Adult colouring books have become all the rage lately… and while many of us are trying to recapture our youth or bond with our inner child*, there is something else happening behind the scenes when we sit down with our pencil crayons and play.
Colouring is a mindful activity…
Really, anything can be. When I take the time to eat mindfully I appreciate my meal, the preparation, the textures and flavours so much more, but if I’m honest, more often than not I end up just scarfing something down. The thing with colouring though is that it takes focus… you stay in the lines, you choose the colour palette so it’s aesthetically pleasing, even the sharpening is done to make sure the tip is just quite right… (I realize I sound like an anal retentive fanatic, bear with me.) The act of gently dragging a pencil crayon (especially a nice one – I’ve been using Prismacolor) is soothing… hypnotic… and the act becomes a meditation.
Now let me be clear… colouring with kids – not so meditative.
I try with my niece every so often, and not only does she dictate what I’m allowed to colour on the page, and what colours I’m allowed to use, she also gets frustrated that I stay in the confines of the lines and opts to instead scribble all over my masterpiece. Relaxing, it is not.
If you haven’t tried it already, what’s stopping you? A simple Google search will turn up loads of freebies so you can test drive it to see if it floats your boat. Adult colouring pages tend to have more intricate designs (which ups the focus factor) but you can choose pictures that are as intricate or as simple as you like. A word of caution though: you’re going for peace, not perfection. So try to check any Type-A tendencies and use this as an exercise in letting go… sometimes you’ll end up out of the lines… sometimes the picture doesn’t turn out quite how you expected… but life’s like that, so just roll with it.
With rainbow hugs from my pencil crayons to yours,