Throw Out the Bucket

Over the summer I had a strategic session with the very talented artist, Jill Lena Ford. Jill also happens to be a part of my Awesome Family – she is my little sister. When I say “little” it isn’t by much since we are only 13 months apart – Irish Twins!

Something always seems to happen when we put our heads together – it must be the (Irish) twin synergy. This session for Jill was just as clarifying for me. It did take ALL summer to reach the clarity, but I got there. The Idea Seeds needed some time.

Just last week Jill showed me one of her new paintings that formed after our session and its amazing how her vision mimics mine – or is it visa versa.

What was so clarifying? My Bucket.
You know the one you are supposed to fill with the right mix so you can have a balanced, meaningful and stress free life. This is what MY bucket looked like.

My Bucket Before - EmilyMarko.com

So how did this happen?!

I was drowning in the daily maintenance of life – we all do it…right? (please say you do this too!)
Whether it is the physical maintenance of keeping the garage clean and free from the piles – For Donation, No Use For This But Refuse to Part With It, Will Get to This Next Weekend, etc. Or the maintenance of taking time to reset your mind and body through exercise, meditation or even a 5-minute Me Time break. And don’t forget about all those relationships to maintain – husband, children, family, friends, community, etc.

My bucket was being filled with important things, but I had so many that I couldn’t see them and was drowning – not to mention taking everything (and everyone?) down with me.

So I threw out my bucket.

After - EmilyMarko.com

Now I stand in the middle of my life with the contents all around me – organized rather neatly, but with room to move.

MAINTAIN
It may not sound very glamorous or fun, but I realized that everything which is part of our lives requires maintenance – it is essential to surviving, but more importantly to thriving. Hmmm…there definitely wasn’t any room in my bucket for thriving. Or it was hidden at the bottom somewhere. Now I know what needs maintained in my daily life, but I also am able to see out further in the distance.

EXPAND
For me thriving wasn’t choosing more things to go in my bucket, it was about taking a look at the things in my bucket and finding ways to expand what was there. As I maintain, ideas form for easier, better ways to do things and are put into practice. I feel life expanding. It starts small but grows quickly – an app to track expenses easier, an inquiry to partner on a project instead of doing work I don’t like, an overdue chat with a friend, etc.

PLANT THE SEED
I have started to let go of old ways or tasks that do not serve a purpose and improve what is already there. This allows for space – to reflect, to fill with a meaningful new thing or to leave it alone. Beyond the ability to refine what already exists are strands of ideas – not even tangible enough to create a verbal description. I have given myself enough space to allow those idea seeds some growth – maybe a new business idea or starting a new family tradition.

Idea Seed - EmilyMarko.com

I can give it some time to grow and before I know it those seeds will drift into an area I can expand on and then it may find itself in the normal maintenance of my life. And it will begin again, but everything is out in the open where I can see it, nurture it and know when its ready to move to the next level.

This new perspective and clarity is refreshing!

YOUR TURN
Is there something you can expand in your daily maintenance to make it easier, more efficient or maybe obsolete it?
How do you leave room to let those idea seeds grow?

4 thoughts on “Throw Out the Bucket

  1. I love your creative growth. My bucket had always been overflowing but since I recently quit my job I have more time. I love this new frame of maintaining and planting seeds. I think I need time and space away from the so called “rat race” to maintain and allow the seeds of ideas to bubble up. I am beginning to maintain certain things in my life, more time and space needed to expand on that aspect. Also, some ideas are beginning to be planted. Thanks for sharing your growth and illustrating this as well. It is truly inspiring!

    1. Thanks and I am so glad to hear this resonated with you!
      That “time” is a tricky thing and how we fill it up with things. Have you heard of Google’s 20% time concept – employees spend 1/5th of their week working on whatever they want to work on even if it is not part of their job responsibility. It gives them the space they need to plant those idea seeds.
      Do you think your break from the “rat race” is maybe an idea you planted long ago that finally grew enough? As you expand it more I bet it will become a part of your maintenance. That is how I feel about leaving my cubicle for the unknowns of entrepreneurship – now that it is my normal I can ‘t imagine ever going back!

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