Marie-Claire is a Professional Rebel. She inspires people, who feel they don’t belong, remember who they are and find their place in the world. Together they go on a journey of creativity, courage and curiosity to stop giving so many fucks and grab life by the balls.

She’s also a pretty badass photographer too – just don’t call her that 😉

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Copyright 2017 Marie-Claire Ashcroft. All Rights Reserved

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. 

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.

Between the two stands resistance.

– Steven Pressfield
Does it ever feel like no matter what you try to do in life, something is holding you back, weighing you down and it is killing you trying to work out what the heck it is?
You’ve will-powered till you’re blue in the face and it’s just not funny any more.
You want to express yourself, you want to achieve something, you want to move forwards in your life.
 

BUT.YOU.JUST.CAN’T.

 
There must be something wrong with you.
You just don’t get it.
Something deep in your bones tells you, there’s more to life. You have so much more potential.
It’s why you have all the ideas, the dreams; it’s why you keep dusting yourself off and getting back up again… but there is this constant heavy feeling – you don’t know how long you can keep pushing back against it.
When you do take a step in the right direction, you almost instantly screw it up or retreat and go into hiding; secretly you feel like a fraud or a thief who has taken something that doesn’t really belong to you.
Your inner chatter goes into overdrive. You punish yourself constantly; you compare yourself to others and tell yourself it was just a fluke and that you can’t keep it up.
Sometimes it even seems like doing the thing you feel called to do is making you feel worse than before you started.
It’s getting exhausing.
No, really.
But staying where you are or taking a step back* isn’t a fucking option.

*into your previous life / job / mindset

You feel stuck. Empty. Like something is missing. You don’t even know how to bring it up with anyone because deep down you feel ashamed – you feel like there has to be something wrong with you. Everyone else is just getting on with their lives.
 

Is this what your internal chatter sounds like too?

Photo by Marmalade Toast

 
Ok, good, I’m glad I found you.
It’s fucking exhausting isn’t it?
Let me take this opportunity to interrupt this collosal headfuckery and introduce myself before this inner bullshit sends you mental.
My name’s Marie-Claire.

 

 
It isn’t fair, is it? Some part deep inside you tells you you’re here for more, almost like a deep knowing but then another part is fighting, telling you that you can’t. It’s almost like your brain is trying to punish you, make fun of you, and make you suffer. 
In my 37 years on this planet, I truly believe that this is the reason why I have spent most of them with depression and anxiety. I know not everyone get as far as that but I do know first hand from my own experience and the people I work with, that this cognitive dissonance – of not living up to your potential and not seeing yourself for who you really are, sets you up for a life of frustration and low level despair – and it’s heartbreaking for those around us who love and care for us.

Low self esteem is like driving through life with the handbrake on.

– Maxwell Maltz
This quote by Maxwell Maltz blew me away when I first read it.
It was like a smack in the face. Someone explained perfectly how I felt I was dealing with my life.
It’s so true –  the way we see ourselves and the stories we have about who we are really do fuel how we move forwards in our lives and even the paths we choose to travel on.
 
You see, I always seemed to have missed the memo about how awesome I am.
It’s like all the great stuff I was doing and had achieved seemed to just bounce right off me.
I just couldn’t accept anything good in my life.
I couldn’t see who I really was.
How kind, how creative, how brave, you name it.
I couldn’t see the impact I had on the people I met.
It would not go in.
It affected the choices I made.
It affected how much I put myself out there.
It affected the success and growth of my business.
It affected how much I would charge.
It affected how I spoke to myself.
It affected how I took care of myself.
It affected what I put up with in my life.
And it completely sucked the joy out of my life. 
No wonder I was bloody depressed and anxious the whole bloody time. 
It surprised me just how many of us all think and believe the same things about ourselves too.
I decided to do something about it.

