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When Creative Destiny Finds You

I haven’t blogged for ages.  This has been for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I do think that if you are going to blog, make it real REAL good and really contribute something that is worthy of people giving their precious time to.  Problem is, every time I sat down to write something over the past few months, it somehow didn’t feel quite authentic, it wasn’t coming straight from my truth.  So instead of posting something lackluster, I opted to wait until something of worth presented itself for communicating.

While I’ve been waiting for this ‘something’ to arrive, I’ve painted, I’ve drawn, I’ve entered my work in my very first group show, I’ve kept going with my online painting tuition, I’ve completed painting commissions and sold other works that people have fallen in love with.  It’s been a wonderful adventure and it has felt like a new season in my creative life has been ripening.

Painting and art making has been something that I initially started doing again simply for myself, for my own love of creating and also as balm for a healing process I have been going through.  I have shared my journey and other’s have resonated with it.  And somehow, in this time of ‘waiting’ for the inspiration to arrive for my next move with Creative Conversation to arrive, it happened and has presented itself in the most unexpected of ways- a new career direction as an artist, for which I have just launched a brand new website: susannethercote.com

 I love working with my coaching clients and getting deep into the journey with others on the creative business path, I really do, because I have deep understanding of that process and deep compassion for [...]

Passing the Test of Time

How many times have you created something and wondered, is this going to last?  Will this be relevant in one year, two years, ten years time?  As a fashion designer, I always tried to stay away from trends and just make clothes that I loved, in the hope that there would be a timeless quality to them.  I have also had the same commitment with what I have made here at Creative Conversation.

Last week I hosted a lovely small group of four in small Holistic Business Mapping Workshop in my studio.  It was the first time in over a year that I have run this program live (though it has run several times online) and it was really beautiful to see how it melded with all the new perspectives I had gained over the past year.

I had feared that with the massive personal changes that I had been through over the past twelve months, that this course I had created nearly 3 years ago may no longer be relevant.  But, thankfully, I was wrong.  I found that the structure of Holistic Business Mapping still held true though the face of my life and business has been changing and evolving at a rapid rate behind the scenes.  There are timeless qualities to it and core truths in that I believe pass the test of time.

Because the group I hosted was small and intimate, I took the opportunity to make a new Holistic Business Map for myself to gage visually where things are at and where they wish to flow to next.

It’s been a while since I have done one of these maps, and I was surprised, yet again, to discover the power of this method of business [...]

Cultivating Creative Genius

This year, I have been participating in a wonderful online art community and art course called 52 Paintings, run by the gorgeous Faith Evans Sills and Mati-Rose over in the US.  Recently, Faith invited me to write a post to share with our group about a practice that I do in the middle of the day to cultivate creative flow in my work.  I’d love to share that article with you guys too, I hope you enjoy!

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On most days, about an hour after lunch, I find myself yawning and lacking energy, can you relate?  I could put it down to having two young children, my habit of rising early, perhaps even my need to quit sugar.  My need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up is always there.

I have been a meditator for many years now, on and off, and I’ve long been sold on the benefits of having a regular practice.  For me that regular time is in the morning, before the household rises, I sit and connect in, with myself, with the divine, with nature.  It’s the most brilliant way to start the day and feels me with beautiful energy.

So when I realised that my body and my sprit needed an energy injections around the mid-afternoon, I sought a way of going about it that would meet two needs – my need for body rest, and my need to pep up my spirit.  I instinctively developed the following practice which helps me to both rest AND cultivate the feeling and attitude that I want to bring to my work after my little rest.

First I lay down on my bed or on the window seat in my studio.  I plug in my earphones to my iPhone [...]

My Winter of Deep Healing

Yesterday was the first day of Spring here in the southern hemisphere and my, was she glorious.  The sun shone and it’s rays had real warmth brewing in them.  This caught me by great surprise as we often don’t see the warmer weather until November around here.  I don’t think I have ever been happier to see spring come.

This winter has, for me, been a deeply challenging time in many ways.  It has been a time where I was led to some pretty dark places within that needed attention, processing and deep healing.  Things that have waited for over 35 years to be felt and let go of.

