It may seem odd to suggest that coloring is a contemplative practice.
After all, the phrase contemplative practice sounds very grown-up, serious, and even mysterious.
Coloring, on the other hand, is child’s play, lighthearted, and easy as a walk in the park on a sunny day.
Can coloring really be contemplative?
Contemplative practices are activities or habits that help us connect with that part of us in which our potential lies, and they help us become more compassionate, creative, wise, and loving versions of ourselves. You can read more about them here.
One of the benefits of contemplative practices is that they often help us clear a space in our minds and hearts for a Wisdom that is bigger than us to become present in our lives.
You can think of this Wisdom in both a non-religious and religious way. If you are religious, you can think of it as the Wisdom that comes from the light of God in each of us.
If you are not religious, you can think of it as the Wisdom that comes from our highest human potential.
All of us have the ability to become more wise, loving, creative, and compassionate versions of ourselves, just like we have the ability to become more intelligent, musical, athletic, or friendly. All of these abilities are part of the structures of the physical, intellectual, and emotional aspects of our humanity.
Being Hospitable to Our Light
Frequently in order to hear the calling of our potential or the light within each of us (I will refer to it as Light from here on out), we must create space for it and clear away the noise, anxiety, stress, and rush of our daily lives. Clearing space is an act of hospitality, and our Light loves to be welcomed.
Coloring is one way you can create space and be hospitable to your Light. When you color, especially some patterns like recurring geometric patterns, your mind slows down and clears, and you create a meditative state of mind. You can read more about this here.
We often think that meditating must be a very serious affair in which we sit on our meditation cushions and force ourselves to be completely still, quiet, and thought-free for hours on end.
There’s nothing wrong with meditating like this. But if you struggle with that kind of meditation, it may encourage you to know that you can meditate through playful and simple activities like walking, roller skating, hula-hooping…
…looking at trees, or coloring.
Meditating is ultimately about slowing down, breathing, being kind to yourself, and creating space. Any activity that allows you to do that is a meditative activity.
I Created a Coloring Page for You
So in case you would like to spend some time today coloring and creating meditative space, I created a coloring page for you. I have been thinking a lot about owls lately because we have a little owl who sometimes hoots in our backyard at night. I like thinking about him, so here is a magical rendition of him.
You can print this page out; get your favorite pens, paints, or crayons; and color it in whatever way speaks to you and delights you. While you color, give yourself permission to calm down, to breathe deeply (ideally through your nose and out your mouth, to enjoy color, and to think about nothing at all or whatever comes to mind. Please feel free to make multiple copies of this page to share with a friend, if you like.
Peace to you, Friend.
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Published by shellypruittjohnson
My name is Shelly Johnson, and I am a writer and philosopher with a Ph.D. in philosophy. One of my primary personal and philosophical interests is how we can learn to love ourselves and each other better in order to cultivate personal and political resilience. I teach ethics and a variety of other courses at a local college. I am the author of the blog Love is Stronger. I am also the author of three logic and critical thinking books for high school and middle school: _Argument Builder_, _Discovery of Deduction_ (co-author), and _Everyday Debate_, published by Classical Academic Press. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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