times, and hopefully they can help you, should you find that you’re not making progress. You can return to this checklist and get to the root of the problem that’s playing out, and hopefully find yourself an antidote to your deceleration.
This is something that happens a lot to some of us creatives, particularly the highly imaginative, intuitive types. You might be an INFP on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Mystical Dreamer, if you’ve taken my Creative Type Quiz. You love big pictures. Thinking big lights you up - the details can come later, right?
Well… Sometimes, my fellow dreamers, we need to buckle down and actually look at those pesky details. We need clarity. I know that can seem boring, even redundant - I mean, we know the future is uncertain, don’t we? Doesn’t art, true creativity, originate from the darkness?
The problem with this blurry thinking - or feeling - is that it makes focussing taking action and measuring our results really, really hard. How can you tell you aren’t making progress if you don’t know what the fuck you want??
You don’t get into a taxi without telling the driver where to go. Or get into an Uber without setting the destination first, I guess. You certainly can’t yell at the driver for not taking you to where you want to go if they don’t know.
There are times for winging it, and going with the flow, but there are also times for getting super clear on what you want to do, be or have - and only THEN can you be a fair judge of where you’re at.
Check out episodes:
Goal Getting For Introverts Part 1
Goal Getting For Introverts Part 2
7 Reasons You Might Not Be Achieving Your Creative Goals
Frog? You want us to eat frogs!? Well, apparently they’re a delicacy but I do want to respect the vegans out there and stress the point that this frog is indeed metaphorical. It’s actually a reference to the book, ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy, personal-development extraordinaire, who talks about an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it's probably the worst thing you'll do all day.
"The idea is to use ‘eat that frog’ as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day - the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, but also probably the one that can have the greatest positive impact on your life - Eat That Frog shows you how to zero in on these critical tasks and organise your day. You’ll not only get more done faster, but get the right things done."
Other great books on this are The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, a book I both praise AND attack - and I’ll link to my reasons for that here - but I can sum this up here:
You need to get suuuuper clear on your priorities here. And really, I mean priority - your ONE thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, but having one point of focus doesn’t mean you don’t do anything else - it just means it’s the one thing you don’t sacrifice FOR anything else. Got it?
So for the last 8 months my book has been my frog, and I’m happy to say is at first-ish draft stage - but I certainly haven’t been doing ONLY this.
What I’ve done is made it my daily priority. I’ve promised myself one hour, in the morning, in a coffee shop, 5 days a week. That’s it. That’s my ONE thing. The deal I’ve made with myself is that NOTHING can get in the way of that. And I won’t lie - it’s been tough. And it wa much tougher before I got clearer on this priority.
When writing a book was just one of my many dreams, it simply wasn’t happening. Of course more urgent or more exciting things took precedent, and of course the book got delayed. As soon as I committed to this small but consistent daily book-writing session, I started making PROGRESS.
So go on, eat that frog!
Oh boy this is a bugger. Self-sabotage. We all have our reasons as to why we sabotage ourselves: just know that this is SUPER common and SUPER annoying.
I cover this more in depth in episode #37: Self Sabotage, Excuses and Procrastination (Oh My) but since recording that episode, I’ve learned a bit more about my own inner saboteur, so I’ll share some more advanced level stuff with you now.
Like… What if you saw your inner saboteur as a friend? A shitty friend may be, but one with the best intentions. I like using the analogy of Chuckie in the Rugrats: he was such a wet blanket! And I always had to pretend to be him if we played Rugrats because of the hair.
As annoying as he was, Chuckie was only ever trying to protect his best buddy Tommy and the others. As creatives, we are constantly taking risks. We risk people judging us, we risk rejection, we risk wasting time, energy, money, resources, we risk letting ourselves and others down.
If I’m being really honest with you: these aren’t just risks. They’re CERTAINTIES, if you decide to play this game for real.
