When I was younger, I loved to draw. I was fascinated by the way I could sit with my 2B pencil and a piece of paper – the first mark of graphite on the clean white space, watching as the markings would become clearer and eventually transform into the final image.
I would ordinarily not set out to sketch anything in particular, although sometimes would copy the posters on my wall or sketch eyes (I still sketch eyes – usually when thinking). I feel quite sad as I don’t have copies of any of the sketches I created, it would be interesting to look back on them now.
Upon reflection, it seems I would take myself off at times of sadness or when I was annoyed or angry. I wonder if this was my way of being ‘in the moment’ and concentrating on just the pencil moving across the paper and nothing else.
So, whilst out shopping this evening I remembered my teenage days, as I noticed a coloring book and set of colouring pens. The book was so pretty, full of paisley shapes, elephants and Bollywood inspired patterns. It was beautiful and I instantly knew I had to have it. Work has been rather stressful recently and not seeming to have any time for me, I thought this may be a perfect way to de-stress!
When I got back home and unpacked my stunning new colouring book (I was now starting to feel very protective of said colouring book, as I noticed my daughter glancing her eyes over it), I noticed the title read:
Colouring for mindfulness
70 designs to help you de-stress
There was that word again, mindfulness, having heard this a few times before I decided I needed to find out a little more and I can honestly say I have fallen in love with this mindfulness lark. This is what I found…
It would appear, mindfulness is very appropriate for the busy & frantic life I lead. In essence, it is a simple concept that is centered on the present moment – the here and now. It is about concentrating on paying attention in a particular way – purposefully, just for the moment you are participating and not judging during the process.
Mindfulness is a simple way of meditating; it was not widely known about in the western world until recently and takes its origins from the Buddha.
It is about training our minds to realise our thoughts are just that – thoughts, which come and go and we have a choice, in relation to acting on them. Ultimately, mindfulness is about being fair to yourself – it is about seeing the storm clouds and watching them pass overhead, not allowing them (the stresses of everyday life) to hang around.
Now, whilst I have never really been very good at the whole meditating thing (I could never push thoughts out of my mind for long enough), I am good at being creative and LOVE colouring! So, this is my little step onto the ladder of mindfulness. I already know that the very activity of concentrating on coloring will clear my mind and make me focus on the activity in hand and not the stresses and strains of daily life. I know it will be hard to fit this in every day but, to start with, a few times a week is good, right?
I’ll report back and let you know how I am getting on, oh and show you some of the pretty patterns I create. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mindfulness too – just leave me a comment below, it would be great to hear from you.
Thanks for dropping by!