Some days when I try to meditate, I fall asleep (which means that I am not meditating correctly, or that I am exhausted). Since having children, I have been able to fall asleep very easily (minutes from my head hitting the pillow, almost every night). I also now fall asleep at the dentist, because lying down and not moving is really all it takes for total relaxation these days!
Because of my state of exhaustion, I have been interested in finding different ways to meditate or reduce stress without the possible side effect of falling asleep. Adult colouring books have become very popular lately as a way of relaxing and clearing your mind. This appeals to me for many reasons, first of all because it is creative, and also it reminds me of my colour method of meditation. I convinced Husband to try this method of mindfulness meditation with me. Last night was date night, the kind of date night when you plan an activity in your house with your significant other and hope that the children stay in bed so that you can have an enjoyable evening (the most common kind of date night around here). We coloured together at the kitchen table while listening to music for over 2 hours. It was a lovely peaceful evening, and our children stayed in bed (although they did get up at 5:30 am today, and that is why we need stress relief meditation- ha ha)!
I found some mandalas to colour at Colouring Pages for Adults. There are also many other themes to choose from on this website and in general. I decided to go with mandalas because I have been interested in them since I was a teenager working with a fabulous art therapist as part of the excellent art program that I was lucky enough to take part in at my high school. My mentor taught me that mandala's are a sacred circle believed to balance energy, while enhancing creativity, relaxation, and healing. Plus, they are BEAUTIFUL.
Here are the mandalas that Husband and I chose for our colouring date. The top is my choice and the more star shaped drawing is his. It would also be relaxing to create your own mandala. I have done this in the past, but we didn't have the time last night. Feel free to print these off and colour in your own way. I had some trouble with the format of the mandalas on the website. I did have to resize these and then print them using Picasa.
It took us over 2 hours to colour these drawings. We listened to the second half of Tonic with Tim Tamashiro, and almost all of The Signal with Laurie Brown, which are my favourite old lady radio programs on CBC Radio 2. I loved witnessing our different methods in colour choice and colouring technique. Sometimes we chatted, sometimes we were quiet and listening to the music as we coloured, it was very relaxing and I can see how people relate this type of colouring experience to meditation. I think that both mandalas are beautiful, it is impossible to for me to choose a favourite. I can definitely see our personalities in each of them. What a wonderful thing.
Husband's work of art.
My work of art.
At the moment, our mandalas are displayed in the rotating kid art spot in our kitchen, but I think that they are destined for frames. I love them. I highly recommend colouring as a stress relieving activity!