“Quieting the Mind” with Coloring

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Coloring in a peacock. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

It’s difficult to “quiet the mind” after viewing a link titled “11 Instant Pot Facebook Group Recipes That’ll Disturb You.”  Images of the gaping insides of a raw chicken that’s stuffed with pickles—along with lumpy meatloaf “doughnuts” glazed with some kind of pink ketchup—just stick to my brain like sushi rice.

However, I’ve heard that adult coloring books—the ones that are filled with intricate patterned pictures of nature, or even unicorns and gnomes—are supposed to help erase all disturbing, anxious thoughts.  So, I pick up a Relaxation Coloring Book at the local bookstore—along with some fine-tip markers in various shades—and attempt to color in a peacock.

At first, it’s really fun, but then, I realize this project is taking forever. It’s not something that can be finished in a day.  I’ve had this coloring book for quite some time now and I’m not even remotely finished with that peacock—or any of the other twirling, swirling pretty things on that page, which I think I’m supposed to completely fill in. But that’s the point, I guess.  The idea is to “quiet the mind”—and choosing colors and staying within the lines does help for a while, until I start thinking again.

And here’s what I’m thinking:

4 p.m.:  Are these the “right” colors for this peacock?  Should I add in more orange and pink?  If a peacock saw this picture, would it be happy?  Can peacocks kill people and eat them if they are not happy with representations of them in art?  Maybe I should stop with the peacock and color in the crazy heptagon shapes on the next page. (I flip the page to look at the heptagon patterned page.) Nope. On second thought, I’d rather eat a chicken stuffed with pickles.  Peacocks will just have to murder me in my sleep.

4:15 p.m.:  I’m quite concerned about the peacocks. There’s a ruckus on the roof and I see dark shapes flying past my window.  It’s time to put down the coloring and text Nate.  But, I know better. I know that this is how that conversation would go, if I actually did text Nate:

Me:  Nate, I think some kind of large and menacing bird (maybe an angry peacock?) is on our roof.  I think it’s tearing up the shingles.

Nate:  LOL!

Me: No, really—it’s not funny.

Nate:  It’s just crows.

Me: No. It’s not. I’ve been coloring in a peacock in a ridiculous and unnatural way.  Everyone knows that this disrespectful act sends out a signal to all of the other peacocks in the world. They don’t like it.  They find the source of the problem and break through the roof. I’m telling you:  Peacocks are trying to break through OUR roof.  That’s the first step—that’s how they get in and murder you in your sleep.

Nate:  (Would send a poop emoji.)

Me:  Nate? You there? Nate?

4:20 p.m.:  I need to defend the house from peacocks.  What do I have? What can I use as a weapon?  No . . . no. . . must resist—keep coloring.  Eventually, the mind will relax and . . . Oh, there we go—soothing green and blue, I think. I’ll make the stripes on the peacock blue and green—now this is fun.  What’s a song I could sing in my head?  Ah, yes! “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads. It has a nice, steady beat: fa fa fa fa fa fa, fa, fa, fa, better run, run, run, run, run run away.  Wait. . . did I leave the door unlocked?

4:25 p.m.:  Yep, I believe the door is definitely unlocked—and the peacock on the roof knows it.  It’s just playing with me.  Okay, what I really need is a purple marker to try to just calm down. Ah, yes. There we go—I’m back to thinking about just coloring. . . but I still need a weapon.

4:30 p.m.:  There’s a rock I picked up at the beach the other day—it’s on my bookshelf to my left as I color—and it’s staring at me.  I call it my “orca” rock, because it has black and white swirls, but the angle at which I’ve placed this rock makes it look like one large pupil, surrounded by the white part of the eye.  It is literally looking at me and screaming, “Use me! I’m a weapon! Smash the peacock’s head in!” It’s time to text Nate—for real. Okay, maybe not, because this is how that would turn out:

Me:  Just wanted to let you know I’m safe—at the moment.  If I come under attack, I have a rock.

Nate:  (Would text an emoji of a thumbs up, followed by another poop emoji because he likes poop emojis. Who doesn’t?)

4:35 p.m.:  I’ve placed the orca rock on top of the peacock picture to cover its face. I can’t look at it anymore and not think about getting murdered by peacocks.

4:36 p.m.:  I’m stuffing a chicken with pickles for dinner.

Your Turn:  Do you enjoy coloring as an adult? What kinds of projects help you relax?

25 thoughts on ““Quieting the Mind” with Coloring

  1. Yesterday we took advantage of the sunny day and visited the local zoo, where we saw 1/2 dozen peacocks wandering freely. They did not look particularly menacing to me, or even especially intelligent, but I’d wondered why the person at the ticket booth handed each of us a large rock. apparently they scan incoming visitors for clashing colors and dress code violations, and then attack. But otherwise I find zoos and aquariums to be very relaxing 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story–you are very brave. I avoid zoos that might have peacocks, but now I know that I should just be color coordinated and everything will be fine. You are saving so many lives here–thank you!!! (This was a really funny reply–loved it:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. you are so funny – precious and adorable too.

    yes i colour – i have bunches of colouring books. some i keep here by the computer – with all the coloured pencils

    since i started doing my knitting projects a few years ago – i don’t colour as often as i would like. but every so often – for an hour or two – i will find one of the colouring books and colour away.

    i like big bold colours – so my art work is bright – extremely bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mmmmm……..chicken and pickles! I’m still chuckling as I type. Your writing cracks me up! I love to color as well, but yes, it can definitely take up a lot of time. There’s actually a smartphone app that lets you do color by numbers, FYI. And did you know that Chick-fil-A marinates their chicken breasts in pickle juice? That’s why they’re so moist and tasty. Your learning moment for the day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! I didn’t know that–interesting! I have heard that brined chicken/turkey is excellent before any preparation–whether it’s frying or roasting–but this picture showed a raw chicken filled with dill pickles–it was disgusting–yikes!

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  4. Not going to lie, these fancy grown-up coloring books don’t really do it for me. But the stuff they make for kids and a good box of brand-new colored pencils? I’m all over that! That is suuuuper relaxing. I crochet a lot too, when I need something to relax my mind that I can do without looking too closely.

    P.S.: The peacock looks great.
    P.P.S.: No peacocks have come for you, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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