Hello everyone! Today is a chance to meet another of my creative online friends - the gorgeous - inside and out - Lauren Barber. Lauren and I first connected online before meeting in person as we live fairly close to each other, it also turns out we were at the same school but didn't know each other then. She's a truly multi-passionate creative and such a joy to be around, but I'll let her tell you more about herself and her creative life...
Hi! It's lovely to have you here, can you introduce yourself: What’s your name and where do you come from? What do you do?
The easy part of this question is my name… Lauren Barber. I live in Kent currently, in a small village called Hildenborough which is nicely positioned between town and countryside!
The harder part of this question is… what do I do?
Something I have spent a lot of time deep diving into because it all honesty it shifts and changes all of the time. I am not a ‘one label’ person, I call myself multi-passionate because I love to have a variety of things on the go. For some time I tried to resist this part of me because I felt like I was falling under the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ banner - however I realise that I do not feel my shiniest, brightest and most creative when I am doing just one thing.
So back to the original question… what do I do? I teach yoga and meditation, I coach women, I write, I run a podcast, I manage content creation for wellbeing brands, I mentor other female entrepreneurs, I hold space for people to grow and replenish themselves, I breathe, I dance, I walk, I evolve. I am consistently changing and I adore that I am in a space where that is suddenly OK.
(I definitely resonate with the 'one label' difficulties, and it's so great to hear that you're embracing your multi-passionate-ness and able to enjoy all these different facets of your life and work)
What’s your personal definition of Creativity? What does it look and feel like in your life?
Creativity to me is like magic! It is birthing something into the world that never existed before and for me I inject creativity into my life daily in a variety of different ways.
It is creating nourishing food that replenishes my body. It is allowing myself to be freely creative through movement which can look like a yoga practice, walking or dancing. It is writing both for me and for others - so in my own personal journal and then on my platforms. It is the way I edit my podcasts, it is the way I write my emails to people, the way I speak to others and the way that I create space for myself and others to connect. It may be through more conventional ‘artistic’ ways such as photographing things that interest and inspire me, collage and painting in my creative journal, or it may be doing my makeup, dressing in something I love or putting on my favourite jewellery.
Creativity to me is my expression and it shows up in so many different ways.
(Yes yes yes! I love this! So perfect - self-expression and a dose of magic!)
Apart from in your work or business, how do you let your creative side out to play?
In all of the ways above! By trusting my instincts and letting myself be curious and explore. Instead of suppressing those intuitive hits that I get which dare me to do something in my life, it is embracing and allowing them to surface without a worry of what they might ‘look’ like.
(Mmm, curiosity and intuition - such important guides in keeping us exploring and not giving into fear of the unknown)
Have you always felt creative? Have there been times when you’ve struggled with it?
I think I have always connected with creativity in many different ways. There was a time in my old PR and Marketing work when I didn’t feel like my creativity was ‘mine’ as I was only exploring it through my clients in their tone and voice. However, I have never had a fear of being creative, my mother is an artist and I was always encouraged to be expressive when I was growing up.
(That's such a beautiful thing to be brought up with, although I can definitely understand the disconnection of creating for others)
Where do you find inspiration? Who or what do you look out for?
Nature is my biggest inspiration. Being out in nature always makes me feel connected to creativity - all you have to do is look around and see the magic at work. I also find movement helps me release any creative blocks and meditation always helps create the space in my mind for my true creative ideas to come through - once I have sieved through the clutter!!
(Sometimes we just need the literal space of being outside don't we? Movement and meditation are a great combo too - but I know what you mean about inspiration overload!)
What top three tips would you offer a nervous creative?
Look at the beliefs around your creativity. What is your current inner voice telling you? And where does that belief come from? So many people have been told at school that they are ‘not good at something’ and this can hugely impact your expression. Try introducing an affirmation to reprogramme that belief. A few examples… I am a creative being. I express myself daily. I embrace my creative curiosity.
Ask yourself what the worst is that can happen if you follow your instincts and create something? If it doesn’t go the way you think it should do - is it going to be hugely consequential? Chances are that it won’t be of detriment at all - so you may as well give it a go and try it out!
Don’t take it so seriously! Have fun and make the experience playful - explore and experiment with many different creative outlets. Creativity is like exercise - there is something out there for everyone, but you might need to try a few things out to find it. Take on the adventurous spirit and let your creativity find you!
(I love these, thank you. Rewriting the stories we've been told by others can take some serious work, but is so important if we want to feel free to be ourselves. And honestly, in all but the rarest cases, creativity is never going to be a life or death situation, perhaps sometimes a learning experience, but it should definitely be about playing and having fun!)
Where can we find you online?
Website, blog & podcast: www.laurenbarber.co
(Thank you Lauren, it's been a joy to have you on the blog, and I'm always looking forward to seeing what you create next!)
I hope you've enjoyed reading this Q&A, and I'd encourage you to go and check out Lauren's links - her podcast is one of my favourites and so empowering, I've yet to make it to one of her yoga classes, and her photos of the Kent countryside from her regular walks are truly beautiful. I look forward to introducing you to another amazing creative soon, but for now - have a fabulous creative day!
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