I recently published my first reading and colouring book; Bella the Butterfly. Initially I thought I would have some colouring competitions for children as part of getting the brand out there. Then as people started sharing pictures of their children’s art-work on the colouring books and their little faces so deep in concentration during the colouring process, I made a promise to myself…I would never have a colouring competition for Bella the Butterfly books.
Who am I to judge whether one coloured picture is better than another?
Who am I to know what level of deep focus, thought into colour selection, precision or creativity in the process was involved?
Who am I to say who did the best mindfulness colouring?
Mindfulness is deeply personal. Sometimes a child may be playing, sitting, colouring, eating, resting so mindfully that we wouldn’t even know. The child may be so present with themselves, so grounded in the moment, making every single breath a memory and we wouldn’t know.
A few years ago before my daughter was born, my partner and I decided we wanted to go to a Buddhist centre for morning meditation. We set out the previous day and stayed close to the location over night in a local bed and breakfast. We were up early the next day and super excited for our 9am meditation. The location did not disappoint. It was set in a spectacular spot and the meditation room overlooked the rising sun on the bay. There must have been 20 to 30 people in the meditation room. We all got a little prayer cushion and found our spot. After settling down, the head monk arrived in and rang a gong at 9am…silence…rang the gong at 9.30am…silence…rang the gong again at 10am to alert us that meditation was over. I went deep as I usually do and got lost on my own travels and was blissfully coming around at 10am when I noticed a man in his late 50’s to my right approach a woman in front of me, maybe a little younger than him. It appeared they didn’t know each other and he said quite alertly ‘You meditate wonderfully’. She smiled and said ‘Thank you’. Well I thought I would fall over on my prayer cushion with the whole irony of the complement.
How does anyone truly know what goes on in another’s head?
How can anyone judge the level of mindfulness or depth of meditation another person goes into?
When I stopped giggling at this scenario, I realised there was a lesson for me too…
What we do internally can never truly be judged by another only ourselves.
I will never have a mindfulness colouring competition for children because each creates their own masterpieces of beauty that are unique to them, in that moment, in that space.
Please continue to send me images of Bella the Butterfly colouring pages being filled with wonderous creation by your little ones safe in the knowledge that I will never judge them but just share to others to show what mindfulness can look like from the outside.
Bella the Butterfly mindfulness reading and colouring books available on Amazon and also www.bellathebutterfly.ie
Spreading love and light to children everywhere xxx