Creative expression or me, or lack thereof, is like walking down a silent, dark road without hope or sunshine.

That’s how feel like when I’m not expressing myself, like a hawk, circling, checking the environment and gathering my bearings before I bring myself into landing.

They say writing the second book can be the hardest and this myth has stayed with me. Then I remember a simple fact, this isn’t my second book. It’s my fourth.  And as I embraced this realisation, I acknowledged a deeper truth.  Creativity is not wholly 134,000 words.    Creativity can be a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a play or a soundbite.

Creativity is whatever you want it to be and what a glorious freedom it is.

One of my favourite counselling modalities, Gestalt, describes people as being “the sum of all parts” in that we are the culmination of our past, our circumstances, our interactions and our present through our window of the world. 

I look back and although I appreciate my way of thinking, it no longer resonates.  There are no rules.  Creativity isn’t beholden to a finished product.  It’s honoured by the journey you take to get there.

I’ll say that again.

Creativity isn’t beholden to a finished product.  It’s honoured by the journey you take to get there.

Lisa Young

It’s the expression of the moment and from this moment I am going to document my creative self in a way I’ve never done before.

Once again, I feel like the young girl who once picked up a pencil and wrote a story because it was fun. I just had to listen to find her in my own way and in my own time.

See you on the journey.

Lisa x

© Copyright Lisa May Young


I had two names.

My pseudonym, Cassie Kennedy, was born when I became a writer.  Working for Police Scotland as a Researcher it seemed like a good idea at the time, I didn’t examine the reasons why I needed to embrace another identity.  I only trusted my instincts.

Cassie Kennedy become my champion, the more confident part of myself and I gloried in her presence.  When fear shrunk Lisa, Cassie came to protect her.

The dichotomy is I didn’t acknowledge or accept my need to hide within another identity.  Now in retrospect, I understand why.  Cassie was my protector and like a lioness with her young cub, she kept me safe.  And I’m forever grateful because when I could not see in the dark, she took my hand in hers and led me into the light.

I will be forever grateful to her, my family and my friends for helping me to see Lisa.  Lisa May to be exact named because my Mum, the original lioness, liked the name and May, after my kind-hearted and loving Gran. 

For years, Lisa hid in the dark, scared of moving, scared of making a noise and scared of being hurt because she didn’t understand anything other than fear.

In the last year, I’ve found these twin energies are more alike than I gave them credit for.  It turns out Lisa is independent, determined and spirited and she smiles and laughs regularly. And I have delighted in making her re-acquaintance.

To those who know me as either Lisa or Cassie I’ll still answer to both and I’m thankful for your understanding.  For I am both vulnerable and brave.  

I am me. 


Recently, while out celebrating with friends, I came upon an idea.  It was a night of celebration; a culmination of 10 months of introspection, self-awareness and a feeling of merging into something more than I have been.  My idea manifested as ‘the year of saying yes’ of being open to new experiences, with caveats, I’m allowed to say no to anything making my nostrils flare.  While I say this in jest, genuine curiosity lingers at where this approach may take me.

However, I’ve not always felt this way.  Three years ago, I wrote a blog called ‘open your heart’ and at the time I genuinely believed my heart was open.  It wasn’t.  It was locked in a prison of my own making.

In recent years, I have cancelled plans with friends because I was unsure of the arrangements, I’ve halted relationships because I was scared and I have closed my heart in case it gets broken.  And I’ve done it all because I wanted to stay safe.  And to those I pushed away, for my part, I’m truly sorry.  I didn’t know why then, I do now.

Creativity is the only place I allowed myself to be free and through the world of my imagination I have lived a thousand lives, yet as the ending of any story unfolds, I have discovered within the now, the expectations, the what if’s, the maybes and the outcomes no longer matter.

I’m writing this now because it’s time for me to step out in faith, to believe and trust in myself and others.  Even if it’s dark outside, even if it’s scary and even if it hurts, I’m still going to do it.   I’m going to let myself to be vulnerable and be seen.  I am going to live and love a full, brave and happy life.

That’s the secret.  When you unlock the door, you get yourself, the real you, and it’s such a gift.  I’m so thankful I’m here right now.  And as for the what’s on the other side of the door? I don’t know yet, I’ll see it when I get there. 


It’s taken me two years to start writing my new book. 

This was not deliberate.  The story was always lulling about in my head, like a cinema screen playing on a continual loop with scenes of rich characters bejewelled by circumstances and fate. 

For the last year I have been promising myself that I would put pen to paper and I did, I wrote a book.  But it didn’t feel right.  Like I was writing the ghost of a story when the real one was actually buried deep within. 

Then life intervened, the study of psychology and counselling consumed me.  And as I learned to be mindful and elevate my self awareness I asked myself why I was not writing the story I am meant too. 

The reason when it came was unexpected. 

Visiting Samye Ling recently, I explored the surrounding scenery and found myself on a pebble strewn beach as the Solway Firth flowed past.  The area glowed with sunlight and was held together with a series of small waterfalls.  It was beautiful. 

Sitting down on the rocks with my notebook and dipping my painted toenails into the water to cool in the sun I started to write.  I finally started to write my new book, as it is meant to be written. 

And in the midst of writing, I paused as I got the ‘why’.  Why I had hesitated, procrastinated and distracted myself.  It was because I needed to take a moment for myself.  It was because I had to stay still for me.  

I needed to be selfless in my self-care. 

I’m the Queen of busy, working without a pause, so much so I feel guilty for taking time for myself.  On that day watching the water trickle as nature decreed, I realised the pause,  instead of a punishment in waiting had been the most precious gift. 

To write this story, I had to understand who I was and where I had come from and it was only once this process had been completed the gift was bestowed and the story in its entirety was revealed. 

Sometimes a pause, even for a couple of years, is worth every single moment and the learning is a treasure and in some instances it takes sitting by the river in the middle of the Scottish lowlands to see it. 

So, if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; give the story time to float down the river and when it arrives let it sing in your bones.  Be out of time and embrace the learning. 

It’s definitely worth waiting for. 


2017 has been a great year. 

Life changes in an instant. The ordinary instant.

Joan Didion

In retrospect,  I did not appreciate the intricacies and surprises that it would bring or the experiences that would befall me and in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t see it all coming because when it did, I was truly amazed. 

Looking back, it is two moments that defined this year for me. 

The first was in Vienna, sitting on the steps of the Austrian Library overlooking the Museum Quarter in the sun at the grand old age of 40. It was a moment when life just bubbled up inside me and I knew I had everything I needed.  And that night, if I had closed my eyes and fallen into a final sleep, I would have gone away happy. 

Not that I am wishing myself away, far from it, I still have many adventures to come.

The next moment happened driving home from Dunfermline along the A92 on a rainy, cold and dark night.  I had spent the evening speaking about choices and helping others and it happened again.  I was smiling in the darkness as I felt pure joy.  Since then, it has been a constant emotion.

Happiness is an inside job and it is not determined by other people or events.  I have been wandering for years and now I’m finally heading down the right road.  Bloody hell, it feels good. 

So, if I could leave you with one parting wish, I would like it to be this; find your happy and let life bubble up inside you.  I am.