New Coloring Books Available on Amazon
When I was a child, I spent a considerable amount of time engaging in activities that were directed towards bringing about mindfulness and stress relief. Yes, really. Of course, I was blissfully unaware of the fact at the time myself. I discovered that this was what I'd been doing only recently, when a spate of articles on how and why coloring books are good for you began to turn up in my inbox, in my social media streams, and in my Google alerts. Yes, indeed, until the experts informed me, I had never known that all that time I had spent coloring the black and white line drawings in coloring books, I was actually developing increased focus and concentration, rejuvenating my creativity, and fostering personal relaxation.
I have a far different memory myself when I go back in history. I particularly recollect a 'Famous Five' coloring book, and how I was entertaining myself early one rainy morning, sitting at the kitchen table diligently coloring Anne's hair yellow, and how along came a weekend guest, yawning and stretching, who stopped in mid-yawn and mid-stretch and cried, "What are you doing? Nobody has yellow hair!" and how, with that, he seized a black marker and, without ado, turned poor Anne into an instant brunette. The vivid recollection I have about this incident is how I lost my mind over it and got insanely stressed.
But, of course, this isn't a universal experience and, besides, times have now changed. For the better. Weekend guests now turn up with their own coloring books. Yes, we live in a world where coloring has gone from an acceptable pastime to an essential activity. This is a good thing. It has to be. Anything that gives us 'permission' to shed our stuffy adult personas and engage in unstructured creativity is a welcome advancement.
Now more than ever when most of us are glued to the internet on our mobile devices, it is a relief to take the yoke off. Coloring with colored pencils and markers gets us off-screen and back to a nostalgic, more restful time when things were more leisurely, when we didn't feel the need to be always on the go, to constantly check what is happening in the world and with the people we know.
For a short while at least, we can take a leaf from Voltaire and try to tend our own garden.