My idea of heaven is to wake up, have a good breakfast and spend the rest of the day drawing. - Peter Falk
The funny thing about the above quote is that my artist husband Alan’s idea of heaven is to waken up, have a good breakfast and spend the rest of the day watching the Peter Falk detective series, Columbo.
And today’s restful activity is all about drawing and the art of colouring-in. There’s a theory that if a box of crayons were placed on the table of every war council meeting, the world would be a very peaceful and colourful place indeed.
Did any child ever say 'No thank you, I won't need crayons, I'm not going to be an artist'? Of course not and that's because we are born knowing how to relax and free our creative expression. When do we lose that? There is something deeply satisfying about the art of colouring-in and even the most excitable child is calmed by placing a box of crayons in front of him. Today adult colouring books are a huge craze with doctors prescribing them as an aid to reducing anxiety.
A little like meditation, colouring forces us to put aside intrusive or troubling thoughts and act as a calming tool. And the amygdala - the part of the brain responsible for the control of flight or fight responses, is calmed down during the exercise of colouring. This brings much needed rest to a mind that in today’s world, is processing as much information in one day as our victorian ancestors did in a lifetime!
So if you’re feeling bored, anxious, overwhelmed, troubled with recurring thoughts or simply wish to be engrossed in (mindless) creative expression for an hour or so, get out the crayons, markers, paint box etc. and plain paper, a sketch or colouring book and get drawing.
You’ll find that colouring brings us back to our childhood, a simpler time when we had no responsibilities and we could spend our time as we wished. We often forget how to do this and even that we can give ourselves permission to take time out in 'non-productive' and pleasurable activities. Tapping into this memory can help remind us of how pleasurable the simple things such as jigsaw and crossword puzzles and card or board games can be.
Treat yourself to a box of crayons or colour pencils today. You can download a free mandala online and print it out. Mandala comes from ancient sanskrit language and loosely means circle or centre. It ranges from a simple or very complex geometric shape that has no beginning or ending.
Today be neat, or messy, or pastel, or psychedelic. Play music and suck lollipops! But most of all have fun.
Magical Rest companion workbook available.
Rest is the potent elixir that fuels the efficiency of everything we do, are and wish to be. We rest for healing, for wisdom, for radiance and for love. I have created the Magical Rest 30 day program as a stand alone personal month long journey through the resting of all of your being, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively, sensory and socially. Each day gifts you a restful exercise, practice or ritual and sets some reflective work to help you connect more fully to your own inner wisdom and personal magic.