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Jill Allison Bryan : Get Creative in No Time! (Okay, in Two Minutes.)

Get Creative in No Time! (Okay, in Two Minutes.)

By Jill Allison Bryan

If you had all the time in the world, which creative pursuit would you be enjoying now? Painting, music, collage, writing, knitting, sidewalk chalk, creating a daily doodle? Whatever it may be, I have an easy way for you to make time for it, even in your busy life. Easy? Did I say easy? Yes! I did! And here's some more happy news — you don't need all the time in the world. Two minutes will do nicely. Two minutes? Did I say two minutes? Yes! I did! Here's all you need:

  • the creative activity of your choice
  • a kitchen timer
  • a little dose of compassion

Here's how it works: Each day, for the next week, set your timer and enjoy your creative activity for two full minutes. Show yourself compassion. Don't judge yourself. Simply enjoy the process. It's that simple.

Now, you may be thinking, "Okay, I'm sure I can find two minutes to spare, even on the busiest of days, but what good is that going to do me?" You just answered your own question. (Isn't this an enlightening conversation we're having?) By lowering the pressure and only expecting to spend two minutes a day on your creative endeavor, you will have a much greater chance of actually getting to said endeavor at all. On the other hand, if you tell yourself that you must have a full hour (or two, or three!) before you can even begin to contemplate sitting down to dabble in your creative expression, you may be much more likely to not begin at all.

This idea of using very small steps to lower pressure and begin is one of the fundamental aspects of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching and it changed my life. Kaizen is a Japanese term that means small steps to continuous improvement. When I first began working with my creativity coach Jill Badonsky, (founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, author, and muse extraordinaire) I was able to bring the joy of music back into my life using this very idea. Although I desperately longed to get back to writing and performing music, I never seemed to have enough time to devote to it. When Jill told me that I could begin with just two minutes a day I was flabbergasted! Two minutes a day? What good will that do, I thought to myself. (See how much you and I have in common?)

But since the pressure and time commitment was so amazingly low (I mean, two minutes a day, come on) I felt that I could at least give it a whirl. And whirl I did. I sat down at the piano for two minutes everyday and played. In those two short minutes a day, several things began to happen. First, I remembered how much I loved making music. Secondly, I realized that even playing for just a couple of minutes a day was better than not playing at all. Thirdly, I began to play longer than two minutes. Soon I was playing ten or fifteen or more minutes a day. Within a few short weeks I had re-learned dozens of covers of my favorite songs. Then I began to unearth my old originals that had been hidden away for years. Within a couple of months, I had begun to book gigs for myself and was performing around town again — something I hadn't done since my daughter was born. It felt fantastic! I felt whole again, satisfied, like the real me!

Today, I'm having an absolute blast recording my very first solo CD of my original music, and am looking forward to having a CD release before the end of this year. And it all started with just two minutes a day. Why not give it a whirl yourself? You have so little to lose (two minutes out of one thousand four hundred forty), and so much to gain (self-fulfillment, joy, a memory, a possible masterpiece). If you decide to give it a go, I'd love to hear about your two minute experiments. What do you create? How do they make you feel? Where do they lead? Drop me a line at any of the links in my bio below. •

© 2009 Jill Allison Bryan. All rights reserved.

Jill Allison BryanJill Allison Bryan helps people to experience the joy and fulfillment that creativity can bring to their lives with Creative Oasis Coaching. More »