Ironically this is one of the first things an art teacher will tell you, says Bernadette Petrie, if they are a good one that is.
Anne was a great one. I met her when I joined her watercolour class at the North Berwick community centre in 2006 and she gently encouraged me to put the eraser down. She modelled drawing lightly and weaving ‘mistakes’ into magic. When I left my first class I was floating on air. I hadn’t created a masterpiece – far from it but I was creating, and that felt amazing. Recently I looked at that piece of work – the first painting I’d done in over 20 years and I felt real appreciation for myself – that young mum of two small children, who chose to fill her cup when she could, during the small windows of opportunity that came her way.
In June I spent a weekend on the west coast. The whole weekend was evidence that the Universe is always listening to our heart’s desire. It was this place, many years ago, where I daydreamed of being a writer and an artist. It was there, I remembered the magic of being barefoot. It was there I shared my feelings, as a group of 20-somethings we talked about our lives and owned the discontent. I can see now, how taking time out from my then stressful career in sales has paid off today. It was there I first heard about life coaches. It was there I remembered about the lovely artist Frances MacDonald from the nearby Crinan Hotel. A business meeting with her the year before turned into an-almost coaching session, with her encouraging me to paint.
Yet, it would take a whole decade before I gave myself permission to start. And, it’s taken lockdown to really make me commit. I am a life coach, a writer and I am an artist. I don’t ever want to be just one of them. I realise she was showing me it’s completely possible to colour your life your own way.
I sought her out during the weekend away in June to thank her for rekindling my inner pilot light, to thank her for colouring her life her own way. I discovered she’d actually trained as a nurse, frequently painting in her uniform in between shifts. She told me she didn’t go to art school, she’d just always painted and because of this she has created a multi-passionate life. Her sons paint and so does her granddaughter. All because she didn’t stop doing the one thing which made her feel joyful.
Why am I telling you all this? Chances are if you read this column, like me you’re a multi-passionate spark of creation. Back then I uncovered my desires, but I didn’t have the self belief or tools to take action sooner, which is why my life coaching training has been, for me, first and foremost. Like Frances I’m waving my artistic creations into my whole business creations not because I think they’re amazing (although I do love what’s unfolding) but because it feels amazing to create.
You have something to share with the Universe and making time to find out what it is – is so important. Let’s stop trying to erase the past but instead weave from and make our own kind of magic.
With love until the next time.
To take part in creative workshops at the Barefoot Sanctuary, buy Bernadette’s book Permission To Shine or enquire about coaching visit: