I'm convinced of the power of creativity, our imagination and intuition to unlock hidden resources and potential in people and organisations.  And I use the tools of Vision Boards, Feng Shui and Movement-Art therapy to access this potential.

A fascination with the culture of things  

I studied Anthropology at Durham University - a far cry from the warm shores of south Devon where I grew up by the sea.  I still remember the fur coat from Oxfam, shipped north by my father, in an attempt to keep me warm in temperatures guaranteed to be be 4 degrees lower on a good day.

As Anthropologists, we were taught to pay attention to people's behaviour.  This was where we looked for evidence of their value system and not what they said.  Words could be misunderstood or simply be fabrications of the egoic mind whereas embodied actions over time was what shaped the culture and society.

A gift for seeing

With this degree I gravitated towards marketing.  I started out in what is now history - Mail Order Book Clubs - and then launched a marketing consultancy with my business partner.  Over 8 years the business grew to be very successful and we achieved £4 million turnover with mostly Fortune 500 companies.  

Still with my Anthropological hat on, I always looked out for the 'unspoken ground rules' driving an individual or organisation; the invisible held the truth and it was always very obvious to me.

Mary Nonde July   2015   16.jpg

Living mindfully

In the Agency we had a great team of 15 people and beautiful offices which I’d purposefully created so that our clients could escape London for some tranquillity.  For them Bracknell was rural.  When I was ready to leave the Agency and start a family, I took my flair for arranging living and working spaces one step further.  I retrained in Feng Shui, mostly with Denise Linn in Seattle - and remain an enthusiastic advocate and passionate about living mindfully.  

Still through my anthropological filter, I helped homes and organisations become aware of their culture by the imprint they left on their environment.  I taught.  I consulted.  I travelled, mostly in the UK, France and the USA.  And I loved it.  

In the early days I did many consultations accompanied by my baby daughter on a sling.  Not surprisingly when she was older, she gravitated to dolls houses - four of them in total - and spent many hours creating homes for Sylvanian animals in them.

Return on investment

My staff however were an unresolved mystery to me, which I likened them to an iceberg.  We had wonderful talent and invested regularly in skills and personal development.  We paid good salaries. But I still felt the business only enjoyed the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the team were capable of delivering to the organisation.  Try as I did I couldn’t find a way to liberate them from their assigned roles and responsibilities to make their untapped potential available to the organisation - and it bugged me.  

When I sold my share of the company to become a mum, this conundrum went with me.  It led me back to University where quite inadvertently I found the answers I was looking for and can now offer to people and organisations in my capacity role a Creativity Coach.  

Dancing queen

Four years into motherhood I became a single-parent.  My first instinct was to bring the scene of operations much closer to home to manage my portfolio - parent, homemaker, entrepreneur - under one roof.  And to simplify my life further i bought a puppy!

To stay sane, I started dancing again, which I began age 4 as a pink tutu’d ballerina and tap dancing impresario.  I returned to University and got a PGCE in Dance.  I taught Creative Dance to children and organic movement to adults, while my studies evolved into a Masters Degree in Creative Arts Therapies at Chichester University.  

During these studies I received the inspiration for the Vision Board Workshop, which I have since delivered to over a thousand men, women and children too, along with other movement-art workshops and coaching sessions. I wanted the tool to be inclusive and accessible to all.  I believe strongly in the power of creativity, our intuition and the active imagination for unlocking the beauty and potential of who we are as people and as organisations.  This is a relatively unharnessed resource - one that I recognised from the old days in the Agency was missing but I couldn't put my finger on what it was that was missing.  

Now I can encourage people to embrace their calling.  When we honour our destiny by connecting to the core of our inherent creativity, we touch the source of our authentic power and that's to be celebrated.

Who encouraged me

 I have a daily practice of Creative Art therapy and I make a fresh Vision Board about every 9 months of so.  Whenever I can, I am facilitated by my wonderful teachers - my favourites being Helen Poynor, Miranda Tuffnell, Claude Coldy, and Anna Halprin.  

Sadly Dr Jill Hayes, who was such an inspiration to me as my University tutor, passed away.  Jill used to say to me: “What I respect about you the most Mary, is your capacity to stay true to your core creativity no matter the outer circumstances of your life.”  It touches me to greatly to recall her words.  I didn’t  really understand her insight at the time - but I have since.  Most of us  desire to be seen and respected for who they are - and I was seen and acknowledged by Jill.