The more we play the game, the bigger the risks get. Wouldn’t it be safer, to stay at level 1? Chuckie would likely say yes. And I bet your inner saboteur has the smart idea to keep you at level 1, where it’s safe and you can handle the bad guys.
If you aren’t making progress, there’s a good chance you’re payng too much attention to your inner scaredy cat - and I want to encourage you to listen to your inner courageous cat! Yeah. May be make a wrist band: What Would Courageous Cat Do?
Of course, this doesn’t mean ignoring the voice that keeps you safe, it just means practising both. See what happens when you listen to the one that sounds brave, even a bit foolhardy. Just see what happens.
Again, even if you risk something and fall on your face, you’ll have learned something. You’ll know what didn’t work, and you’ll have a clearer idea of what to do next time. That is in fact moving forward, making much more progress than you would have done if you’d have stayed stuck where you were, with Chuckie your inner saboteur.
In the words of Julia Cameron,
"Crazymakers are those personalities that create storm centers. They are often charismatic, frequently charming… and for the creative person in their vicinity, they are enormously destructive.”
Crazymakers are the people in your life who, even if they also mean well, are just keeping you small, tired and fed up.
Naturally, if you’re trying to make serious progress in your creative career or any life area for that matter, and someone close to you isn’t… it’s going to be hard for them. You’re constantly highlighting where they’re falling short. And naturally, they’re going to want to take you down to their level, even if they aren’t aware of it consciously.
I had a crazy maker in my life once, and my biggest mistake was letting it go on for so long. In hindsight, I can see that she didn’t mean to be stifling, and I’ll admit I played my role in feeding her dependency. I let myself stay down, stay small, in order to accomodate her ego and be a classic people pleaser.
Can you relate?
If so, it might be time to start getting super clear on your boundaries. If your crazy maker is always dragging you out to the pub and encouraging you to stay out and get another round in, and then the next day you’re too hungover to get up early and work on that creative project… then you know what you have to do. Check your prioriities, and make it clear. Be honest with yourself, and with them.
I’ll link to my favourite episode on boundaries and handling crazy makers here.
Oooh, this is a harsh one. I kind of hated this lesson when I first learned it, and trust me I’ve had to learn it a few times before I softened to it and actually learned to accept it.
There are some things in life we think we want. And may be we do want them, a good amount. But. They come with sacrifices. Oh yeah - I might have forgot to tell you that one. This stuff we want? Our creative dreams and goals? They come at a sacrifice.
Which is totally fine, in fact it’s a really good deal, when we want something enough and we’re willing to pay the price. But… if the price is higher than our desire? Agh. You’ve got yourself a problem.
I experienced this in my bout as a pet portrait artist. You’ve probably heard bits of this story before, but in short: my dream, what I thought I wanted, to draw people’s fur babies for a living, sounded SO great!
Until I started doing it. I realised quite quickly that for me, it was destroying my love for what was my favourite past-time, like a sledgehammer to fine china.
I realised it was something I loved, but the price to pay - it wasn’t worth it. Whereas web design or writing or podcasting or teaching or coaching - well, those are things I love just as much, but the price I pay is lower, much lower in some cases, than what I paid to bend over backwards for my dickish portrait clients.
And that’s just me: we all have our price. What it costs me to stand up on stage and speak might be a way higher price in relation to it’s value to you, and you might find the price of dealing with your illustration clients way lower than I did. We ALL different.
The question you need to ask yourself in the most ladylike way possible is: WHAT’S YOUR FLAVOUR OF SH*T SANDWICH?
In short: do you want it enough, and if so - what are you willing to pay?
If you’re not willing to pay the price, don’t be surprised if your so-called dreams aren’t being realised.
I have one last analogy for you: we’re like thermostats. Not super original, but stick with me. We’re like thermostats in that we adjust: we have our goals, we make plans, and can only find out they’re stupid when we start taking action. At which point we adjust.
