There is a small art studio that sits on the corner of a small street in a small suburb of a big city. One Friday night when I had little interest in going out and the movie I wanted to see was sold out, I stumbled upon this gem. There was a room for painting, a room for sand raking, and in the middle were tables for coloring.
I am far from an artist; I do not know how to draw the simplest of stars or stick figures. I do not know how to mix paint, what brushes to use or how to blend. That night presented to me a mirror. I noticed immediately how uncomfortable I was to get paint on my hands (even while wearing a smock). And I wouldn't let the colors blend or the lines touch. I had major control issues. The owner came over when she saw my panic and said:
"Just let yourself go. Everything you do is right and it is art. No judgement."
So I let go. Before I knew it, four hours had passed and I was in a trance. It was "Art Happy Hour" and it marked one of the best nights of my life.
Years later, I walk through another one of my happy places - a book store - and I see a rack of adult coloring books. Now my local market has coloring magazines at checkout. I totally get this trend for coloring! If you haven't picked up a crayon, marker, or color pencil since grade school, you may just be missing out on the most fulfilling, zen-curating tool of your adult life.
Often, we think of meditation as a still practice of little or no movement. However, mediation is the stillness of mind not the body. You can meditate while doing yoga, running, spin and, you guessed it, even coloring. When you give your brain a low stakes, repetitive task to focus on (i.e. sun salutations, strides of a run, shapes on a page), your thoughts fade and something else comes to light... a zen state of mind.
Clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis told Huffington Post: "Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus and to allow the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well."
When you pick up a crayon and begin coloring inside (or outside) the lines, you have made a choice to put down your phone and let a creative energy ignite. This low-stress hobby will set your mind free and you will emerge from your "therapy" with a clearer mind and new artwork!
Stelari's engineered prints have patterns that offer a coloring book quality. We decided to take the Circle of Life print and give it some hand coloring of our own. Now you can try it too. Print out the Stelari pattern below and get your zen on! Share your artwork with us on Instagram (@stelariclothing) and tag #stelari so we can see your creation!
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