What Can You Do With a Metaphor?

That was my guiding question when I decided to create a workshop for the recent
Florida Creativity Weekend in Sarasota, Florida. How could I use metaphor to help me manage my bulging calendar and seemingly endless to-do list? My workshop, “ReIMAGINING TIME: Change your Metaphor, Change Your Story,” was born out of my own needs. Like so many, I tend to teach what I most need to learn. And let’s face it—checklists only get me so far. So when I really want to create some kind of effective change in my life, I turn to the arts.

One source of inspiration for my workshop came from reading a wonderful book called Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by Marney Makridakis. I love her playful approach and her inventive use of art to help people tame the time demon and turn it into a purring pet. As I began to think about what I most needed to help me, I began to doodle with a new set of watercolor pencils. I thought about a meditation I had done a few days before where the image of a small boat on a calm lake had captured my need to contain my task and try to do fewer things.

In that moment, I knew how I would begin my workshop. Here’s the opening question I posed to them: What areas of my life are calling out to me?  

Next, I invited everyone to introduce themselves with a six word memoir,  followed by a guided meditation. The last portion of the workshop, everyone used watercolor pencils to create an image of their new metaphor for time and to write a brief journal entry describing how the metaphor could guide them.

The folks in my workshop worte some funny and poignant six word memoirs. Here’s one of mine to get you thinking:

Rocks in pockets. Hard to soar.

And my metaphor? Get in the boat! Here’s my painting.    IMG_0042

I’d love to hear your metaphors or a six word memoir that describes how time feels for you. What’s your new metaphor for time? Leave a comment and let me know.

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