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#LifeLessons - Marion King

Marion King

NAME: Marion King

AGE: 63


JOB TITLE: Entrepreneur and founder of Marion King Art

Marion is a contemporary artist with a mission to intrigue and inspire with her unique abstract art. She founded my e-commerce business Marion King Art in July 2022 to follow her dream and embark on a new entrepreneurial journey, leaving behind a successful career in education and education management. Marion launched her website, at the end of September so she could share her original artwork and limited-edition, fine-art print collections with individual collectors and corporate clients.

Marion's inspiration for creating art comes from two diametrically opposed places. In her current desert city, Al Ain, she is immersed in the haunting sounds of the call to prayer, the glittering shadows cast by the palm fronds, the glimpses of history visible in the architecture, and the contrasts in colours, patterns, textiles and clothes. The differences in culture and place here speak to something deep inside - almost like she inhabited this space a long time ago. In her western Ireland home, the images of the expansive rural bog-lands and desolate white beaches are etched into her memory. The savage beauty of the dramatic landscapes, and wild, changing weather reach into Marion's soul and fuel her creativity.

What are Marion's key #LIFELESSONS

Don’t be afraid to take risks, even big ones! In 2011 I attended a Festival of Thinkers talk where Charlie Duke, an Apollo 16 astronaut was answering questions. When asked what made explorers and adventurers like himself different to other people, he replied that they’re not afraid to jump off the path they’re on and follow an unknown or lesser-known route. At the time this resonated with me so much that I decided to resign from my job and take a year off to paint. Everything fell into place. I was given studio space in the beautiful Al Qattara Art Centre and exhibited my work in a couple of exhibitions towards the end of that year.

This lesson stayed with me and after returning to work I resigned 8 years later, aged 62, to follow my dream and set up an art business. Again, opportunities appeared. A month after resigning I was accepted onto a 16-week Business Accelerator program, run by UN Women and Nama Women, and learned everything I needed to know to become a successful entrepreneur. I’m still at the beginning of my journey, so grateful to Charlie for his advice, and of course, dreaming big!

Everything you need is within you – but sometimes you need help to find it. I believe that if we allow ourselves to look, we can find the power within to make changes to our behaviour, environment and relationships with others. The kind of small changes that make for a happier life. Sometimes though, if we’re not allowing ourselves to look, we can end up going around in circles, unsure of the best course of action.

So recently, after a few weeks of procrastinating over a business decision I needed to make, I accepted an offer of coaching from a friend I had met on a copywriting course we had attended last year. And what an uplifting experience! After an hour of chatting, I was able to map out a strategy for dealing with a hurdle I had created that was holding me back.

This was my first experience with life coaching, and I can highly recommend it. It affirmed my belief that all you need is within you. It just took a skilful coach to help me find the answer to something I was looking for.

Be optimistic – even when nobody else is. I think it’s really important to have a positive outlook on life.

Obviously, maintaining a positive outlook can be tough when there are so many negative things happening in the world. I’m not suggesting we ignore negative situations, just try to be realistic about them. I try to recognise that in my own life when facing adversity, all I can do is my best regardless of the outcome. In that way, even if the outcome is not very positive, I can still feel good that I did everything I could.

Gratitude is a great way to make you feel more optimistic. I try to start my day thinking about 3 things I’m grateful for. It makes me feel uplifted before I even get out of bed. If I’m feeling gloomy during the day I do it again and it changes the way I was feeling.

The most powerful tool I use for helping me feel optimistic is meditation. During meditation, the brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and decreases the fear and anxiety-producing chemicals. After a meditation session, even a short one, I feel calm and refreshed.

Optimism is infectious! Thinking positive thoughts seems to attract like-minded people towards me – though not always!

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