That’s what everyone who’s ever done anything interesting will tell you: they learnt as they went along. They adjusted. They course corrected. Sure, they did their research, sucked up some know-how, asked lots of questions but at some point: they said screw it, I’ll do it. Richard Branson ACTUALLY said that.
So may be you are making progress, you’re just in the adjustment phase. Stick with it, you. If you want it, it WILL be so, SO worth it when you get there.
Heads up: before you get excited - or confused - I did NOT go to Glastonbury Festival, the massive music festival was not on this year. My plans instead were to visit Glastonbury, the town, in rural Somerset UK.
Reasons? Well, I’d heard on multiple occasions about how great the town is for just tourism - it’s quirky, a bit like the place I live in Brighton, and it has some really old things to look at - really old. Plus, some pretty amazing myths and legends to go along with them.
Glatsonbury isn’t super accessible by train so I wasn’t in a hurry to do this one solo. Fortunately, I have two very dear friends who were willing to come, and let me hitch a ride.
So we set off, Brighton to Glastonbury. I wouldn’t normally share much about the journey, but this one was special: we saw donkeys on the roadside! A lot of them! And they were super friendly and let us pet them. This isn’t typical in the UK, but we were driving through the New Forest, which has wild horses, ponies and donkeys - and they’re all there for your roadside entertainment. Pretty neat.
We rocked up at our Airbnb, which is possibly the quirkiest one I have EVER stayed in.
One of the best things about it is where it’s situated: right next to the entrance to the path that leads to the Tor: a very, very old tower that sits on a hill overlooking Glastonbury.
We headed up there just in time for sunset and it was glorious. There were some other people there too who had the right idea, but just a small number - enough to appreciate the company and feel connected to them somehow. Not like your typical tourist site, I’ll admit.
There was someone drumming quietly, someone charging their wand and someone casting an actual spell. Yeah. That really happens.
The next morning, we went on a tour with a nice old Irish man, John. He took us up 3 hills: Brides Mound, Wearyall Hill and the Tor, again.
I enjoyed learning about the local legends, and have since decided to take more interest in Celtic mythology.
Then we had lunch, at Excalibur - a very health savvy serve-yourself place. Amazing actually, great raw cakes too.
Then we went around the amazing shops - literally, heaven. A whole shop for essential oils and smelly stuff, esoteric book shops, hippy clothing and all the crystals.
We bought some bits for dinner. The truth is, Glastonbury is still a small town and after a while you realise your options for fine dining are limited. But that's OK, it was nice to make the most of the Airbnb for a change.
Then we went off to our evening entertainment: a healing session with the Pleiadians, a group of aliens channeled by an attractive nordic man, Michiel Kroon.
He also channeled Archangel Michael, I guess they have the name in common.
We sat in a circle, and I felt comfortable and welcomed, I loved that we were encouraged to make the most of the essential oils and palo santo that sat in the centre of the circle. I mentioned it in previous podcasts like the time I went to Peru and the breathwork experience, but as an introvert: feeling welcomed, comfortable and well looked after in a group environment is so, so key to my enjoyment. Good facilitation in groups is NOT easy to come by, so I really appreciate it when it's done well.
But the messages themselves from the apparently channeled entities were, in my opinion, distinctly average. I didn’t get much… though my imagination was slightly sharper than usual. And I did feel very open hearted and able to do 'the thing' of breathing love in and out, which I haven't experienced before. So that was nice.
We picked an oracle card at the end, from a deck Michiel and his girlfriend designed. Mine had two beings on it: a man and a woman, Ether + Matter. The idea was all about integration, which you might know I’m obsessed with, especially when it comes to this woo woo stuff, or any life-coaching stuff. I love theory, but I love action more, and belive integration is the bridge between the theory and action. So I guess that was a nice little moment of synchronicity.
Headed back, very sleepy.
Next day, we went out for breakfast - a vegan fry up. It's interesting hanging out with two vegans for the weekend - it almost makes me think I could do it too... Almost. Then we went to Chalice Well, a truly gorgeous place. Very peaceful.
