I get it now. Finally. It’s only taken me 50 years. People often say we must make time for ourselves, but I never really understood why. I mean, I kind of got it and sometimes I did it, but I’m a busy person. There are days I barely keep up with chores and work and other obligations. Who has time for hobbies or art?
But the fact is, there are many parts to ourselves. We feed our bodies, our intellects, our spiritual beings, but we neglect to feed our imaginations. There’s an artist inside all of us. Whether your art is writing or music or crafts or gardening or cooking, it is the space in which you express your creativity and originality and experience passion and joy. And what do those lead to? A rise in energy; energy we then take into our lives and work, enabling us to do much more and do it far better.
With a rise in energy, we become more awake, more at ease, more confident, and happier. It is, therefore, imperative to the success of our businesses, and the proper running of our households, and the good work we do in our communities that we take time to pursue our passions.
Sometimes it’s not even in pursuing our own art that we find that energy surge. It can also happen when we engage in more indirect ways; going to a movie, listening to a new CD, reading a book.
I remember the first time I saw Les Miserables. I was 21 years old and studying for a semester at West Chester University outside of Philadelphia. Some friends and I drove in to the city to see a traveling production. When we left the theater, we gathered in a tight circle on the sidewalk and held hands (guys and girls together) and literally jumped up and down. There was an energy running through each of our bodies that was just short of euphoria, and when we joined hands, it amplified. In that moment I thought, “If something as amazing as that show can exist in the world, we can do anything. We can change the world!” That’s how we felt, powerful, motivated, moved, and energized. I rode that wave for days as I struggled through my homework and classes. Anything seemed possible.
It is not decadent or selfish to pursue your art, it is necessary. Don’t do it just for yourself, but for the people you serve. Take a cold, hard look at the things that currently fill your time and figure out which of them could go to make more space for the things you love to do.
And then watch . . . as your energy level rises, you may find the time to do those things again, or you may find better, more creative, more original, more productive ways to move forward.
Trust that if you give time to your art, time itself will expand to enable you to do more of all the things that matter. Time and energy are linked, after all.
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Also published on Medium.