This morning I woke up to find a notification on my iMac screen telling me my trackpad battery was very low and to charge it. Further investigation by clicking the Bluetooth icon confirmed the battery was at 2%. I set to the task of plugging the lightning charger plug into the trackpad.
What would have taken most people two or three seconds took me over five minutes. One of the effects of CP (Cerebral Palsy) is that I have poor fine motor co-ordination (and only slightly better gross motor co-ordination). So the process of getting the half-centimetre-wide plug into the same size socket was, literally, hit and miss until I hit it.
Yesterday I had the unprecedented pleasure of going to Waterview Primary and speaking about reading and success on behalf of Duffy Books in Homes. I say pleasure in hindsight because, as I tweeted beforehand, I was actually pretty nervous about it:
About to go speak to Waterview Primary about reading & success for Duffy Books In Homes http://t.co/QLV6SHmrXb. Unbelievably nervous!— PHILIP PATSTON (@philippatston) September 19, 2013
My fears, however, were unfounded. As soon as I got to the school, kids began coming up to me. They knew who I was, they'd read my tweet and, though most would not have even been born, they knew I was on Shortland Street!
I’ve been going like the clappers for the last week, trying to complete an application to Creative New Zealand to record some music to add to my creative repertoire. Getting quotes and references, writing philosophies and budgets, creating plans and rationales. I have been writing and rewriting, questioning my motives for wanting to do this, feeling anxious that my 890 Facebook friends and 325 Twitter followers won’t like my stuff and wondering if what I do is good enough to be funded anyway.
Then I got an email from an arts advisor:
Last night I went to the opening of an exhibition of recently graduated Unitec painting students. Entitled "4 Years Deep 2", it is the second showing of these students' work, who have spent four years together and who, over that time, have developed some deep relationships (hence the title). I have a connection with these burgeoning artists because I employ two of them as my PAs and worked with the class on our Diverse Perspectives Portrait Project (D3P) last year.
The exhibition has some exquisite work and is complemented by the rustic atmosphere of the Lake House Arts Centre, where it is showing until 7 February 2010. I recommend it!
The photos below were taken last night by organiser Christine Tizard...
As I celebration I prefer New Year's to Christmas. The commercial confusion and religious repetition, not to mention the competition with my birthday, makes Christmas tiresome, irrelevant and stressful for me. So once again I'm glad it's over.
Other than solstice, New Year's always seems so much less cluttered and makes for a time for reflection, gratitude, relief and anticipation for the coming year.
2009 was tough. With the sympathetic background of the recession, my business made a loss (on paper at least) for the first time in years, and I had to manage the demise of Diversityworks Trust flagship project, Momentum'09. Our attempt to save face with the Creative Momentum social network was thwarted, again by lack of funding, and a personnel relationship breakdown added a sad hue to everything. All in all, a disappointing time was 2009.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Gr8 pl8 – now out-of-d8!"][/caption]
I started the year with a great blogging idea - 200gr8. A celebration and affirmation of a year of greatness. I got the domain name 200gr8.com. I even got the personalised plate. And then I blogged a lot ...for a bit... until I blogged less.
Blog stats: January 2008 (21)
February 2008 (4)
In January I proffered that even deciding to change the TV channel was an act of leadership. Recently I adapted and developed the post for an article for Sync Leadership. So, in my usual desperation for blog fodder, here's the renewed article:
Leadership is often mistaken as a quality that only some people possess. When we look for leaders to lead others, we look for particular developed skills and attributes - perhaps extreme competence in a certain area like the arts, sport or technical skill, or superior qualities like confidence or charisma.
But leadership is a quality of which everyone is capable and we all do it at some point in our lives. When was the last time you suggested seeing a movie, having coffee or dinner with friends, or doing something, however small, differently at work? That was you being a leader, without even knowing.
Self-confessed gay, disabled, vegetarian, Kiwi comedian Philip Patston is prone to reinventing himself – and he's on a mission to change the way the world understands human diversity.
