Childhood joys – how do you express your creativity?
As a child I was never what you’d call creative. As a Virgo I ALWAYS coloured in the lines. As an adult, I express my creativity through food, clothes and to some extent through decorating my home. I adore cooking and exploring new menus, dressing myself (and my boys when I’m allowed!) and decorating my home is pure joy for me.
Creativity in the traditional sense of the arts – not so much. I’m no good at art. It is a song that I have sung to myself for many, many years. I can’t draw. I can’t sing. I can’t play an instrument.
Then something changed. At the first retreat that we hosted one of the co-hosts presented a segment on mandala drawing. I can’t draw mandalas. Obviously, because I can’t do all the things I listed above. But Sanna’s guidance was amazing and it turns out that a mandala is in fact an ordered doodle. Even I can doodle.
My first mandala opened something inside of me that I hadn’t even realised I’d been missing all my life. Suddenly I was drawing mandalas at every opportunity I had. I’m not going to win any competitions but that isn’t what its about. There is a part of my brain that has been dormant for the better part of almost 40 years. Long ago somebody told me that I can’t draw. I believed them and I stopped drawing. The thing I’ve come to realise is that drawing isn’t about exhibiting at the Tate Modern it is a primal human instinct. Cavemen did it thousands of years ago and yet I (and I’m sure many others) have been conditioned to believe that there is a right and wrong way to draw. At the ripe old age of 37 I now know that there is no right and wrong when it comes to drawing. Just because your drawing doesn’t get framed doesn’t mean you should stop.
There is a current trend that I am absolutely loving right now – colouring in books for big people. Imagine adults being given permission to take time out and colour in. It is such a joy that mainstream society has seen the benefit in this little meditation (because that is what it is – all of your focus and attention for that moment on the colouring in) and giving adults permission to indulge in this therapeutic practice.
So often we can look at children and see how they instinctively know how to self soothe through comfort toys and teddies, a familiar blanket or activities such as colouring in. As a Mom my main reason for encouraging colouring in for my little monster was to improve his pencil grip. School readiness. After discovering the joy and pure unadulterated pleasures of mandala drawing I see now that there is so much more going on in those little heads when they are absorbed in their colouring in books.
So go grab your kiddies colouring book or buy your own and get colouring or better yet, watch this 5min clip and grow your own mandala!
Happy creativity Yogis and Yoginis