Hello, I'm so glad you are here taking the time to find out if my service is right for you. I have been an Art teacher since 1996, helping my students achieve their personal goals, develop self-expression and overcome personal obstacles. I have been lucky enough to work all over the world in International education with students of all ages, capabilities, and backgrounds. The essence of my practice is to facilitate self-growth by guiding you to connect with your creativity, intuition and your personal sense of being. Through a process of inquiry, mindful and creative practice, core challenges and setbacks can be identified and overcome with confidence.
I specialize in creating personalized plans and facilitating workshops that provide the tools to guide you to achieve your desired goals.
I started my teaching career by chance while working as an Interior designer in India on an extended holiday. I had been struggling to find my place in England so had decided to take some time out in a country I had fallen in love with a couple of years earlier while travelling from China to India backpacking with a friend from school. Teaching was not something that I had ever thought of doing. I was at that time interested in my own artistic practice and straddling the corporate world of interior design. However, I was approached by a local International school to run a workshop or two at the weekends for their students who were in need of more artistic opportunities than the school curriculum allowed for at that time. I was terrified. I didn't know children except for my younger cousins, and I knew how to teach even less! With a leap of faith, I decided to give it a go and within 6 weeks I resigned from my position as an Interior designer at the company I worked with, and was teaching- not just the "weekend workshops", but in the classroom too. I had by complete serendipity or perhaps it was fate, found another love.
I had a very supportive Head of School and with his encouragement, I decided to become a fully certified International school teacher. I stayed with the school for 10 years and rose to head of department. I loved it. It was during this time period that I began to delve deeper into my interest in eastern philosophy.
This interest had been sparked while I was living and travelling in China on and off in the late 80's just after the Tiananmen Square uprising. China was an incredibly interesting country. It had just opened up to the western world and much of its ancient Imperial roots still remained. Elements of Confucianism and Buddhism were interwoven in the suppressed sociological thoughts of the people. It was reflected around the country in the most exquisite architectural structures, temples and buildings along with the impact of the 1911 Chinese revolution, which to the contrary was asteer and emotionless. China was a covert country. Philosophy was reflected at every turn, but never to be talked about. It was here through a chance meeting and conversation with a random stranger in a coffee shop, that I first became interested in the "Tao Te Ching" written by "Lao Tzu"- meaning old master that is said to date back to 400 BC. The Tao, in essence, is a series of prose reflecting the concept of "being", a universal blueprint for questioning and understanding what we in the west would call "life". The Tao meaning "way" and Ching, meaning "life force", or "energy".
India (though unbeknown to me at the time) was the obvious next stop on my journey of understanding this idea.
During the week I worked with students teaching Art and Ceramics from grade 4 right up to what we in the U.K call A'level or Diploma level 3. During the weekends, I searched for knowledge of metaphysics and philosophy. I was lucky enough to live a car journey away from Auroville- a universal city dedicated to the Ideal of Human Unity. It was a melting pot of ideas and philosophies. I found knowledge through people, conversation and action to deepen and broaden my inquiry not only in philosophy and metaphysics but in how to live in a world beyond politics and creed in harmony with each other, and all living things.
Life took a turn and with a very heavy heart, I left India in 2006 and moved to rural France to live amongst the vineyards and to complete a Master's degree in creativity and learning. My life here was very different. I had left behind vibrancy, colour, and a daily awakening of senses, (India hardly ever sleeps) to rolling vineyards, solitude and harsh but short winters.
France offered silence and time for reflection. Instead of philosophy, esoteric practice and Auroville, I learned to chop wood to stoke my fire to heat my cottage and make jams from the fruit trees in my garden. I spent many weeks in complete solitude with the exception of my 3-year-old son, and the odd trip to the supermarket. I missed India and my students hugely and felt that without teaching, I had part of me missing.
After 3 years I moved briefly to the Netherlands to teach in an International School and then on to another life-changing adventure, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I was working in a school on the red sea that supported a university township dedicated to science and technological advancement and development. This gave me the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, who had had the most amazing journeys. I was teaching middle and high school students the International Baccalaureate, a concept-based, thought-provoking educational system which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was lucky enough to teach at a school that represented at the time over 70 nationalities including Saudi girls. I learned a lot through our interactions- in particular, how blessed I was to have grown up and then lived in parts of the world that afforded me the experience of "freedom". Not just physical freedom, but mental and spiritual freedom also.
Living and working on a compound after the nomadic life I had previously lived was a very different experience. We were 70 kilometres from the nearest city and quite isolated. Instead of the colour and vibrancy of India and the peacefulness of France was dry and acrid land, where landfill littered the road between us and Jeddah. The climate was extreme for most of the year, with frequent sandstorms that turned the sky yellow, and temperatures often reaching the high 40's. It was nothing less than an adventure.
At the weekends I would try and get out on the red sea and scuba dive, though this was often difficult being a single woman. However, watching from the boat our compound disappearing into a small shape first and then completely disappearing over the horizon line, with the expanse of the ocean laid out before was simply beautiful, and worth the effort in making it happen. The sea of the coast was relatively pristine because there were no tourists allowed at that time in Kingdom, and we were often accompanied by schools of dolphins.
Beyond Jeddah lay Ancient hidden forts and blown-out volcano creators that we would sometimes hike and camp at, sleeping under the stars and around the campfire. On our journey to and from we would often see camels wandering around and nomads checking us out with as much curiosity as us, them. But with restrictions on being a woman and an unmarried one at that, it was at times challenging. I could not drive a car, and I could not go out into the wilds unaccompanied. I often felt that my wings had been clipped. I stayed in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 7 years and on completing the final year of my contract I returned back to the U.K.
On returning, the U.K was a very different place to the one I had left when I was 19. I felt very dislocated from society. I looked British, and sounded British, but didn't feel British at all. Systems and processes didn't work in the way I was used to. Accessing work without having worked previously in the U.K was challenging, helping my child to integrate into a culture that to him was very alien, experiencing a hotel fire, which burned to the ground in less than 10 minutes, the loss of my Mother and Grandmother in a few short months, all became completely overwhelming. The jumping of continents that appeared on paper to be the easiest, was actually the hardest to make.
I just couldn't seem to find a way forward.
After a long period of time, I began to start to see the steps to take to see a way through the metaphorical trees in the forest.
Through trying to process and understand the experiences in relation to myself and learning how to process them, I started the practice of "finding flow" and finding my own flow.
I felt somewhere along that journey of recovery that I had been led exactly to this point to start to understand the transformational power of Creativity, Mindfulness and the "Art of Being" through having lived it.
And then "The Art Of Being Was Born".