Beyond The Trees

13370130113260531_vkG9IJeO_fA few Sunday’s ago I was feeling more and more anxious (I tend to get a bit like that recently when I am out of my comfort zone).

My good flower (friend) Annette had asked me in January to take part in a day she was creating to celebrate her 10th year in business running ArtsKool for kids in Hertfordshire: www.artskool-kids.com

She said I had been a very central part of her journey.

As the day approached I was a bit shocked to see that I was on the main flyer and I genuinely didn’t understand why until I woke up early Sunday morning. Here is the speech I wrote and delivered celebrating the achievements of such an amazing lady.

’10 years ago I walked into Boon Gallery in Welwyn Garden City. I was looking for art classes to give my daughter Amy for her 10th Birthday and I saw a tiny advert for a thing called ‘Artskool’.

I rang the number and Amy ended up attending weekly classes for 4 years. She then became an assistant helping with the children and I am very proud to say went on to get ‘A’ grade Art at both GCSE and A level GCSE. Amy is now at Plymouth University where she is studying to be a primary school teacher. Her major subject is of course Art!

7 years ago as I was picking Amy up from class Annette stopped me and said Amy had given her my sunflower business card and she was very interested in finding out more.

What interested me is that people will only find me when they are absolutely ready to move forward with their lives and make real and lasting change.

We met for coffee and for the first time I heard Annette’s inspirational story. She developed cancer in her mouth when her children were small and had to have major surgery and treatment leaving her with no ability to communicate effectively and her self esteem in shreds. She had been successful in her career as a TV producer and was now not even able to speak. Since Annette has also had the diagnosis of MS but she never complains or lets her health affect her attitude or resolve.

Art was her main form of escape and she began to do art more and more with her own kids and then their friends. This then grew too big for her home and the rest is history.

I think you’ll all agree a pretty awe inspiring and emotional journey.

This is my favourite testimonial written by Annette and one I still treasure and use today. You can read it here

Annette still invests in personal coaching and development today and many times has taken a central part in the days I have run inspiring adults as she does children.

She was at my wedding on New Year’s Eve 2011 when I married the most central tree in my life Rob and she was also at his funeral service in November. She has been a constant flower in my personal garden as well as my professional one.

THAT is a good friend and I am honoured to be here to celebrate the 10th Anniversay of Artskool.

Here is to the next 10!’

Julie’s questions of the week:  

  • Can you see the woods for the trees?
  • Which teacher inspired YOU?

Movie to inspire:

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