I created Compass Checkers because I knew I needed it.
It’s just too easy to get distracted by the never-ending To Do list that is my life. The daily chores, the ongoing demands of work and family, keeping finances and health and leisure activities in balance. These are all great things, but I want to make sure I’m in control of them, and not have them controlling me.
SPEEDING AHEAD IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
I hate feeling overwhelmed by busyness. I believe creativity needs time and space for us to dream and imagine. I put my head down and work long hours when needed, but I also know that most of my best ideas don't come at my laptop. They come during quiet moments, out in nature or travelling on planes, spending time with people I love, or just daydreaming while I do the dishes at home. Our imaginations need freedom to breathe. Otherwise it’s too easy for the months to slip by, until one day you realise that where you are is not where you want to be. And you start asking yourself what all that busyness was really for.
I’ve followed an unconventional career path. In my twenties I realised that the musical theatre projects I thought of as a hobby were really a primary passion of my life. Since then, my creative projects have been a key focus and measure of my direction, with a series of very different jobs paying the bills.
I’ve worked in retail and childcare, not-for-profit and corporate. When I moved to the UK I discovered secretarial temping, which introduced me to a varied and freeing work life that continued back in Australia and New Zealand. I've experienced a range of industries and worked with all sorts of different people, which is a goldmine for a writer. The lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but I mention this to show that there are so, so many choices available if you think outside the box.
WE ARE ALL MEANT TO SHINE
One of my favourite quotes is by Marianne Williamson (although often attributed to Nelson Mandela). Even if you’re familiar with it, have another read. Nice and slow. Let it sink in.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ... We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
That gets me every time. It calls to something huge in me, something that instinctively knows my potential for amazing things. The potential we all have, if we will only explore it.
This is the core of my message with both Compass Checkers and my creative projects. It’s what I stand for, what I want to tell everyone. YOU are a creative genius, unique and unable to be replicated, and the world needs what you have inside you. Your thoughts, your engagement, your active contribution.
Don’t go to the grave with the music still in you.
WHAT’S GOING IN YOUR NEXT NEWSLETTER?
I love sitcoms, and there's an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Leonard and Penny sit down to write a newsletter updating family and friends on their life. They get out a white board and marker ready to list all their news... and can’t think of anything. “Still employed” and “Still married” is the best they can do.
Now, while those are great things to be, it was a moment of revelation for them. I love how fictional characters can smack us with real life truths. It’s why I’m a theatre writer and actor – in fiction you can present truth without being restricted by facts.
So what would you like your ‘newsletter’ to look like at the end of this year?
What accomplishments, what travel, what news would you like to share?
And do you have concrete plans scheduled into your calendar to make these things happen?
Compass Checkers monthly events give us regular time to revisit our dreams & goals, and make sure we're following through with our action plans to get there. To have something in the calendar to keep us on track, like a warrant of fitness for the car, or a regular blood pressure check.
And what's more important than checking the health of "What am I doing with my life?"
FACING THE TOUGH REALITY
It can be uncomfortable to ask ourselves the hard questions, looking honestly at where we're at rather than where we wish we were. But the good news and the bad news are actually the same news - you have everything you need to proactively create your future. Imagination, intelligence and the Internet. (Haha. But actually).
However, you also have the power to not.
That’s why I’m so passionate about regularly checking my compass, to see if I’m letting life slip away from me without engaging, dreaming, planning and outworking the things I can uniquely contribute to the world. Letting my light shine. Making sure that every year, I’ve got things to put in my "newsletter" that I’m proud and happy about. So at the end of my life, I can be satisfied with the legacy I’m leaving.
Let’s seize the opportunities that are all around us.
LIFE IS AMAZING
I am so, so passionate about reminding people that every day above ground is a gift. Sometimes we need to stop for a moment and consider the miracle of our eyes that see, our ears that hear, our hands that touch and love and create. Our legs that walk and our mouths that smile and talk and laugh. Right there – that’s enough to be grateful for. And even if one or two of these aren’t fully functional, all the others give us plenty to be glad about.
And beyond that, we get to CHOOSE. To CREATE.
My vision for Compass Checkers is to grow a community where we’re reminding each other to focus on what’s possible, where we want to head, and reaching our dreams together.
We really are “powerful beyond measure”.
Let’s go be amazing.