So I’ve recently taken up colouring, to my children’s excitement, because now Mummy will sit down and colour longer with them!
It started out with trying free printed Mandalas downloaded from the Internet, to just this week in Melbourne, buying a colouring book for myself.
There are a lot of articles online detailing the benefits of colouring (Check out CNN and Huffington Post just to name a few), like how it might be like meditation and how it reduces anxiety and stress. After trying it out for a while, I couldn’t agree more.
But the thing is, to me, to gain the kind of inner calm, focus and uplift, it is important to consider these 3 factors before colouring your way around.
- Like What You Are Colouring
My sister gave me one colouring book before, but it had all these numbers in it, presumably as a guide on what to colour first or something like that. And if you’re like me, more a student of chaos than anything else and so not a numbers person, this type of colouring book would be more maddening than anything else.
The same goes for Mandala prints too. I mean, if the print doesn’t make sense to you, or it’s too intricate a design that it irritates you instead of calms you, then please, by all means choose something else. This is supposed to make you happy!
Personally, I’ve chosen International Street Artist, Kelsey Montague’s What Lifts You colouring book. I love the designs in the book and how it is filled with themes that resonate with me.
2. There Are No “Shoulds”
When you do get down to colouring, there’s a freedom in remembering there are no “shoulds”. The grass should be green. The sky should be blue. The flowers should not be black. The butterfly should not be striped. That seahorse should not have hearts on it.
None of that applies.
This is something you want to express yourself freely and thoroughly with. This is about what you want to create that is uniquely you.
3. Enjoy The Ride
I wasn’t sure about what to expect when I started colouring. Other than trying to stay within the lines and making sure my work was aesthetically pleasing, there wasn’t much else I was focused on.
Then when I got used to the idea of colouring and actually doing it, I found that I could make clearer sense about the thoughts that came and went throughout the session.
What surprised me most though, was that by simply colouring, I could focus deeply on what I wanted and needed and what I could do to get there. I suppose this is called connecting with your true self or inner self, if you believe in that sort of thing.
But I prefer to call it “finding my centre”. Who knows what you might find?