I am a pretty driven person. I have a daily “to do” list for both home and work, and if I don’t cross off a significant amount off both lists each day, I feel like I’ve wasted a day. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time to do nothing and just relaxing, but when I do, I usually can’t sit for long before I think of something else I could be accomplishing, and then I can’t sit still. And when I do sit down or crawl into bed at the end of the day, my mind is usually racing, thinking of what I need to do when I can get up and get going again.
But this week, something cool happened. A friend of mine asked me if I would take an mosaic art class with her.
Now, I’ve never really considered myself an artistic person. My memories of art class back in grade school are about following the directions to create a replica of the teacher’s example. There was never much creativity involved, which was fine by me, because I didn’t think I had much of that anyways.
But this class was different. The instructor asked us to choose colours that spoke to us. She told us to “go with what the glass decided”. And somehow, I was able to let loose a bit, and just see what happened.
And what happened was that each one of us created something unique. And while I was creating, my mind became calm. I couldn’t believe how late it was when we finished – I totally lost track of time!
It really made me think about art in a different way. It’s not just about the product, it’s about the process. And allowing myself to get lost for those few hours gave me an experience of freedom that I don’t usually grant myself. I felt very peaceful and satisfied as I crawled into my bed that night.
Our world is so very focused on power and achievement that it’s easy to get trapped in that mindset that in order to be successful, you must use every minute wisely. Every time I go online, I’m bombarded by articles about how to cook the perfect meal, decorate my home like a magazine layout, throw my kid the birthday party of their dreams, succeed at work, have the ideal marriage… the list never ends. But when our need for power prevents us from achieving a balance with our other needs, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to live a full and happy life.
So, while it’s fine to have goals and to be driven to achieve, don’t forget that it’s just as important to spend time with the people you love, have some fun, and allow yourself those moments of escape.
Special thank you to our wonderful instructor, Marlies Soltys for teaching me more than just how to create a mosaic piece! You can check out her studio at:
(just for fun… can anyone guess which one is mine in the picture above?)