Welcome to 2018, a new year, a new you, and a new start. As most of us out there are making resolutions and figuring out new goals, I started my new year looking back and reflecting on 2017. There were challenges to work through, losses that impacted me, and conflicts within situations. While reflecting, I focused in on what it took to overcome all of them. What was most impactful was the realization that I have surrounded myself with amazing supportive friends and family, and developed positive habits that have helped me gain successful outcomes.
As far as challenges go, my physical injury was the most prominent. I endured multiple issues with my feet and shins that have set me back from my goals and exercise achievements. Not being able to run, something I am so passionate about, has been hard, but through this obstacle there were opportunities to find strength to heal and overcome the hurdles.
One of my simple healing measures was picking up the habit of coloring. Contrary to belief, this isn’t just for ages 3-6. Walking into book stores and finding so many options of adult coloring books has brought a sense of calm relief to my otherwise anxious outlook to my injury. Being able to pick up a variety of markers, colored pencils, or crayons to express myself was so freeing. This gave me the ability to clear my head, recharge, and reboot. It was a way for me to simplify everything I was going through in my life and channel all my emotions into something productive. My favorite part was it brought me back to my childhood, when I used to love to color. The satisfaction of finishing a pattern brought a small “win” that I didn’t need with a ribbon or a medal. I was still able to find that sense of pride that running gave me with a simple task of flipping to a page and creating a beautiful picture.
Rediscovering this creative outlet for myself has illuminated something that is missing from many ‘busy’ people’s lives: innocent joy. We tend to have metrics of success tied to every thing we do, while creativity let’s us just be. When I am coloring I don’t have to meet any guidelines or goals. I get to put pencil to paper and be fully in the present, without stress or expectation.
What creative outlets have you been neglecting in your life? If you can’t come up with something that brings you innocent joy now, think back to when you were a kid– what did you love to do? Try that.
So, for all of you out there looking to create resolutions this year, I also encourage you to find something that gives you pride and a way to express yourself. It can be reading, writing, helping a friend, or taking a crayon from my box, and start coloring!