I am Jude Elliman. I run the Listening Partnership, an executive coaching company. This website is a gallery of celebration. It is my inner landscape of expression in words and images. I feel excited about it.
I have stepped back into the imaginative hinterlands of my soul. I left them so long ago that they became buried. Striving to perform and push myself, I smothered my creativity under decades of a demanding business life. A world that can be underpinned with keen judgements and competitive comparisons. Over the slow grind of time, I forgot I could even access this place.
I offered myself no real space. I needed to find stillness for my imagination to ignite again. It has taken some time to learn how to listen to myself in this space. To care and be compassionate enough to accept all that appears – however unexpected.
My poems are my way of hearing myself in that silence – awake or asleep. The first imaginative spark came through a dream. I dreamt that I sat down and had tea with my Gran – just as I had as a teenager. We talked, and she left. When I awoke, I felt alone and bereft. I saw an image of a train and imagined I could hear it rumble in the background of my mind.
I then felt compelled to write about how I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to My Gran before she died. This was the first poem that marked the flicker of an awakening and ushered in this creative phase in my life. Although I had no idea that this would be the case on the day I awoke from that dream.
I realise now that my poetry provides the medium through which I can describe what I see, think and feel. Each poem tells a story. They are my responses to my experience, people and places. The beautiful images reflect the different voices in the poetry – their mood, tone, shape and colour. I am grateful to the photographers who have generously let me use their amazing images. Their talent and spirit of generosity inspire me.
The poems are not about my performance as a poet or about becoming an expert writer. Just the opposite. For me, writing has become a way of letting go of other people’s opinions and the harsh habits of self-criticism that contributed to me buttoning down my creative energy in the first place.
In the landscape of the soul, although often shyly expressed, I write because that is what I love to do. As the images arise in my mind, the words come to me. I catch them on the page. The invisible becomes visible as they form – almost as if they have a life of their own.
The poems are about expressing the gentle, honest, raw beauty of my awakened imagination. They capture a new ability that I have discovered. Traces of it remain in my memory, previously expressed freely and mischievously. Then lost. Silted up and buried under the relentless river of serious busyness.
These days, I know that if I venture further into the stillness of my soul, the ideas are abundant and replenish themselves. No matter what the circumstances, the poems wait for me. Poised and ready to appear. Often hidden in plain sight somewhere on the open contours of my mind.
It is my hope that you will enjoy this gallery. That in some quiet way, my words may stir you. That you too, will find the courage to access a lost aspect of yourself or give yourself permission to try something new. Not caring so much about what others might think. I hope that you will enjoy standing on the solid, sure ground of your own experience. Above all, I wish you well and the sheer joy of discovery.