A Whole Lot of Inspiration

60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire.

Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.

It’s a Friday eve and I have been sitting with my Dad in his Dorset home having a catching up. As I brought the Mac to write this post (with a wine by my side, naturally) I decided not to post about a new person, project or cause today. I have plenty stored and ready to share, but this one is a reminder of stories told before.

What is the definition of inspiration? “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

My mother inspired me to create the 60 Postcards project. It was her kind nature, her zest for life, her selflessness and her love for her family that inspired me to create something to honour her. All of my family inspire me. The way they handled the toughest time in our lives and how they are so unique in their wonderful ways but how we work so well as a team when we come together.

It was through the development of my postcard tribute that encouraged me to explore other people’s thoughts and feelings on the matter of inspiration. On my trip to NYC last year I put Project Inspire in motion – asking people to hold a sign and tell me what inspires them. The results were eclectic and wonderful and included answers from my Dad and sisters, too.

image

My Dad always reminds me how much he loved this task. And it was encouragement from him to keep on that path of sharing inspirational stories that has resulted in me posting weekly about them.

I am going to take a look back at some of my previous posts. It may be a re-read for some and a first look for others – I just don’t want them to get lost in the online world. The people or projects discussed within them are all equally evocative, thought-provoking and will make you smile in admiration.

A Wall of Inspiration

It was on a stroll around the West Village in NYC that I stopped in my tracks outside a hair salon as I saw what was written on the wall.

My Return to the Blog with a Tale of Magic

A book stall outside Kings Cross station was not all it seemed. From speaking to the girls running it, there was far more to it – including Harry Potter and a fantastic cause.

Merry Christmas with a #Smilebomb

Leaving notes for strangers to find was something that I could relate to. When I heard about the mysterious Free Help Guy’s campaign, I had to get involved.

Pop Up 38 – A Vintage Delight for an Inspiring Cause

Just moments away from my house in Kings Cross lies a very wonderful vintage store run by a lady on a quest to complete a mission first started by her father.

May the Thoughts be with Margot

A #Helpmob by the Free Help Guy was organised to help save little Margot who has Leukaemia and along the way I met a lady determined to create happiness through words and illustrations.

Natasha’s Story – The Creation of Leaf

After Natasha was diagnosed with Leukaemia she was determined to create a personal support system for others in her situation.

Social Media at its Best

A look at just how powerful and positive social media can be with three examples of campaigns by Team Margot, Stephen’s Story and Shake 4 Mike.

Souls with Real Soul: Gandys Flip Flops

Tsunami survivors Rob and Paul create an awe-inspiring social enterprise, driven by their love for the wonderful parents they lost and a passion to help fellow orphans.

A Collaboration: Beauty Despite Cancer & Brow Boothe

One beauty expert joins another on their business of bespoke skin care and treatments. “Women don’t stop being women when they are diagnosed with cancer.”

So please have a read of the above when you can or save them for a rainy day, perhaps and make sure to spread the word.

Question: What inspires you? Let me know your answer by email (60postcards@gmail.com), Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend.

Muchos love,

Rachael x

 

My Favourite Spaces to Write in the Area of N1

60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire. Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.

Note: I have made an adjustment to my blog posting timings!

As I said in my post, 25 Things That Any Writer Will Understand, writing is not an easy task and a big factor in determining whether you are able to get in the zone, is the environment you work in. I have touched on this before. I think I even said that I enjoyed having buzz and a bit of noise around me. But there is a fine line between ‘buzz and a bit of noise’ and hearing every single thing the people next to you are saying or trying to focus when there is music blasting out.

As I live in N1 and find myself working in the area a lot, I thought I would share a few of my faves with you (you may recognise a couple from previous ramblings!).

10406860_10152516482300873_1487049762687402685_n

Caravan 

Based in Granary Square, this delightful establishment is situated in what was once an old grain store. Many hours of writing have taken place here by myself where I sit to work at the large wooden table at the back enjoying the aromas of the freshly roasted coffee. Students from Central St Martins drop in and out and I enjoy the atmosphere in there. There are always smiles on that shared table, often as we take it in turns to use the socket to charge our laptops. The menu is a wonder, also.

Site  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

kingsplaceKings Place

The Rotunda cafe in Kings Place backs onto Regents canal and is the perfect spot on a sunny day. The only problemo of some writing time here is that you can’t get wi-fi. But then perhaps that is sometimes a good thing? I think that is something I should do a lot more – turn the phone off and give my Facebook and Twitter scrolling a rest for a while. Because there is so much going on in the way of arts and music here, it is sometimes best to go for a morning coffee to miss the crowds.

Site  |  Twitter

10526088_10152516482005873_7070674579996284910_nEuphorium Bakery 

I thought this bakery/cafe was small until I stepped into it for the first time. Loads of space, plenty of tables and there is even a room right at the bottom with some comfy sofas for a chill. The staff are super friendly and you don’t feel bad for settling in there for a few hours. Coffees are large and delicious and I always make sure I have a few to make up for the free use of the wi-fi. Tricky to avoid the temptation of the danish, though.

Site  |  Twitter

10544352_10152516481905873_4568021701487655560_n  Coffee Works Project 

This is a gem of a cafe on the Camden Passage in Angel. It’s trés trendy with school chairs, tables and benches galore for you to work on. Every time I have been I have seen a mixture of people hanging out, doing laptop work or studying away, and it feels immediately comfortable to get cracking (sometimes I find you have to get a feel for a place first before the Mac makes an appearance). The garden out the back is my favourite bit – you seem a million miles from the hustle of the London crowds. Oh and the coffee here is top-notch. Yum.

