Over the last few days I’ve reconnected to a creative outlet that I had allowed to become dormant – coloring! As a child and adolescent I adored coloring. If I wasn’t nose deep in a book then I was energetically putting my box of 64 Crayolas to good use. One of my strongest sense memories is the smell of a box of Crayola crayons. No other crayons have that same aroma. I would recognize it anywhere. I still remember picking up two Dover coloring books from the gift shop at the Museum of the City of New York during a class trip. One was Geometric Designs and the other was Visual Illusions. The optical illusions were mind-blowing and it was a fabulous change from my usual Barbie coloring books (although I still have several of them too). There is something so engaging, relaxing and just plain fun about coloring. Over the years I might not have used those coloring books but I always made sure to have a big box of Crayola crayons – first a 64 count, then a 96 count and now a 200 count!
Why am I talking about coloring? Because for many, many years I believed I was not a creative person. I cannot draw much beyond stick figures. I may enjoy singing but I doubt anyone will ever pay to hear me or even volunteer to listen. I love to dance but will be the first to admit my skills are amateurish at best. The most creative thing I do is write – and even that I tend to blow off as not especially creative as much as it is technically skilled. Beginning to color again has changed my attitude about all of that. Perhaps I don’t have the eye or hand for painting but that doesn’t make me non-creative. Watching a line drawing fill in with colors I’ve selected, creating patterns within the pattern, has proven fulfilling and satisfying. It has also helped me to see other ways in which I am creative.
I see patterns and connections between disparate elements. I’ve noticed that when I read the Tarot I often find connections between the cards that are not obvious. The better I know the querent, the more effective and interesting the connections I make. I’m like a conspiracy theorist – seeing connections that aren’t immediately apparent to the casual observer. I love writing – not just blog posts but Tarot card haiku. I love making up stories using the images on Tarot cards as a starting point. I may not be a technically proficient dancer but I put my heart and soul into it. I can shake my moneymaker like nobodies business!
Today I asked Sekhmet for some insight into continuing to explore my creative side. She sent me Haya-Akitsu-Hime/Witch of Water, the Shinto goddess of the sea. Her salt waters purify and transform. As I’m writing this I had an insight – Haya-Akitsu-Hime is telling me that my emotional connection to coloring is also a path to purity and transformation for me. It will allow me to purge the impurities and emotional baggage that often distracts me from what makes me happy and what I love in life.
For additional insight I pulled two cards from the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. In response to my query about blending my creative energies in a way that will bring radiance and healing in my life I drew the 2 of Wands reversed and 4 of Swords. With a little help from the companion book, I took this to mean that I’m on the right path; I’m moving in the right direction. Combining meditation and modified mini-retreats for myself will allow me to move forward, explore new horizons and continue on this path of wellness and wholeness I’ve begun. Coloring is one method of meditation and creativity that can aid me in my quest.
So my advice to anyone out there who sees themselves as uncreative is to keep looking; find the right avenue for you. We are all creative in different ways. The key to healing and wellness is to find the path that fits you. Perhaps you are a mathematical genius and see connections between equations and real life applications. Maybe you look at the stars and see a panoply of amazing bodies of celestial beauty that connect to Greek myths and life on Earth. Maybe you’re a history buff and love seeing the connections between past actions and current events. Perhaps dancing is a balm to your soul or singing at the top of your voice brings joy to your heart. As Karen Carpenter once sang “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.”