Thursday, November 28, 2013


On the day of my book launch I had many lovely assistants join me for public dancing throughout several of London's more popular squares. They danced alongside me but they also ran around handing out cards promoting Wise at any Age, letting people know why we were dancing publicly.

One of my lovely assistants told me that a man had asked who, of the group of us, had written the book and when she pointed me out he said, "Her? What can she know about wisdom?"
Wisdom comes from so many places

Well, that's the thing about wisdom. It's not dualistic. It's not a matter of a person either being wise or not being wise. There is no either/or.

Wisdom comes to us in many ways - examples of this are shown in Wise at any Age - and no one is without it. Wisdom is when we have awareness and presence of mind about a situation or experience. It's when we know the right thing to say or when to remain silent. It's knowing when to intervene and when to step back. We are all wise to varying degrees, just as we can all be foolish to varying degrees.

What I know about wisdom is that it's something anyone can cultivate and that all of us possess. Like little seeds inside of us, wisdom just needs the right moment to start sprouting and every one of us has full-grown trees, saplings and tiny sprouts of wisdom, as well as unsown seeds that are waiting for the right moment.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Another pair of custom shoes

This weekend I finished another pair of custom shoes for a client BUT they were once again, a Christmas gift. Which means I'm not going to be posting them. I did, however, work on a new pair for myself. I'm really pleased with the final product and I'm looking forward to breaking them in soon.

Lovely ivy design - very green! 

Little beetle spreading his wings...

Butterfly and my logo!
I'm especially pleased with how the butterfly turned out. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unfinished work

This post is an ego challenging post. I'm extremely hard on myself (who isn't?) and for every completed project I can find something that I've abandoned, either because the inspiration ran out or it just no longer was something I wanted to do.

This is fine, of course. Because I know I have finished a lot of projects of which I'm extremely proud. And I completed them wholeheartedly and very successfully. Like publishing my very first book this year or painting all those tarot cards over a period of two years or successfully changing my career in under six months - to name a very few.

But I still have this odd shameful cloud that follows me when I see my unfinished projects. I know that they're not necessarily going to stay unfinished. There is every chance that I will one day sit down to them again. But for now they are incomplete.

Like this painting:

Which got a little further along than this and has now been sat wedged beside my bookcase for well over two months.

Not to mention all that work I used to do when I thought I was going to write and illustrate my own children's book. Or the animation I made a cute character for and began taking shots of but abandoned after just a week because I couldn't muster the energy to do the drawings needed for the second part.

So why, exactly, am I telling you about my unfinished work? Because I'm practicing letting go of being the person who finished everything she sets out to do. Because I'm letting go of the need to be 'perfect' and 'together' and 'disciplined'.

Because I don't want to think of them as shameful secrets but rather simple expressions of ideas I was able to start but not follow-through with... and that's okay.

It's okay not to finish everything you start. It's okay to let an idea sit for a long time. It's okay to put something aside and forget to do it or just outright change your mind about doing it.

So this is sort of like a confessional post. I'm popping my own bubble and admitting to the world:
I don't finish everything I start and I have some brilliant ideas that I've totally abandoned out of laziness or a sense of overwhelm or because I just couldn't be bothered anymore.

I have to say - just writing this - is a massive relief.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's official!

Hallowe'en is over, Remembrance day has passed, the clocks have gone back and the days are shorter.
I still think it's a bit early and I don't want to be obnoxious but given that I wrote and published it myself no one else is gonna promote my book so...

Need a fabulous gift for someone on your list? Looking for something a bit different than usual? Something fun and interesting and thought provoking?

How about a lovely illustrated handbook about cultivating wisdom?!

Ta DA!!!

You can get a copy for yourself too, if you fancy it.
I'm all about self gifting at Christmas! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fun with Henna!

So I went around to a friend's house on the weekend and they had a load of henna. They asked me if I wanted to play with it. I have played with it before, when I was a kid my mum got some and we took turns doing intricate designs on each other. I know I've used it one or two times since but not in ages. 

It was super fun. There were three shades for me to work with. I did a little text on my own arm and then dove in on free-handing some 'tats' for my mate. He loved the final result. I'm most pleased with the octopus. 

Inspired by the classic swallow tattoo

This bit was my own design, just for the fun of it.
He did request the butterfly though. 

Eight legs is a lot! 

The result of my own initial dabbling, once I'd washed the henna off. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Words of Wisdom

When I began writing what would eventually become Wise at any Age I had no idea what would become of the words I was putting down. At the time it was more about recording my experience, the things I'd learned and where I could see I still had so far to go.

As it began to take shape I realised that what I wanted to write wasn't the specifics of the experience I'd had nor the catalyst that set me in the particular direction my life was going at the time - it was about the value I'd discovered in embracing the experiences we have and learning from them, rather than labelling them 'good' or 'bad' and clinging to the one whilst thrusting away or trying to avoid the other.

In the 'Thank You' bit of the book I acknowledge quite a few people by name but also mention the various other teachers of my life - the troublemakers and those I've never met but who's words of wisdom have spoken to me significantly and helped me or made me think and ask more questions. Pema Chodron continues to be one of the most significantly influential people in my life and now, after travelling to the Omega Centre in Rhinebeck, NY, she is someone I have not only met but been able to ask a direct question.

The experience, though shared with several hundred people in the room and tuned in via an Interweb link, was extremely intimate and not one I will be writing about here. But the catalyst of that seems to have provided me with yet another new and interesting direction.

One of the biggest things that has come from the experience is a renewed sense of creativity. I've been keeping busy with freelance projects - all things I enjoy immensely - as well as my new position as a Brand Development Manager, which leaves me financial secure and able to focus on more than just ensuring I have enough income to make ends meet.

I'm not entirely clear on the shape this creative flow will take but I'm going to review my big old binder of Everything I Ever Want to Accomplish in my Life and focus on the many ideas and notes I've jotted down for art projects. It has been a very long time since I've done a personal project just for the sake of it. Writing, illustrating and laying out Wise at any Age was the last and since its publication in the summer I've had to focus exclusively on getting my new career as designer to a place where it could support me financially.

This task now done and with the end of the year fast approaching I'm definitely in a place of embracing the general groundlessness of life and open to what I will work on next. I feel a renewed sense of interest in studying Buddhism, much as I felt when I first discovered that I was inherently Buddhist. All of this combined is filling my head with ideas for sculpture, painting, animation and writing.

Time to start taking notes.... or maybe it's just time to open up my art drawer and muck about, letting the results unfold as they may. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More happy customers!

So just before heading off to New York I was able to sign off on two different logo designs for some clients. I'm happy to say that one has already started marketing with great vim and vigour! It's nice knowing I was able to create just the right illustration for their brand so they could take off with marketing it as quickly as possible.

Ragdolls Play is a children's care service in SW London.
They're having an Open Day on Thursday, 14th November 2013

JLR People Solutions helps match the right person to the perfect position. 

And happy 5th of November!