“But… I don’t have coloured markers. Or pencil crayons.” Pause…
“In fact, I have nothing in my house that I can write with in any colour other than black or blue.”
That’s what I’ve heard from several of my mandala discovery clients after we’ve been through the coaching session at the beginning, we’ve identified some block or growth area they want to work on, and I’ve begun to explain a mandala process that will help them.
There’s always a note of something in their voices when they say it. Longing? Fear? Regret? Maybe even a little bit of shame?
“You can start with what you have,” I say, not wanting to push them too far outside of their comfort zone right from the start. “But at some point, I suggest you go out and buy some.”
A few days later, I get an email. “I bought coloured markers!” And sometimes (because buying coloured markers can take much more courage than one would imagine), “I had no idea what I was doing when I was standing in front of a wall full of art supplies, but I heard your voice in my head and I BOUGHT THEM!”
There is always a note of something in that simple email… Joy? Pride? Surprise? Permission?
You could say that I’m a coloured-marker-ambassador.
I believe that every home needs at least one set of coloured markers. Preferably two, or three… or more.
The more I do mandala discovery work, the more I believe in the power of coloured markers.
Coloured markers give us permission to play.
They strip away some of the seriousness that grown-up pens (in boring colours like black and blue) trap us in.
They remind us of the fun we had when we were kids, when a blank white page meant POSSIBILITY!
They help us get unstuck when we’ve been spending too much time in our left brains, trying to wrap logic and ration and order around everything.
They let us make mistakes and ignore linear paths and forget the rules and HAVE FUN!
They remind us that creativity means freedom. And freedom brings change, and from small changes, revolutions begin.
Just think of them as tiny colourful swords to be wielded in our battles against the fear gremlins.
There were many years when I didn’t have coloured markers in my house either. I thought I had to be a grown-up and put away childish things like markers and crayons and colouring books. I was a mom, a manager, a wife, an elder in my church, a board member… a serious, grown-up member of my community. Grown-ups didn’t play with coloured markers.
But then one day, after too many years of blue and black pens, I finally gave in to my silent longing and signed up for an art course. Throughout that first class, I choked back tears. Happy tears. I was in a happier place than I’d been in a long, long time. My love of colour and art and POSSIBILITIES had re-awakened.
I needed more art supplies.
I needed more swords.
And since then, I have filled my tiny office/studio with art supplies… paint, crayons, pastels, chalk, and especially markers. I have fat ones, thin ones, and medium-sized ones. I have every colour in the rainbow… and then some. I am well equipped for battle.
I do most of my journaling in colour – switching whenever the mood strikes me. I doodle, I play… and I make lots of mandalas.
And now I see it as my job to make sure other people rediscover their love of coloured markers too.
Because coloured markers – in a tiny revolutionary way – change things.
We need to stop silencing that part of us that wants to live in full colour. It’s time to stop being so darned grown up and responsible all the time!
When my friend Desiree – an amazing, bold, and creative woman, who’d forgotten just like so many of us – finally bought the markers I’d been cajoling her to get, she gave me the title of this blog post… “THIS,” she said, waving her coloured markers in front of my Skype screen, “is a revolutionary act! Buying these markers CHANGED me!”
If I do nothing more in my life than convince a few people to bring coloured markers back into their lives, then I have done well.
What are you waiting for? Go out there and buy some!
And once you’ve bought them, sign up for Mandala Discovery, and you’ll get to play with those coloured markers (and think revolutionary thoughts) every week!