Phew! Can you believe it is ONE MONTH until Christmas? The silly season is well and truly upon us now! It’s the time of year when I start to reflect upon the past 12 months. A LOT has happened here! It’s been a year of new beginnings – starting a new life here in Ballarat after moving our little family from Melbourne, my eldest son starting school, starting my own Architectural practice, buying a house (we move over Christmas!) and really finding my feet and finding my ‘tribe’. Not that I’ve left my old tribe behind, all you gorgeous Melbournians, it has just e x p a n d e d !
So what on earth am I talking about by ‘tribe’? For me, it’s about finding like-minded people, kinfolk if you like, or simply new ‘friends’ who make me feel connected to this world. Going to the Big Hearted Business conference, the brainchild of the inspiring Clare Bowditch, earlier this year was a BIG part of this. In fact, my first ever blog post came about immediately after that weekend with a summary of the best bits from the conference – I called that post “The First Day of the Rest of My (Amazing) Life!” and it feels like since then everything is falling into place. Clare Bowditch already had a huge following due to her talent as a singer/songwriter, and now she is also revered amongst creative-types and women as someone to look up to, someone we can all aspire to be like, someone with a big-heart who followed her dreams, made money and made a difference in the world, and who is continuing to do so.
Some of THE most important lessons that I (and the other attendees) took away from the conference is that we must ALL learn to listen to our heart and have CONFIDENCE in our abilities. Writer, Artist and Mother, Rachel Power (another of the conference’s inspiring speakers) recently wrote “Since that event, I’ve heard from so many women who’ve said the conference finally gave them the permission, the confidence and the tools to forge ahead with their creative lives.” (My emphasis).
But the other REALLY important part of the Big-Hearted-Business conference is the COMMUNITY of creative people it has created. Clare Bowditch is very passionate about supporting and providing encouragement to other creatives (and who doesn’t need a bit of barracking and a good kick-up the bum every now and then?!). Clare and the big-hearted-business team post a weekly “Inspiration Bomb” on their website (sign up to receive them to your inbox) which are little pearls of wisdom from successful creative types, to help keep us all motivated. But perhaps more importantly, many of the attendees of the conference regularly keep in touch via a Facebook group where we share news and questions and answers, about where our creative journeys are taking us, and we can all help support each other. Social media has changed the way we can connect with each other, and its such a fabulous way to be able to keep in touch. There have also been numerous “live” catch-ups/reunions in Melbourne and surrounds too for a chance for face-to-face interaction! The photo below is of a few of us out-of-towners who caught up in Castlemaine earlier this year… the lovely Caitlin McGrath is indeed wearing a shower-cap (second from right)! The shower-cap was one of our gifts in the BHB show bag, and as we hadn’t previously met in person, it was a great way for us to find each other!)
Beautiful Jess Cola (second from left) runs View Point Handmade Gallery in Bendigo, and she has curated an Exhibition of Artworks from attendees of the Big Hearted Business Conference! Another fabulous example of how our tribe are continuing to support each other. I’m really looking forward to going along and checking out all the works of these talented women. The Opening Reception and Market night is THIS Saturday 30th November from 6-9pm at 13 View Point, Bendigo, and runs until 13 December. For more details see their website. The title of the group show is “commUNITY 2013” which explores themes of belonging and connection. It is obvious that this is the theme for the year for my tribe, not just for the art show.
This year, I’ve also connected with some amazing artists, creatives, and also kinfolk interested in sustainable living here in Ballarat – and this is also mainly thanks to social media with various facebook groups and via twitter. To my generation and those before me, at first this can sound as tragic as what online-dating once was, but its actually been a brilliant way to find out about interesting events around town that are relevant to me, so I could then meet in person and become a part of the community. Because at the end of the day, we all have a primitive need to feel connected, to feel like we belong to a tribe. Family, friends, community. These relationships give our life meaning. I hope you’ve found your tribe too.
P.S. Are you interested in hearing from some more of the creative women from the big-hearted business tribe? Check out their blogs below, and find out what BHB meant to them:
Romy Sai Zunde: http://romysaizunde.com
Susan Nethercote: http://creativeconversation.com.au
Caitlin McGrath: http://caituna.wordpress.com/
Martine Zajacek: http://viewsfromtheredbrickroad.wordpress.com/
Maria Harding: http://stencilportraits.com.au/blog/
P.P.S. And if you’re feeling like you missed out on BHB and wish you could be a part of it, sign up for next year’s conference (there’s a waiting list!) and you can also purchase the “virtual” version – just released! I highly recommend it – hours of video footage from such inspiring speakers! Go check out the preview here.