National Coloring Book Day

Today is National Coloring Book Day – August 2nd is the day set aside to have fun with your colors and patterns. Nowadays, it seems that everywhere you turn, you see coloring books, and not just for the little ones, but for grown-ups too. This adult coloring trend is rapidly growing across our nation and who knows if it will stick around or would fade, as in the case of some other trends.

As a child, I didn’t have coloring books. I’m sure some children had them, but we didn’t have extra dollars for such luxuries. Instead, we made and colored our own drawings. As a result, I don’t have any particular inclination toward coloring books. I’m sharing this bit of information because I was surprised when I decided to start coloring bits and pieces of Nandi’s coloring book (Nandi is my baby, my last grown-up, 23 year old child).

Last week, I decided to color an entire page in Nandi’s book, instead of one or two drawings. I must say that it was very relaxing. I hear a lot about practicing mindfulness, but I did not expect to experience such inner quiet while my Crayola pencils glided slowly along the curves of the flower pattern and across the page.

There was no rush with the coloring – I took my time to audition the colors for each flower and once I got started, the minutes just rolled away and lulled me into a state of calm and peace. I was wrapped up in my quiet thoughts in the world of coloring. 

It was a good decision when I picked up Nandi’s coloring book and her colored pencils! Little did I know that I would enjoy coloring so much, or it would have given me the opportunity to write a blog post. I now have a deeper appreciation for adult coloring books!

Have you done any coloring recently?

Here is picture of my coloring.

Coloring

Celebrating National Coloring Book Day!

A life Lesson from Sand Mandalas

Dear Readers,

I’ve been away from my blog and your blogs for several months now. A few life events kept me away and even zapped my motivation and discipline to post here and visit with you. Today, I feel ready to recommit my energy to blogging. It will take some time for me to catch up with your posts, but my intention is to visit your blogs as soon as possible.

This evening, I’m reflecting on an experience I had in 2010 which I posted here.

In 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity of witnessing the monks at the Buddhist temple in Miami create extraordinary, intricate, and immensely beautiful sand mandalas. As I observed their patience, skill, and mindfulness of their art, I felt a sense of peace within me. It was hard for me to understand how their dedication, love, and skill to the beautiful art they created will disintegrate after a few days; it will all be swept away and they knew it.

Now, years later, looking back at those moments, I can truly see how anything we create or build, no matter the work, skill, beauty, love, time, and talent we put into it, can all be undone and swept away. We just have to accept, embrace, and be in gratitude for the value and all that the creation brought us.  Life is filled with dual experiences and we learn and grow from each one of those experiences.

I’m glad that you’re visiting my blog!

With gratitude,

Elaine

Self Care this Summer

Too often, we are so engaged and at full throttle with all that’s going in our lives that we forget to take time for ourselves and practice self-care. During the school year, I’m focused on student achievement, mastery of goals, professional development, meeting deadlines, stressing about high stakes testing, coordinating events, and the list goes on and on.

This summer I’m taking deliberate action to implement self-care.

Here is a list of some of the self-care behaviors I’ve been practicing…

  1. No rushing to do anything
  2. Increasing my water intake
  3. Staying away from negative conversations
  4. Trying out a steam inhaler to soothe my vocal cords
  5. Giving out the Silent Treatment
  6. Adding in healthy foods
  7. Body massages
  8. Essential oil treatment for my scalp and hair
  9. Catching up with my reading
  10. Spending time with relatives
  11. Long conversations with friends at breakfasts and lunches
  12. Work related workshops to upgrade my skills
  13. Appointments with doctors
  14. Nurturing an attitude of gratitude
  15. Starting AND completing small projects in the home (things I’ve been putting off)
  16. Nurturing friendships and relationships
  17. Shopping for shoes
  18. Organizing my study
  19. Trying out stretching exercises from Youtube
  20. Practicing my public speaking skills
  21. Keeping a calm, even temperament

Would you like to share some of your self-care behaviors?

Thank you for visiting!

Here’s a photo (taken mid-sentence) as I practiced my public speaking skills.

Photo Credit: FIU College of Education

Photo Credit: FIU College of Education

Change

Credit: Google Images

Credit: Google Images

Change

Change can be good.

Change can be uncomfortable.

Change can be a challenge.

Change can be chaotic, tumultuous, and unsettling.

Change can bring peace, calm, and a sense of serenity.

Change can be dark and perilous.

Change can be enlightening and safe.

Change can be exhilarating.

Change is empowering.

Change is inevitable.

Nothing is more constant than change.

What are your thoughts on change?