Such processes are never easy, but they are hugely necessary at times.  And my time has been this winter.

It required me to back right off on my businesses and create space for the unknown unfolding.  It required me to stand completely in my vulnerability waiting for tsunami upon tsunami of decades of unfelt emotion to break upon me.  And then it required me to do it again.

This winter, I gave in.  I really gave in.  I gave in because I know that truly feeling and letting go of the old stories that held me ransom was the only road to truly coming into complete alignment with what the universe has destined me to be. I gave in because there were crusty old skins that needed to be shed, because I am truly done with letting them run my emotional life.

I gave in because I was far enough down the road to my own truth that there was no other way but to confront these deep shadows and let them engulf me – not so that they would [...]

The Space In-between

There is a place in life that many of us come to at least once and often more.  It is the space after you have defined yourself as ‘something’ in the world.  You’ve had some kind of success.  Defined some kind of identity around it.  And then life makes it obvious that it is time to move on from this way of being onto to something new.

But that something ‘new’ is nebulous and shady.  It is embryonic.  It has not yet taken form.  And it takes a good period of unpredictable time to incubate.

This moment is what I like to call the space in-between.  I’ve just been in one and it’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

The space in-between is where all possibilities lay.  It is exciting and petrifying all at once.  But it can also be lonely, because it exists only in your imagination so no-one else can share it with you yet. And no-one else can assure you that it will ‘all work out’ because they don’t know and you don’t know if it will.

And yet the space in-between, if we really understand it correctly, is possibly one of the most special places to be in life and your creative journey.  It is like a magical land of possibility from where you can conjure your destiny.

I’ve conjured many an incredible journey from this place – each perfect for it’s time.  And for the past few months I have found myself in this space once again, this time for a time longer than my urge to ‘make stuff happen’ usually allows me.

This time I made a conscious choice to slow the process down. To allow the gestation to really take root.  [...]

Interview with Clare Bowditch on Being Resonant

Part of being creative is that I LOVE trying new things.  As I’ve been creating my new e-course, I’ve been recording podcasts and video interviews galore, which has been new to me and so much fun. And I thought, since the early bird prices end on the course registration this coming Monday 9th Feb, that I might give you a little taster of the general awesomeness that you will find in the Holistic Business Mapping e-course that starts on March 2nd.

This little interview with singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Clare Bowditch was such a treat for me to do.  I’ve long thought Clare was pretty ace, from way back at my CERES market days in Melbourne when I would sell my clothes at my little market stall and she worked the organic fruit and veggie stand.  From little things big things grow!

Late last year, I had the pleasure of spending some time with C.B. Bali.  I think there are very few creative professionals out there of such calibre as Clare that are so generous with their time and information.  But you see, Clare is one of those success stories who remembers that once upon a time, she knew nothing about being a creative professional either.  This was one of the big inspirations behind creating her labour of love Big Hearted Business, to help others connect with the information they need to make their creative dream a business reality.  And it’s one of the reasons I love her too, as it was at her very first conference that a fire was lit under me to start Creative Conversation.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that I often focus on how important it is [...]

Coming Clean About My Business ‘Achilles Heel’

I want to come clean about something to you all.  Today, I embarked on my latest marketing campaign for my e-course.  My e-course is all about taking an holistic approach to business planning, which may give the impression that I am somehow in a Zen state about the whole business process. I’m here to bust that illusion- I most absolutely am NOT zen with online marketing.  In fact my internal wrestle with the whole process of marketing is something that I still struggle with and nearly undoes me every single time.  But it is a necessary and unavoidable part of the business process- particularly the line of work that I am in, and it does none of you any service to hide the fact that I struggle with it, because I know for a fact that a lot of you struggle with it too.So lets have a frank chat about this shall we?

Why am I telling you about this? Because it’s good to come clean about your ‘Achilles Heel’ which, by it’s nature, runs deep to your emotional core and has the power to take you down. Do you know that story of Achilles?  Achilles was an ancient Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan war (tee hee, I almost wrote worrier, great Freudian slip:-).  He was the greatest warrior around, completely invulnerable to injury, being the son of a goddess and a King, except for in one place and that place was his vulnerability- his heel.  It was an arrow in his heel that finally brought him down and killed him.  It’s such a great metaphor for the secret places we conceal from the world for fear that they may destroy us.So back to my marketing ‘Achilles Heel’.

