A bout of insomnia has had me thinking about my tagline ‘seeker of like minded souls’ and exactly what others may construe from this. I often mention the pleasure and value I gain from spending time with these people, but am not entirely sure that I’ve ever truly clarified who they are (and indeed what I am). I’ve recently been mulling over the groups of women I have welcomed to the barn and reading a piece written by an online friend, Huma, left me feeling rather uncomfortable and needing to clarify my thoughts.

Like minded does not mean ‘of similar demographic’ to me. It is not my intention to build a club of privileged white women around me. I am all too aware of my good fortune and in honesty it has held me back personally in many ways; I have told myself the story that being in a financially stable relationship has meant I was not deserving of an independent income, that I should not be greedy. I am not greedy. I regularly give both time and money to support organisations and individuals whose values and goals I believe in, but I am finally developing enough belief in myself to acknowledge that I am deserving of personal success every bit as much as any other woman.

This year I have hosted a series of personal development workshops at the barn, it’s probably something I would not have invested in had it not been happening right under my roof but I am immeasurably grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. The insight I am developing as to who I am, how I behave and why is invaluable. It has really helped me explore what I mean by ‘like minded’.

For almost as long as I’ve had a social media bio I have toyed with the words ‘curious’ and ‘creative’, and this is a good description of me. I am broad minded and always keen to learn. Forever interested in new subjects, thoughts and ideas and never resistant to the possibility that there is a better way to do or understand something.

What I now truly understand as my creativity has often left me with an overwhelming need to see something tangible from the fruits of my labours; for so long I believed that crafting was the answer and have spent many frustrating hours convinced I should be better at knitting/sewing/drawing/cake decorating, amongst other things. I now appreciate that making inviting spaces, cooking, baking, gardening, photography, and now writing are the product of my creativity and fulfil my need for a visible measure of progress.

I value kindness and honesty above all and care a little too deeply about what others think. I love beautiful things but treasure meaning and quality over ‘stuff’. I am easily intimidated, eager to please and hate confrontation. I’m genuinely supportive of others’ progress and success, quick to take on too much and easily overwhelmed by it all. I’m always trying to simplify life, to bring things back to the basics and I guess what I’m creating at the barn illustrates this in many ways.

I hope that the words and images I share, and the nature of retreats and workshops I offer, attract the people who think and feel like me. But whether we can get together at the barn or simply connect online I want to be clear that I don’t care where you come from. I don’t care about the accent you speak with, the colour of your skin, your sexuality, your level of education or your income. I have spent the majority of my adult life moving around the world and understand all too well the feeling of being the outsider, never quite fitting in, never feeling quite good enough in any way; it is deeply destabilising and I categorically do not want to contribute to others feeling that way.

I simply want to build and welcome a community of people who share my values. Those striving to create a business or project that gives them purpose and pleasure, and who need encouragement, support and some skills to do so. These are the people I believe are ‘like minded’ and I guarantee any of them a warm welcome here.

seeking like minded souls, diversity, inclusion