30th June 2023

In her recently published book, Flourish | The Extraordinary Journey into Finding Your Best Self, Antonia Case takes the reader ‘on a riveting journey in search of what matters most’.  

Seeking guidance from ancient philosophers and modern-day psychologists, Antonia set out to discover what it is that makes life meaningful and what it means to flourish. The book spans her journey of some 15 years as she travelled the world in search of meaning. Condensed into twenty chapters by geographic location, Flourish documents what Antonia discovered through her own experiences as well as the wisdom she gleaned from others as she travelled and read her way across the globe.

The book depicts vignettes of her journey through which her greatest lessons in flourishing were learnt. Of all those shared throughout the book, the one that resonated with us the most was the power of creativity to bring meaning to one’s life.

Whilst in Paris, Antonia enrolled in fashion school where she was able to engage in designing and crafting, not to be, become or have anything, but simply because she wanted to use her hands. Her desire was to ‘craft something out of nothing’.

Whilst regaling us with her adventure of ‘clutching a human-sized mannequin on the Paris Metro’ on her way to school, Antonia quotes author and educator Ellen Dissanayake who writes on the activity of making, and why so many of us have an inexplicable need to make things.

Dissanayake believes that the urge to make is genetically hardwired from generations past. Whilst arts may sometimes be considered to have no function in modern society, many anthropologists go to great lengths to point out ‘how in earlier or simpler societies the arts were inextricably involved in everyday life, embodying the norms of the group, articulating its deepest values’.

She believes that making ‘is a way to shape our everyday, mundane reality and transform it into something special’. Dissanayake considers that there is an inherent pleasure and meaning to be found in the act of making. 

‘Making is not only pleasurable, but meaningful – indeed it is because it is meaningful that it is pleasurable.’

In fact, Dissanayake goes as far as to say that ‘a society that devalues making, and making important things special, forfeits a critical component of its members’ birthright.

With these thoughts in mind, Antonia nurtures her need to create ‘solely for the frivolity of making’, all whilst encouraging the reader to find value in the art of making. We love that through Antonia’s experience and Dissanayake’s words, our innate need for needle and thread was validated in such an articulate and meaningful way.

And so, we’re off to pick up needle and thread once again as we seek to make a meaningful life through the simple act of laying stitch upon stitch, and we hope you are too.

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