Gratitude – what’s your lockdown gift to yourself ?

I have in front of me a card from a glorious pack of inspirations by Ghata Engels called ‘creative gateways, inspirations and meditations’ Today’s card is Gratitude and it suggests reflecting on what I can be grateful for in my world at the moment, and what I can be grateful that I am manifesting or being in the world.  It seems a good time to think about this.

The world has changed for me, and for many many (maybe most) people beyond recognition.  Looking back at my blogs – it was only a few weeks ago that I was celebrating being in Russia, excited by a show heading to the Edinburgh Festival, and talking about my many upcoming workshops with aspiring creatives around the UK.  Now I sit in my little office and think ( and Zooooooom rather a lot)

This week I have much to be grateful for.  A young theatre producer from Exeter University, Suzi Bramwell,  heard a Zoom session I did with the National Student Drama Festival and asked whether I’d do a session with the Exeter University Theatre / Drama Society.  This week I had a fascinating Q&A with 16 locked down theatremakers exploring future careers under the banner of ‘Producing – Proper Job – Honest’   Now I’ve booked dates with Durham and Edinburgh University.   I am grateful for the chance to share my old grey-haired knowledge, and be challenged and inspired by the next generation of theatremakers. Happy to do more of these.

My gratitude goes out to 19 amazing experienced producers, theatremakers and marketing/development experts who have agreed to be part of the first Faculty of the CGO Institute   We met for the first time across 6 time zones and many countries to discuss the progress on the course, the joy that applications are already coming in, and the challenges to ensure that we will be delivering a creative and playful space to work and learn in when we arrive in the cloud-based classroom with our first cohort on November 2nd.  The passion and knowledge around the room was humbling and I honestly believe that we nearly have the expertise in all artforms and fields of endeavour which may be presented to us by the first cohort. 

So my question to you, dear Reader, is what are you grateful for, which is caused by, or part of, the present strange and unexpected situation ?   What might you take forward when we are once again allowed to speed on with our lives, or rebuild our worlds ?    What are you doing now in the quiet spaces, the boring spaces, the child-care overwhelming spaces, the cramped spaces, the virtual spaces, which you might want to keep in the new world when it happens ?

I’m aware of the increased reach of Producers’ Pool meetings each month now we are on Zoom rather than a welcoming café or bar in London.  I want to keep that global connectivity and see how we can grow it. 

I’m reminding myself it is OK to go and make the soup, or read a book, or go for a walk getting away from the zoom and desk.  I’m really aware of the people I am missing that I can only meet on messenger or skype or the phone.  And I miss the Lobster Pot in Blackness and the Railway in Clapham North where I could nurse a pint and do emails and work.

Thank you Ghata for the light you shine on this blog and my life. Thank you to Kath’s amazing Authentic Artist collective who I meet each Sunday for a zoom workshop and realise each week the power of connection that is possible even on remote platforms.  And thank you to Lewis Barfoot, Mhairi Campbell,  and Original Theatre for giving me access to concerts, ceilidhs and theatre which I might have missed in my rushed diary, rushing, rushing.    Take it slower friends and enjoy moments of Gratitude.

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