A Therapist’s Socks of Mindful Colour

I can’t do mindfulness.
I just can’t.

Even the word makes my heart speed up a beat, which I’m pretty sure isn’t the idea. Therapist after therapist, nurse after nurse, have told me to practice mindfulness. Some of the more mindfully inclined therapists I have encountered made me wonder if it was actually healthy.

They would say things like:
“Don’t think about cooking tea tonight. Just think about your feet on the ground.”
“And how many doors were in the room?”
“Ask each individual muscle in your body to move for you as you are doing a task.”
“…Let the happy light rise and merge.”

I once asked a therapist, bald headed and shod conspicuously with walker’s socks and sandals, if he found that things take a very long time to do due to the slow-moving nature of his art. He chuckled and said that the world is too fast paced anyway. If mindfulness was an Olympic sport he would be on the awards podium, but to me it looked like more of a disability than a honed skill. The day to day functioning of my most ‘mindful’ therapists seemed hindered. Each one that I met seemed slower and slower on the uptake. Pauses in therapy became less reflective and more awkward. They would send me a badly typed email once a month with quotes by Ghandi. As someone who likes to be quick on the uptake, I didn’t see the ‘mindful’ way of life to be even remotely attractive. If mindfulness would make me into a slow moving technophobe with bad taste in footwear I certainly didn’t want it.

When I saw colouring books were coming in trend I was pretty pleased. I LOVED colouring when I was younger and the complex patterns of mandalas had kept me busy during my time at Heron unit. I ordered ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book’ with my mental auto-block of anything to do with the M Word turned on. But then I fell in love with it. It was addictive filling in the lines with my thick and bright felt tips. When I am stressed colouring feels therapeutic, I just mindlessly fill in the lines. I don’t think about it but I also don’t think about anything else as I try to spread colour through the pattern. My mind doesn’t feel ‘full’, it’s emptier.

So I have got through a fair few colouring books. If you want to try it, my two favourites are The Mindfulness Colouring Book and The Art Therapy Colouring Book.

My view on mindfulness could be changing.

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11 thoughts on “A Therapist’s Socks of Mindful Colour

  1. I HATE mindfulness!! It became a running joke with my therapists, apologise to me every time they suggested it lol. But I’m the same with the colouring thing, my mum got me two special colouring books for my 21st and iv subscribed to this new colouring magazine 🙂 xx

    • It’s amazing- the more they mention the word the more we hate it. But if they passed us a colouring book during therapy and asked us to colour as we talk I bet it would be a completely different story. I’d want to know what the name of it was by the end of the session!

  2. Find the art colouring mag, calms me a lot more then banging me head against the wall at head doctors lol , take care be safe

  3. Feels good to know I’m not alone with the deep philosophical quotations in panic induced e-mails to the therapist. Will be getting one of these coloring books, too. Thank you. 🙂

  4. my blog is all about adult colouring. i love johanna basford’s colouring books. colouring in is so fun and relaxing isn’t it?

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