First, I find a quiet spot in my day. (For mothers with small children, this may be when you put your little ones down for a nap or after you have put them to bed for the night.) I lay out the page I am working on and the media I am using, ie: colored pencils, crayons, gel pens, Glitter Gel Pens (sparkly, sparkly), paint brush pens, markers or even paint.
After I have put my coloring space in order, I like to put on some soothing music. There are a couple of ways you can do this at no cost.
Pandora is a great free app that can live on your phone or your computer and allows you to create a customized “station” with great relaxing music. (Note: If you are using the free version, you get an ad about every 3 or 4 songs.)
Each of the pages in my books has a “Happy Thought” underneath the picture. I read the thought so I have something uplifting to ponder as I color.
Let your mind drift, focusing only on the process of choosing colors and applying them to the spaces on the page. My particular approach in my “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy” series is to create interesting spaces for your to color. There is no right or wrong way to color. Remember, this is your personal, private space. No one ever needs to see it, if you would rather not share.
Breath softly from your stomach. Think about your breathing as you go breathing gently and slowly, filling your lungs with air and expelling stress and anxiety with every exhale.
When we color mindfully, you will notice a few things:
You will experience calmness and peace over time.
Researchers found that there was often a lowering of blood pressure.
When you color before bedtime, you will go to bed with a calm mind and will sleep much better than usual.
You will find over time that your ability to concentrate and retain what you are learning will increase.
From time to time, when I am taking an online course, I bring out my coloring supplies and color while I listen. I find this actually helps me to concentrate on what the instructor is saying and I remember a lot more of what they said. I don’t know if this will work for everyone as much as it does for me, but it is worth a try.
I have no words to express how excited I am to announce the first of a series of adult coloring books intended to relieve stress and anxiety and to give joy to those who either buy them or receive them as a gift. The book is now avaialable on Amazon.com. “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy – Joy is in the Journey” is LIVE.
This being my first foray into publishing, I want you to know that this has been an awesome experience. I want to thank all of those who have been instrumental in helping me get to this point.
When we dream…when we plan…when we conceive of a project, it’s all in our mind, percolating and growing and beginning to take form. As we proceed to create a plan, to assemble our tools and materials and to begin fleshing out the framework for the finished project, it sometimes feels like achieving that goal seems really far away.
That’s the journey I have been on with creating the very first book in a series: “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy – Joy is in the Journey” A mindful approach to stress and anxiety relief.
So when the delivery guy showed up with a slender box from Create Space, i admit to feeling like a kid at Christmas time. However, I didn’t just rip it open. I had promised the fam that I would open it in their presence when it arrived and I had promised my friends and family who could not be there that I would video-tape the unboxing event.
So here it is. The video of the beginning of my career as a published author. Without further ado….Drum Roll Please!!!!
There is such great satisfaction finishing a coloring page. The time creating it is counted as a joy, but there is another thing that makes it even more joyful and satisfactory, sharing it. I feel just like a little kid, “Mommy, see what I made!” resounds in my mind as I complete the cycle…sharing my finished masterpiece with someone else.
However, oft-times I find myself in solitude at that triumphant moment. What to do? What to do?
I do color with a weekly coloring group in my community, and we enjoy sharing our finished pieces, but if you are searching for instant gratification in the glow of completing your work of art and if you want a sympathetic and accepting, even (dare I say) enthusiastic audience, then coloring groups online are a good place to go.
Within these groups enthusiastic colorists gladly share their own art with their online coloring buddies. Comments and encouragement flow back and forth as well as tips and tricks for improving your coloring skills, where to find discount on cool coloring accouterments and the stories behind the pieces make this a rich and enjoyable environment for getting a thumbs up for your efforts.
Don’t be intimidated by those colorists who seem to create breath-taking pieces. All skill levels are acceptable. These groups often are made up of thousands of coloring enthusiasts and the reach is worldwide.
Some tips for these groups.
Each group has it’s own rules or guidelines. Be sure to read them and understand them before you post.
Before you post, start by reading the posts for the last few days. It will give you an idea of the personality of that group.