He started his career as a social worker, a counsellor, a Winston Churchill Fellow, a human rights activist and a trainer, then became an award-winning comedian, a soap opera actor on Shortland Street, a columnist, and even New Zealand’s inaugural Queer of the Year as voted by TV show Queer Nation.
These days Philip is leveraging his personal and professional diversity as a consultant, mentor, life coach, inspirational speaker and team facilitator. And, just for kicks, he's a New Zealand Social Entrepreneur Fellow and an ArtVenture Creative Entrepreneur, and leading the development of Momentum’09, an international symposium on disability arts to be held in Auckland in March 2009.
The wheelchair-using comic-turned-entrepreneur just returned from a month in the UK on a speaking tour, one of five international arts practitioners funded by Arts Council England to contribute dialogue, debate and inspiration to the creative sector. He also addressed the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University where, ironically, he was unable to access the opening reception because of steps. Frustrated but unperturbed, he used the faux pas to push his point - that he has turned his disadvantage into a unique social experience that has fueled his social and creative innovation.
"The way we currently view socially marginalised groups like disabled, gay, indigenous or poor people has to change," says the company director of Diversityworks Group. "Our contradictory obsession with highlighting yet ignoring difference is almost pathological. We're either paralysed by fear that we'll get it wrong for other people - or indignant that other people will get things wrong for us.
"What's far more useful to consider is that we may be only a moment away from being disabled ourselves, or being poor, or having a gay son or a daughter-in-law who's from another culture. So we need to think about getting it right for ourselves given all the possibilities of the future. Being fully aware of ourselves, rather than trying to understand others, is the key to valuing human diversity," he says.
Philip thinks that if everyone truly understood and expressed their own uniqueness creatively - and allowed space for each other to do the same - people would live together much more harmoniously. "But that takes a bit of a complex mix of self-responsibility and commitment to others," he cautions. "It's not difficult, but it's hard work keeping the balance. It's about realising that we create everything we experience."
"Creativity is essential when it comes to expressing ourselves uniquely. And in order to be creative, we need to trust our innate ability to adapt to change."
Philip now shares publicly his own engaging story of overcoming fear, cynicism and poverty in order to create an autonomous lifestyle of success and happiness. His journey led him to design WISE SPECIES(tm), a new, creative framework that allows him to work with individuals, groups and organisations to explore all aspects of their identities and potential.
"I've enjoyed finding unique ways of thinking and acting to achieve my goals and realise my dreams. Nothing is more fulfilling than self-discovery and exploring the vital connections between people. Now I'm helping others do it too."
Philip is available as a speaker, consultant, team builder and facilitator for personal and social change.
Online: www.philippatston.com | www.diversityworks.co.nz
For further information contact:
09 376 4837
021 76 4837
It's now 10 hours until I leave for 5 weeks' work in the UK and Hawaii. For the next 35 nights my friend Claire and I will be sleeping on planes, in hotels and on friends' lounge suites on a whirlwind tour of creativity, inspiration and social innovation. Check out my new website, my itinerary below and come back regularly for updates on the trip...
16-24 March | Newcastle, UK
I take up a position as one of five international arts practitioners funded by Arts Council England, North East to visit the region between November 2007 and March 2008. The Inspiring Internationalists programme is “seeking to develop seminars and events that will bring international creative practitioners to our region for dialogue, debate and inspiration”. The Arts Council has chosen “high profile practitioners, thinkers and policy-makers operating internationally to contribute to this programme.” I'll be working with Disability Arts organisation arcadea, who will host me during my one week engagement.
❏ 2 hour meeting with the Board of arcadea
❏ 3 hour meeting with arcadea's Director
❏ 2 x 3hr workshops with Disabled artists
❏ 3 hour seminar with the wider arts community
❏ 20 minute performance to launch the Mimosa Lecture 2008.
❏ TBC 1-2 days one to one mentoring with arcadea's director
I like 2008 much better than 2007 already, I just got a new agent, and finished my new play...And another friend told me yesterday that she got a pay rise the day after she heard of 200GR8!