In 2004, Stephanie left the bright lights of New York City and travelled across the pond to London. She needed a change and thought London was the answer. She landed a great job fundraising for the National Portrait Gallery, but inside she was still looking for more. Her inner journey started when she met her yoga teacher – Michael Townsend Williams – now her life coach and great friend. Michael helped her see that what she was really looking for was meaning, passion and purpose.
So in 2011, she left her job in the art world determined to find more to life. She travelled extensively both inside and out. Outwards she made journeys through Africa, Italy and Northern California. Inwards she started practicing mindfulness and found inspiration in meeting people who were changing things for the better. She read books with a voracious appetite and watched TED videos instead of TV. She learned how Zappos puts the happiness of employees first, how TOMS innovative One for One campaign is a global success and how Hiut Denim prides themselves on doing one thing well. She cared that SparkTruck helps children find their inner maker, that KIPP Schools values children’s character more than results, and that Project Wild Thing reconnects children with nature. She was duly inspired, and aspired to make things happen for things that really matter, but still didn’t know what that ‘thing’ was.
She started to put into practice what she was learning. Walking outdoors in hidden gardens she discovered a love for trees. Making art projects again, she enjoyed the creative process, thanks to fellow Do’er and friend Tracy Schlapp, whom she met at the Do Lectures. Noticing the world around her more and breathing with awareness helped her reduce stress and feel more grounded. Doing kind things for others made her feel great. Focusing on happy thoughts actually made her feel happier.
And then it hit her.
‘Isn’t it crazy that I waited until I was middle-aged to learn the self-development skills to be happy in life? Why didn’t I learn them as a child?’
She decided to create INSIDE OUT to share with children all the things that have helped her feel happy in her own life – nature, courage, kindness, passion, art and mindfulness.
As Stephanie says: ‘For me, INSIDE OUT is about growing inside, learning outside. It’s a programme I wish I had as a child.’
People who inspired Stephanie
Books that inspired Stephanie
Videos that inspired Stephanie