Deconstruct – Reconstruct

5 Lessons I learned creating with Ayse Birsel author of “Design the life you love”

Recently I have had the amazing honour and pleasure of co-hosting a series of creative, online sessions with Ayse & my manager, Heleen at Philips. I didn’t know at the time I was going to be learning some deep lessons. You know the kind of lessons I mean, the ones that sneak up on you, and have you thinking about them late at night on a Wednesday. During these moments in the process you suddenly feel yourself stretch and grow.

Ayse is an author, creative and coach. Her book “design the life you love” is a best seller and teaches you all about how to deconstruct your life and reconstruct it in ways that help you realise what you want for yourself, what you are good at, and what you love.

For the first time in a long time I was playing again, with concepts, ideas and basic silliness. Ayse would prompt you with questions and share examples from herself and others. At first I was reluctant to expose so much of myself. I mean what manager talks about her baby and home life? But I soon learned, being vulnerable is a strength, and when I shared my life it encouraged others too. Below is my attempt to capture that journey for you.

Heres my top 5 things I learned during these sessions….

#1 You can deconstruct anything, creativity is the only limitation

Truly! I didn’t even consider it possible. For example; If you want to deconstruct a feeling, simply ask questions. What makes you feel that way? What makes you feel better? and draw it! The above is how I was feeling at work that day.

#2 Deconstructing is about looking at things in a new way

This is me deconstructing my life. Including, what parts make it up, what’s essential for my happiness and what I need to avoid.

#3 Reconstructing is about being playful

This is me putting my life back together post COVID19. I want to keep the hugs from before COVID19. I’m a tactile person, and contact makes me happy. Additionally I’m learning I don’t need so much, working from home has simplified my life. I have a lot of mental strength and I love my home. Also, my friends make the difference in my happiness, and I had not realised how much I love them.

#4 You need both creativity and vulnerability in the process

Specifically because this process lends itself to looking inside yourself deeply, a superficial skim on the top won’t get you any insights. For me that meant my daughter appeared a few times in my sketches. My daughter came into my life as a surprise. It’s not something I talk about often. There was a time with almost certainty I would never be a mum, however one day there she was. In speaking about her I learned that I have too many barriers up protecting my personal life. I’m learning to take them down, and being vulnerable is also a strength. I don’t have to pretend to be something I am not. I am a mum, I am a professional, I eat too much garlic. None of these things independently define me. They are pieces of the whole and sharing it – is actually ok.

#5 The journey is the point!

This kind of playfulness is not about perfection, its a place to experiment with ideas, and roll thoughts around to see what happens when you view them from another angle. If you came out the session with perfect drawings you have missed the point. It’s about fast thinking, idea generation, sharing, thinking, exploring and occasionally being a bit silly.