Is Your Art Your Sanctuary?


Every Friday I write the 20 Minute Club Minutes–because using a timer for what I call the 20 Minute Technique can keep your creative momentum going in your busy, time-crunched life–20 minutes at a pop.

Please join in and share your 20 Minute Experiences in the Comments–good/bad, it’s all fair game, because sharing your experiences about the process is a great way to increase your creativity.

The 20 Minute Club Minutes

My sisters and I are in the midst of helping both my parents move into an assisted living community and today’s the day we’re doing the moving. This is a hard, emotional day for everyone.

Frankly, it’s been a hard couple of months.

And so, my creativity this week has been anchored with lots of short 20-40 minute stints of knitting–especially in the evenings–the benefits of which I described last week.

But really, I’ve also puttered a lot in my studio this week–allowing myself to get lost in my projects–dabbling on different collages, cutting out favorite images for some new vision boards, and planning an inspirational poster that I’m kind of excited about.

I realized how much my art was my refuge this hard, emotionally fraught week. It fed me and bathed me and replenished me as I struggled with lots of conflicting feelings.

And I felt lucky.

Can Your Art Be Your Refuge?

When you’re feeling creatively stuck, however, it can be hard to have your art be your refuge.

Because unhelpful thoughts and emotions don’t allow this to happen–lack of self-confidence, harsh judgment, the pain of feeling rusty with your skills.

And these unhelpful thoughts are very compelling. Which is why you’re stuck.

But having your art, your craft, your creativity be your refuge–to have it replenish you, is really what it’s all about.

So how do you get there when it feels so far away?

20 Minutes at a time.

Really???? Yes! Really.

The Mushy Mashy Thing of It

Here’s why:

The reason the 20 Minute Technique truly helps you make your creativity your refuge, even when you’re utterly and completely stuck, is that growth and freedom don’t happen in a nice, logical order.

You can’t just make your harsh self-judgment disappear or suddenly become completely self-confident first and then start creating–these unhelpful beliefs and habits of thinking have been around a long time and are intertwined with lots of other parts of your life.

But you can start the creating while experiencing the self-judgment and the panicky lack of self-confidence as it arises simultaneously with the bravery of taking first steps.

And if you do it 20 Minutes at a time, it hurts less.

Because the 20 Minute Technique allows your sensitive, creative side know how long it’s gotta hang in there with the big meanie of your inner critic so it can take a deep breath and start this journey back to your true self.

And it’s okay to feel crappy as you do the 20 minutes anyway–that’s called being brave.

And it won’t always feel crappy–that’s the thing about it–the doing allows you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, which makes the mean voices get quieter and allows your creative soul to take up more space again.

And that allows your creativity to become your refuge when you need it to be.

Because when life gets hard, creating  is one of the best ways to keep yourself connected to your best self as you work through the hard.


Appreciating yourself is an important part of the 20 Minute Club because it helps you keep your creative momentum going.

Carving out the time to create is important of course, but it’s not enough. Getting (and eventually staying) on your own side is a critical factor for helping you take bigger risks with your work, get yourself out of a creative rut, or just enjoy the process more.

Taking the time to remember to appreciate yourself and all your efforts (big or small) is a powerful way to make this happen.

Here’s my five self-appreciations for this week:

  1. I appreciate that I had my creativity to count on this week while I struggled with hard changes for my parents.
  2. I appreciate how my design skills have evolved over the years and how much that positively affects my product development process.
  3. I appreciate my progress on my inspirational poster idea–it keeps getting better as I work on it!
  4. I appreciate my improving communication skills and my forgiveness and awareness of what still needs improvement.
  5. I appreciate those moments in my mediation when I breathe in and out and feel like I’m in the right now, feeling the sweetness of life.

Your Turn!

How was your creative week? Productive and feeling good? A struggle? Please share–I’d love to hear all about it!

Bookmark and Share
Categories : 20 Minute Club


  1. Joyce Barham says:

    This summer, I knew I wanted to give my attention one day a week to my 11 yr. old granddaughter. It means giving away some of my creative time, but it means so much to Skye. We had such a good time on Wednesday. Boy! she did push her collage to the point of tiredness. She is doing a paper collage that represents her house and the 2 acres they live on. I was going to explore her ideas and later make a fabric collage of our house and 8 acres that we live on. Now, I really feel that I should go ahead and glue my collage to a background and try to keep up with her. She choose a summer tree with a pair of cowboy boots underneath it. I chose a winter tree with a patch of grass underneath it. Next time, Skye wants to work on flowers and I hope to work on flowers and leaves.

    I appreciate the time that we have spent together and the willingness on Skye’s part to do something that we both enjoy.

    My own 20 minutes at home have been good. I’m closing in on 2 more finishes by July 4th. This has been a really busy summer for me. With my daughter in grad school and my grandson in summer school, it’s been a whirlwind around here keeping up with both of them.

    But, I seem to relax more while sewing and quilting. July I am taking the whole month to make me 2 quilts and anything else I want to. After all, it’s my birthday month!

    Joyce B.

  2. [...] been thinking a lot the past few days about this post by Sarah Bush: Is Art Your Sactuary?. Sarah has really fantastic insights about creativity…how to find it, keep it going, and [...]

Leave a Reply