As I lead retreats for everyone from designers to mothers I keep returning to this simple fact that the ingredients for realizing our dreams, finding our meaning, and making a difference in the world actually exist within these lives.
Your life is already a work of art. You are both artist, intentionally making your life, and artifact, a mystery unfolding beyond your intention. Treating life as art begins by making space to sense your beautiful life and to wonder. Our senses enable us to fully honor the moments, the material stuff, the footprints that we make upon space, as well as those other individuals with whom we share this all. This practice of honoring the otherness of our ingredients gives us a clue as to how to honor the unknown of our neighbor and our self. In a chaotic and connected world, creative inspiration begins by making whitespace to disconnect and learn, again, through all of our life’s ingredients.
Take a few minutes to look at this day, this moment, at yourself. Using your five senses note the present. What do you taste, see, hear, smell, and feel? What moment is this? What stuff is this screen in front of you made of, and what is it connecting to to enable you to read this on your phone or computer screen? What does the room around you feel like? Can you sense your participation in that room? Like a fish breathing water, can you feel how you are breathing the room's air?
These ingredients have so much to teach us! Honor them, pay attention to your life's ingredients today. And do this day by day until you see, again, how much material you have to work with! Whether its a walk, journalling, cutting off the phone to take a bath or meditate, reading scriptures or poetry, all of these—when they truly carve out space, rather than fill space in—are steps to seeing what is in front of you, this beautiful life you steward!