Ever think of coloring as an adult? Every think of coloring as meditation? I’ve benefited from coloring to quiet my mind when I get stressed. It improves my focus and relaxes my whole body.
Benefits of coloring for adults:
Your brain enters a focused meditative state. Much like gazing at a candle but more active than that.
Stress and anxiety levels have the potential to be lowered.
Negative thoughts release and positive feeling and emotions have room to grow.
Keeps you in the “now”. In the present which helps you attain mindfulness.
Unplugging from technology promotes creation over consumption
It’s an inexpensive way to add art and creativity into your life.
It can be a relaxed social gathering.
How to Color a Mandala:
You will need crayons, pencil crayons, chalks, pastels, paint, or markers in a variety of colors.
Print a mandala or stop at any dollar store, book store or craft shop and purchase a coloring book. You can find a ton on amazon.com too!
Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can work comfortably with no distractions. You can even increase the meditative qualities by finding a spot in a nature where you won’t be disturbed. Here you can take in the scents and sounds while you create your art.
Try not to think too much about what colors you choose, or what’s matchy matchy. Let your instincts guide you. After you begin with the first color, the rest will follow naturally. Susan F. Fincher, the author of numerous mandala coloring books, says, “One color on the mandala invites another, like a guest who asks to bring his friend to your party.”
It’s been forever since I blogged, or at least that’s how it’s felt since my birthday. I’ve been busy doing things and stuff …
What things and stuff? G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. was one! Sadly this may be the last year Misha Collins will be doing the greatest scavenger hunt/random acts of kindness event EVER. BUT, I just saw this posted on his Facebook wall. “We create, therefore we live. It’s been a great ride, guys. Saddle up… I can’t wait to tell you where we’re going next. #gishwhes” So hopefully we will be up to more shenanigans next year!!
“g.i.s.h.w.h.e.s. (which stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen) is a 7-time Guinness World Record breaking scavenger hunt hosted by Misha Collins that you can compete in from anywhere in the world (even from your own home!). Many of the participants claim the Hunt is a life-changing experience that either pulled them out of their shell and completely changed their lives, or drove them insane… many others say it’s simply a great way to spend a week of their summer (or winter for those Gishers on the other half of the planet).”
I was on team “Birdhouse In Your Soul” and we spent a week doing good deeds, showering love on people and doing random acts of silliness. I didn’t have time to accomplish many tasks, but what I did finish meant a lot to me and gave birth to a new regular volunteering task I plan to pick up. So what did I do?
💜 I was abducted by aliens who were searching for specific traits for their specimens. Mine was my empathy and I was abducted in Virginia Beach, VA. This was silly. And I don’t do silly well, or often. But if I were abducted, this was why my hubby thought they would grab me, my empathy. 💙
💜 I wrote a Haiku. My Haiku was for my Ippo. She got sick on my birthday last year and sadly lost her battle within a few weeks. This was a difficult project to undertake. I was an emotional mess. But I knew it was meant for this moment. It’s now another moment in my healing process. I miss her enormously. 💙
💜 I visited a large military ship (the Wisconsin) and held up a sign for all to see. A thank you to all who serve and served to protect our country. There weren’t many people there, but it still meant a lot to be there and reflect on all who give of themselves for others. 💙
💜 I decorated and delivered a cake with a message to someone(s) that I’ve always wanted to say. Mine I was lucky enough to do on my birthday, bringing my own cake. But decorated with “Thanks For Being My Friends” and presenting it as a surprise. It ended up being one of my most meaningful birthdays ever. And I plan to make it a tradition now every year to do an act of gratitude to celebrate my day 💙
💜 I planted a bee loving plant and pollinated it wearing a bee costume (thank you INKnBURN!). My hubby thought I was supposed to do it by booty dancing. My team all agreed, some foot action was required. 💙
💜 At a local laundromat I used decorated envelopes to leave enough for a wash and dry for three people. This is another I plan to do again in the future. The people in the laundromat just gave us funny looks, unsure what we were doing. And it made it all the better knowing their smiles when they picked up envelopes after we left 💙
💜 And lastly, hubby and I took some non perishable food donations to a local youth shelter. They help kids who are from abusive homes and runaways. This meant more than I even knew it would, I walked out teary eyed and happy to find out that not only do they accepts monetary and food/other physical donations, but they need occasional volunteers too. They take the kids on outings and need help with the outings so the kids are safe and rules are being followed, etc… They had actually just returned from visiting a horse rescue. That rescue also takes in the abused and abandoned. My heart was bursting. I don’t talk about it publicly much, but I was abused and emotionally neglected for most of the years before my 14th birthday. My mother abused alcohol and prescription meds and me. She also verbally abused a lot of other family members through the years. This was important for me, a random act of kindness for myself retroactive 💙
A BIG thank you to a great team! And a HUGE thank you to Misha Collins for putting his heart on his sleeve and becoming involved with making the world a better place through art, silliness, and random acts of kindness and love
It’s a newer obsession of mine, seeking my artistic side. Art and crafty type hobbies were not something I grew up with. I came from a very practical household. Artsy type endeavors were considered frivolous and a waste of money and time. This kind of sentiment is something that’s been bred into me and my own nature. To a point I was kind of fearful of it.
