Finding Time


Last week I gave my first webinar. It was fun. A bit nerve-racking, and the best part is the first one is behind me! I spent quite a lot of time getting things ready for it. There are all the behind the scenes preparations, such as emails and promotions, but I also had to write and create the slides for the webinar. I’m a very organized person. I like to be prepared. This webinar was set into a very tight schedule because I intentionally wanted to shake up the way I work. If I’d done it in my usual fashion I probably would be giving it this week or next. Giving myself lots of time for preparation, planning, thinking, etc. Sometimes those things are good. And sometimes they are distractions. I wanted to see what would shake up in my life if I just went for it!

In this process I noticed a few things. First and foremost, I did it! Even with a very tight deadline. Granted that deadline was self-imposed but I was committed to keeping the date. It was my first one, so I know I’ll get better We all have to start somewhere, right? Yet perhaps the best lesson I learned in my attempt to shake things up, was that I need to always have time to play. Even, and perhaps most importantly, always, when I have something important to accomplish.

What does play look like to you?

My play right now is throwing pottery. I feel so happy and aligned (centered!) when I’m throwing! I love having my hands in the clay, creating a beautiful piece. I can actually get lost with the process. That is exactly what happened to me last week, the day of my webinar.

On Monday afternoon, the day before the webinar, I was still not done with my presentation. Plus, I wanted to practice everything. Tuesday morning I had a ceramics class. The thought crossed my mind to skip the Tuesday morning class so I would have more time to get my webinar finished. It was a tempting thought. Luckily I didn’t listen too intently to that little voice that usually makes me work so hard. I buckled down Monday evening and got it all finished. Of course, if you’re anything like me, finished is a relative term. I’m rarely finished with anything that I am designing. Deadlines are great for making me finish! I’m sure if I’d been more nervous or more nit-picky I would have cancelled going to the ceramics class. But I didn’t. And the most amazing thing happened! During the class I completely forgot that I had my webinar that afternoon! I looked up at the clock around 11:30 and the thought popped into my head. “I’ve forgotten all about what I’m doing this afternoon!”

It was an amazing and freeing experience. I came home from the class, made myself eat some lunch, then I looked over my presentation and presented! Everything worked out.

As in most things in life, it’s about balance. Over the past weekend I was at a retreat where two friends were each teaching a class. They had already spent hours on their PowerPoint presentations. The first day of the retreat we were taken on a fabulous lunch-time excursion to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Both of these friends decided that they needed to skip the excursion and stay back to work on their presentations. It was another example of how we so easily get sucked into the feelings of fear and not being enough. Their presentations were great, but they probably would have been just as great if they’d allowed themselves to get away from the work and give themselves a new, fun experience. What else might they have added to their class if they had given themselves the time to play?

It’s similar to when I was back in college. I remember being told before a big final to, of course study, but then to take time away from the books and the notes. Do something completely out of the ordinary. Go bowling or go to a movie. Something to clear the mind. I know that I may have only taken that advice once or twice. Art school was more about finishing projects than finals. But that advice is still applicable today.

Finding the time for Play can change the ways we view our work. Give it a try!

Feel free to send me your thoughts and comments. I’d love to connect with you!

With love and beauty,