Untethered - Embrace The Change

Embrace the Change, is what I heard.  Huh?  

Then at the next stage in our Women Who Create weekend, we settled down for a Hypnotherapy session. My preferred and imaginary mode of transport was a brightly coloured silk balloon, slowly rising from the ground and up into the air, carrying my cargo of fear, worry, and anxiety with it. 

Letting go is a requirement of being able to truly know, apparently.  We all know it already, according to some, but I think that the buzz of life, means that our voice and in turn, our knowing, can sometimes get clouded.  

Hearing others talk about listening to your gut, clarity, and reflection will come. But for me, it just didn’t. Or so I thought….


I was unaware of it at the time, but sitting with my Granddad, was my moment of clarity. That day, we were catching up really, us both knowing that it was the ‘end of his road’. This smiley, 95-year-old man, I knew to be a strong and steady force in my childhood.  It wasn’t quite the lightning bolt, but what struck me was, he wasn’t frightened about anything. He was completely content. In those moments, he helped me realise that it’s not a cliche to say that life isn’t a rehearsal.

burning heart painting

And this was the kicker….“Are you happy Claire? Please don’t worry so much, just go for it. Better a never mind than a regret.” He said.


So back again to my balloon. Letting Go, Confronting Fear (heights?), Taking in the view?  The Hot Air Balloon rises, but it falls too. How do we digest this, undulation of life, the trials and the happy times without feeling constantly, well, as if we are just floating around?

The image of a balloon conjures up many visuals and feelings for people. The bittersweet tale of ‘Up’ - the animation. A celebration, maybe? The excitement of going all the way up there? Maybe we think of Phileas Fogg and 80 days around the world, a fantastical tale of adversity and adventure? Possibly a day out at a fair, balloon seller with a huge clutch of novelty shapes filled with air?

Creative people appear in every walk of life, every job, every moment. The comment ‘you are so creative’ used to make me cringe a bit.  Not sure I ever felt it sat well with me.  Day-to-day still has to happen. Bills need to be paid, hours need to be worked.  But I had never allowed myself to think about the concept - if you are only doing 10 minutes a day of something you enjoy, that helps you escape and be mindful, you are being creative?  

Is being ‘creative’ about making things or actually about creating space and energy to make ourselves and others feel better and more connected?

Ultimately, we just have to explore the magical idea of a that Hot Air Balloon, (or what ever your thing is?!) but acknowledge that there is still engineering, skill and continual learning involved. And it just doesn’t ever stop still.

So from time to time, I must take it all in, that view, every single last tiny house down there, looking at the whole picture far away. That’s all of those little achievements we rarely acknowledge help make up a whole.  We need to make sure we continually reflect and look at everything.  

Knowing to take a flipping’ moment and breathe.  Our achievements often over-looked because they may not be tangible or quantifiable, but they are still massive gains. 

Maybe you can set about finding those people you want to experience the magic of the journey with? Some will come with you all the way, some just for a short time, but you know, that’s ok. But go find them. I did, and although it took me, roughly, 38 years to understand my journey so far, it’s all good.  Trust, open up and let go.  It’s surprising the freedom that brings and, the amazing people that you meet….

I am not really sure that there is any one way for a person to lock in their own formula for life, but now I am equipped with that question. Are you Happy, Claire?  And that is enough to guide me in the direction I am heading.


This is my small way of thanking all of the people that have wandered over, been dragged kicking and screaming or simply stuck around.

Author - Claire Paynter

Creative Stylist, Maker and Life Ponderer.