Fly through the air with the greatest of ease

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

“Sometimes the road of life takes an unexpected turn and you have no choice but to follow it and to end up in the place you are supposed to be.”

I was fascinated recently to listen to a conversation with Scottish actor/director #GavinMarshall and the unusual and frightening turn his journey took which has landed him a wonderful career working in film, theatre and circus. Gavin was speaking to #VirginiaTrioli on ABC’s #ConversationHour, promoting #SICK, a work he is undertaking with #NICA’s final year graduates.

Gavin had made his mark as an aerial circus artist when he was unexpectedly struck ill with a series of blood clots. This landed him in hospital for an extended period and further, shattered his dreams of continuing his work as he had known it.

He described the extent of boredom he experienced as he lay in the hospital bed day after day, the initial frustration and fear he felt which was eventually replaced by an interested curiosity in the day to day antics of hospital life. It struck me that he transitioned from being the star of his own show, to becoming an astute and almost hidden observer who was able to use his #creativity as an instrument to reframe his thinking and conquer his grief. He contemplated that the consultants and their troop of interns in white coats were almost clown like, the nurses running after patients and doctors holding the fragile operation together as an aerial performer might effortlessly fly. It was here, in the realm of his creativity and imagination that the idea for SICK was born.

Fast forward, and for the next six years he redirected his energy to work in theatre and film in the UK and all around the world. His experience was diverse and sublime and without this detour he would not have arrived at the moment in time where (after 10 years in the making) he could help SICK become a reality.

Every day I work with people confronting the reality of #change. For some, there is a high level of control, such as deciding to apply for a new job. For others, change is imposed, and they have little control over the situation, much as Gavin experienced. We blithely use the term “resilience” to describe what we need to successfully manage change, but often ignore the link between resilience and creativity. When we can welcome change, we can imagine a new path, a new possibility, and see the world differently.

Take a moment out of your day to imagine a new path, a new possibility. What would you love to be different about your world and your future?

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