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  • Writer's pictureJessica McQuistin

Life as Art: A Reflection Prompt to Stimulate Self-Awareness & Imagination

Photo by Anastasiia Klimova on Unsplash

If your life was a work of art, what form would it take?

Would it be a watercolour painting? A sculpture? A garden? Maybe a novel or a song?

If this idea excites you, consider taking some time to reflect on what art form would best represent your life and why. This could be a writing activity or just something to ponder, perhaps on a walk.

For the past few years, I've been consciously trying to carve out a lifestyle that reflects my values and allows me to be true to myself. This has meant letting some things go and trying many new things; making changes and assessing what feels right and what doesn't. At times, I've felt like I've been gathering puzzle pieces that will eventually all fit together just right but the problem with the puzzle analogy is that jigsaw puzzles can only go together one way, and in the end all you get is a replica of the picture that's on the box. That's not the life I want. So instead I've settled on the idea of creating a mosaic. This metaphor works for me in many ways.

First, mosaics are made up of lots of little pieces that the artist arranges in a way that creates a larger meaning. Each piece on its own may not look like much but in the context of the whole mosaic, each piece has its place. Each piece belongs. Each piece adds unique value and beauty. Some are shiny and bright and smooth. Some are dull, rusty or jagged. They all belong and their contrast enhances the overall aesthetic.

Secondly, there is no one right way to construct a mosaic. The artist places one piece at a time, creating shapes and lines and nothing has to fit perfectly together; that's why they have grout to fill in all the cracks. Some days I identify with the pieces of the mosaic and other days I feel like I am the grout holding everything together. Other days I am the explorer, going out into the world and collecting gems - of inspiration, of knowledge, of clarity - to add to my masterpiece. There is no one right way to construct a mosaic as there is no one right way to construct a life. I try to remember this when choices overwhelm me.

Thirdly, I have a little twist to add...In this mosaic that I imagine I'm building, the grout doesn't set firmly. The pieces can be taken apart, rearranged and even discarded. New ones can be discovered and added at any time. It's a dynamic piece of art, changing with time to reflect my journey as someone who is always seeking to learn and grow, often in multiple directions, following my intuition and leaning into what brings me joy and vitality. This work of art is never done, yet it is complete just as it is.

If this prompt inspired you to self-reflect I would love to hear what you came up with! Or if you like the idea of the mosaic, what pieces would be part of yours? How would you choose to arrange them? What meaning would you create?

As always, you're welcome to share in the comments, on social media, or by contacting me privately.

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