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I wanted to share with you a blog post I read last week that really struck a chord with me. It is an issue quite close to my heart.

I have been following US artist Nicole Hanna for some time now both on her Blog and on her Facebook page and was surprised to read her recent Blog post titled ‘Creativity and Chronic Illness’. Nicole has been battling an undiagnosed illness for a number of years and has been on the emotional rollercoaster that comes with this (I won’t go into details but if you’re interested you can read the whole post on her Blog.)

Many of you would know that for approx. the last 15 years I too have been dealing with primarily undiagnosed illness. It can be a strain emotionally, financially and physically and put such a pressure on relationships with partners, family and friends.

It can be hard to hold down a job, maintain friendships and generally just have a quality of life that most people take for granted. I know first hand of these struggles (although I am extremely thankful for all the positive things in my life as I know that some people are so much worse off).

It was Nicole’s blog post that reminded me that there are so many other creative minds that are going through the same thing and we all use our mediums of choice as a creative escape from the strain of every day life.

I am fortunate enough to meet so many wonderful people through my classes and shows and one of the things that I love about this is hearing people’s stories.

Many of my students started or re-found their love for creating when they were going through a difficult time in their lives (like myself).  Everyone has their own story and I always find it amazing how a group of strangers brought together by their love of creativity end up sharing their stories with each other by the end of the day.

I am so pleased to be able to offer a supportive, inspiring and non-judgmental environment for people going through a difficult period of their lives.

If  you’ve been thinking about attending a class or workshop in your area but are nervous about attending due to medical reasons, feelings of anxiety, dietary restrictions or any other reason that might be holding you back, remember that the person who will be sitting next to you, across from you or even the person teaching the class might just be going through the same or a similar experience to you.

Whether you are going through this yourself or supporting/caring for someone who is, remember all you need to do is reach out.

You might just make a friend for life.

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