But now as I explore more and more that artsy side of myself I’m finding it to be really meditative and so good for my state of mind. I will definitely be throwing myself more and more into areas of life I’ve avoided because of how I was raised. It’s mind expanding and liberating to try out simple things like painting that were never part of my childhood.
Thanks to The Mermaid Factory for a fun place to create, dream, imagine, grow and allow us all to nurture the artist within We’ll be back to do the dolphin!
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis
“It’s about a girl who is on the cusp of becoming someone.. A girl who may not know what she wants right now, and she may not know who she is right now, but who deserves the chance to find out.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
“Everything seemed possible, when I looked through they eyes of a child. And every once in a while; I remember, I still have the chance to be that wild.” ― Nikki Rowe
“We nurture our creativity when we release our inner child. Let it run and roam free. It will take you on a brighter journey.” ― Serina Hartwell
“Acknowledge your inner child. Even though we have found the light in ourselves today, we sometimes forget to heal old wounds of our past. Your inner child still needs to be loved in order to heal the complete self.” ― Karen A. Baquiran
Many of you know my plans to meet up with friends in Myrtle Beach was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew and the destruction in the area our resort was in. Very sad all the loss of life and so much destruction in Matthews path. It’s left a burden on communities like those in Myrtle Beach and even worse in Haiti and parts of the Caribbean where there were many fatalities and some areas were completely destroyed. Relief still accessing damages, giving aide and starting to clean up and re-build.
Thankful we were ok. We were not in harms way. We needed to celebrate the fact that we were unharmed while remembering many were harmed and lives destroyed.
My friends ended up just coming here for vacation and we spent a week just enjoying each others company and taking in whatever small stuff was happening here in Virginia Beach. We were somber at the reason why we ended up vacationing my backyard. But so thankful we could. We had thought about just doing nothing and then meeting up when our Myrtle Beach trip was rescheduled but decided we really wanted to celebrate life, friendship and family BECAUSE of all that happened to cancel our plans.
Day one we took in the beachfront (Boardwalk Beach). Just enjoying the waves, the sun, the sand and the warmth of the day. Autumn does come to our area slowly but surely. Most of our autumn and winter months is spent lingering between autumn temps and that cold that resides just before snow should be starting. It seldom snows here near the beach and when it does, it lasts a day then the remaining warmth of the sun melts the fluffy white away leaving us with a chill in the air.
But for now the sun was still shining brightly and we still had 80 degree temps! The ocean was beautiful today, very blue and just a little choppy. Some nice waves for beginning surfers. And swimmers who like their swim a little wild.
Naval Aviation Monument Park
“The monument represents the culmination of an eight-year undertaking by NAF’s Hampton Roads Squadron, supported by the City of Virginia Beach. View the six larger-than-life bronze sculptures with action-oriented presentations depicting three historic eras in naval aviation. The Monument graces a plaza encompassing 16,000 square feet at the intersection of 25th Street and Atlantic Avenue, adjacent to the Norwegian Lady monument, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.”
Day two we spent the day just visiting and relaxing. My friends did a 9 hour drive here from Ohio and they needed a sleep in day. Plus being at the beach, playing in the waves and all that sun makes for great sleep!! Later in the day we went to the Virginia Museum Of Contemporary Art for MOCA Nights. It’s a easy going evening filled with cocktails, food trucks, open mic night and free admission to the museum. It’s a beautiful introduction for newcomers into art museums. So we listened to a little poetry, some music filled the air and then took in the sights of the museum. It was a beautiful evening with all the time in the world to explore the art within the museum!!
