Take Off Your Straightjacket
Hard work, under pressure and over time, can hollow you out from the inside. Duty, seniority and responsibility drain pleasure away, and life itself can become joyless.
In this 90 minute session, you’ll re-connect with your child-like intuition by taking small creative risks in a totally safe space.
How Does It Work?
You’ll be challenged to try things you haven’t done for years, supported by a writer, artist, performer – and certificated coach – who has serious, practical experience at the highest levels.
This is about creativity, so we don’t follow a set plan. We start by talking about where you are now and where you want to be. Then we could do some of these things:
Make up stories
Lots of people I work with feel creatively blocked. It can help to go for a walk.
We can do it in real life, or online – “walking” together on Google Streetview. Here’s a mini “desktop pilgrimage” I started in north London:
Whether online or in person, the changing scenery tends to open up all kinds of storytelling possibilities.
Make art together
Drawing, even when you do it “badly”, is a relaxing context for conversation, and a chance to experience creative freedom. Again, we can do it online:
1 min 41 secs
Or if you need a break from digital, a single sheet of A4 can be turned into a many-sided booklet, for writing or drawing in (or just pasting bits of collage):
We might do some theatrical improvisation. Some people shrink at this, but it changed my life – and it can do that for you, too. Here I am, teaching impro in Korea.
What To Expect
Don’t “do your best”. Enjoying your creativity is an end in itself. It will elude you if you expect too much from it, in terms of specific benefits and practical takeaways. So, don’t even try to be “good” at creativity.
The strange thing is that if you enjoy the process creativity tends to deliver real benefits: it’s playfulness that makes it practical.
Between us, we’ll create a session that freewheels between playtime and pragmatism.
I was a writer and editor at the Financial Times, where I set up the Saturday magazine. For this cover story (pictured left) I performed in a West End pantomime. (Oh yes I did.)
My best-selling book (so far!) is How To Change The World. Most recently I published A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.
I’m a fully qualified executive coach, certified by the Co-Active Training Institute, with hundreds of hours of one-to-one work behind me. I had a breakdown in 2018, spent weeks in psychiatric hospital, and am much the better for it, thank you. I have given lots of illustrated talks about it, using drawings I made in hospital.
My goal is to leave you feeling focused, optimistic – and fully human again.