Bad coloring can be wonderfully enlightening. Today I was morning coloring using colored pencils and that’s the best way to amplify every tiny little coloring mistake that I make. This is the time of day when my pencil strokes have a touch of wobble and my hand pressure is at its most uneven. I haven’t yet fallen into the momentum of the day so any little dab of color outside the lines seems bigger and more important then it would if I was coloring in the afternoon.

There is something about early morning that gives it the power to shape an entire day. I haven’t had time to fill my head with busy thoughts, so the thoughts that do occur are particularly loud and clear. When those thoughts are “whoops, I went outside the lines” or “wow, my pencil coloring looks quite blotchy this morning” my first reaction is to set my coloring aside and come back later in the day.

I enjoy feeling strong more than I enjoy feeling fragile, but morning coloring emphasizes all of those tiny bits of fragility that I’m too busy to notice later in the day. Morning is also a gentle time, with steamy cups of tea and a feeling of calm before the activities of the day get going. It’s a very good time to note my desire to run away from the sense of being a little fragile and to decide to stay with those thoughts just a little while longer – honoring my weaknesses with acceptance.

I am a wobbly morning colorist. I am sensitive to my own mistakes, especially during those times when I feel most vulnerable. It sometimes takes a little extra bit of trust to continue coloring when I know that I have tiny little flaws in each shape. And each time I switch from the “you sure are making a lot of mistakes” feeling to the “you’re doing a great job at being accepting of your little tiny mistakes” feeling – I get a little less stressed out about observing my own little moments of weakness.

A few hours from now, I’m gonna look at these very same shapes and probably not be able to see any of the things that felt like oopses early in the morning. The wobble in my pencil lines will just be a memory. But the overall tone of my day will be better because I took a few moments to accept that sometimes my coloring isn’t perfect, and sometimes it feels fragile, and that’s OK.

Here’s this morning’s micro oopses and wobblies. They felt so much bigger when I colored them than they look in the picture:


And here’s the finished picture. Micro oopses have a way of vanishing when you stop hunting for them.

(Today’s picture is from Balance For Crayons And Wide Tipped Markers, colored with Koh-I-Noor Woodless Pencils.)