Day 97: Colouring in

Being mindful while colouring in:

One of the best things I added to my healing tool kit last year, was colouring in.

I even remember how I first heard about ‘art therapy’ aka colouring in for adults. It was featured on a TV show around a year ago as a way of reducing stress and anxiety.

I remember it so clearly, how it was one of those lightbulb moments, where my whole being (and inner child) shouted out: “What a brilliant idea! I want to do that.”

I couldn’t wait for the next time I was in the city, when I could pop into the book shop to buy my first adult colouring book.

A few days later I was excitedly clutching my first purchase and couldn’t wait to get back home to begin what has become one of my favourite mindfulness practices.

I am seriously hooked.

As the activity has grown in popularity and adult colouring books are still topping the best seller charts, my portfolio of colouring books and pencils has grown exponentially too.

I love the process of choosing which illustration I’m going to colour in; I get all my lovely books out and see which one I’m drawn to that day. I have such a great selection to choose from: mantras and expressions, nature-focused images, soothing mandalas, and even a book centred around one of my favourite seaside cities, Brighton.

adult colouring books

A brilliant tip I heard early on was to photocopy the picture I’m going to colour in. This means that I can enjoy colouring in my fave image again at a later date.  It also means that I can put the finished artwork on my wall, which I tend to do if it’s a mantra. And the anal part of me does it just in case I don’t like my colour choice and I can start again (which I haven’t had to do so far!).  Win! Win! Win!

Happiness is a choice

I love choosing the colours too and am mindful of not getting stressed about which colours to use, as this kind of defeats the whole object! Sometimes I like to pick a colour theme: seaside shades, the bright happy colours of India, variations on one or two colours, or a complete experimentation. I sometimes like to play lucky dip and whatever colour comes out of my tin is the one I use for the next bit.

Brighton Pavilion
I find colouring powerfully healing. It only takes a few moments before I feel myself forgetting about everything else and relaxing into it. And I just love how it helps keep my mind focused on the present moment.

harlequin snail

I’m so thankful that this fun activity with its therapeutic and soothing qualities has made such a comeback: love live adult colouring in!

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful while colouring in.

Day 10: Tapping my way to health

Being mindful in my daily tapping meditations:

A very kind friend has gifted me a 7 week online tapping course and I am so grateful.

The course has been going for a week now, and I absolutely love it already.

I first became aware of tapping, also known as EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – about 3-4 years ago, but thought it a little woo-woo even for me!

For the uninitiated, EFT is gently tapping on the body’s energy meridian points using your fingertips, to help release physical and emotional pain.

I’ve been tapping sporadically for a couple of years now, but started using it regularly just over a year ago. I had a number of sessions last year at CFS holistic recovery specialists, The Optimum Health Clinic, and EFT is recommended as a key recovery tool.

However, it’s only since this course started that I’ve been tapping every single day. There’s morning, daytime and evening tapping meditations, each being around 15 minutes long. Plus lots of other material to get stuck into: webinar’s, Q+A sessions, and bonus classes and meditations.

I find daily tapping incredibly powerful and am already starting to feel the benefits.

I’m having some real emotional releases and shifts, and it’s not unusual for me to cry during a session. But that’s ok. Sometimes I laugh, or shout, and I’m even yawn a LOT… apparently these are all signs of energy shifting.

It’s fascinating stuff, and I intend to continue for the 7 weeks and beyond. Tapping has already become a regular daily practice and a key element in my recovery tool kit.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being mindful in my daily tapping meditations.

 

Day 4: Soul stroll

Being mindful by going for a walking meditation around my neighbourhood:

I’ve come to deeply appreciate my walking meditations, a stroll around the neighbourhood that fill my soul with joy.

I’ve always enjoyed a good walk; it’s one of the things I miss the most since becoming unwell.

I used to go on long walks all the time: coastal tracks, forest hikes and countryside strolls. Living in Australia, I’d often start the day with a walk by the sea, and take an invigorating power walk at lunchtimes.

I love being outside and was feeling pretty depressed about being cooped up in the house – mainly in my bedroom – all day long, every day.

As part of my recovery plan, I started taking short walking meditation around my neighbourhood. I was resistant to the idea at first, wondering how I could possibly enjoy a walk around the houses?! How could it begin to measure up to my Aussie daily coastal walks?

I gave it a go, and soon discovered the perfect circuit. Needing to start slow, this takes around 10 minutes, and has nature to admire in abundance to admire: including a green open space with a brook running through it, magnificent trees and bushes, flowers and birds.

Most days, if wellness allows, I walk this circuit and try to tune out my thoughts and focus on my senses instead.

On this perfect English summer day, I saw the birds perched in the magnificent trees as the branches swayed in the breeze, the winding brook that is now low in water, the dogs playing happily together while their owners watched on, the colourful flowers in full bloom, and the sweeping hills and farmers’ fields in the distance.

I listened to the birds chirping, the dogs barking excitedly, their owners chatting, and the wind gently rustling the leaves on the trees.

I felt the coolness of the gentle wind against my skin, the warmth of the sun shining down, and the tickling of the long uncut grass on my feet and ankles.

It was pure bliss and I arrived back home feeling happy and grateful that I took the time to appreciate all that Mother Nature has to offer.

So with that in mind, my happy for today is being mindful by going for a walking meditation around my neighbourhood.