Friday, 29 March 2013

Where to find me

Sorry, I'm not really using this blog any longer - too many sites to manage!! However, you can find me in lots of other places!

I have a new website here

My Facebook page is here

My personal blog is here.

You can also reach me by email here.

Thank you!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

How do you relax?

You won't see me doing 'nothing' very often. I guess it's the entreprenuerial spirit pecking away at my conscious. I feel guilty if I'm not doing something productive. At a push I might be able to manage an hour in front of the TV, but even then I get antsy, feeling the urge to flick through a book or capture the seed of an idea that's germinating in the mind compost.

What relaxes me the most though is spreading out painting materials and creating something from deep within me. Something unique and special. A piece of Lisa put on paper. Art is my drama and adventure. I assemble a cast of characters, design my sets and locations and write the script.

Next month I'll be at The Call of the Wild Soul retreat with other like-minded creatives. Oh how we will relax and rejuvenate. We will take our spa treatments dousing ourselves in paint and glue. Manicures become about picking acrylic from our fingernails and faces are massaged by the big grins we have plastered across them all day!

I'm pretty excited as you may have guessed. Then, just a few weeks after I return, I'm hosting my own! A day long artistic adventure to feed your inner Goddess in ways no creepy millionaire ever could (if you've read that book book, you'll get the reference!).

It all takes place on Saturday 20th October at Highgate House in Creaton, Northamptonshire. It is going to be such fun! I can't wait!! Read all about it and book your place here. There are only 12 spots!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Olympics for the right brain

Kat Copeland wins Gold in the women's lightweight double sculls
(the emotion in her eyes was something I just had to attempt to capture in a sketch)

In a world where information has long been currency, creative ideas are suddenly turning into hot tickets. We live in an era of abundance, globalisation and technological advances that are shifting the balance. When I first read A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink I gleefully took on board his theory that right-brainers will be ruling the future.

Pink writes that as the number crunching and analysis is taken over by computing or cheaper overseas labour, it paves the way for those with stronger right brains whose inventiveness, empathy, creativity and pattern-forming crafting will be the foundations for success.

Some of us lean this way naturally, but the good news for all is that we have the tool we need to be in thick of the new world. It just needs a little exercise!

As I've watched Team GB rack up the medals in the last week or so (18 of them Gold at the last count!), I've heard tales of the dedication it takes to be a winner. It's all about practice and asking the right questions of yourself. Being creative is just like running, playing tennis or zipping around a velodrome. We get better at it the more we do it and the better we think and strategise.

I think that sometimes we pick up a paintbrush after years and get disheartened when we don't create a masterpiece with our first attempt. We forget that it's OK not to get things right first time and that failure is as much a part of practice as is repitition. It's how we learn and over time our failings develop more style, an extra edge until suddenly they aren't failings any longer.

Do you think about exercising those right brain muscles as much as you do other ones in your body?

A gold-medal-winning Olympic rower once told me that he and his team mates never stopped on their quest to improve - right up and even during to the final medal race. For Ben Hunt-Davis, it was all about making the boat go faster.

So, how do you exercise your right brain? What questions should you be asking yourself? How can you test and strengthen your abilities?

For a start, just do something creative! Pick up a your nearest drawing instrument and doodle. Stick on some music and let your pen flow to the rhythm. Try looking at every day things a bit differently. Look for shapes in the clouds or puddles on the road. Let your right brain absorb what it sees and make the kinds of connections that maybe you're just not expecting.

Me and Ben Hart-Davis (I'm the shorter one on the right!). Ben won gold at Sydney in the men's 8 rowing.
And, yes, I am holding the Olympic torch in one hand a gold medal in the other... not bad for a rainy day out in Birmingham!

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it,
bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, 6 August 2012

Summer news

When you start getting questions about when you're running your next course, you know it's about time you did!

The good news is, that after the success of my first eCourse where I took my students on a crazy journey to find inspiration in its favourite hideouts (namely the recesses of the right brain), I am going to do another! No firm date yet, but I'm provisionally planning to start mid to late September.
Right now I am honing the content to make it fuller, richer and lovelier than ever. The goal is to fill your right brains with stories, connecting patterns and colour. We will play with our muses and imagination to create work that is all our own, that comes from the soul.

We'll flip the hidden switch in your brain that opens the creative floodgates.

Watch this space... If you'd like to be on my mailing list, please add your details here!

Grab a seed and come float with me
while we explore the places we might take root.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Lessons from geese

Our feathered friends bring inspiration today.

This is an interesting piece of work based on the work of Milton Olson. I stumbled across it again today by accident and it resonated so strongly with what I'm doing here at The Wright Brain Stuff that I just had to share it.

What we can learn from geese:

Fact 1
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock has 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are travelling on the thrust of each other. Taking lessons together and sharing your experiences and work offers just the support that many need to take them from 'thinking about' to actually 'doing'.

Fact 2
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3
When the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangement of gifts, talents, or resources. In other words, the teacher doesn't always know everything! We learn from each other.

Fact 4
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and to encourage the heart and core values of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.


We all have tough days. We will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we’re strong.

That’s exactly what this business is about. I'm building a flock to give you all extra uplift. You don’t need to fly alone. Between us we’ve got some very specialised geese here – that will not only keep you moving forward but ensure that you’re in the best shape to take advantage of current conditions.

I love getting under the skin of my students and delivering that little bit extra which makes all the difference – sometimes it might just be a cheerful honk!

With my range of techniques, expertise and over-excited enthusiasm, I'll pick you up and keep you flying!

Note 1: Lessons from Geese was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network. It was based on the work of Milton Olson. It circulated to Outward Bound staff throughout the United States.

Note 2: The artwork was created using a textured background I'd made 'earlier' and then using a variety of bird brushes in PhotoShop. I like to think of the piece as a mixture of flying in formation and then just soaring with joy on the thermals!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Shifting sands

"Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn't change one person at a time. It changes when networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what's possible. This is good news for those of us intent on creating a positive future. Rather than worry about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don't need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop the new knowledge, practices, courage and commitment that lead to broad-based change."
Margaret Wheatley

This is a wonderful quote by business guru Margaret Wheatley.

She preaches of the pitfalls of the ‘same old, but better’ techniques employed by many companies when planning their business. What’s missing, she suggests is room for a creative approach, something to shake up the entrenched thinking. It’s about doing the ‘unthinkable’, being brave enough to step outside our conventional ways of working.

This is the kind of thinking that gets me out of bed in the morning!  As right-side of brain creative thinker, I feel particularly uncomfortable with the same old, same old – particularly when it is linked with death by PowerPoint presentations – where better means more slides; or creating brochures just because you feel like you should have one.

We are no longer playing by the same rules. When I began my career in the early 1990s, if I’d come across an interesting quote by Margaret Wheatley, I would have needed some serious intent to go and research about her. Today, having stumbled upon her completely by accident, sitting in the comfort of my own home, I was then reading her articles within seconds. The world shifts. Economies shift. Business shifts. Employee relationships shift.

Scientists concur that the only building block in life is relationships. How well do you understand the relationships, or tribes where you work? What social networks are building behind your back? Is your marketing and sales strategy just trying to make an old strategy better? Is it time for a fresh approach?
Have a think about it!