Don’t you get tired of life lessons?
I know I do!
But welcome or not, they keep showing up again and again, most often when we steadfastly resist the message! For example, I still seem to believe I can do it all no matter how often my body tells me differently – but I’m learning! (It’s taken years, but I’m learning.)
And sometimes, even though you are an open-hearted person devoted to inner growth, don’t you get steamed when someone says to you, “At least it’s an opportunity for learning. There must be a lesson in here.” Gah!!!
But there is. There always is.
Lessons are everywhere. We can learn from the patterns of our relationships, from the collection of clothes in our closet, from what’s used and unused in our home.
In fact, if you’re particularly sensitive, you can get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of lessons available. “What can I learn about waking up mindfully? How can I create a routine that supports a good day? What’s the opportunity in negotiating who gets into the bathroom first? Which outfit best expresses the me I am becoming?” All of this and you haven’t even gotten out of bed!
When learning is important and lessons are everywhere, how can we become more intentional in our development? How can we relax and live our lives without fear of losing the learning or worry that lessons will sneak up on us?
Create Studio Moments
Studio moments are consciously chosen opportunities for learning. They’re like drawing a circle around a certain situation or aspect of your life and actively deciding, “I’m going to work with this.”
Imagine a scientist. There are worlds upon worlds to discover and explore. The scientific mind has the whole universe and beyond to consider, not to mention the entire microscopic world! Imagine the overwhelm! So what does a scientist do? S/he chooses a point of study, defines the experiment and uses that as a framework for learning.
We creative spirits can do the same. Here’s how:
Choose the Moment and Name It
The moment can be an action, a time or something tangible. It can be an interaction, situation or circumstance. It can be something that has happened or something that you are about to step into.
Choosing your outfit can become a studio moment. Tidying your bedroom can become a studio moment. Calling customer service can become a studio moment. Anything you choose to focus on and learn from can become a studio moment. The important part is to choose.
Choose something that doesn’t feel overwhelming to explore. The scale should match the time and attention that you want to devote to this moment. Play with proportions until it feels both interesting and doable.
Once you choose a moment to work with, the next step is to give it a name. Naming draws a circle around it, allowing you to focus your energy on what you are going to explore. The name can be very direct like “My Desktop” or it can be evocative like “Discovering Myself on My Desk.”
Ask the Moment, “What is here for me to learn?”
Now that you’ve created a circle around the moment, let your awareness open up to what is inside. What clues and messages are in this Studio Moment? What is here to learn?
My Studio Moment: Working with “Discovering Myself on My Desk”
I look over and see a collection of earrings, rings, necklaces I’ve worn throughout the week. They’re lying beside a pile of stones that I keep on my desk to inspire me. I am both astonished and not surprised at all to see that their colour stories are the same. I see that whatever the medium, I choose whites/clears, pinks, blues, silver and sparkle. I see the clear quartz and I think about how I have always been drawn to clear objects. That’s reinforced by the crystal globe full of bubbles that sits right behind the stones.
I remember the glass dining room table we had growing and how I chose it – and the time I broke it by leaning on it to get up. There’s a clear glass vase I use for markers, ones I particularly like. I think about how my Auntie Laima gave me two whole sets of them and I feel so blessed. There’s my @starshyne mug from a wonderful client, the clock I gave myself when I passed coaching certification, my yearly vision cards and a statue of elephants that a dear friend graced me with. I’m in tears now seeing how this little corner of my desk is a portrait of me. It is a tangible acknowledgement of the life I have poured my heart into creating. This Studio Moment reflects back to me myself, creativity, coaching, community and love.
I think that’s going to help me keep my desk tidy!
What will I create from this moment?
Whatever the learning in your studio moment, how is it going to infuse your heart and your life? Now that you know, what will you do?
For me, though I was kind of joking about tidying, I also wasn’t. That Studio Moment revealed my desk as a kind of altar. It’s a sacred space that reflects my life and intention and I’m going to treat it that way. Because I feel so much love and beauty there, I’m also going to take some pictures. And get a new battery for my clock! I’m reminded too that on my list is a letter and package to my friend of the elephants. It’s well past time.
Even as I shift gears from discovery to considering what I’m going to create in my life based on what I’ve learned, I can feel the relaxation in my body. This Studio Moment has helped to guide me to what’s next. This learning is meant to be applied.
Experience has taught me that that I could have received as powerful and useful a lesson if I’d looked in my drawer or under my sink, if I’d chosen my subway ride or my run, a conversation with a cab driver or a trip to the art store.
Lessons are everywhere. When we open up to a moment, there is much we can learn.