I’m sure mindfulness has it’s place but the endless colouring book are fast becoming a modern industry, like celebrity cook books and slimming! I sometimes feels that mindfulness with courses, cds, articles and book is trying to become a new religion! At least reading poetry in the library and praying are free!
If I see yet another colouring book for adults be it cookery, gardening, abstract art, or a new knicker collection! (no, I made that one up) I may scream in the middle of Smiths or Waterstones!
I met a woman before Christmas who had a whole room devoted to her hobby of colouring in! She had spent hundreds of pounds on it including different pens and pencils, some of which apparently glowed in the dark.
I have this urge to re-introduce you to my dear old granny. Now she wouldn’t have had the patience for any of this kind of thing, she had spent much of her younger life steering an extended family through the war. Her mantra always ‘do a good deed everyday and the world will be a better place!’ and She practiced what she preached, helping everyone who came to her door!
So instead of a mindfulness or a new colouring book, how about buying a copy of ‘The Big Issue’ from someone standing in the rain or talking to a stranger on the bus, or volunteering to help in a charity shop?
The Mindfulness books tell us that they help us to manage stress but surely by their very nature they might encourage us to be more self centered than we already are!
If stress really is an issue, I can recommend giving your full attention to just one thing, such as something you can see outside your window, or gaze at a painting or colourful postcard that you have in your own home, or listen to soothing music, or do some winter gardening and/or even give up watching the news or reading a paper for a couple days!
Or do some doodling, try some small sketches in an unlined note book, illustrate your journal. Or feed the birds, or take some pics on your phone, or clear out your wardrobe, or turn out a neglected drawer.
Creativity can be served by cooking, changing a room around, sorting out old photos into an album, planting some mustard and cress on the windowsill, sewing, knitting, tearing interesting images from old papers or magazine and making a collage, trying a new hobby. There are lessons in just about everything on youtube for free!
My old granny also used to say that ‘the devil finds work for idle hands. I like to think if she was still around, she would be busy making squares for blankets for people trying to keep warm and having nothing at all to do with the devil!
But sadly consumerism has a way of encouraging us to be discontented until we buy the right stuff. Whatever the right stuff is!
To my mind mindfulness is fast becoming a panacea for all ills and colouring an expensive way of stifling our own innate creativity.
But I may have to eat my own words, it’s three days since I wrote this post and now a young women has just told me that her mother who has Altzheimers gets great satisfaction from colouring in and apparently some children with special needs do too!
Do tell me about your experiences if you have the time?