(Thinky thoughts from a post to my Facebook group)

Good morning everyone!

Whoopsie! No new addition to my blog this morning. 🙂 This weekend turned into a lovely opportunity to practice taking a couple of days off.

One of the biggest challenges is to do that without also trying to sneak in a dab of work here or there. When what you do for a living is so interwoven through all aspects of your day, things like “days off” or “taking a break” don’t have a nice, clear, precise meaning like they might if work involved traveling to a place of business. It’s probably not all that different than the kind of balancing we all have to do – balancing personal time with parenting time, caring for your own well being while you also have to care for an elderly parent, etc.

I’m having fun sitting here watching the interplay of my thoughts. Apparently I have quite a strong “Hey! Get back to work!” inner voice. 🙂 It’s one of those things that’s been developed out of past needs when there were very good reasons for pushing myself harder than was comfortable or healthy. I’ve written about the nagging of the Inner Artist voice in the past, and Inner Get Back To Work voice isn’t a whole lot different. These are voicings of self protective feelings, formed in the past for perfectly good reasons and now quick to appear out of habit.

One of the things I’ve noticed with nagging Inner Artist voice is that I can burn a lot of mental energy whenever the nagging seems to be in conflict with what I really need. Do you ever find yourself in the middle of coloring, thinking to yourself “I really SHOULD use blue in this picture, but I want to use hot pink!” or “I should practice shading but I really need to just do some basic comfy coloring”. The energy burning is so much greater than the actual decision merits – and usually the decision is between two choices that are both perfectly OK.

When I spend time quietly coloring, I find that being present with a simple, calming, pretty and intricate activity makes it so incredibly clear when passing thoughts or feelings have their roots in the past, or are ideas about the future. “Now” is a small space in my living room, a coloring page, my markers, and shapes gradually being filled in one by one. Everything else that appears in my thoughts is from outside of that space, or from elsewhere in time. Some of it may be real and accurate memory, some may be perceptions that are colored by feelings or experiences. But wow – coloring time sure makes it crystal clear what is really here and now, and what isn’t.

Beliefs, feelings, expectations and habits about “me taking a day off” can be explored calmly from a distance as I color. And as with so many of the thoughts that pop up during coloring, thoughts have a lot less power when they are viewed from a safe, comfortable distance instead of feeling like they are all tangled up around your center of well-being.

(This was written as a Good Morning note to my Color With Angie Grace group on Facebook, but it seems like it might be a nice one to include here too. 🙂 )