What Matters to Eilish Bouchier

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Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.

Eilish Bouchier blends the practical and magical to help creative entrepreneurs create life + work they love, led by nature-centred design®. Eilish has worked globally at the intersection of creativity and commerce, communication and consciousness in business and branding with multinationals, locals and individuals for 30+ years.

What is the thing you like doing most in the world?

Exploring, discovering, learning, ideating, creating, shaping and making. I love work that uses my hands, head, and heart

I’m super curious, so I love to explore far and dive deep to discover hidden gems and connect seemingly random dots to create something completely new that my clients and I could never have imagined before we began. 

There’s nothing more magical than co-creating with others to reveal and realise their magic to themselves and work with them to realise their most audacious vision.

What is the first memory you have of being creative?

What a beautiful question. My mother talks about being amazed at my ability to do jigsaws long before I should have been able. Baking with my mum, refusing to wear certain clothes, making butterfly paintings by folding paper, writing poetry, learning to knit, playing with my brothers Meccano set, solving maths problems and building things, making daisy chains. Everything was and still is fascinating. 

What is your biggest regret?

Ooh! I feel sad that certain relationships didn’t work and that I spent a long time wishing I was somewhere else and that I lost my confidence for a while. However, I believe in zero waste and in cycles of creation. And that every experience makes us who we are and leads us to our future selves.

How have you gotten over heartbreak?

Slowly when younger. I used to fall in love with potential, but it’s a dangerous illusion. Lots of walking, writing, talking, ruminating. I bounce back faster as I’ve gotten older. I’ve got better tools: movement, meditating, time in the ocean, being less attached to the outcome, and a daily practice of consciously choosing joy.

What makes you cry?

It’s spontaneous and unpredictable, but I’m most often being moved in the presence of beauty. I’m a deep feeler, Scorpio moon and big Piscean energy: flowers, nature, people, performance, art, films, architecture. The Alcazar in Seville, the dome in St Peters, the Taj Mahal. Being in deep connection with others. Seeing others suffer. 

How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?

The things we are expected to be excited about accomplishing – like buying a house, car, work: not long at all but the impact of seeing someone or something blossom beyond what they imagined breaks my heart open in the most fluttery wondrous way. When I have created something that makes others happy or when I help others see themselves in a more expansive way, it fills me with delight

Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?

Much to say on this a few bite-sized reflections. I’m more of a “this adventure we call life” girl. I’m magical and practical and traverse the seen and unseen as a way of life. As a yogi with an almost daily practice of accessing the meditative mind/imagination—the SA TA NA MA, (infinity, life, death, rebirth)—I believe the veil is thin between these dimensions. I’m with the Osho story of the warrior who came to ask the guru about heaven and hell. He got pissed off and drew his sword to kill the guru. When the guru smiled, he realised his anger was his hell. He replaced his sword peacefully and his heaven was restored. 

I grew up in the Catholic tradition of guilt and penance. And if my mother thought I lied she’d suggest there was a black mark on my tongue. As a kid you’d try to find it. Guilty as charged! 

I recall being in a beautiful church at about the age of seven and thinking this is so glorious, but why all the rules? I think it was in that moment I decided I would find my own way. With each shift in identity we access another afterlife.

I had an experience on a retreat in Brazil where I woke up and thought I had passed over. I have no idea if it lasted a minute or an hour. It was initially scary, then playful, then heart opening. It changed my relationship with death and with life. 

What do you hate most about yourself?

My impatience, my wanting it to be done. When I feel misunderstood or dismissed I feel vulnerable. My unfinished projects. Feeling so deeply. Passion and enthusiasm that can be misunderstood and overwhelm others. Not being on top of everything all the time. That’s a hiding to nowhere eh!

What do you love most about yourself?

My creative brain, playful nature. My patience and tenacity. My ability delight in the smallest details. Being able to see beauty everywhere and in everyone. My ability to laugh at myself, abundance of energy, my love and compassion. Faith in the beauty of the world. Joy and elation. Insatiable curiosity and love of learning. Creating something that hadn’t existed before. Ability to be in flow. And my sense of humour.

What is your absolute favorite meal?

Cooking and sharing food and stories with friends and family: a big table, balmy night starry sky, likely Italian food, seafood, lots of different salads, a good red, and maybe finished with a little sweet something. And dancing. When invited to dinner I always offer to make dessert because I am often late (friends have learned to never ask me to bring starters) and if dessert is good, the dinner is soon forgotten.