Author Barbara Taylor Bradford once said that success is often a matter of knowing when to relax. Lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho wrote, “It’s a good idea to always do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.” And Ray Bradbury’s advice was four words: “Work. Don’t think. Relax.”
This summer’s hottest trend would fit right in with all three suggestions, and it’s as simple as turning to the right book. The right coloring book. Boston psychologist Alice Domar, Ph.D., says coloring offers complete absorption…and keeps you in the moment. It engages “both sides of your brain…creative and tactical…and brings you back to a simpler time.” Coloring (with pens, colored pencils, markers, even crayons) is this summer’s hottest trend, and it’s just getting started. Rumors have it that in addition to the many adult coloring books already available, Game of Thrones also has a coloring book in the works.
My mother was into her own form of “adult coloring” long before it was popular. She used to carry a small double-sided notebook (lines on one side, blank pages on the other) so that wherever she was, if she had an idea for a poem or article or story, she could jot it down. But before she began writing, she doodled an illustration on the blank side of the page. By the time she had colored the illustration, she had a fuller, more vivid picture in mind and was ready to write. Or sometimes she drew a picture, and later she wrote about it.
The July 12 issue of PARADE MAGAZINE calls coloring a way to “cheer up, chill out, and get your creative juices flowing.” It lists titles of successful coloring books with everything from whimsical animals and flowers, to Hindu and Buddhist mandelas (symbols that represent wholeness). PARADE also invites us to get started by going to parade.com/coloring for free downloadable coloring pages. All the coloring page examples on this post come from that site, and there are many more choices.
To stop over-thinking and start relaxing, try the joy of coloring. Or like my mother used to do before the dementia, illustrate a thought and move it from color to words.