Welcome, and thank you for joining me here for my first blog at UnglueYou. I can think of no better way to share the story behind starting my business than using the same technique I offer clients.
I turn to using images whenever I need to express what is going on for me but cannot find the words, finding this easier because once I represent my story visually I can explain in words what the images mean to me. The benefits of this approach are that I’ve expressed my thoughts, feelings, decisions etc. visually, and can now consider what I do about them; but it remains within my control to decide how much of the meaning, my story, I choose to share with others.
If you’ve been on a similar journey, some of the images or the whole picture may resonate with you, or you may just enjoy it as a visual narrative. Either way, I hope by telling you a part of my story in this way that you will connect with it on a deeper level than words alone would allow.I’d been to see Jill Chapman a great coach from The Create Network because I felt stuck, I knew I wanted to change direction in my career but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. By the end of the session I thought I might like to start my own business. After the session finished, knowing my artistic background, Jill suggested I represent my core theme of ‘doors opening for the business’ by drawing it. I tried, but found the drawing didn’t represent what I meant, it felt flat and lifeless. So I decided to do what I do best and portray it by creating a collage using magazine images. This resulted in a picture that not only conveyed the idea of doors being opened but also clearly expressed how I was feeling.
The two girls (courtesy of Marianne Horton’s Small People) represent how I felt in March 2012. At the time the one covered was about me knowing I had more to give; that I wasn’t using my creative gifts and skills to their full potential, a part of me was hidden, just waiting for the chance to come out. Stretching up to remove the cover is me saying ‘it’s time to come out now, to use your gifts, skills and experience to live the life you were created for’. To reinforce that image ‘Ready for change’ is positioned above it, but it also encapsulates the theme of the whole picture. Like the girls I am at the start of a road that stretches into the distance, we cannot see the end, but along with the signposts, it signifies the beginning of my new journey.
‘Discover’ also relates to the whole picture, capturing my sense of excitement at the unknown, now that I was ready for change.
When flicking through magazines looking for images I have no preconceived ideas of what I may choose, I have a theme in mind I wish to explore and then simply choose images that resonate with me. That way I am freeing my subconscious to do its thing and help me discover through the images what I may not be consciously aware of. For example, the lady dancing resonated with me immediately, the vivid intensity of her colour, the striking pose that for me says so much about freedom of expression, letting go, doing what you love and being absorbed in the moment. I placed her on the stairs, dancing her way up towards the doors and the hands being given keys to symbolically open them. Knowing there would be challenges along the way I wanted to remind myself to celebrate achievements; the couple on the vespa do this for me, evoking memories of scooter rides in Italy. I called the picture ‘The Decision’ because it helped me clarify the thoughts and feelings I was having about my career path; now I felt confident I was making the right decision in starting UnglueYou.
I use ‘The Decision’ to motivate me when things get tough; putting it on my phone and my desktop as a screen saver and keeping an A6 version in my home office so I don’t forget what I’m aiming for and why.