Then shopping! To balance out all the spiritual stuff, I guess. I bought a mood ring and a keyring in Chalice Well, a wallet, some incense, essential oil and palo santo. Can’t go wrong with smelly stuff.
Oh and a book about yoga journalling.
Then we went to the Abbey, which is OK. We laughed a lot at the egg stone, and meditated for 5 minutes. Very good vibes. I remembered how much I enjoy travelling WITH people. It slows me down, and helps me appreciate where I'm at. When travelling solo, I have this tendency to rush through everything - may be because on some level I feel a bit awkward? But with friends, you can really acknowledge the experience, and see things you otherwise wouldn't have noticed.
Then we went to a centre that had some relation to the Maitreya - allegedly the second coming of Buddha AND Jesus. Mmhmm. The healing protocol was to sit in a comfy chair, underneath a pyramid shape with crystals strapped on and crystals in your hand and headphones on listening to the Maitreya’s puja.
Sounds bonkers. I know. And trust me, I did not expect ANYTHING. But… Almost as soon as I sat back, I literally felt like I was being charged. Like, I could actually feel it. I convinced myself there was a mild electrical current running through me via the crystals - my friends afterwards told me that was not possible. Regardless of what was going on, it felt… heavenly.
I've since done a fair bit of research and unfortunately the guy who runs it - Buddha Maitreya the Christ - or... Ron Spencer - and you'll find buried amongst the bullshit, some reports that suggest he is indeed a dodgy cult leader who will take your money, has been known to take advantage of his followers sexually and probably isn't mates with the Dalai Llama.
As for pyramid power - this too is unlikely to heal you, or make razor blades sharp again... but, I must say I think it's a great idea to have a place like that in a busy shopping area set up so people can come, sit back and relax for a change. And it's free, so it really isn't a bad thing. I'd like to see more places like that, like introverted little hubs in busy public areas. But y'no, without the cult stuff.
We headed back for dinner and went to our final dip into the esoteric: a goddess circle. Featuring the goddess Freyja and the Völva, which is some kind of Norse shaman. I don't know if the lady who gave the workshop or whatever you want to call it was a 'Völva' herself... or just a pleasant lady who had a nice voice and a wild imagination.
Regardless, I did not like this. Mostly because the facilitation was terrible and I just didn’t get anything from the guided aspect. It was unhelpful - and I went away with little other than a vague interest in learning more about the legends of Freyja but not exactly happy with the method of delivery.
I don’t know what to take from the experiences this weekend, but I do know a lot of it comes back to being true to myself and pursuing my desires with boldness and sheer trust. Did I get that from the Archangel Michael, the Pleidians, someone claiming to be the Buddha reincarnated or a Norse goddess? OR did I get it from really great chats with some of my favourite people, in a beautiful part of the world?
In this week’s episode of the Creative Introvert podcast I talk to Alex Mathers, of the Red Lemon Club.
I'm SO excited to share this week's guest for you, because he's probably someone who I have to thank most out of virtually all my guests, even though they're all kick ass.
At the height of my artistic discontent: I had just graduated, and whilst I did have a lucky job at a web design agency, I was feeling creatively unfulfilled I found Alex's work and spent hours trawling through his portfolio magazine site, Ape on The Moon.
Soon after, I got my first hints of what the possibilities of freelancing could be from the Red Lemon Club, so a BIG thanks goes to our guest today, Alex Mathers.
"Do what brings you to life, not just what you love."
~ Alex Mathers
You can leave a rating and review on iTunes (here's how to do that) and I will be as happy as a lamb frolicking in sunshine (or sob into my pillow, depending on what you write.)
One of the most common challenges I come across in speaking to a range of creative introverts in my coaching , or in my online community or just out and about: is lack of support.
It's actually the one that's surprised me most, even though I can 100% relate. It surprised me, because I assumed for the longest time, that as introverts we don't need support.
