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  1. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I'm not the bold, risk-taking type. I like security, rules and putting my pyjamas on at teatime. But, the older I've got and the more of life's 'bad times' I have seen, I have come to firmly believe that we have to take a risk in life every now and then – and sometimes an almighty huge one.

    The treadmill of adulthood can be relentless – the responsibility of bills to pay, food that needs buying and cooking (sometimes for little people that need feeding too!) and a seemingly never-ending list of grown-up chores that need doing can make us feel that we have our choices taken away from us. The need to meet all these things means we stay in a secure job, (one with a regular pay packet that pays the mortgage!), or stay with habits and routines which are familiar and safe to us.

    Often, fear keeps us in the safe zone – but sometimes we have a niggle for something more. Sometimes we face something that means taking a risk, taking a chance, taking a leap. It might be applying for a promotion, starting a new relationship, or giving up that secure job to follow a calling – an ambition for something more. Whatever it is, sometimes we need to take a deep breathe and take the risk.

    risk it quote

    'He that is afraid to throw the dice will never throw a six' is a painting all about this (I told you it had a long title..!) You can never reap the rewards of taking a bold step, if you never take the step in the first place. You can never throw a six if the dice never leaves your hand.

    And this is what I am doing now. I took the initial leap away from a well-paid job a few years ago – but it has taken me until now to take the final leap towards following the path I have always dreamt of taking. I have finally thrown the dice – and have yet to see where it will land.

    I am still in the stomach churning land of watching it spin – wondering if I can pay my mortgage, wondering if people will laugh at what I am saying, wondering if I've made a big mistake. Or indeed, if this is the start of the greatest success of my life – a big fat six!

    One thing is for sure, however it lands I will never regret throwing the dice, and I know I would never have been happy not giving it a go.

    And anyway, I'm holding out for that six...! :)

    dice

    FINISHED DICE

  2. Ask anyone who has ever tried setting up a small business and I bet they will tell you they feel like giving up on a regular basis (I know I do!). The same can be said for anyone trying to lose weight, studying towards a new qualification, training to run a marathon or even battling illness. Sometimes we get disheartened, and often we get tired. And we have to take all our strength and remind ourselves to just keep going.

    And this is what my latest painting is about – reminding ourselves to just keep on swimming.

     dontquitcartoon

    I remember seeing this cartoon several years ago and I now have it up in my studio and I make sure I look at it every time I feel doubt in what I am doing – or even if I just feel knackered and want to throw in the towel. Whatever our current challenge is, often the only difference between success and failure is not giving up.

    churchill quote

    So, whatever you are facing and whatever challenge you have to overcome, remember to just keep on swimming - and I promise I will do the same!

    Helen x

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