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Updated: Feb 4, 2023

Creative Women in Neighbourhoods programme is a catalyst for unleashing the creative genius in every woman, in every neighbourhood across the world.

THE ART OF DREAMING: Alison’s story

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” Eleanor Roosevelt


Are you ready to make your dreams come true? What’s going to make it your best year yet?

Perhaps you long to set up a business and live life on your terms. Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of setting up a community cafe where people can come together and form lasting relationships.

But that dream might feel so big and far-fetched that even acknowledging it is daunting. You guard it like a secret, worried about what others might say. You feel like an imposter calling yourself an artist, a creative, or an entrepreneur.

Self-doubt creeps in. Worst-case scenarios loop around your head. What if things don’t work out? What if people don’t take me seriously? What if I make a fool of myself?

Before joining the Creative Women programme in 2022, Alison was no stranger to this kind of self-doubt. Second-guessing herself had become second nature.

Alison had an impossible dream of creating a travelling vintage tea room. When she closed her eyes, she could picture it - a painted van, vintage china, and delicious home-baked cakes. It would be a real community place with people of all ages coming together.

At this point, Alison hadn’t shared her idea with anyone else, although she secretly collected vintage china to keep that dream alive.

During the workshop, Alison spoke her idea into the room for the first time. It was a real turning point. Instead of the feared negative response, she discovered she was surrounded by a supportive community of creative women who wanted her to make that dream happen.

Alison realised how much she had been doubting herself, coming up with reasons why it couldn’t work before she’d even tried.

Here’s what Alison had to say about her experience of the workshop:

‘The big lesson I took away was how much energy I have been using second guessing (allowing my press secretary to entertain me) and that I can step into that part of me, my intuition which will guide me towards my goals and dreams if I allow it to. I know I can be successful in my business because now I believe I can be.’

Once her idea was out of her head, it felt real. As Alison shared her story, she was struck by how many ingredients she had already. Her daughter was a brilliant baker, and her son spray-painted cars. She started to see the world differently, spotting connections and opportunities to take action.

Suddenly, it dawned on her that the room she was in for the workshop had a small kitchen. At 4pm, as soon as the workshop finished, she marched to the housing association office. She asked the housing officer whether she could use that space for a community tea room. The dream was set in motion.

Just ten days later, Alison was furiously preparing triangle sandwiches before her guests arrived. She hosted her first community afternoon tea event in the very room she had first shared her idea. It was a great success, and Alison had a taste for more.

Now, hundreds of sandwiches and scones later, she has hosted multiple afternoon teas and secured several contracts for the community tea room. Her dream has become a reality.

Taking action was a crucial part of Alison’s story. Often getting going is the antidote to fear. By taking small steps, Alison proved to herself that it might be possible. And her confidence grew. As obstacles cropped up, she didn’t see them as insurmountable but instead searched for ways to navigate around them.

Perhaps like Alison, you have an idea that seems like an impossible dream. Why not consider how you could play with bringing it into the world? Maybe you could tell a trusted friend or take one tiny action.

By taking these steps, you start to shift the idea into the world. As you continue, you may find your idea gathers its own momentum as you unearth more connections and creativity.

So, over to yWhat small step can you take towards making your big dream a reality?

If you want to illuminate your invisible power, why not join us for our next Creative Women In Neighbourhoods workshop?

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