I’ve started inviting people to my blog and I’m sure if you’re here, you’re wondering why. I have been thinking of starting a blog for a long time, probably years. This is definitely a little out of my comfort zone and a growth opportunity. But primarily for me to experiment if blogging can stimulate more mindfulness in my life while trying to connect with others at the same time.
I am going to take followers along on some of my experiences and thoughts that, without this forum, would just fade away. I’m hoping to have a chance to be inspired as well as learn a bit on these little life reflections. I’m sure my reflections will sometimes be “laugh out loud” moments, sometimes a little random, so please bear with me.
I will likely cover a few topics, since my life ranges from wife, mom, taxi, computer geek, crafting, reading, shopping, art and music enthusiast, ‘want to be’ chef, etc. I have kids in middle to high school, so I’m sure they will come up occasionally on my adventures. I will try to keep the blog active and would really like interaction and feedback.
Welcome aboard. I would also love to make some friends along this journey with similar interests and positive vibes. Please don’t forget to follow, subscribe, and share.
I’ve never really been much of an artist myself, but I’ve always been an admirer and supporter of art and artists. I find observing art and thinking about what it took to create it very meaningful to me. I can really dive into related memories and observations that the art provokes. I am so blessed I have friends and daughters that have the gift of art and appreciation for it. I have even been thinking of experimenting with simple art myself.
Recently, as I got a starbucks and perused target while looking through the book isle, I ran across some coloring books for positive thinking. Considering my desire to do some simple art, I wondered if coloring would help me be more mindful. Post I’ve read recently even claim coloring can create a meditative state. They claim you don’t even really need to think about it, the calmness will come naturally with the activity.
I brought my book home and sat it on the coffee table. Thinking this will be relaxing and enable me to share my experience as well. After walking past it a couple days, I ordered some cheap markers and anxiously awaited their arrival from amazon. They arrived the next day.
I collected up markers and my book and tore out the first page. I highly advise if you try this to get the perforated paged books. It’s much easier to color them independent of the book itself. I found a comfortable spot on the couch and started in on my adventure.
I immediately noticed, as I opened the markers, that I was very much in the present moment trying to decide what colors to use. I started with a lite pink marker. As I picked it up I realized I had not used a felt marker in a long time and it was very lite in my hand as I started to fill in the first shape.
I started to notice how quiet it was in the room and my breathing was relaxed as I chose each shape to be pink. I didn’t pre choose a color pallet, but that may have made it even easier on me during the activity. Each time I chose a new color, I just spread that color out across the pattern. I was listening to the marker sweep across each stroke to fill in the shapes. I was coloring very contently for about 15 minutes.
At the 15 minute mark I did find that my mind was trying to pull me away from the present. I was determined to stay with my intention of coloring a single page. I stayed focused to finish the outside pattern for about 5 more minutes for a total of 20 minutes. But my page was only half completed before I needed to start some food preparation and dog needed let out.
Lucky for me, my daughter came walking into the room right as I was wrapping up. I showed her what I was doing and asked her if she wanted to try it. She finished the middle section for me in a beautiful pattern of colors which is now my profile picture of an owl with flowers around it.
So, I do think this is worth the practice. I noticed that it does help you to be more aware of the present even after the activity. I will see if my patience improves with practice. I have a whole book to color now. I have posted some of the resources I used to find information and more examples of this activity.
These resources have information about how to do this activity and also lots of free resources for coloring pages to print as well as some Amazon links.
The kids are out of school this week and today, being Friday, it’s the last weekday of the vacation. We had plans to go rollerskating, but plans fell through. We’ve been doing a lot of indoor activities lately, so we thought doing a little planting in the backyard would be grounding to the mind. So, we all jumped in the car with a small budget and headed to home depot.
We got to home depot, parked, and walked into the garden center entrance. The pollen hit us like a wall. I tried not to mention all the medicines traversing in my mind that we may need to take when we get home. It wasn’t long before the kids all remembered how allergic they are to pollen. I reassured them we would make the trip short and queue up some allergy meds when we get home.
The succulents were the attraction today. The are so little and cute and some have bright colors and others are grafted with cacti. My teens immediately turned to adopting a succulent instead of gardening in the sunlight and transplanting flowers in the effort to refresh the yard. Of course they didn’t realize I had plans to sit with my spouse and have a nice glass of wine after their hard work of refreshing the planting. But, I couldn’t resist their enthusiasm to adopt a small house plant for their rooms, with the condition we still do the refresh.
So, the plan worked. We meandered through the garden center and found some amazingly beautiful plants within budget to make the yard pop with color. As we chose the annuals, we enjoyed the pollen and the busy bees. Without panicking during the observation of the bees, I redirected the kids down another isle. Right in the middle of my redirection, my older daughter immediately calls me out on the redirection and reminds us that mom is allergic to bees. She’s totally on to my tactics.
As we were checking out I was remembering how amazing it is to have your hands in the soil and planting in the sun. How mindfulness is just a byproduct of this activity. I was excited to share this with the girls. We got everything in the car and headed home.
We got home, brought in the plants, and started planning out the refresh in the back yard. I forgot how small our backyard is and from planning to executing this mindfulness activity took a total of about 15-20 minutes tops. The actual walking around the garden center was the most time staking part of the journey in this event. But, the girls completed the journey we set out for and we had a great time together. They feel pretty accomplished with the refresh and that is what we set out to do. So, I think my glass of wine will be mom’s mindful activity today watching the sunset.