Ready to get serious with some deep study and science research? Well, you’ll have to read a different post, because this one is for fun and happiness: I want to talk about coloring your life!
As you jump into a new year (perhaps with all kinds of ambitions and resolutions like being a better person or accomplishing big goals), it’s a good time to think about more balance and just a bit more joy in your life.
We all knew a lot more about how to be happy when we were three and four years old than we do as adults. Kids figure out what pleases them and what they enjoy doing. Then they just do it, without an agenda, without fear of whether they’re doing it “right.”
They scramble up trees. They play ninja warriors. They scribble. They make things. They sing. They dance. When they’re little they don’t think about how they look or what else they “should” be doing. They don’t think, “__________ [insert word here: drawing, painting, scribbling] is a waste of time, I should be studying chemistry.”
They just draw!
So if kids can do it, why can’t adults? Unlike children, we adults worry. We’re afraid of “wasting time.” We’re afraid we “aren’t good at it.” If I had a dollar for every grown-up who said to me, “I would do art, but I lack talent,” I’d be a rich woman today.
Why is it so hard for adults to engage in creative play?
Creating is fun. It’s is an excellent way to relieve stress, as I wrote about recently. Plus, when you do art you contribute to the beauty and abundance of the universe.
Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard for adults to create: We think it’s worthwhile to do home improvements, cook something, or drive the kids to their activities, but we don’t think it’s worthwhile to have fun. Especially when that fun involves taking a piece of paper and a box of watercolor brush pens and spilling out our souls.
But what if you give yourself license to do art? What if it doesn’t matter if you have no talent whatsoever? What if it’s okay to create and paint and draw and to feel joy?
Coloring your life isn’t sensible
Julia Cameron, a writer I discovered just last year, has several workbooks that help people tap into their inner creativity. Her most famous book is The Artist’s Way. In that book, Cameron insists: “Creativity is not and never has been sensible. Why should it be? Why should you be?”
Coloring your life isn’t sensible. Never had been sensible. Never will be sensible.
Get out of your own way.
Banish the negative voices in your head.
And make something that makes you smile, like a whimsical bluebird on a morning glory flower.
It doesn’t matter what it looks like. If you can get out of your own way, channel your inner 3-year-old, you’ll have, as my friend Nicole likes to say, so much stinkin’ fun.
Don’t do art because you have to. Do it because it will help you relax, feel good, and heal.
Published: January 6, 2020
Last update: April 8, 2021