Now I’m quite clear that marketing will not [...]

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    Why We Need to Give Up ‘How To’ Thinking for ‘Resonant’ Thinking

Why We Need to Give Up ‘How To’ Thinking for ‘Resonant’ Thinking

Recently something has become very obvious to me.  I have been in the online business game for a while now and what I see is a little disturbing.  It generally runs something like this.

Person decides that they need to go ‘legit’ with this business they are in.  Thus, they need a website.  They also need to do a business course or two to get a handle on the mechanics of ‘how it’s done’.  They look around at how others are doing it and see if there is a mould and method out there that might fit theirs.  And then the go about replicating it – with, of course the stamp of  ‘me’ on it.  Then they open up for business.

Now some people really hit the nail on the head, and business flows immediately and builds momentum.  But what happens to the vast majority is the deafening sound of crickets as they launch their blog / website / business to the world.  That online store that took months makes few sales.  That consultancy business brings in one or two clients a week max.  A lovely start, but nowhere near enough to make the ‘full-time’ income they were hoping for.  No matter how they tweak it, they just can’t quite hit their stride.

And then people become stuck.  They feel like they have done all that they can do and that it hasn’t worked, so maybe they are a failure.  Maybe they are not meant for their dream.  This is a confronting and heartbreaking phase to go through, I know, I have been there, and if gone unchecked can lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy of giving up and closing up shop.

What is really called for in this [...]

Resonance- The Hum of Knowing…

In my 15 years of selling clothes to women I have seen a phenomenon happen over and over.  It is so mundane, that I can guarantee that you yourself will have done it. But the significance of this phenomenon could easily be missed.

It usually goes something like this: woman spies something nice in the shop.  It’s usually the first thing that takes her eye (Dudes, imagine you are at Bunnings!). She comes in and asks to try it on.  It’s perfect. It fits a treat, the colour is right and she looks like she was born to wear it.  What does she do next?  She then proceeds to try on everything else in the store just to see if there is anything better.  None of these are right. They all fit badly, the colour is wrong, we don’t have her size. She feels like her hips are too wide, the tops of her arms are flabby and she has ugly knees. And then, eventually, after an hour or so of torturing herself, she buys the first item she tried on.

Sound familiar to anyone? You might do it in a clothing store, or you might do it in your business- questioning that first instinct only to torture yourself with an unnecessarily overwhelming myriad of choices.

The interesting thing to notice in this scenario is that 9 1/2 times out of 10, the woman intuitively chooses the item that is right for her, IMMEDIATELY.  She is magnetically drawn to it, she loves it, it feels right, it looks right.  Something in her senses its perfect dimensions and qualities for her before she even lays her hands on it.  She resonates with it.

Let me say that again, SHE [...]

What is it about Creativity?

What is it about creativity that so fascinates us? What is it about creativity that makes us feel so deeply satisfied when we practice, and makes us revere it when we see it expressed clearly and unabashedly in others?

When I started my clothing label some 15 years ago, stuck at it, and made it a success, I can’t tell you how many times I would find myself looking into the starry-eyes of someone saying how wonderful it must be to be creative every day. When I started out, this was the very thing that spurred me on – my love of the creative act and my desire to earn my living from it.

At the time, I was being creative by making clothing, so that is what I built a business around. That business allowed me the scope to investigate my creativity in a number of ways, far beyond the act of designing and making clothing. It also taught me that making a business out of something you love can take you away from the act of being creative more than bring you to it, but that is story for another day.

In a way, the act of creating a business is one of the ultimate forms of creativity. You are creating your life and your living on so many levels, from every single decision that you make, that sometimes its actually hard to make a move, in case you create the wrong thing.

I’ve been really taking my time with the development of Creative Conversation, partly because I am aware that I am capable of creating what I set my mind and heart to, so I want to ground my mind in my heart in the [...]