A few years ago, during a guided meditation, the question was asked “what did you do as a child that gave you pure pleasure, complete joy, that you wish you could do again?” I couldn’t answer it right away, indeed it took me a while to figure it out. This healing work is pretty serious stuff and I wanted to give the idea of joy the attention it deserved.
I have spent years trying to forget my childhood, a huge effort has been made to get away from the specifics while taking the lessons and apply them to making a good life for me and my own children. It turns out, I’ve done what many of us do, thrown out both the bad and the good memories. I can tell you many of the thing I do not want to do because of my past experience, but it’s hard for me to recall the things I do want. Eventually I managed to come up with three things:
- Sing. Loud and likely off key. Making a mess of the words.
- Daydream. Laying on the grass and creating characters out of cloud shapes, crafting stories.
- Colour. Applying colour from crayons onto shapes in a big fat newsprint book.
It turns out I’m not the only one who has missed colouring. There are oodles of articles lauding the advantages of colouring to reduce stress. The Huffington Post has this article and then another. The Toronto Star joined in.
For a while it was super hard to find adult colouring books. Even now, with the tremendous surge in popularity, they’re tough to obtain. For a while I printed off mandalas and coloured on printer paper. I’ve used crayons, coloured pencils and markers. I never thought I’d enjoy markers but so far they are my favourite tool to use. My favourite books so far are: Zen Doodle, Flower Designs and Color Me Calm. For Mother’s Day I gave all of the mums in my life a copy of Animal Kingdom so they can start their own colouring practice.
Over the last few months, colouring has become a form of meditation. I have my books, markers and along side a note pad. While I colour, I am able to make notes as my mind wanders into the light and dark recesses of my existence: heart, body, soul. It’s become part of my daily practice, as important as my walks, Kundalini meditation, writing and capturing stories.
What brought you joy as a child that needs to be reintroduced to your life? Please share in the comments!