Hello, I’m Clare Barry
I’m a Londoner, a writer and the founder of Urban Curiosity – a creativity and wellness company that helps busy people slow down. When we start to notice our lives – the cityscape, our communities, our feelings – we can reclaim time and headspace for what really matters. We see things differently.
This I know: time, energy and attention are our most precious resources. How will you ‘spend’ your time and energy today? What have you been ‘paying’ attention to?
We live in a hyperconnected world. The World Health Organization predicts work-related stress, burnout and depression are likely to top the list of the world’s most prevalent diseases by 2020 and that more than 70 per cent of us will live in an urban place by 2050.
My mission is to show you that it is possible to live in a hectic, cacophonous city and still find moments of quiet, calm and heartfelt human connection every day. We don’t have to sleepwalk through life feeling overwhelmed and creatively frustrated. We can choose to thrive.
HOW I GOT HERE
Once-upon-a-time, my creativity was in a puddle at the bottom of the career ladder. I suffered from chronic back pain and bereavement as I hurtled towards burnout. In 2014, I had surgery on my lumbar spine and it changed my life. Just 24-hours after the op, my rockstar neurologist discharged me with minimal pain relief and instructions to take a daily walk.
Each tentative footstep hurt, yet the slower pace allowed urban vignettes to unfold before me. Inspiration was everywhere when I stopped long enough to breathe.
Later that year, I ambled out of my dream job as co-founder of the London School of Economics’ entrepreneurship hub and created the Urban Curiosity Walkshop. The original concept was a two hour part creativity session, part digital detox – on foot. Today, it’s a programme for busy people all over the world who want to live a thoughtful and creatively fulfilling life now, not when retirement arrives.
In addition, I write about mindful living and contribute to books from the Department Store for the Mind published by Octopus. I interview urbanites from all over the world to find out how they thrive in cities addicted to speed and I teach creative writing for wellbeing. I speak about work/life balance and flexible working for networks like She Says at places like Soho House. And I collaborate with brands like Savse and Bugaboo.
Best of all? I experiment and share what I find. I don’t have it all sussed but I know I want to feel alive and open up to possibility every day.
Let’s unplug, slow down and spark ideas because life is short and eye contact is a beautiful thing. I share my best articles and a curated list of resources, inspiration and wisdom for a meaningful life in my subscriber-only Thoughtful Notes. Join here: