Working within your limits

Whats your reaction to the word ‘Limits’? It’s a funny thing how we have quite strong feelings towards it. From days working I remember the phrase ‘work within your limits’ then there’s the ‘speed limits’ and ‘weight limits’ all these things feel like restrictions and they are but why? To keep us safe, to make sure bridges don’t break and roads are safe to travel on. Limits is a funny word isn’t it, we don’t like to have limits enforced on us and so often we push them to see how strong they really are. Our reaction to limits is really fascinating. Some find them a place of safety to stay within, others feel they are unseen barriers that stops us, or the red flag that causes us to push hard. Limits can be both a drive and a barrier.

The important thing is that we learn how to find joy within them.

Don’t rely on them for your joy, whether its because you are comforted or pushing them. Find joy with them. This does take a little discomfort I believe, trying the thing that isn’t your easy natural choice.

Do your thing oneliner. Lucy joy artist - the joy filled cup
Do your thing – oneliner artwork by LucyJoy artist. To inspire you to go further

I love to use limits when I’m feeling stuck or blocked. It made last for a week or just a few days but I give myself the restriction of the amount of materials I can use. I set myself limits, sometimes time limits. Creating work in a set time. This is so much fun learning to make the marks count. Or I limit the number of pens or colours.

It’s such fun, but can feel a little tricky to start with.

Remember the cooking programme ‘can’t cook, won‘t cook’ where they had a bag of ingredients given to them and they had to make amazing dishes? I used to love that programme (although I did wonder if there was a little tv magic going on there somehow) they had to work quickly with what they had. Each chef would tip out the bag, make some mumming and urring noises and then jump into action. It Would have been rubbish tv if they had rumpled about it, or Refused to try because they didn’t like what they had. Each chef looked at what they had and made the best of it.

That is how we need to be within limits.

  • Stuck in traffic, at a limited speed? Turn on some great tunes and make the most of it.
  • Feeling short of time or days? Write a list of all the amazing things you are grateful for.
  • Working in a small space? Find creative ways to use it better and be grateful for it

It’s easy to see limits as restrictions that stop us, let me challenge you to turn them on their head and see how they can become a blessing instead. Make the most of what you have no matter how little.

Make our words and actions count no matter the limits.

This week in the podcast I have set a creative project that embraces the use of limits. Come and have a listen and share on the facebook page how you can make limits work for you. Try using three pens to create work for a week, or limiting the size of your paper. How about limiting the time you have? There are many things that can be limited and the way to make the most of this exercise is to limit something that will make you uncomfortable. It’s no use saying ‘I’ll only use three pens’ if thats a comfortable thing for you. So make sure you are honest with yourself and really stretch yourself too. Decide on a time to do it for, so that you cant duck out early.

I am loving the creative projects I have been sharing in the podcast and one thing I would recommend is to get yourself a book that you fill with the project from them. That way you really will see progress and enjoyment.

That’s what it’s all. About isn’t it, finding the joy and getting creative.

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