Day three was back to the beach but this time we went to Sandbridge (my favorite beach in the area)!!! The ocean, the waves, the sand, the sunshine and the mist off the ocean is meditative to me. Whenever I am near the ocean I feel a sense of “home”. It’s always so peaceful yet invigorating. After a day at the beach I feel renewed. The waves were calmer but the suns reflection on the water and sand made for breathtaking views!!
And the wildlife came near to play with us….
Day 4 we decided to take in some more seasonal type entertainment. Halloween was, is right around the corner and most of the scarier haunted type venues were not open yet. But we found something to do that was a fun family scare! Ghost Train at Northwest River Park is where we started the night’s hauntings!
A wagon ride through a dark forest with a few howls, bumps in the night and eerie lighting. With some stops with story telling and a bit of haunted history of the area.
It was family friendly for the most part during the wagon ride. Smaller kids would get a scare I’m sure simply because, well, it’s a wagon ride in the darkly lit forest with some scary sounds and a few noises to catch you off guard. But I would say 13 and up would be ok with this. It was a cool night so it was actually a nice ride through the forest!
After the wagon ride they had a haunted house you could go through. I’m not good with small spaces so i opted out lol. But my friends braved the walk through the “house” and were scared by “the people behind the walls” and bat wielding, chainsaw carrying creepy people in masks. Good scary fun if you like being scared!
After the haunted ghost ride we decided the night was still early and we still had not had dinner. Here in Virginia Beach we have a dinner and a movie type theater, well a couple of them. But we opted for Cinema Cafe and the opening night of Tyler Perry’s, BOO, A Madea Halloween. I LOVE Cinema Cafe! You sit in cozy chairs and can eat dinner, snacks, desert and watch your movie!! It’s kind of the new “drive-in theater” type experience.
It was typical Tyler Perry. It was funny with a lesson attached for the kids to all learn about being good human beings.
And dinner was of course delicious, if not necessarily good for you. Not the type of food you should eat often!
Day 5 we just decided to have an easy going family type day with a little early holiday shopping and venturing to the farmers markets for some tasty fresh local foods. We picked up some produce and a few other items for cooking a healthy dinner since we ate junky the night before. The sun was yet again shining bright and there was a crispness starting in the air telling me that autumn was upon us here in Virginia Beach.
Something special was planned for Day 6. I wanted to go somewhere I had yet to go in the 8 years we’ve lived here in Virginia Beach. Already so much of the area has been explored and enjoyed. And after all, I was the one in the bunch who actually was not going away for vacation. So, across the water we went, over to Hampton Virginia, well actually it’s known as Fort Monroe,Virginia. Fort Monroe was designed by the French military engineer Brigadier General Simon Bernard, Fort Monroe (sometimes called Fortress Monroe) was conceived as an element of the Third System of coastal defenses outlined by Congress in the aftermath of the War of 1812. The old Army fortress is filled with history and rich in storytelling because it’s been around for so long. And to top it off we were going for their annual Ghost Walk Tour!
Fort Monroe’s grounds are gorgeous! Surrounded on three sides by either ocean or bay and the structures made of brick and stone set surrounded by green trees and blue skies made for a picturesque walk in crisp autumn breezes.
They converted the structures into rental units. There is a long waiting list because they are museum quality structures in a beautiful setting. But we are now looking into it!
The grounds are lush and green and well maintained. You can tell that since the military left this site, it’s been well loved by the community and taken care of as a landmark but also as a place of beauty despite also being a place of war.
The actual Ghost Walk was rich with the history of the Fort along with actual ghost stories from past residents and those who lived and worked within the walls of this old place. It was a little spooky, but not really scary. But that was ok because the storytelling was superb and the tour and stories were being told by actual residents and former residents which just added to the experience. We could tell the love these people had for the history of this gorgeous place. They hold it near and dear to them. We will venture back to this area again one day when we have more daylight hours and more time to walk through the Casemat and museum. It is a gem and a huge part of the military heritage of this area.
We ended this day with dinner at T.G.I. Fridays and some great conversation. We knew the trip was winding down and that Day 7 would be spent mostly with packing, a good breakfast and my friends getting on the road back to Ohio with dreams of our next adventure and readying for the reschedule of our Myrtle Beach trip. As always I will miss these crazy loves. But more adventures will be had and for now we had had to say farewell. Now to recover from vacation