CHAOS THEORY: A Review of ‘ORGANIZING FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE’ by Sheila Chandra

REVIEW by Robert Beck 

51yPU7t7VxL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve been working my way through Sheila Chandra’s book Organizing for Creative People: How to Channel the Chaos of Creativity into Career Success. The book is a veritable bible of helpful tips and ideas to turn someone from a walking disaster zone into a streamlined and employable creative powerhouse.

The best thing about this book is that Chandra knows what she’s talking about. After many years as a well-known and respected singer and song writer, she is now turning her hand to helping others achieve the success that she has enjoyed. And what does she put her success down to? Organisation. 

41AKMC1HSVL

There are a lot of very talented artists out there who make fantastic work but who never get the recognition they deserve. Often, this is because their work space resembles a war zone and they can no more knock together a press release or impactive marketing campaign than fly! This is where Chandra’s book is so helpful.

What’s even better is that this is not a long book, nor is it particularly dense. The author doesn’t waste much time pussy-footing around the issues and gets right to it: if you want recognition for your work and you’re looking for success then you should ditch the idea right away that chaos results in creativity. It doesn’t!

o-MESSY-DESK-facebook

Whether you’re a painter, a singer, or an actor, it’s vital to maintain a tidy working space and to treat yourself like a business which needs to be constantly managed. It’s the total opposite to the oft-touted stereotype of the “lazy creative” – the kind of person who lies around all day, smoking, drinking, and just waiting for that one idea to strike them which will make them rich and famous. In this scenario, all that usually happens is the “creative” slides deeper into the mess they’ve made and even if that idea does come – eventually – they have no idea how to produce it, market it, or sell it.

Chandra’s opening section – “Physical Space” – starts with ways that you can organise the places you work in. Some tips may seem blindingly simple like clearing room on your desk so that you can actually work on it, or throwing away that pile of magazines you’ve been keeping on the off-chance you’ll actually read them one day.

creativespaces_scottpeters_0

Others may take a little more effort such as laying your studio/room out as a series of work-stations – one for each of the creative tasks you do on a daily basis – based around factors such as where is the best light, proximity to certain tools you might be using, or even just proximity to the kitchen so you don’t waste time walking back and forth to grab coffee. Each idea is carefully designed to systemise your working environment and create a clutter-free space to create in.

Only once you have a tidy space, where you can access the implements you need to create the work and where you’re not spending half the day searching for that one A4 page that’s got lost amongst the rubbish, can you begin to think about some of the more complex tasks that go hand-in-hand with being a self-employed creative. It boils down to that old adage – “tidy space, tidy mind”.

Chandra’s argument is that you can’t possibly have the brain space to deal with creating a PR campaign or doing a tax return if your physical space isn’t organised. So while the first half of her book might not seem particularly ground-breaking, it’s a vital step for any creative person to take to ensure that both your physical and mental spaces are efficiently ordered.

500

With your working environment now organised, the second half of her book – entitled “Head Space” – is where it gets interesting. Drawing for her own experiences as a creative professional, as well as from being on the other side of the table and working with creatives like the street artist STIK (who incidentally wrote the foreword for the book), Chandra lays down some of the dos and don’ts when it comes to launching a creative career.

These involve managing yourself and your brand effectively, learning how to make social media work for you, and surrounding yourself with the right people who can help you with tasks such as accountancy and publicity.

Again, the concepts are far from revolutionary and are largely just common sense, but the style of writing is open and honest and the advice is sound and easy to follow. In a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to break into the creative industries, Chandra is determined to give as many people a leg-up as she can. One of the book’s charms is how orderly and methodical it is (for a book about being organised, this isn’t a huge surprise).

It’s recommended that you treat the book as a guide and read it from cover to cover. While there may be sections that you don’t need to read in quite as much depth as others, it’s a process and one that is best absorbed whole, rather than in bits.