 

THE BIG BOOK OF I’M AWESOME

A Self Esteem & Confidence Experience 

Your self-image is the magic key to what you can and can’t accomplish in your life.
It’s what controls your behaviour each and every day – your habits, your actions, your thoughts, your feelings and even your abilities.
The outside (i.e. your life) isn’t going to change until you change the inside (i.e. your thoughts and opinion of yourself).
People will always act, feel and behave in line with their beliefs about themselves and the world around them.
I created The Big Book of I’m Awesome as a tool for myself to help overcome my self-destructive ways; to  strengthen my positive identity and prove my thoughts about myself are just opinions – and opinions aren’t necessarily the truth.
I needed a reminder.
A way to prove my old stories, scripts and tape loops wrong.
Something physical, something tactile, and something visual.
It had to be something I created – by myself, for myself.
Right from my heart.
Something I could look at to start each and every day, not as the person I believe I am but as the person I actually really am.
Something I could keep at hand when times felt hard, when I didn’t think I could do it.
And something that I can keep creating and adding to as I go along.
Maybe one day it will stick.
But for now I have this.
And you can have one too!
nd <3

All we really need is a smack in the chops – a reality check reminding us of our unique personality, talents and accomplishments.

What is this life changing thing you speak of and how do I get one?
It’s a visual, creative, fun and ongoing book project. I show you how to create your own and then you can take it away so that it acutally doubles up as a self care and free time activity too.

 

How does it work? 
The project works by decorating a scrap book of your own in your own way. It’s a personal experience and no two books are the same. Once you start, it’s something you can add to – an ongoing project and something you will treasure forever.
Using items from hobbycraft, the pound shop, or even your kid’s arts and craft box we go on a journey of self exploration and creativity.
Using Idea Instigation prompts, we dig through your life so far on a mission to find hard evidence of your awesomeness. We’ve called this #EmotionalArchaeology
Together we’ll replacing the dumb shit false opinions of yourself with real truths to positively brainwash you every day until it all sinks in. Or if you want a more scientific explanation, we’ll be creating new neural pathways in your brain by actively changing what information is filtered into your awareness through your Reticular Activating System (RAS).
You will start to see yourself through the eyes of others.
You will be reminded you of all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life so far. 
Participants will have lifetime access to me and everyone else who has taken part in a private facebook group where you can share your project as you go along, ask questions, get inspired by everyone else.
This is likely to be a project you continue adding to for the rest of your life so the group will help you stay committed to your book.
You will also have a chance to shape the project going forwards – any ideas you have, and are happy to share, will be used and credited to you in future versions of this project. Together we’ll be helping other people realise they’re awesome too!
There will also be a chance to join in on one of the meet ups where we all work on our books together – kind of like a creative social – just in case you struggle to work on this in your own time, because, well life and stuff.

 

But I’m not creative. Does this mean I can’t take part?
Don’t worry. I didn’t think I was creative for ages. Once I realised that was just my low self esteem taking, it’s the cornerstone of my whole business. I am completely and utterly creative and I told myself something else for many, many years!
If you are a human, you are creative. I’m guessing some dick teacher told you you weren’t and it stuck with you since then. Remember, that was just their opinion. It’s not the truth. In fact, some of the people who have said they are not creative in our workshops end up being the most creative with the best ideas and a natural knack of choosing colours and textures. You might just surprise yourself.
And remember, kids don’t care if they are creative. They just do it, enjoy it and feel a sense of pride afterwards insisitng you stick their masterpieces up on the fridge.
But I hate paint. Can I do something else?
Sure. I’ve used paint, photographs, glitter, sharpies, gel pens, googly eyes in there, and I’m not finished yet! There will be loads of materials and supplies available. 
What sorts of things do we put in there?
You’ll get all that information in the workshop and group. I’m not going to tell you here, after all, I want you joining in with us on the project, not on your own – if you’re anything like me, you’ll resist the hairy balls out of this and will need support, accountability and pick me ups every now and then. Life has a habit of getting in the way and that part of you that believes all the rubbish about yourself isn’t going to pack up and leave the building quietly.

 Next Workshop

12pm – 6pm Saturday 6th October 2018

Upstairs at Commonhall St Social, 10 Commonhall St, Chester CH1 2BJ

All materials, a tapas style lunch and drinks provided too.

LIMITED PLACES – £97 

reserve your spot now

“I feel lighter and more energetic. I didn’t realise this was weighing me down so much!”

 Next Workshop

12pm – 6pm Saturday 6th October 2018

Upstairs at Commonhall St Social, 10 Commonhall St, Chester CH1 2BJ

All materials, a tapas style lunch and drinks provided too.

LIMITED PLACES – £97 

reserve your spot now

CAN’T MAKE IT? WANT INFO ON THE NEXT ONE?

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Life. Unedited.

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