I Need Some Space

It’s no secret that last week was a big week for space. Asteroids and meteors blazing across the sky! I was not sure if I wanted to find my Atari or track down a Storm Trooper. I found myself staring at the night sky a lot more than normal the last few days. The Asteroid 2012 DA14 that was so “close” to earth was really 17,100 miles away. Um, that’s kinda far. But a great reminder on how small this rock we live on is and how big space is. The Creator left lots of room for wonder and creation far beyond even what we can see.

Some of my favorite moments in life are the last walks I take with my dog out right before I go to bed. The stars are always epic. There is something about the vast dark sky and the sounds of nature that birth my best ideas. My day has finally come to an end. The noise has stopped. Space is not only in the sky, it exists in my life!

blank-canvas

There are a few things I have been challenging myself to do to embrace space and create margin:

Blank is ok:

The blank canvas is a myth. I have spent a lot of time lately with an artist friend of mine. He creates more original paintings than I can keep track of, but he never really starts with a blank canvas. Well sure, there is nothing on it, but the space that he created before he stared at that blank canvas makes that massive white space less daunting. Because he created space, it allowed his mind to dream up what would live on that canvas. We both share something in common Evernote our ninja sidekick. Most of those late night walks with the dog end with me going to my iPhone or iPad with the ideas from that walk. The beauty of capturing those ideas is they can live in the “cloud” rather than keep me up all night.

Empty is not ok :

When I am not creative, or not feeling “inspired” it’s because busyness has won the battle. The reason many fear the blank page is they have not created space, turned off of the noise, or left any margin to allow themselves to be filled. I love what Anne Lamott says about this, “The word block suggests that you are constipated or stuck, when the truth is that you’re empty.” We don’t get to see the awesome stuff you are meant to do if you don’t do the work of allowing yourself to be filled. We have nothing to give when we crumble under the pressure to always do rather than allowing ourselves the chance to be.

Delete:

The most powerful creative tool we posses. Delete some stuff. Cancel some meetings.

You have to say no to good to ever get to great.

Unplug:

We are crazy connected to our screens. I try to spend the first part of my day away from a screen. Email steals way too much of our time. 90% of the time it steals are the best times for creating. I used to think my grandfather was crazy for hiding out in the bathroom with the newspaper for over an hour of reading. Now I realize how smart he was. I rarely schedule things before 11, Start to just schedule nothing. When people ask what you have scheduled tell them “nothing”, and mean it!

Embrace the blank page, unplug for a few, and delete some stuff. Go stare at the stars for a while. You may not leave 17,100 miles of black space today. But leave some to be inspired, to listen, to even just create in the margin.

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This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE’ to get 35% off the registration price.

  • Noah

    Great Blog today man. “To do or to be”? That is the question. Great reminder. Appreciate the blank canvas analogy. So true.

    • terryweaver

      Thanks bro! Always appreciate your encouragement and inspiration!

  • “We are crazy connected to our screens.” I agree friend. I think it is almost an addiction. The first thing I do when I wake up is check my iPhone to see emails, updates, etc. Who cares? I mean really. Will our life end if we do not check that stuff? I see my students that I minister to really struggle because they get so enmeshed in that kind of stuff that they get hyper-sensitive to all the “screens” in their lives. Pretty soon overload happens. We need a detox! Great post.

    • terryweaver

      Thanks for the kind words. This generation will never know what it’s like to not have some iSomething that they are alway staring at. I saw a kid I’m a stroller the other day with an iPad. I wanted to go buy her a doll. I love being connected but not at the expense of my sanity!

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