As I reflect on this first week of January I have come to realize that I expected too much from myself with regards to resolutions. Each one by itself seemed quite manageable: exercise 20 minutes each day; drink 4-5 glasses of water every day; take at least one photo a day for the 365 project; write a little bit (no pre-set amount) each day; have daily devotions each morning; and set aside a few minutes every day for creativity; and spend 30 minutes pleasure reading each night before bed. However, to try to implement all of these little activities at once proved to be an impossibility. So, rather than admit failure and quit - I am going to choose a new approach.
The Happiness Project (of which I have only read the first two chapters), she segments her resolutions by month - focusing on just one or two each month and then adding one or two more the following month. Without planning to follow this approach, this is what I have instinctively decided to do. It appears that I will focus on daily devotions for the month of January - as I have been most consistent with those. I am also trying to journal my thoughts and insights as I read these morning verses, so that will also help my writing resolution (although I know that I must focus more on the craft of writing as well). I hope to begin to add exercise into the routine - at least two or three times a week - over the next few days. Perhaps if I exercise more the increased water intake will naturally follow. That is at least my plan for now.
|Statue at hospital entrance|
Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh -- the same author who wrote Life is a Verb, which inspired me to write Life is a Verb Thursdays last summer. In this new book the author asserts that we are all creative and she quotes Pablo Picasso several times: Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. In her typical witty style, the author carefully walks beside us, encouraging us to find that artist once again. She is understanding of our roadblocks, but she does not allow us to use them as excuses. Rather, she gives sound advice, coupled with lots of personal experiences, to help us chisel away the fears and barriers and release the inner imagination. She lists six creative commitments that she says are essential to reconnecting with that inner child:
- Be ordinary
- See more
- Get present
- Catch Fire
- Clear Ground
- Let go
She provides exercises -- one written and one visual (she recommends using pencils, crayons, magazine pictures, glue sticks, and index cards) -- as well as one long range project to complete over 37 days. However, on page 14 she states:
At the end of reading this book, you might have 20 or 37 or 500 index cards on which you've written, scribbled, drawn. Or you might have none. And either way is perfectly fine. Do you get what I'm saying here? THERE IS NO RIGHT ANSWER, no perfect way to work through this book - or through life.
Every single moment of your life is an opportunity for creativity. Even the darkest moments. Perhaps especially them.Yes, this is the book that I was meant to read this first week of the new year. I am ready to learn to let go, give up trying to be perfect, and get a little messy.