We are intrinsically motivated, we are captains of our ship and we have no need for crew mates.
How wrong I was.
For one, our need for support starts from the day we're born and whilst it lessens greatly throughout our life, I don't believe we ever fully lose the need for external support. How much of it we need can vary greatly between people, and my assumption here is that it all stems from those early years.
Did we get the support we needed in those early days, enough that we felt reassured enough to go out in the world alone, and tackle it with confidence? Or were we taught the world is a dangerous place? And maybe we became too reliant on external support?
These are arguably issues that only a therapist can truly cover, but on a lighter note, I think we can cover a lot of ground today, especially in how support systems can help us in overcoming inner resistance to creative work.
Ok so, lets start with some of the stories we're told as creatives, ones that may have come from people who care about us and want the best for us,but arguably have no fucking clue what they're talking about.
When I was wee, I knew from around age 4 that drawing was my thing, and that there were people out there whose job it was to be artists and make pictures for a living. So that's what I wanted to be, an artist.
But then I was told that artists mostly don't make very much money, and some go crazy and cut off their ear.
So, I decided that I could be an illustrator, like my hero EH Shepherd. But then I was told that lots of people want to be illustrators,and that print was dying and there were only so many things out there to be illustrated.
In fact, if I wanted to get a job, I had better learn how to design websites.
Whilst everything kind of worked out, and I still enjoy designing websites from time to time, I do wonder what would have happened if I had followed my dreams and become a real artist.
Sure, I picked up illustration again at a later age, but by this time I lacked confidence in my abilities in the competitive industry. What might have been possible had I had the support from those around me? Family or teachers who cared about my wellbeing, but couldn't give the support I needed because they lacked faith, maybe because their dreams hadn't been supported either.
So maybe you've experienced this in your own creative career. May be it's from friends, family, teachers, professors. People telling you that what you want to do is too hard or too risky or too competitive.
And maybe they have a point. The best jobs in life are more difficult to get because other wise everyone would be doing them! But why in goods name can't you be one of the ones who gets to do it?
And before you start giving me reasons why you can't, let me stop you there. Yes, there will be sacrifices. Yes there will be bumps in the road. But it's in these moments that you most need support from those around you. You can borrow their faith in you, and use it to push through those days of doubt.
I didn't realise how powerful this was until I had my first ever coaching session. This was with a gentleman named Martin Stellar,whose interview you'll find back on episode 08 of the podcast.
Basically, I had no idea what to expect from this basic stranger,nor what coaching really was.
But the thing that convinced me that coaching was incredibly useful for creatives, and the thing that stuck with me, was Martins belief in me.
Again, he didn't really know me, but regardless, he gave me such faith in myself and my ability to follow this journey, this journey to my wildest dreams, and I believed him. I still do. And when i am having those moments of self-doubt, I think back to those kind words. More so, I think back to the feeling behind it, which magically carried through Skype,and which I felt too.
Note that I'm not suggesting all you need is someone to tell you you're great no matter what
There's a difference between mindless support that grandma gives you, and the support from someone who believes in you, but who'll call you on your bullshit. Who, in times when you're scared of taking the next step, who won't tell you "that's ok honey, go lie on the spa and I'll bake you cookies" but who'll tell you actually, you CAN do that thing you're scared of because I believe in you.
Or yes you can do that scary thing because I've been there before and yes I was scared but I went and did it and didn't die.
Ok so, what does this mean, do you all need to work with a coach who'll give you on-tap support and encouragement?
But there are other sources of support I recommend you explore.
Ok, ok, I know: you're an introvert ! Community sounds like a whole lot of people. Technically, it is. But it doesn't mean you have to hang out with them all at once.
I feel like I've taped into an incredibly supportive creative community here in Brighton, and have felt that way since about 6 months in. It's now been two years, and I still don't go to many events with lots of strangers, instead, I've got a shortlist of besties who I can see, mostly only one or two at a time. People I can rely on to help me if I need some moral support, or just to bitch about the perils of self employment. Or people who can recommend me to their friends, who might also be creative introverts.
