I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently. I haven’t wanted to get up in the morning, my creativity flew out the window months ago and I’ve been a bit absent on social media. It’s mostly been Aurelia, my wonderful assistant, who’s been keeping up on socials and gently pushing me to create the content you know and love. She’s honestly amazing, and I’m not sure I’d be here at this point without her.

So why am I sharing this with you? Two reasons.

Number one - I am human. 

I am just as messily human as you are, and I won’t pretend I’m not. 

Because, I’ve been there. Pretending everything is OK and staying in the middle, being calm and taking deep breaths to suppress any surface emotions. I tried to be ‘normal’, to be what I thought I should be in this space; the perfect human who has no problems of her own.

And guess what? It wasn’t fun, and actually was really hard work to keep that veneer up. My creativity was stifled, I didn’t feel any emotions in my body and I felt like I was wearing a mask all the time. Which actually, I was!

For the last few months, I’ve been enrolled on “Bring It” - a teacher training course taught by the brilliant Jamie Catto. It’s all about being your authentic, human self, on a journey to find and allow those suppressed parts of you that are hiding in the shadows to come out and play. And once they come out of hiding, reintegrate them into everyday life, and then we learn to teach the method to others, too. 

For those of us in this cohort, we can’t simply learn to deliver the workshops and games, we need to play them ourselves and experience first hand the profound changes these processes bring about. 

It was during one of Jamie’s games in a seminar last year that it all came crashing down around me. My perfect veneer, crafted over nearly two years, was just that, a shiny, thin glass wall that shattered when I was really, properly challenged. In that moment, all the things I’d unconsciously (and consciously!) suppressed came rushing out. 

And do you know what? I was a hot mess. For ages. I won’t pretend I was happy about it (because I wasn’t), and it took quite some time to feel OK about it. 

I’m still finding now that long-buried things are coming to the surface to be released, things I thought I’d dealt with! The difference is,  I am now better equipped, with both people I can turn to for help and tools I can use myself to move forward. 

So, why am I telling you this?

I’m telling you this firstly because I want you to know that it’s OK to be messy. It’s OK to be in a funk, it’s OK not to have all of the answers all of the time, and to be a bit grumpy. 

It’s also OK to want to get out of that place, whilst being simultaneously comfortable in it. 

Because, my funk didn’t just happen overnight. There was no catalyst that caused it. It was hundreds of little things that added up over time to the place I am at now. Every day, there was 1% more of that funk added to my tally. That 1% of funk was replacing 1% of drive, of passion. Now in small doses, that’s not super noticeable, but over a longer period of time, this low place became my default mood. 

To the point where I didn’t want to create. 

To the point where I didn’t want to engage.

To the point where it just all came crashing down around me, and when that dam burst, it released not just the negative things I’d been avoiding, but the positive things too. 

My creativity came rushing out of me in a wave.

My engagement with my students and colleagues got so much stronger.

Because that veneer had stifled everything - and it all wanted out. 

So out it came, in a rush and tumble of emotions, plans and drive to learn and change and adapt. 

And here we are, at reason number two.

I want to help you with this too.

If you can identify with me and my story, I want you to ask yourself: 

  1. Do I want to be here?
  2. What 1% change can I make right now?

Because, it’s the little 1% changes that add up over time. On day 1, your 1% is stable. But on day 2, you’ve got a 2% change. On day 5, you’ve built up 4% of change and now you’re adding another 1%. So by the time you reach day 100 of a 1% change every day, you will feel totally different. 

And that’s how this game works. You add on a tiny change each day, for whatever it is that feels good to address that day, and over time you will start to feel different. Until you hit a point and think “wow, I’m not in that place any more!”

For me, it started by getting up just 5 minutes earlier. I know that sounds SO cliche, but over a week, I’ve managed to get up 30 mins earlier than I did the previous week. So instead of laying in bed for 30 mins, now I use that time to style my hair. Something I never did before - I just threw it up into a ponytail and off I went. So instead of starting my day by lying in bed and thinking “ugh I have to get up”, I’m up and engaging in a creative activity to start the day off. By the time I come to sit down at my desk I’m already in the creative spirit and a more positive mood than I was before. 

So I want to ask you - what’s your 1%? What’s the 1% thing you can do right now to push the funk back to balance?

I’d love to hear from you - and if you want help with this, you know where I am!