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The art of connection

Earlier this year I made a flippant decision to run some watercolour workshops. That in itself is strange as I’m a seasoned over-thinker. I have the ability to be incredibly excited at the prospect of an idea, and convince myself that it’s all too much at the same time. It’s called anxiety and it’s a bitch.

The best thing I’ve done for myself is dedicate a word to the year. I chose BRAVE. It underpins the big decisions I make and when I decide something is too uncomfortable or too hard, I think of this word and decide whether I’m bailing out because it’s anxiety-inducing, or because I genuinely don’t have enough interest in it. It’s usually the former.

So my flippant decision to be front and centre of a workshop that was overwhelmingly supported – hence turning into two workshops – turned out to be the best thing. It forced me out of my comfort zone. I got to connect with 20-or-so good-hearted, intellectual women whilst sipping delicious Mayde Tea beside a wood fire – paintbrush in hand. That’s soul-food right there!

The point of writing this is that I’ve had a revelation. The saying ‘there’s no growth in a comfort zone, and no comfort in a growth zone’ is mildly true. When we step outside the perimeter of all that is familiar and comfortable we connect with other people, experiences and ourselves on a whole other level. We accomplish great things, and if we fall short of our expectations, we chalk it up to experience.

I envisioned these watercolour workshops to be so much more than paint on paper. I wanted to create an environment where people could sit and connect with themselves or others. What I witnessed was a group of people – some having not picked up a paintbrush for decades – stepping out of their comfort zones and truly enjoying the simplicity of learning a craft. And leaving with big smiles on their faces.

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More workshop dates will be released in the next couple of weeks, including a Watercolour for Kids workshop in August.

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