IMG_2333

The only way to truly judge the book’s success is to read it and try the ideas out for yourself. However, take it from me as a creative person, one who is on his own journey to achieve recognition and career success, this book was a great little companion that has genuinely given me some practical tips that I can use to ensure both my physical workspace and mental headspace are running as efficiently as they can. Ultimately, the book isn’t going to teach you how to be a better artist – that comes from you – but if you are struggling to be creative then maybe it’s because you’re still stuck in a chaotic pattern.

What Sheila Chandra has done is show us how to use that chaotic creativity and to channel it into career success. They’re simple tricks but all highly effective – give them a go and find out for yourself.

‘Organizing for Creative People: How to Channel the Chaos of Creativity into Career Success’ by Sheila Chandra is published by Watkins.

14908327_10210355251256100_1014946024230999709_nRobert Beck is a theatrical director and performer living in London. He also works as PA and admin assistant for urban LIFECLASS. Follow him on Twitter @robertjamesbeck

New urban LIFECLASS TEAM Member : Luisa Bradshaw – Breathwork Practitioner & Team Co-Leader.

 

_DSF6211-Edit-Edit-EditDavid Parker welcomes Luisa Bradshaw – 

After instigating URBAN LIFECLASS 4 years ago, as Not-For-Profit, Luisa will initially support me as she is a Breathworker, trained by Diana Roberts, taking the weight off my shoulders, as well as assisting on group work and seminars, coming up with ideas, & new directions using her well-honed skills. #BREATHE 

39EB2693-70CE-42BD-BD1D-10FA5219A241

Hi, I’m Luisa, now 42 and live with my partner Annette and our two lively teenage children!!  I have been an actor for 30 years but acting has never been enough for me, I have always wanted more! 

After discovering breathwork and becoming completely fascinated and hooked on the process I trained as a Professional Breathworker in the early ‘noughties’ with wonderful Diana Roberts, a pioneer in the late seventies of the perinatal ‘conscious connected breathwork’ Rebirthing technique in the UK. 

At the time I was soul searching and trying to sort my own issues out. I would like to say I have done that now, but I know it never really ends does it? However I am no longer searching, just being and doing, living in process as healthily as I can. Progress not perfection.    

images-1

Whilst training with Diana I did a weekend Relationship Workshop with David Parker, in which we breathed to Barbara Streisand!!!  . . . not the usual meditation tracks, suffice to say I never forgot him!!! 

I really connected to breathwork with music and always wanted to pursue this path in my own practice. So I am really looking forward to working alongside David, and learning from his wealth of knowledge and finding out more how I want my own personal individual breathwork style to be.

Experientially, I have come through the other side of past trauma and now mostly live my life in a state of joy. Joy I purposely seek every single day of my life.

Sometimes it is there shining down at me when I wake up….other days I use every tool I know to find it! I am also interested in using essential oils and different styles of music and sound vibration to compliment the breath work.

musicwaves-672x372.jpg

The core of Urban Lifeclass’s mission – to support those living and working in a creative sphere – fits like a glove, so expect to see me assisting, learning, breathing, co-leading and supporting the team with experience, connection and JOY.

The Funeral of Diana Roberts

Diana was, and remains, our ‘Birthing Mother’ of Urban Lifeclass Coaching, part of our Breathwork Team

10297928_282380455265152_1925301298424640124_n

11am Tuesday, 23rd May 2017

Mass at the Church of the Holy Apostles, Winchester Street
(Postal address: 47 Cumberland Street, Pimlico, SW1V 4LY)

To be followed immediately afterwards by refreshments in the Church Hall to celebrate the work, energy and guiding light of Diana’s presence. 

images-1

*Please wear bright colours*

Rainbow-bright-colors-18591253-1280-800

Donations please instead of flowers to

‘Royal Trinity Hospice’
c/o JH Kenyon Funeral Directors, 74 Rochester Row, London SW1P 1JU.
(Cheques by post or cash/cheques in person to the office)
Reference: Diana Roberts

If you are considering attending please let us know so catering can be organised

Judy Totton 07798 806079

David Parker 020 7388 3109 / codacoach@yahoo.co.uk 

6990370-cute-love-hearts-13513

https://urbanlifeclass.me/2017/04/26/diana-roberts/

Two of our Breathwork Group Members raise a QUARTER of a MILLION pounds between them! Inspiration and ACTION is the core of our group philosophy.

