I am not a crafty person. I’ve often envied people who can bring knitting or crochet into a meeting and absentmindedly work on a project while occasionally and appropriately interjecting into the conversation. I am in awe of the attention to detail people pay to bead work, quilting projects or wood working.
My patience for these activities is far too thin to ever complete a project. I did learn how to crochet around the time I was in middle school, but the activity lost its appeal quickly. I found other hobbies: swimming, biking and running, cooking and baking, and watching television.
Recently, some of my meditation teacher friends led a practice that involved coloring. Now, I usually attend this Zoom meditation session to get a totally relaxing practice. It’s like my weekly power nap. Initially I was a little irritated that the coloring was going to keep me from that meditation nap.
Then I got out the coloring book and some colored pencils. My teacher-friend guided us in some relaxing breathing practices and then let us settle into the coloring. Even though I was totally awake, I was deeply relaxed. The colors began to lead me. I wasn’t thinking consciously about the next color or what I wanted to do with the image as a whole, but the coloring page evolved into something quite beautiful. As a non-crafty, non-visual person, it was remarkable.
I’m guessing that the lack of conscious thinking made it better. If I had tried to make the picture look a certain way, it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting. Having the colors lead me in the moment — without an agenda or goal — made for a better healing experience and product.
This week, I’m inviting you to take a creativity break. Take a moment to sense into your breath, feel into the colors, and let them lead you. When you feel your process is complete, feel into your body and breathe again. Notice what shifted and changed.
Get Creative: This calming and inspiring effect achieved by using simple creative projects is why my collaborators and I are hosting the upcoming Making Meaning in the Chaos healing retreat. We need spaces to heal now more than we have before. Take a few hours out of your Saturday to gather with old or new friends to do creative, spiritual practices that will leave you more relaxed, focused and with a renewed sense of purpose. A BIPOC-only small group led by my friend and collaborator Tecca Thompson will also be offered. Register by Sept. 17 for the early bird discount. Financial hardship tickets are available, and I always offer a BIPOC discount of 20% off all events and memberships.