Mindfulness eludes me. It eludes me with the stealthiness one acquires when trying to avoid that god awful girl from school that you have no desire to speak to whilst browsing Sainsburys’ extensive tampon selection.
I’m a ridiculously type A human: highest of high maintenance, competitive, self-
loathing critical and generally a bit of a pain in the arse. (Please don’t tell my husband I’ve admitted this, he’s still blissfully unaware). And I am constantly, relentlessly, exhaustingly thinking ALL THE THINGS, ALL. THE. TIME. Replaying something I wish I’d done differently. Planning something that has not yet happened. It’s fun. It NEVER stops.
How nice it would be to just live life in the here and now, appreciating each moment as it happens. Acknowledging those bastard memories and letting them go rather than ruin your day. Like managing to catch a unicorn or being in possession of the Deathly Hallows, Mindfulness is a beautiful, wonderful, magical thing. The quest for control, nay, outright domination over my mind is Odyssean and eternal. But I’m trying. Hard
I’ve attempted yoga (I get distracted easily, start a little secret competition of Who’s the Bendiest? and there’s the very real fear of unexpected wind with all the relaxing), meditation (which I can keep up for a while before drifting off to plan a career change to astronaut or wondering what that aforementioned girl from school who I never really liked anyway is up to now. I bet she’s on the Facebook…) and various breathing techniques which I really rather like doing until I realise that my lungs are rubbish and I start a little not so secret competition with myself of Longest Breath Hold. Which is not so relaxing.
Enter the humble colouring book.
I am most relaxed with my mind at its clearest when my hands are busy. When I get stuck into some knitting or get inventive in the kitchen or, now, pick up my colouring book. It’s kind of perfect for me – it’s creative, intricate, colourful and incredibly relaxing. The internal Staying Inside the Lines competition is also completely legit.
Inspired by the lovely Lisa I bought my very first colouring in book last month. I then very quickly bought my second colouring in book, this one ^^. And then spent all of my spare pocket money buying colouring in books for everyone I know, particularly those people who are struggling to switch off.
Taking my colouring book and the obligatory spaniels out to the garden with a cup of tea has become my favourite sunny thing to do. I’m not ashamed…apart from that time I told my 16 year old step-child that I like colouring in now. The look.
Are you a good switcher offer? Are you the Yoda of mindfulness? Do you want a colouring book? Actually that’s not an empty offer. Let me know how you switch off, most creative/random/entertaining effort can have a brand new (used would be weird!) copy of Secret Garden winged to you wherever you are. An independent adjudicator – my husband – will pick a favourite this time next week.
Teach me all you know.