Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. As a child summer days felt like time stood still. There were so many sweet moments of laying in the grass looking up at the sun playing in the canopy of maple trees, feeling the most perfect breeze brush over my skin. Playing make-believe, making mud pies and magic potions. But as an adult its really easy to get sucked up in to the constant go-go-go of life.
How can we connect back to our childhood? Connect to the slowness and present feeling of play? Nurturing your Inner Child is one of the best ways. And meditation can be a wonderful tool. But what is Meditation?
"think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation."
One common misconception is that meditation has to be silent and perfectly still but it doesn't have to be. Movement, play, and making sound can also be forms of deep meditation. Today we will be focusing on Meditation Through Play.
My favorite way that always slows my brain and enhances my mindfulness is coloring and painting with watercolors. And for me it's easier to play in a coloring book. Of course, for some people having an open canvas or page is the most freeing but sometimes my mind gets overwhelmed, when there's too much space.
Coloring Book Meditation:
First you need to select a coloring book with images that are intriguing and make you happy. Then you'll need to select your coloring tool: markers, paints, colored pencils, or crayons are great, a mixture of mediums is even better. Next select a color that catches your eye and then focus on one aspect of the image. If it's a repetitive image, like a mandala, use that one color on one shape slowly searching it out. Then move on to the next color and shape and repeat this for a long as I want to. Having calming or enjoyable music playing in the background can add a beautiful element to this experience.
If watercolors and an open canvas are calling you. Put on music that feels calming or that ignites joy. Choose your watercolor paper, rectangular or round, or you can cut it to whatever shape and size you want. Select three to four colors to work with. Play with different amounts of water for darker and lighter colors. Now let the music influence your movement. Play with the strokes of your brush, take up the whole page or work in small sections. Focus on feeling the music and not overthinking your movements. Step back and look at your creation! How does the image make you feel? You could add to your meditation by journaling your feelings on the back of the painting.
If you have kids who are home this summer and you want to include them both of these meditations are awesome to implement but also just giving them the tools and letting them choose how they want to play with them is always best. Feel free to mix and match tools this is supposed to be fun.
Stop in the shop for all of the tools we mentioned and for some wonderful books that can aid you in diving deeper into meditation and mindfulness.
Have fun Nurturing our Inner Child and connecting to your mindfulness through playful meditation.