What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see the word, canvas?
Some would immediately think of a surface that artists use for painting. But there are several definitions available for this simple word. When looking up this definition on Merriam-Webster online dictionary, I was surprised to find seven meanings. In grouping the definitions together I found there is a common theme.
“Canvas is a closely woven, coarse cloth that is a background for a special account. It is a set of sails, or a framed surface for painting, having been used on floors of boxing rings, or woven to create a surface for needlework. It is chosen for a particular purpose.”
And so are we.
I love art, all forms of it. I enjoy listening to music, watching musicals, taking photographs, making homemade gifts and greeting cards, and of course painting. Sadly though, I haven’t painted in a long time. The last time I owned my own easel and painting supplies was when I was in college. I do however have my carrying case for completed pictures, which are either empty or hold creative memories from years ago! Maybe I should do something about that?
In getting back to my original question about your definition of a canvas, please let me share with you a little about myself. This year I have been on a journey to recreate myself, every day. I am not talking about sticking to resolutions I made while attempting to keep my eyes open to watch the ball drop at midnight. I am talking about small life changes each day that are refreshing to my mind, body, soul and spirit. Every day I am a blank canvas.
For the past few years I haven’t taken care of myself very well. Sometimes I aim to please others to the point where I sacrifice what I truly need, I say yes when I should (and want) to say no, sit quietly when I should speak up, avoid certain situations out of fear, over analyze things until they exhaust me, stay up way to late, or skip a perfectly good chance to go exercise all for the sake of washing dishes, folding laundry or accomplishing some other task that in reality can wait a few more hours. Sound familiar?
This can’t be beneficial. I spoke with two women today who shared with me about how they are too, a canvas. These two women are at different stages in life, but they are similar. They are both strong women, they love deeply, and strive every day to be positive. Both of these women have been through struggles that have deflated their sails or splattered the wrong colors of paint on their canvas. Haven’t we all been there? I have. And ladies, we shouldn’t forget about men. They are canvases too, designed for a purpose and have their equal share of hardships.
We are all just weathered sails and worn out canvases looking for a moment of restoration, peace, healing, a moment to shine. Gusts of wind take a toll on the sails but are necessary if we are to get to a new destination. A canvas must be stretched over a wooden frame to make a surface for the brush strokes of an artist. Each new day, you are a beautiful blank canvas.
Today I encourage you to look at every day as a new opportunity to make changes, try something new, or let go and relax a little. The dishes can wait. Today, my canvas is full of many things that “need” to be attended to but instead I am trying a new recipe, making phone calls to family, enjoying the fresh air after a spring rain. I am doing things that makes my soul happy.
What does your canvas show today?