A recent creative session to discover my dream (which is, BTW, to watch a full moon rise over the lands of Africa) and express it on canvas was with a particularly inspiring person called Jen Lee. I found Jen in the PlanBig community and wanted to tell her story here, in the below profile.
And if you want to take a creative session (they are free and help her dream, the Deck of Dreams Community Bucket List, become a reality) head to the Kirribilli Neighbouring Centre tomorrow night. More details about this event at the bottom.
Describe yourself in three words.
Quirky, evolving dreamer.
What are you passionate about?
Life. Simply being alive excites me. I have a passion for creative arts and have a talent for expressing myself with paints, pencils and all things fun. I am committed to the greatness of children; I see a world where they can grow up being empowered, confident and unstoppable.
Currently, I work as a Mental Health Worker with adults experiencing long term mental health issues. My work with adults highlights the vulnerability we experience as children. It is such a critical time for a person’s development and the people I meet on a day-to-day basis were once children and this is often forgotten.
I am here to create a new conversation about the miracle that is children and the adults they become. I am living into the possibility of a space for unconditional love for all. I am also passionate about eating – Peking duck pancakes, Caesar salad and soft shell crab are favourites.
Do or don’t you do the social media thing?
I do and I don’t. I do distraction via Facebook expertly and I am quite amateurish with Twitter and LinkedIn. As an aside, I welcome the million other social media gadgets that have sprouted up since I began this sentence, and I look forward to loving (sometimes loathing) you.
How did you find yourself in the land of Twitter?
I have yet to find myself… although I do have a pretty background on my profile. Maybe you can offer me some advice Sarah because you are awesome at it. (Ed: not a problem)
Do you have any other social media involvement?
Nope, Facebook distraction 101, takes up most my social media time slot. However I do hope this changes. Wait a sec, does blogging count?
What are you currently playing with in the social media sandpit?
I like buckets and spades. Buckets hold sand. Unless there is a hole in the bucket, then it holds nothing. Um, what was the question? Oh yes, I know that social media is a gorgeous way to extend reach to many people, I’ve just not gotten the hang of it yet. Ask me again in a few months, maybe this old* dog can be taught new tricks.
*Relative to the tweenagers out there.
How did you get where you are today?
It started from birth, then each year I got older. When I look back at my life I see the many deliciously intricate paths which have led me to where I am now. I studied Speech Pathology, because I loved kids and achieved good results in English at school.
Then I had my first manic meltdown when I experienced unbearable stress of being accepted into the honours program which I really did not want to do. That was the start of my consequent three hospitalisations over the next 7 years.
And now, somewhat as a result, I am whole heartedly committed to making a difference with children, their families and those dealing with mental health issues. I love how life pulls it all together for us.
What are you doing at the moment that excites you?
What am I not doing would result in a much shorter response! Okay, I’ll hold back the reins a little.
Firstly, I am creating the Deck of Dreams. A project which aims to inspire and raise awareness on mental health issues in a creative way. I am also co-creator of the Academy of Dance, Drama, Art and Music (or ADDAM as we affectionately call it). As part of this, my vision is for children and parents to be part of a wider community that embraces the amazing people that they are. A place where they are met with love and acceptance, ultimately a world where they are truly free to express themselves and be all they can be. A great part of this are the Talking Circles. What are circles? A unique space of respect and listening that changes lives in a single conversation! In my humble opinion, experiencing these circles are a must.
In my spare time, I also love doing this thing they call “work”. Breathing is exciting too, when I forget to do that, things can get a bit rough.
What is your secret to getting big things done?
Have the support of a beautiful community behind you at all times. Remember to hug them all! Hugs are great.
Name any dream brands, companies, personalities you would love to collaborate with.
These past few months I’ve been so wrapped up with just getting things happening… how about a bipolar theme park? Full of rides that take you on the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows (I’m only partially kidding on this one). I’m a thrill seeker.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - The Way of Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Here’s how to connect up with Jen and learn more about her Deck of Dreams:
Check out Deck of Dreams
Support Jen’s Deck of Dreams on Plan Big
Support Jen’s Bipolar Blessing on PlanBig
Read Jen’s Blog
Visit the Academy of Dance, Drama, Art and Music
Attend a Warrior Being Meetup
Find Jen on Facebook
Connect with Jen on LinkedIn
Tweet with Jen
To find out more about tomorrow’s Creative Deck of Dreams workshop, visit http://bit.ly/lPimbN.