The Are You Flourishing? blog is an extension of the monthly Thursday Flourish Nights we have been running in Woburn Sands since June 2017.
It’s a place to explore ideas, and enjoy making happy mistakes. There are so many creative topics I hope to delve into on the blog. Painting, printing, sewing, knitting, crochet, poetry, photography, theatre, carpentry, journaling, flower arranging, animation, collage, gift wrapping….the list goes on…
The inspiration to start Flourish came back in October 2016, when a Macmillan Nurse directed me to an Arts on Prescription course run by Milton Keynes Council. I had already been successfully treated for breast cancer but was finding it difficult to come to terms with what had happened to me. The Arts on Prescription group provided a wonderful, inspiring experience which helped me recover mentally from what my body had been through over the past year. To become lost in the process of painting helped me forgot all of my worries for a couple of hours and build confidence in my ability to move forward with my life.
A few weeks later, it was Christmas, and my lovely sister Katie gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Reading such a warm and motivating book felt like an epiphany. (I would highly recommend it if you don’t already have a copy.) I was galvanized.
In The Artist’s Way, Julia suggests making a creative cluster around yourself of people who are like minded and enjoy nurturing creativity in themselves and others. This seemed very similar to my experience at Arts on Prescription which I had enjoyed so much. So I began to think about ways I could start my own local group, where friends could get together and be creative. I am the world’s best procrastinator, but luckily my good friend Lorraine is not, and when I mentioned the idea to her over lunch one day she just said ‘What are you waiting for! Lets go back home and sort it out now!’ So we did.
We drove back to Woburn Sands and an hour later we had booked a room at the back of our local pub every 2nd Thursday of the month at 8pm for the next six months ! We set up a small Flourish facebook group, put together a bunting making evening inspired by the lovely and talented Anita, and our Flourish Nights began.
Flourish has grown really quickly through word of mouth and is now double its original size. I have been so pleased with the reactions from everyone who has taken part. My favourite thing though, is when some one tells me they are not artistic, and they expect to be really rubbish at an activity, and then at the end of our two hour Flourish session they have produced something they are really proud of.
Changing the way we see ourselves and being kind enough to allow ourselves to make mistakes is what Flourish is all about. I believe you have to be bad at something before you can be good at it, and there is a huge amount of joy to be had within the process of learning something new.
Let’s all Flourish !
Love Charlotte x