14470529_1183580428369289_5061338922092412205_n

Yes, you read that RIGHT. Over £250,000 between them. ( 307,384.99 USD ).

Simon McDermott ( above ) and Mo Haque ( below ) have hit global headlines around their respective ventures, one was planned to save his life – the other went ballistic! Mo came to group in the middle of a health crisis, as the NHS would not fund a new cancer drug costing £200,000, so with the help of his friends set up a JUST GIVING page.

Mo writes :  “The most recent Evolutionary ‘Rebirthing’ Breathwork group session I attended included a discussion with the theme ‘ASKING FOR HELP’. Particularly pertinent for me in the context that I had the week before launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £200,000 for a cancer treatment unavailable on the NHS. A campaign whereby I am required to ask for an abundance of help. The discussion was most beneficial, as I began questioning reasons for me not asking for help over the years. Ego and pride came to mind.

14095701_10157339924515274_5302703087792934355_nMy situation right now is critical. Diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 18 months ago, I have exhausted all standard NHS treatment. 18 cycles of chemotherapy and one major operation. I even tried a phase 1 trial drug, the 24th person in the UK to be given these tablets. My cancer however continues to grow. Due to the genetic nature of my cancer Lynch Syndrome/mis match repair/ RAS mutation, THERE IS HOPE”.

I have experienced 8 rebirthing sessions to date this year, and each time the feeling I get is one of pureness. After a breathe it feels like my insides have been cleansed, this emotional detox is needed right now, to manage my mental, spiritual and physical condition.”

To date Mo has raised over £130,000 through ACTION required promoting his cause, travelling to mosques, Bangladeshi UK functions, TV studios and The Houses Of Parliament. His treatment has started and here are THE AMAZING RESULTS  : 14433142_571528853027766_867746530658013829_n

CHECK OUT HOW HIS TUMOUR’S HAVE SHRUNK after just 5 doses -on the Right Hand panel !

Mo’s story also went viral on global social media. Urban LIFECLASS backs #TeamMo    http://teammo.co.uk

Simon, a regular group member, ( and we only have a pool of 25 people for 15 places each month ) shared that he wanted to raise £1,000 for the UK Alzheimer’s Society in thanks for the way they had helped him deal with his Dad Ted McDermott. IT WENT VIRAL & the rest is History, Simon has raised over £130,000 – making Simon & Mo DOUBLE WINNERS!

Si says : “I joined David’s Breathwork group in December last year. I was going through a difficult time due to a number of personal issues. Breathwork was completely new to me. I knew David did Breathwork Groups for years but if I am honest I was completely skeptical about it – however, my views on it have turned full circle.
Without wanting to sound a cheesefest, I find breathwork has been useful in helping me reconnect with myself in new ways, helping me reformulate my sense of self and clear out negative thoughts that we sometimes put upon ourselves.

My confidence has increased ten-fold and I have needed it to deal with media and public response to THE SONG A MINUTE MAN Campaign and Dad’s Record Deal. Above all else, it can actually be quite fun. Post-breathwork group discussions are insightful and often quite a laugh. The best thing I’ve done.”

So you see our group offers Inspiration, supports ACTION and Service. Do Join us. You can read Simons story, listen to his You Tube Vids and donate all here :

THE SONGAMINUTE MAN – https://www.facebook.com/songaminute/

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2016-08-05/heartwarming-video-of-dad-and-son-singing-goes-viral/

Simon’s You Tube Channel – The Songaminute Man https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6tmams7km6i0O9m9m3MP0Q

maxresdefault

and lastly a message of Hope from MO – Don’t give up before the Miracle.

https://www.facebook.com/keepinghopeformo

. . . the lights went out with Lee.

