Do It On Monday

Secular Sabbath update:

As you know, dear readers, I have become interested in reclaiming a secular Sabbath. Furthurmore, I am now a cheerleader for everyone to cultivate some version of this. For me it is a day where I can moodle; learn something new, especially in the creative arts, and have a complete break from the work that I love. Why is this important? From my point of view it is necessary to make breathing time. Time I can count on to devote myself to dabbling in drawing; a long walk; spending a few hours with my camera; talking to an old friend. Anything that involves  beauty, truth, love, delight, creating, and focus, even absorption. Maybe reading something that I am curious about but haven’t given it any time. Freedom for new things and/or recalling old things that I loved and have not made time for.

Mandala Drawing Lesson

Take this past Sunday. I had my first mandala drawing lesson with my new friend in the Netherlands. A wonderful and inspiring teacher, by the way. Having been a studious child with a perfect report card except for art, which was a C- in Grade 1, the blank page and a drawing pencil is scary. However, using a compass to draw the circles helped to get started, and joining dots and creating triangles took the edge off.

However, when it came to the colouring – where, what, how, and all the other things that one can add to a mandala,  I was back to uncertainty. But I stuck with it. And I did my best not to be defeated by comparison. That’s one advantage of living for three quarter’s of a century. You no longer let intimidation stop you; plus,I am much more easily satisfied and have a better sense of humor. I consider that a good thing. It’s a shame to let perfection stop us from doing anything new.

Here is what I am learning for myself and perhaps it will be useful for some of you.

No one size fits all. I have never been successful at finding or making time to do these things on a daily basis. Some of you can. I don’t manage to have time left over at the end of the day. It is my blueprint and I now work with what is. Consequently, it is far easier for me to take one entire day a week, where I simply say no to everything else in order to say yes to rejuvenation and a sense of play. No matter how tempting, doing work on Sunday evening seems, I continue to resist. Because I know we (meaning me too) all need time to unplug and essentially have a day of rest. A rest from changing what we usually do, so that we can do new things.

My new mantra is Do It On Monday.

 

One more word on drawing.

Drawing is one of the anchors of Living Well with Illness, based on the work of Dr. Itami. Drawing, in particular, was a skill all of Dr. Itami’s patients learned.

 Why? Dr. Ishu Ishiyama at UBC, sums it up like this:
  1. It activates the five senses and stimulates the brain
  2. a chance to do one’s best
  3. to pay close attention to the object
  4. to offer drawings as gifts to others

Small, simple and casual drawings are something everyone can learn to do and it helps improve our focus and gives us a mental break while we are absorbed in the task.

We are all different.

I suggest the point is to find what absorbs you and to do it. Learn more. Try something new that you have long considered but haven’t started. There is something satisfying when we create a tiny work of art, perform a piece of music, bake a special dessert, create a garden, design a house, or a room. Any number of things.  Playfulness is a key to all serious skill development. Take a day or a half a day to have fun with an interest that captivates you. The research supports how creativity and productivity improve with playfulness, expressive arts, rest and time to reflect. Not to mention the company of favourite people and walks in nature.

Notes:

Note 1:) I figure that this winter even with the light at the end of the tunnel, is an opportune time for us all to cultivate our creative interests.

Note 2:) Here is something special to listen to for those who like poetry and the art of Hokusai, the famous Japanese artist of the Edo period. He is well known for his woodblock series which includes the iconic Great Wave off Kanagawa. Click here.

Note 3:) Stay safe through this crazy time and enjoy your life. These two ideas are not incompatible. Thank you for showing up once again and  I appreciate your company and your kind notes. With gratitude for life and all of you, Trudy

Note 4:) Oops, I almost forgot. My banner sketch this week is from Patricia Ryan Madson, one of her Etegami postcards.  And the blank note book, thanks to Unsplash and the photographer  Kelly Sikkema

 

 

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