Our July SASA members’ meeting was, for the first time, held on “Zoom” and was, despite small hiccups, most successful and well-attended – we had fifty-four members present – thanks to our hosts, Audrey Innes (president of SASA) and Adrian Larkin.
Audrey kicked off the evening by announcing the winners of our online competition. Judging the many, many entries received was a very difficult task, but eventually the three favourites were chosen.
In first place was Charme Southey with her abstract acrylic painting “Emotions of Lockdown”, second was Loraine Magda with her portrait in oil “Deep Vision” and third was Kate Pearce’s “Golden Afternoon” a landscape in oil.
Well done to you three and many thanks to Linda and Greg Austin of “Artland” for the generous donation of the vouchers and art materials given as prizes.
Our special guest for the evening was Simon Ekin, well known author and speaker on learning life-skills. To quote the man himself: “You know how when you have a great idea or commitment to do something and then you get scared and back out? Well, what I do is give you the tools and insights to make sure that that never happens again. The best that’ll happen is that you’ll produce a great result and blow people away. The worst that’ll happen is that you’ll be really proud of yourself for giving it a go”.
Simon’s book, “The Art of Courage” was the starting point for his presentation and he spoke about his journey through his own fears. Fears of judgement, vulnerability, criticism – which are very familiar to most of us – and the tools he used to overcome them.
To get going, he urged us to be committed, to decide what we want to say and just do it. As long as we are authentic in what we are doing, we just need to find the courage and get on with it, giving ourselves permission to be human and totally ourselves.
His own challenge to himself was to give ninety talks in ninety days, the first of which took place on a London bus. People thought he was absolutely crazy, but he did it anyway. He was confronted by a “big, scary, ginger Celt” saying “People think you’re f@#*ing mad!! Don’t stop!”
At the end of his talk, Simon offered a 90 minute coaching session for the member with the best reason “Why I’d like a 90 minute coaching session” sent to his email – firstname.lastname@example.org – Thank you Simon, for a wonderfully entertaining and inspiring evening.