Creating Your Own Reality
Lorraine Blackley is a coach and facilitator and is conducting Developing Your Dance Career workshops for DANZ. During a 15 year career in nursing Lorraine became interested in the psychology of people and human potential. After many years of researching and retraining she established her business, Creative Adventures Ltd, and now works with people to assist them to make changes in their lives. This is an extract from Susan Jordan’s recent interview with Lorraine.
Susan started by asking Lorraine what the current influences on her work are.
LB. Mainly from Robert Fritz “The Path of Least Resistance” and his principles of how people engage creatively when they paint or compose and using those same principles to create their lives. I thought it an amazing idea and that’s basically what I’ve been exploring over the last seven years.
Back in 2000 The Big Idea Trust thought these ideas were interesting too. They were looking for a form of professional development for creative workers so they asked me to come on board to design and deliver training. That’s how the New Space Programme came about, as a partnership between Creative Adventures, TBI and Work & Income. It was offered through PACE and I’m now into the thirteenth New Space programme.
SJ. Are there other people who have influenced you?
LB. Phillip Gordon came and worked on the New Space programme for two years. What he brought into the programme was an interesting way to work with current reality and really getting honest about how things are.
SJ. What is the current reality for dance artists, what do you they need to do or be to succeed?
LB. What first comes to mind is to believe in themselves and their ideas. Beyond that there’s a need to learn practical follow through - creating a partnership between visioning the idea and bringing it into form. A vision without the practical follow through is escapist day-dreaming. Practical follow through without the vision is uninspired. Mostly creative personalities will favour the visioning and the ideas generation - that’s the “feel good” territory for them. It’s learning to be able to work both sides as part of the creative process.
SJ. Could this be described in right brain left brain terms?
LB. Absolutely, and it is learning to use both sides of the brain and connecting up the corpus callosum, which is the bridge between the two, that will make it easier for creative personalities to work the more logical, practical side of the brain.
SJ. Is it actually the doing that creates the bridge, so that if you only ever operate on the right side of the brain you’ll never develop the skills on the left side?
LB. That’s right – you’re building the bridge. You don’t have to continue doing what you don’t want to do but it is an active choice and it’s incredibly empowering. Even if you delegate areas of your business or your creative project you still need to know what’s going on because you can’t trust that other people will be doing what you want to happen.
SJ. What are some of the other areas that you feel artists need to move along in?
LB. Well, the really big one is getting over a poverty consciousness that’s dominated the arts for centuries. So many creative practitioners, even though they think they are taking a reactive stance in terms of mainstream are still being controlled by the whole entitlement economy. We are all conditioned into an entitlement economy – good education gets a good job that pays well. As a good citizen you’ll be looked after and make money, if you loose your job you will be looked after by the state. You’ll have money to make choices and will be able to retire well.
Then there’s the economy of responsibility where you are responsible for what you have in life. It is where the entrepreneurs, movers and shakers get out there and make it up, go for what they want. On that side there are no limits on what you can create financially or otherwise but there is a lack of security, there’s a higher risk. However, the benefits are greater. The entitlement economy is of course much safer but not as empowering and often very frustrating for creative people.
I can say these things because I have created my business from a place of being chronically depressed on the DPB, with serious health issues and two small children also with health issues, problematic behaviour and special needs. If artists are truly going to create sustainable abundant careers they need to let go of the entitlement ideas about not being able to do things because the grant didn’t come through or they haven’t got the money, or whatever it is, and just learn to make things happen regardless of financial or other circumstances.
SJ. What do you say or do to help people move through this?
LB. Setting up a structure where you are constantly focused on what it is you want to achieve, where you look absolutely at your current reality and your own beliefs and conditioning, both the perceived obstacles and the real obstacles. Getting really honest about that and then working the tension between those two.
SJ. What are the action steps to start moving across that territory?
LB. I don’t know what the answers will be, what ways will be found, that will organically unfold in each unique situation. But if you work that process, which is a creative process, and create that tension between those two, resist giving up through habitual limiting ways of thinking, then ways will present.
SJ. To finish, are there any success stories with dancers who have been through New Space?
LB. There’s Wilhemeena Gordon who has set up her wonderful studio “Soul”. She’s doing amazing things at Titirangi and has taken enormous risks.
For further info contact DANZ Tamaki ph (09) 815 1420 firstname.lastname@example.org