Always give credit to the author of the page you are showing off.
It lends interest to your post when you mention the media you used to create your finished work, such as: “I chose to use my Prisma set of coloring pencils.” or “I am using glitter pens to get that effect on the unicorn’s horn.” etc.
If you want to get enthusiastic comments and suggestions on your posts, be sure to reciprocate. More people will be interested in your work, if you take the time and courtesy to comment on theirs.
If you can’t say anything nice about a post, don’t say anything at all. Good advice from a cute little bunny and this holds true for coloring groups. (Or any forum you may be a member of.) Just skip over the posts you don’t agree with or you can’t find anything good to say about. Drama, bickering and unkindness is frowned upon in these groups and has a tendency to get you banned.
Don’t spam the group with several posts a day. It isn’t nice to hog the limelight. As we all learned in kindergarten, take your turn.
If you are a coloring book author, limit yourself to mentions of your books or pages to a few per week (see the group guidelines about this as every group is different).
Here is a list of some of the groups I can personally recommend. (Please tell them that Peaceful Patterns sent you, wink wink.)
I remember hours of time spent with my grandmother, and my sister, coloring and chatting and just enjoying the time together. No television on, no cellphones and rarely a phone call, no criticism but plenty of suggestions and tutorials on how to shade, the source of light, the direction of shadows, the three dimensionality we were trying to replicate, how to blend colors and create new shades.
As an adult, when I color, my mind flashed back to those peaceful hours of mutual enjoyment. These days, I like to first consider and idea, a quote, a scripture or a project I am working on as I color. Happy music is also on the list of creating my peaceful, stress free coloring session. While I let my mind works in the background on that thought I have chosen to contemplate, I focus on the feeling, the colors, the shading, the ultimate look of the coloring page. Although I admit that most of them are not planned.
Since I am a mandala colorist, I actually like to blindly reach into my coloring pencil box and pull out random colors to work with. Some of these mandalas have turned out surprisingly well. I really enjoy my random coloring sessions because it is relaxing and delightful to watch the picture almost create itself and reveal its ultimate beauty.
The other fun thing about coloring is, admittedly, showing the finished piece off to someone who cares. I have joined several coloring groups and post my finished pieces occasionally, but it is even more fun (like the little kid that I am) to show it to a family member or close friend. I also share finished pieces with my local coloring club.
One of the benefits of mindful coloring is that often, in the course of creating the finished piece, I find solutions and have thoughts that might not have occurred to me in the hectic daily routine. This is invaluable. So often we rush through our day through the noise and bustle and frantic pace of modern living never having that quiet space that allows us to really think.
I am ever so grateful for the trend of adult coloring. It is one of the truly joyful places in my day to day routine.
We are pleased and excited to announce that our first in the series “Peaceful Patterns Coloring Theapy” books, “Joy is in the Journey” will be published on Amazon.com later this month (September 2016).
This is a huge milestone for Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy. This has truly been a joyful journey, learning a new skill and exploring the world of coloring books for adults. I admit to intense nostalgia as I wrote the dedication, noting the impactful teaching and mentoring of my grandmother, Juanita H. Tussey.
The essence of this book is “A Mindful Approach to Anxiety and Stress Relief”. Below each mandala is a quote from names you will recognize relating to the idea of joy. The idea is to read the quote before you start coloring and ponder it’s meaning and relate in a positive way to your life. The mindfulness of this approach creates a sense of well-being, relaxation and peace that will give you all the benefits research has shown that coloring can achieve.
Seeing the book cover mock up for the first time gave me a feeling I am at a loss to describe, a mixture of joy, gratitude, shock and awe that this dream was quickly becoming a reality. The test copy of the book will be arriving on Monday, September 15. It feels like waiting for Christmas morning. When it comes, I will do a video “unboxing” of the finished product and, of course, I will present it here for all of you who have been following my journey up until now.
Even as we speak I am in the process of creating the next book in the series, “An Attitude of Gratitude”, which follows the same pattern of this first book. Also, after the test book arrives, assuming everything is as it should be, we will be allowing pre-orders here on our Coloring Books page, so stay tuned.