Coloring Zen for Self-Care

I decided to bring my Mike Dubois coloring book to work with me today.

I don’t often disconnect and spend time doing things that don’t require wifi, so I was looking forward to zoning out a bit during my dinner break. When I began coloring, though, I was strangely reminded of when the ladies in my Bible study group talked about how “dangerous” the new (at the time) coloring book craze was. Zentangle drawings and mandala coloring books were rapidly growing in popularity, and it seemed as if everyone had a childhood rebirth and started coloring again. At the time, I didn’t get it. I wasn’t into coloring but I had other hobbies that met my creative bents and self-care needs.

I didn’t understand why the church women were so upset about coloring books.

I mean, really? COLORING BOOKS? I couldn’t believe it then because I did not see mandala coloring books as a gateway to evil. Their take was that ‘Zen’ was akin to meditation– emptying your mind so that the only thing that could possibly come from it was demonic possession. Yes! Really! And mandalas were the path to demonic possession. I thought it was ridiculous and even told someone so. She rolled her eyes at me and condescendingly explained how it could happen, to which I laughed and walked away. I was steeped in Christianity but my brain hadn’t fallen out of my head.

image of a zentangle art book

Tonight I happily worked some gorgeous purple into the wings on this fabulous Mike Dubois drawing and was grateful for the ability to unplug. I mean, mostly. I streamed a Billy Strings show and I did end up posting the picture and some thoughts on social media when my lunch was up (not nearly as much as I’ve done here). But I could disconnect from it for half an hour and just connect.

Hand to pencil. Pencil to paper. Music to soul. Self-care at its finest. My Zen.

I haven’t seen any demons yet but the night isn’t over.

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