Now, this is a different community to what I was used to back in London. Friends there, as much as I love them, know a different version of me. One that's mostly unconnected to my work, and who I'm not interested in discussing my work with, and vice versa.
What my point is, is that you might need to go out and make some new friends. Some creative cronies. Not that you need to abandon your old buds,but that in a fresh friendship, with someone with similar goals to you, that can be all the support you need.
So, I won't lie, the idea of making new friends sounds awfully un introvert friendly, but trust me, if I can do it you can do it. (See? Support!)
Meetup.com was my saving grace.I'll be honest, existing meetups were not my jam, so I started one, 100% on my terms on a Saturday morning, which attracted people like me. Fellow creative introverts who weren't going there to pick up a date, but who wanted to spend their Saturday morning on their creativity, rather than in their bed, hungover.
Of course, you don't have to go anywhere physically, especially if you don't live in a particularly diverse city, you might be lucky enough to live out in the sticks somewhere.
In this case, I'm going to recommend really investing some time and some faith into online communities.
I'll be honest, free groups or forums are naturally going to attract more. ..crazies. just like online dating, I think we all know there's a difference in calibre to the relationships formed on a free platform that on a paid platform, there just is a different level of commitment and emotional investment in the paid options.
Of course, is be remiss not to mention my own online community, the League of Creative introverts,who are a stellar mix of supportive, generous, big hearted souls, even if I'm biased,and who know the value of getting support as well as giving it.
More info about the league can be found at thecreativeintrovert.com/lci
l also want to let you know, that nothing can beat inner support. We really do require both inner & outer support, and neither one can make up for the lack of the other.
So, how to cultivate inner support? Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to yell words of affirmation at yourself in the mirror. This inner support is quiet, really quiet. And subtle. It's the little voice that sparks the brilliant, bold idea in the first place. The problem is, that we stop listening to it when our fears, or our inner critic shows up. lt doesn't help when external critics show up either.
But we can come back to that little voice, and coax it out with gentle reminders like remembering past accomplishments. Things you've overcome, fears you've faced. And this is also why I recommend scaring yourself - just a little bit - regularly to build up that resume of challenging things you didn't die doing.
It's why I get on stage as much as someone lets me. It's not for pure pleasure, or even the adrenaline rush: it's for my Fear CV. The thing I can whip out when I need a bit of support. It means I have an ongoing, always growing, reminder of what I can do: and a hint of what I could do.
My final words are that is ok to admit you need a bit of support and encouragement from time to time. Following your dreams isn't the easiest thing to do, in fact it might very well be the hardest thing you'll ever do. And you don't have to go the journey alone.
There are many, so many, who have gone before you, and are going with you, you just need to look for them and ask, do you reckon we can do this? I do.
The League of Creative Introverts
I went with The Little Mermaid. Why?
Partly because a friend reminded me of it not long ago and partly because it was in my top 5 films throughout my childhood. I’d say top 3 Disney.
Whilst I don’t think the animation is on par with Beauty and the Beast or as funny as Toy Story or as heart warming as The Lion King… boy I love Disney... For whatever reason, I was just a massive fan of The Little Mermaid, may be because Ariel was the only Disney character repping for the redheads amongst us.
I also identified with Ariels love for collecting trinkets and crap. I was not a minimalist kid. I dreamed of having my own cavern of hoozits, whatsits and thingumabobs.
So i settled in on a rainy afternoon and stuck it on. Amazingly, i remembered every word from every song well, at least the ones I understood. There's nothing like watching a film from your childhood to realise how little grip on language you had back then. I think as a kid I just got the gist of films, missing a lot of the clever writing and subtle exist and racist slurs the folk at Disney were making back then.
