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Learning The Hard Way

All along I thought it was going to be fun and relaxing. As I boldly stated in a blog post last year, (see blogpost Creating Happiness) In the new year, I am going to “create” my way to the happiest me I can be. I have ordered a set of Colorforms, a coloring journal where I can create and contemplate, and 120 markers. Woo Hoo! 120 possibilities in a box! A world of new stories just waiting to be created. ​ Coloring seemed the easiest place to start. So, it was with great enthusiasm that I sat down at my kitchen table with my new markers and my new mediation coloring book. How much fun is this going to be, I kept asking myself.

Well, the fun lasted about 30 seconds. 120 markers, in four separate trays, is a whole lot of colors to choose from. And then there was the selection of which picture in the meditation coloring book to color fist. Before I could even pick up a marker, I had decided I would practice color a zen-doodle picture that came with the markers. Yes, you heard it—practice color. Who in the world does that? But I sallied forth. I picked my favorite colors and started in the middle of the picture. I was doing alright until I stopped to see how it looked. Awful! It looked awful. And I panicked. Can you fail at coloring, I wondered? I just need some help. So I took a picture of my creation and sent it to an artist / illustration friend of mine. She laughed, pointed out that color was my friend, and suggested I reference a color wheel. And off I went to my computer. As sitting in front of my computer, trying to decide where to start searching, I caught myself. Now, it may not seem like much, but at least I caught myself before I fell down the rabbit hole of researching the best way to color. Ridiculous, I know. But then again, I am an experiential learner. I didn’t even have to ask the question. I knew where I went wrong. I had fallen into the gap. Knowing that I would likely be sharing my first coloring creation with all of you, I became afraid (F.E.A.R. = false evidence appearing real). What would they think? Is it good enough? I was so consumed with what was going to happen in the future, I totally lost the point of what I was trying to accomplish in the moment, which was fun. I was stressing myself out trying to have fun. At that point, all I could do was laugh. Resisting the urge to throw the original coloring project away and start again, I launched my happiness playlist on Spotify, picked out my favorite colors, and began again with Hadley sitting on my lap. I had fun singing and coloring away. And when I stopped to take a second look, I thought to myself, not bad! ​ —Robin

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