13528723_10154255890963665_2931901748457184810_n

a few words from David Parker

On Tuesday last week, on the very night we had a Breathwork Group, a power cut in the area affecting, shops, a pub and residences including three 20 storey tower blocks, went out. I wasn’t sure what to do, it was 4pm, we start at 7pm, how long would it last? . .  in fact it lasted 10 hours. Even though it was light outside, I still set about finding every moroccan tea light glass I had so we could have group, as the gloomy weather lent no light to proceedings. People arrived, including Lee, but universally known as ‘Peggy’. He used to run a pub, and being gay, he was bestowed this name, the same one as Babs Windsor playing Peggy Mitchell in Eastenders. His familiar bellow “Get Outa Ma Pub” was legendary, fierce and final.

Anyway he bounced in, a bit late, flustered, “what a bloody day!” arms waving, laughing, and took his place in a group he loved attending, “I come here for the social aspect, as much for the rebirthing breathwork, talking to people, getting into discussion with like-minds, he would often say, knowing there was no holding back on feelings or effing and blinding. We live in urban London, we speak as we find, no ‘hippie shit’, as some think, or ‘best behaviour’ going on.

Tell it like it is. And he did.

12814709_10154592242629128_467599028065657084_nI’d met Lee before, but he first attended our Monthly One Day Sunday Seminars in Victoria, eighteen months ago, and when we switched to Evening Groups ( now 3 a month ), he often forgot the dates, so he began to put up on Facebook the chalk board in his kitchen, to tell me he hadn’t forgotten.  

After the Breathe, we sat round in darkness, with just tea lights in glasses and Lee posted on Facebook the next morning : 

Lee Anderson : Peggy loved it by candlelight! 22 June at 08:54

12191970_10154304467959128_89677911108339713_nWe responded on Facebook everyday to each other especially over politics, last summer we both went to Camden Town Hall to hear Jeremy Corbyn, ( really to see Owen Jones in the flesh, we laughed ) and on Friday of last week we both FUMED over BREXIT as we both embrace a social conscience. He was with me when I took that photo of 3 teenagers looking into the window, after Corbyn’s rally, that went viral on global social media. Best memory to have of me and her.

Lee had worked at KIDS COMPANY for 5 years, with children and teenagers all living in harrowing difficult circumstances. His open hearted generosity healed unforgivable experiences, and the new job working with the charity recently set up by COLDPLAY & the John Frieda Company allowed him to continue in this role, using his creative talents ( holding a Degree in Printmaking for starters ), playing the fool, making kids laugh, and encouraging higher esteem in those kids unable to see the light of love. The authenticity he employed with kids he brought to our group, the quest for understanding with childhood enthusiasm, curiosity and a desire for deeper personal development. He loved me with a passion, always calling me Nana, and I adored and loved him back. My heart is smashed with his death.broken-heart_0

I know some of his dear friends referred to him as Edina Monsoon on Facebook with his ‘re-birthing classes’ (as he often posted about it on Facebook), but they were not far wrong – Peggy was truly, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.

Urban LIFECLASS will certainly miss his raucous laughter, old school camperama, diligence in finding himself and self sacrifice in unconditionally helping others. The lights have disappeared from our lives with Lee’s sad cardiac arrest last Sunday, but those tea glasses in every future Breathwork group will shine on, in each and every BREATHE we have.

Together we mourn, collectively we love. ❤️ #takeaBREATH

original_moroccan-candle-tea-light-holder-lantern

Urban LIFECLASS goes to Tallinn. Where’s that then?

13343055_10154954230769966_3149411474144354853_n

Words : David Parker  9th June 2016 

Not sure where it is? . . .you’re not alone. My first visit was in 2004, invited to bring my work to a country with just one and a quarter million people, drowning in a history of soviet control, alcoholism and the highest HIV rates per head of population anywhere on the globe. When it was part of Soviet Russia, authorities dumped their IV drug users there, and AIDS devastated communities and families during the 80’s and 90’s. Almost every family is touched by the stain of alcoholism, authoritarianism and genetic codependency.