I totally forgot that Ariel exchanges her voice for her human body and Ursula sings a song about basically men not being interested in women speaking anyway! Yeah so Ariel isn't exactly the best role model when it comes to Disney princesses and i can't help but wonder what effect that had on me...
Oh and I also remembered how much Ursula scared me! She's a baddie alright.
Anyway, it was a beautiful way to spend a rainy afternoon.
In fact, this is definitely one i can recommend to you, dear reader. Why not go back to your childhood this weekend and watch a favourite film?
Do you have a favourite Disney film? Or maybe it was love action, with puppets like Labyrinth from Jim Henson? Let me know! Let's geek out on 80s and 90s kids films.
In this week’s episode of the Creative Introvert podcast I talk to Leslie McDaniel, a certified professional coach who helps INFJ women bring their vision to life.
She believes that few things are more powerful than someone at ease with her strengths, gifts, and quirks as she confidently lives out her purpose. With a unique combination of creative skills and experience, Leslie brings a multi-perspective approach to helping others with the accountability and support they need to move forward. Her knowledge as an MBTI®-certified practitioner helps INFJ women understand their personality, celebrate their strengths, and claim their potential. Leslie serves other INFJ women through individual coaching and her weekly email, The INFJ Life.
You can leave a rating and review on iTunes (here's how to do that) and I will be as happy as a lamb frolicking in sunshine (or sob into my pillow, depending on what you write.)
Edinburgh by coach from Brighton. A 4am start and a 15 hour journey, door to door. Ok let me explain my choice for transportation for this city break.
I could have got a train (half the time) or flown (a 10th of the time) but no, I chose the coach. A choice that most people don't make, if they can afford a bit of extra cash. And while I'm not exactly rolling in it, I probably could have splashed out a bit more than the mere £30 return the coach costs (which is a ludicrous bargain my mind is still boggling over.)
No, my reasoning was: I actually wanted to go on a coach trip.
I see these National Express coaches coasting up the - er - coast on a daily basis, and they always look so big and exotic... and convenient: no hauling myself through airport security, or switching trains in London. The coach stop is less than 10 mins walk from my house, and leaves you in the heart of Edinburgh... just, 15 hours later.
So, much to all my friend's dismay, I opted for my coach journey.
The early start - yes, 4am - wasn't too hard for me. It was only an hour or so earlier than usual - yes, I'm that person - plus I like early starts if I'm going on holiday. It reminds me of the one big family holiday we went on. I was 6, we drove to Italy (ahh now I understand why I'm a sucker for a long uncomfortable journey) and we had to wake up at 3am I think. I ate my rice krispies too fast and puked in the car.
OK so, coach!
It was 2 hours to London Victoria, on a very quiet, fairly comfy, air conditioned coach. Then there was an hour wait at the Victoria coach station, which is a bit of a hell hole, but I was happy enough with my oat milk cappuccino (word to the wise, there's a Pret a Manger, Cafe Nerro - my choice - and a Starbucks at the coach station. But I'd definitely recommend bringing your own food - the one food shop there is ludicrously overpriced and understocked.)
Then at 8am, I was on the coach. Yes, time went slowly. I alternated between writing my book, listening to podcasts, reading The Untethered Soul and staring out the window. I really do get my best ideas when I'm on transport.
Somehow, I survived. There was a stop in Leeds, which was a bit depressing - like I said, coach stations just aren't glam places to hang out - and I had a little Chinese boy next to me for the rest of the journey. He entertained me, patting his brother on the shoulder to get him to turn around, then giving him the finger. Smart kid.
I got a taxi to my Airbnb, because, rain. Ahh rain - this was another reason I was determined to come to Scotland this summer. I really wanted a break from the heat down south - and I got it! Very satisfying, knowing it was 10 degrees cooler where I was - a much more temperate climate for gingers, I believe.
Ok so my Airbnb was lovely, one of the sweetest hosts I've ever met, though that night I basically zonked out shortly after arriving because coach travel - somehow - is tiring.