This post is part of my cornerstone content, written years ago, updated for today, and still inspiring wisdom and deep understanding.
Many years ago, when my son was in elementary school, and my husband traveled a lot for work, I volunteered in my community, putting on events including the Beets, Beats & Eats Farmer’s market. Although I stopped in 2013, the years I spent working with friends in my community were some of the best in my life. (2021)
(Originally written in 2012) Every summer, I put on a coloring contest called Enjoy the Process. It’s the one where everyone fills in this shape and then submits it to me with a dollar. I put them all up for display, and then the people attending the BB&E vote for their favorite piece. The person who colored the piece with the most votes wins all the money.
When I first put the contest flyer together back in 2009, I used the who, what, why, when, where method to explain it. Initially, under the why, I wrote, “To illustrate the point that you get out of life what you put into it.” Unfortunately, when the sponsor of the art contest vehemently rejected my idea, I moved the contest to Kids night and then changed the ‘why’ to “To create an opportunity for fun for everyone.” I didn’t have the internal fortitude at the time to explain the original idea to everyone in the park. I figured folks coming to the event weren’t ready or willing to hear about my philosophy, and it was much easier to keep it fun and straightforward.
I was chatting with my lady-friends at our Mastermind group the other night, and in the course of our conversation, I brought up this concept. That’s when Lisa said, “That sounds like a blog post. I can’t wait to read it.”
A delightful representation
And so here it is…the real idea behind Enjoy the Process.
Filling out the shape illustrates how you get out of life what you put into it. The shape symbolizes our life while doodling in the middle with a pencil to create random loops creates the space taken up by the days of our lives. Looking at our lives in that shape and using different colors to fill in each loop and space, we can see how every day holds a unique pattern and shade. Sometimes we’ll have a bright yellow day, where everything feels fantastic, and we’re totally on the right track. But right next to it might be a dark day filled with stress, pain, and longing as the old saying goes, “Some days your the windshield. Some days your the bug.” Put them all together. They add up to a delightful and unique representation of our time on this planet.
Life would be supremely boring if every day were the same. The beauty comes from the contrast. Although we can’t control everything that happens in our day-to-day lives, we can enjoy the process. We can take our lives one day at a time and stay open to the flow. We can do our best to savor each moment and serve our people to the best of our ability. We can create a life worth looking forward to by paying attention to our attention.
I chose to become an artist because I believe the creative process of making art is healing and life-changing. I believe making and appreciating art can help people feel better if they let it.
My heart desires to know that when I die, I’ll have used up every ounce of energy the Universe gave me, appreciating my life and helping other people enjoy their time here on Earth.
So, what do you think?
Does this idea make sense to you?
Do you like coloring?
I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.