“Find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but you and make it productive. Put the hours in, do it for long enough, and magical, life-transforming things happen eventually.”
–Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity
By now you’ve probably noticed I have a thing for art – both the kind we make with our hands and the kind we live with our lives.
I wrote an entire book about uncovering the art you were made to live because when I talk to people who are made in the stunning and spectacular image of God but genuinely believe they have nothing to offer the world, I get a little twirly inside.
Are you aware of a scrap of a desire deep within you but your first response to it is to toss it aside and label it selfish instead of considering is as sacred?
Or maybe you respect the idea of your art and your desire, but you don’t see any tangible ways to practice it at this stage in your life?
We tend to think we have to have weeks to re-charge, endless open days to plan and prepare, a retreat to re-center and re-focus. Those things will help, for sure. If you get them, soak them up and roll around in the blessing of them. But most of us don’t have the luxury of wide-open days or weekend retreats on any type of regular basis.
So what’s the alternative? Never pursue the art?
What do we do when all the time we get is in whatever drops are left over after wringing out the day? I wouldn’t write this if I didn’t believe it, but Hugh MacLeod is right: beautiful things happen when we take those drops and begin to fill the bucket.
With the first few small efforts, the bucket still looks empty and I’m tempted to think nothing is happening. But that would be a mistake, because every drop saved is one drop closer to full.
It’s true, “full” may not mean fame or attention or accolades. But if you’re open to it, it might just be the first important step to becoming more fully yourself.
Here are 5 ways to begin to fill the bucket in less than an hour:
1. Consider the gifts where you are right now and use your time to write them down.
2. Write (paint, play, bake, create) for 30 minutes. Reject every temptation to believe you are wasting your time.
3. Dare to believe you have something to say and say it out loud.
4. Sit in the quiet just because. A lot more may happen there than you might think.
5. Don’t try so hard to block out the critical voice. Take some time to listen and decide if it’s true. If it isn’t? Dismiss.
Do the work you love when the early morning lifts up her head with a smile and a high-pitched song. Sit at the table and make your art when the evening sky fills up the yard right outside your window. There is no formula and there is no wrong. There is only you, showing up as the person you already are, willing to offer whatever you have, no matter how small.
Go make some art today.
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It’s not to late to join the Bloom Book Club! We’ll be reading A Million Little Ways together starting October 21. Visit the Bloom book page for all the details. If you don’t have a book yet, you may also want to enter your name for the chance to win one. Winners announced on Wednesday – Details on the Bloom book page.