                                          Site  |  Twitter

10488056_10152516482525873_52777625013357148_n Tent 

Saving the best until last here. This is my first mention of Tent on my blog (not to many of my friends who have heard A LOT about it!) but I have been going there for a little while now thanks to the lovely Leanne. Leanne and I became friends through Beccy (Paris crew member who I used to live with) and after a chat we had about my struggle to find a routine she invited me along to this creative workspace. She knew I would love it. I walked in and within one minute, I loved it.

Tent is a collaborative co-working space that is used by a whole load of creative folk – film makers, comedians, writers, illustrators, start-ups to name just a few. Although it is within an office building the decor is quirky and cool – more warehouse than office, for sure. Monthly donations to work there go to the running costs and also to charities and local projects. The best thing about this place is the real sense of community. Super friendly people all wanting to help each other out. It has a wonderfully chilled vibe and I have felt more productive here than anywhere else I have ever worked.

10504929_10152517692770873_215389088671446258_o

To give you an idea of the kind natured gang, just over the weekend many Tent members came together to help Leanne (who is a writer, actor and comedian) to film a new showreel. Ralph and Claire (who have been wonderfully welcoming since my first ever visit) directed the filming and others helped by offering to act, run – you name it, the whole production was created through a collaboration of kindness. I can’t wait to see the end result.

10471323_10152517693130873_1062738613521869064_o

I am so glad that I have a great space to get thinking and writing. Oh and planning. I’ve booked my next adventure. I feel I have a lot of unfinished business with New York City. Let the plotting and planning commence. (Excitable.)

Speak soon,

Rachael x

Do You Want to Escape the City?

60 Postcards: Create. Share. Inspire. Bringing you news every Tuesday on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.

How many of us leave school at the age of sixteen or eighteen and know exactly where we are heading career-wise? Some do, and I can only imagine how satisfying that must be – to have a clear sense of direction and certainty about what you will be when you ‘grow up’.

If you are anything like me though, you will have given several different answers to the question, ‘what do you want to do?’ over the years. When I was younger I would flit between interior design, teaching, starting my own business (of what, I never knew), TV presenting, writing, managing (what or who? Never knew that either).

I think that is difficult to determine which industry that you belong in without experiencing the world of work first-hand. In more cases than not, it will require some trial and error, a lot of networking and a great amount of time spent developing your skill sets before you find a role where you are finally able to say, ‘I love my job’.

I imagine that many people reading this post have felt trapped in a job before, or perhaps do now. It is a very topical subject amongst my friends at the moment, for sure. We have sat down over a drink and spent hours talking about what we really want to do. But in this economic climate the fear of jumping ship – to make a move or change industry completely – can be utterly terrifying. Those discussions will almost always centre around ‘security’. We need to pay the rent and the bills, right? And we are so busy in our current roles that we find it impossible to believe we can ever escape.

But escape, we can.

ESC“Many people dream of doing something different, but few actually do”, say Dom and Rob – founders of Escape the City.

Escape the City (ESC) is a platform for young professionals who want to move away from the corporate world but are unsure how to go about it. It is a global community and an extremely powerful movement. I have heard about them for a while and the more I read about it, the more I understand why it is so successful.

Dom and Rob (closely followed by friend, Mikey), were three guys working in the city feeling unfulfilled in their jobs. They felt ‘that’ fear of making a change and searched for help and inspiration, but there was nothing out there. Identifying a clear gap in the market, the guys decided that they would create the very service that they were hoping to find themselves. Escape the City was born.

“We are building ESC to match you with the opportunities, connections and inspiration you need to make the leap. You don’t have to work in a big corporate – if you want to find an exciting new job, start your own business or go on a big adventure – you are in the right place.

We see ourselves as a discovery engine. There are masses of people, opportunities and resources out there that you should know about but don’t. Our job is to meaningfully connect you with the information that will help you figure out what you want to do with your life.”

By signing up as a member, you are given the opportunity to attend several events in London, be part of The Escape School, you can receive informative newsletters and you can upload your CV where they can match your skills with relevant opportunities and employers.

Although this project began in London, it is now spreading globally with over 50% of their members and job opportunities outside of the UK. This is all thanks to an enthusiastic and passionate team, who are working so hard to help so many people to pursue alternative career paths.

ESCmanifesto

 

As you may know already, my personal 60 Postcards journey has encouraged me to change my career. I was working in the corporate world for an energy company until last year and although I worked hard and adored my colleagues, I did feel that something was missing. My heart was telling me that I should be doing something creative. I took a sabbatical from work to write the book and by the end of it I decided not to return – a decision that was driven by my family’s experience of life being too short and a new-found passion for doing what makes me happy. The leap was a scary one but I knew that it had to be done.

Now I have a CV that looks stranger than ever but no one should be afraid of that. I do feel very lucky to be able to say that I love what I do right now but I am still thinking about the next steps to take and I am definitely going to join the Escape the City movement and use the resources and network opportunities that they provide to guide me in the right direction.

So, if you feel like you are stuck in a rut or need some new ideas and inspiration, you should definitely check out the ESC site or follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out more.

Maybe I will see you at one of their upcoming events? I hope so.

Enjoy your weekends folks.

Rachael x