Why are you passionate about your workshop, and where did your passion stem from?
I started writing as a child (and then as parent) to connect with my core beliefs, my fetal intuition, my true self. Letters to family members, journal entries, blog posts, to-do lists… all of them assisted me to get to know what was truly going on inside my head and my heart.
I write to debrief, to reflect, to understand and to move on. I rarely write when life is happily busy, or at a status quo, preferring to write when I’m at an emotional extreme, because I feel feelings so intensely, there needs to be an overflow outlet to stop me imploding – my trusty pen. I prefer to write by hand as the pace of my pen (a fast-flowing one, mind-you!) matches the speed of my thoughts. I can also press down harder when I’m angry and make BIG, FAT, CHUNKY CAPITALS when I’m FURIOUS, without having to format the font size afterwards! My classes are laptop-free, encouraging people to reconnect with the written word, rather than the typed one.
My passion and joy for this class comes from being given the ability to share my experiences and techniques with others, so they can make some sense of their lives, past, present and future.
Why should people attend your workshop?
I watch people who attend my workshops go from wariness and curiosity, to concentration and thoughtfulness, leaving with a renewed sense of peace and purpose, often with projects in mind. I am encouraging and respectful of each person in the group, and the feedback I have received is really special. I work closely with bereaved parents, people with cancer and other long-term illnesses, which can be a delicate place to tread, but as a nurse and counselor, I have an acute understanding of the issues people face, and am always mindful of how we should work together for the benefit of the student.
What makes your workshop special?
I am an authentic and down-to-earth person, with real examples of frailties that I share openly with the people who come to my workshops. Empathy and compassion are two of my biggest strengths, which when teamed with humour and facilitation skills, create a fun and lively workshop environment where people can work within their comfort zones or push themselves to a deeper space.
What do attendees experience from the workshop?
When I bring out coloured crayons, people always raise their eyebrows! It's never a didactic session of me 'teaching'. 100% class participation for 90% of the workshop. I start off fun and light, with colour, shapes and music, easing people into a place where they can comfortably tap into what their brains are telling them. Then I introduce different writing styles and activities that start to scratch the surface. Feedback I have received has said that people feel as if they have a new set of tools to work with, both as writers, and as people, for when they are going through life turmoil, or trying to manage issues from the past.
What are you looking forward to the most when it comes to running your workshops?
I love to meet new people, and find out why they are there for the workshop. People all come with different ideas and expectations, they ll leave feeling terrific about what they just experienced - most of it comes from the work they put into their writing. I love watching enlightened faces emerging from the words they write on paper.