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A Book of Hours Twist. And arts and crafts.

I posted this little piece of a recent Book of Hours entry a few days ago.

Here is the rest of it:

Lately we have been drawing and painting as a family and I find quotes that match the words and images. We have had a couple of art afternoons when I lead the kids with prompts and they create something. With the one above, I gave the kids a series of instructions including: write down any word, draw three lines, draw three triangles, draw a rectangle, draw something from nature, etc. After I give the last instruction, we show each other what we created.

A few days later I stumbled on this quote and felt it matched the word “craft” perfectly. We tend to think of craft as part of an arts and crafts a type of activity complete with construction paper, glitter, and glue. I like to think of arts and crafts differently.

Arts + Crafts = Creative Making.

How do we craft a life? More specifically, are you crafting your leisure?

“Leisure” is derived from the Latin word licere, “to be allowed.”

What are you giving yourself permission to do, to create, to become?

The Book of Hours process has been my way of allowing myself to do my two favourite things as an act of caring and inspiration: handwriting and drawing.

”Leisure” has become Synonymous with lazy or lack of ambition. But it has been proven that deep work needs to be interrupted with periods of relaxation and slow contemplative activities.

Leisure should be taken seriously.

“Leisure,” German philosopher Josef Pieper wrote, is not the same as the absence of activity… or even as an inner quiet. It is rather like the stillness in the conversation of lovers, which is fed by their oneness.”

We can deliberately plan our leisure time rather than defaulting to distracting ourselves when we “have a moment.” We can craft those blocks of time by adding activities that encourage “deep play,” a term used by Diane Ackerman in her book of the same name. She writes in Deep Play:

In rare moments of deep play, we can lay aside our sense of self, shed time’s continuum, ignore pain, and sit quietly in the absolute present, watching the world’s ordinary miracles.

This type of leisure, the type where we lose the sense of self and time; when we are fully absorbed in this moment – I find this in my blocked off times of writing and in creating entries for my Book of Hours. It’s a sacred time, this deep playing with words and images and I have felt so changed by this process that I created a workshop to share with others.

Five years later, I have found new ways to revive this habit including the twist I shared above. As a gift to all of you who have continued to come here and read and comment, to show my appreciation, I am doing a FREE Book of Hours Workshop – The Remix. It will be a series of emails that will be sent to you where you can play along with me.

It’s time to get into the habit of a little leisure.

“We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come.” – Alan Watts

(Click HERE to get my FREE “Book of Hours: The REMIX” email course…)

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