Estonia_flag-5-130x120This will be my 9th Seminar in Estonia since that time, but this weekends 3 Day Event 10,11, 12th June 2016 will be an Intensive called : COME OUT OF THE COMA!  . . .

Co-dependency and Creative Relationships.

Based on the new work we are doing in London with Urban LIFECLASS, ‘Creativity and Creative People’, it’s also the first time we are using this new intimate venue in Tallinn.

Open just 6 months, with a wood burning stove in the group room, we will be able to do BREATHWORK in front of a FIRE, which as purists know, is the perfect arena for spiritual purification.

pesa_saal_2

Spending meditation time with the Fire, is one way of cleansing thoughts, activities and items. During the 3 days here, as on our Annual Marrakech Maroc Retreat, we hold 3 bags with these words on by the altar : RESENTMENTS – SHAMES – SPIRIT. As the work progresses, the sharing erupts, so does thoughts, feelings and experiences we wish to complete or hand over, by writing on paper scraps then putting into relevant bags. On the last hour we perform a FIRE CEREMONY, to burn away, to replenish, to renew and REBIRTH.

Estonia_flag-5-130x120Feedback from a previous Seminar  “Thank you so much for your admirable work David & I did enjoy your course a lot. I happened to come to this COME OUT OF THE COMA co-dependency weekend accidentally (I thought that it would be just breathwork) and learned at the course that it is co-dependency which is actually my basic problem. On the second breathing session I experienced “my voice “, great forgiveness to my mother and after that there was ULTIMATE HEAVEN, a point of dissolving into the Oneness, JOY and ECSTASY. It was so powerful that I did not want to come back to earth. ” / Katrin – Estonia

https://rebirthyourlife.me/come-out-of-the-coma/

 

 

BOOK FLIGHTS : Maroc Retreat Dates January 2017. Read on . . .

image3

Arriving Marrakech Tuesday 17th January – Departing Marrakech Tuesday 24th January 2017

5 Day Breathwork Retreat in a 7 day period. 14 Participants ONLY

hotel-spa--les-borjs-de-la-kasbah-38

All details can be found here about our Annual Marrakech Retreat. Same Course Fee as last year £350, Room rates same as last year, depending on which room you choose.

https://urbanlifeclass.me/category/marrakech-retreat/

 ALL YOU DO IS BOOK A FLIGHT TO CONFIRM A PLACE : CHEAP AS CHIPS RIGHT NOW! 

WE PAY Room Deposits, you pay accommodation when you leave the Hotel in January. Your Course fee can be delayed to next year by arrangement, but we appreciate payment before December 2016. This is a Not-For-Profit Venture. 

medina

Easyjet has just released dates for Marrakech next January. Last year the only flights from the UK were from Bristol and Gatwick – plus only flying on certain days. 

THIS YEAR Flights are from Bristol, Gatwick AND MANCHESTER and again for only certain days – but we are in luck.

BRISTOL Flying days are TUESDAY returning Tuesday or Friday.

GATWICK most Days including Tuesday & Friday

A 7 or 10 day stay is available and they do SPECIAL DEALS for Us : 2 Nights FREE

http://www.lesborjsdelakasbah.com

hotel-les-borjs-de-la-kasbah-marrakech-029

MANCHESTER is ONLY flying Tuesday, returning Tuesday, so our usual schedule of arriving Tuesday ( first day of Retreat on Wednesday for 5 days, one day personal sightseeing  Monday, fly back Tuesday ) is ON. 

SPEAK TO US FIRST BEFORE YOU BOOK ( not the Hotel ) all we ask for CONFIRMATION is to BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS FIRST! – really CHEAP right now. We will tell you what easy jet flights we are on from Bristol & London. For information and payment options call us.

London : David Parker 020 7388 3109 /Robert Beck (+44) 7913862492 / urbanlifeclass@gmail.com   Glastonbury : Meleeshka 01458 833381