I was thinking about this a lot this week. At the moment we are restricted by what we can and can’t do. Where we can and can’t go. We are suddenly in a position where we seemingly have no control over things. Faced with the greatest imposition of our lifestyle to date. It got me asking a few questions about the restrictions I’ve put in my own life. How have I restrained myself by limiting what I could possibly achieve?

I used to be very much a fan of schedules. When my girls were younger I used to be very strict on the time they go to bed. Wake up. Naps in the day. etc. Now there is nothing wrong with that. It’s necessary to have any kind of order and ‘you time’ when you choose to bring children into the world. As they started to grow up I continued to impose these restrictions. To what detriment? Well there were times when family would be around and it would be a strict- straight to bed at 7pm even through they had arrived at 6.50pm.

Anyway a few years later and a few countries later we decided to home school the girls. It was then that my eyes became open to my restrictions I had put in place. I was seeing through the eyes of what ‘ should’ rather than what ‘could’. I forgot that I was in a position to create my own rules. Decide what would be best for us as a family. This changed significantly during that time. Bedtime restrictions became more flexible. Learning environments more fluid. Learning in itself switched from government mandated work to enquiry and discovery.

I constantly look at my girls as a reflection tool. During my art sessions I ask myself questions such as:

What am I holding back form?

What am I resisting?

Am I feeling genuine Joy?

Have I expressed deep gratitude?

Am I fearful of my own ability to flourish?

To grow…?

To become…?

Am I ready to reveal find the essence of me?

This week is no exception.

Template available.

The truth is we’ve never been in a better situation to make the changes we want to see.

When all ‘this’ started I personally wasn’t one of the people who were cowering with fear about being ‘locked down’. While I do care about what is going on and the effects it is having on the population as a whole I didn’t panic…

I said thank you.

Thank you for health. Thank you for vitality. Thank you for family. Thank you for helping me realise how much I enjoy what I do. But most of all – Thank you for giving me the time. One of the greatest gifts that anyone could give.

Time has no expectations. It’s where you can make your own rules. Where you can be free of the imposed restrictions of what was our previously normal lives. Were everyone is on a level playing field. We’re all trying to figure things out.

We got the opportunity to figure out what was going on in our metal prisons.

The problem for many people and even if you’re reading this now is that we never really understand our true capabilities.

Many will be confused. Angry, sad, annoyed. Whatever you’re feeling this time is an opportunity to review the restraints we have put ourselves in.

Now I’m not saying that this is the way for everyone. But what I am saying is that during this time it’s an opportunity to reflect upon areas where ‘ restraint’ may be manifesting.

It starts with simple questions.

What am I doing?

Why am I really doing this?

Who am I doing this for?

Is it helping or hindering?

What’s working, what isn’t?

Is there another way?

What if I try this?

How might this look if we tried changing this to…?

That’s the beauty of Mindful Art. You get to shed those expectations and lead with feelings. You get to explore the answers to these questions and acknowledge what comes up.

In this weeks video we create some restrictions for ourselves, but we work outside of them. We explore what happens if we go beyond. Guided discovery.

When we have the time to explore these feelings it allows us to make changes and move forward. It reminded me of this verse from the Bible. A time for everything.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NIV)”

We are locked in by what we see, hear, smell, touch, taste. We know ‘that’ and ‘that’ only. We fail to look beyond and ponder ‘what if’. Restricted by what is rather than what could be come.

Getting out of this restricted mindset takes time. Time that we have just been gifted.

So this week’s video is about taking the time to unpick our restrictions. Moving away from what we ‘should’ and trying out what if. We’re moving outside of our walls and creating from a place of wonder.

He that would govern others, first should be the master of himself. Philip Massinger

Use this gift of time wisely.

Today’s video you’ll need about 1 hour. This will allow you to truly focus and reflect on those restrictions. Here’s a template if you just want to get stuck in.

As always I love to read you comments below. And don’t forget to post a picture of your artwork under the #systobart to facebook, instagram or twitter.

Love always

Sy