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Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colors; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow. --Kahlil Gibran

Reflecting on Mindfulness Through the Joy of Coloring

--by Ellie Cross, Jun 01, 2016

“Allow Breathe Curious” is a mother-daughter collaboration that emerged from Anne’s growing interest in mindfulness and meditation and her daughter Ellie’s belief that art is a powerful tool for change. The project began when Anne developed a list of words to help with mindfulness during sleepless nights. Starting with “Allow” on the in-breath, the list grew over time to include all of the letters of the alphabet. She shared the idea with her daughter Ellie, whose mind instantly swirled with accompanying images. They decided to combine their passions to create a coloring book of postcards, in which each word is elaborated by Anne with a phrase and a unique illustration created by Ellie.

This collaboration between a mother and daughter team extends to involve the colorer, the recipient, the postal service, and beyond. From the simple act of coloring a picture to the delight of receiving a postcard in the mail, this project manifests Ellie’s belief that there are infinite ways to spread joy through creativity and generosity. Anne and Ellie hope that these seeds of mindfulness and creativity find fertile ground throughout the world.

Feel free to download the images and color them in. The act of coloring can be a simple exercise in mediation or a light-hearted creative process. Color beyond the lines and give them as gifts to yourself, loved ones, or strangers!

As we watch ourselves breathe, we see what is within us constantly mingling with what is outside, and the truth of no solid, separate self becomes apparent.

When we can be curious about what is happening in this moment, we may chance upon wonder.

Delving Deeper
By delving deeply into ourselves, we begin to see our patterns. And it is only when we can truly see our patterns that we will no longer be bound to them by either acting them out or repressing them.

As we watch ourselves breathe, we see what is within us constantly mingling with what is outside, and the truth of no solid, separate self becomes apparent.

Finding Freedom
We find freedom by making friends with the underlying feelings that make us uncomfortable.

Love (is all there is).

Mindfulness isn't about getting rid of our thoughts, it’s about not getting lost in them.

Trust the healing power of the heart that allows us to feel fully alive.

Waking Up
We can wake up to this very moment with our life just as it is, right now. Nothing is wrong and there’s nothing to fix.

Published with permission of the artist. Ellie Cross is interested in using art as a problem-solving tool to create a more just world. Originally from Seattle, she has painted murals designed to raise environmental consciousness in Malaysia, Thailand, Guatemala, and the U.S, and has also worked on several short film projects with inspiring social messages. You can follow here work through her website. More on Allow Breathe Curious here.


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