How ART can help you with life balance!

Yes, I said “art”. No, I haven’t completely lost my mind. Just go with me for a bit. I want you to try something. Follow these steps as written – no reading ahead!:

  • Get a piece of paper.
  • Now get a pencil, pen or marker.
  • Draw a large square or rectangle on the paper.
  • Take some colored markers or crayons and scribble anything in the center of the paper (no words…no specific picture) that describe how you are feeling right now.
  • Put the pencils/pen/markers down.
  • Close your eyes for the count of 10.
  • Open them and look at everything you have drawn.
    1. What do you see?
    2. What do you feel?
  • List the five feelings you have as you look at the picture.
  • Continue reading the blog below.

Look at the feelings you wrote. Did any of those feelings have anything to do with the white space outside the square or rectangle you drew? If not, keep reading! If yes….Good for you! You can read on and give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing that MARGIN is always important to the picture of life!

Margin: You’ve gotta find it and have to stay balanced.

When I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis at the age of 39 it added one more thing to the whirlwind of life I simply was not prepared for. The picture I drew was a huge scribble….with many shades of black!

My life was hectic already, but with the diagnosis seemed even more out of control as I dealt with the physical, emotional, and spiritual realities of my illness. Why me? Why at that time? I simply didn’t think I could do it.

A wise friend had me go through the exercise I asked you to do: draw my feelings in a box and describe what I saw. Well, I have never been much of an artist, but let me tell you, it was ugly, it was messy, it was chaotic!

But, she stopped me in my bemoaning and said that I wasn’t seeing the picture right (that wasn’t what I needed to hear!). She asked me about the white parts of the picture. The border…..the margin. When she looked at my picture, she saw a lot of white space I was ignoring. She was right. My focus was on the messy parts, the colorful, everywhere my markers had taken me. Hearing the words, “Look for the margin and rest there!” gave me a new outlook and great tool to use that day and beyond.

I learned over time, to look at the margin first. I started being intentional about building in those quiet times. I found joy in life as I began to embrace and celebrate the peace and calmness I could see in my picture. I learned to build in margin to my everyday life.  Even those days when life wasn’t easy or fun.

What worked to help me rest in the margin? I learned to journal and spend time reading each day. I created a ritual of soaking in a nice, warm bubble bath. Some days it was only for 5 minutes, other time for almost an hour. Now, I build in a whole day of margin each week for my healing, soothing, and well-being.

What I learned was that I must be intentional in building some white space – margin- into my life to be balanced in all areas. What are three things you could do today to build a little margin into your life?  Write them down and share them with a friend, loved one, and your coach!

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” –  Mother Teresa