You can color to fill in like the “H” above or try using designs.  Several benefits come from using designs.  Your hands, which may not be used to coloring or simply tired, can be spared by using designs to fill the letters on the coloring meditation pages. Designs challenge your brain more which will help you get into flow and become quiet.

In the “O”, you see tiny circles made with a metallic gold pencil sharpened to a fine point.  They were made in alternating clockwise and counterclockwise directions.  Making them small and focusing on alternating directions helps you connect your eyes, hands and brain so that you cannot think about anything but what you are doing and the word holy.  A rest for your racing brain, especially if you are dedicating 5 minutes to coloring during a lunch break! Circles also remind us that God is outside time, eternal and all powerful.  Praise Him!

The tiny whorls in the “L” are done in the same manner, alternating their direction to increase focus. Drawing them reminds me of a Nautilus shell or the tiny shape of an unfurled baby fern frond.

Finally, the crosses in the “Y” reminded me of Christ who gave His life to help me be holy and give me the chance to choose eternal life.

Some people would prefer to fill all the letters with the same design, or completely fill them.  Each person tends to choose what works best for him or her in consideration of 1) hand strength/tiredness 2) need for a task that occupies the brain more 3) to give more meaning to the work being completed.

Here are leaves colored in layers.  These leaves are in shadow in the reference photo, so here you see darker colors for them. Using some brown, purple and blue for some leaf strokes creates a sense of shadow.  NOTE:  You may not have the exact colors in the pictures in your set.  No worries – you can find a color that works similarly in most sets of pens, markers or pencils. Each color is put down with simple strokes in the shape of a leaf, first one side then the other.  You can occupy yourself with this task on a higher level if you focus on pressing harder at the base, or wider part of the leaf and lessening pressure as you move toward the top.  By paying attention to whether you feel joy or stress, you will discover whether this color layering process and stroke pressure variation put you into flow.  Choose how you color according to what makes you lose track of time and feel interior peace.  

For the stone in the wall, you will see tiny squares as a base.  This creates that rocky uneven, jagged look where the two colors shown have been colored over by a cream, or yellow ochre, or French grey pencil.  

Remember, this work is not for the purpose of creating great art.  Its purpose is to help you relax into quiet so that you better absorb the wisdom of St. Teresa.  Coloring each meditation takes time.  If you are worried you won’t remember the colors you used, take a picture of them next to the drawing as I have done here. The app, Layout, allows you to combine four pictures into one to save space on your camera roll, and you could go one step further and send that picture to Evernote or Google Keep with a title such as “Colors used for Rocks in Meditation one” OR you could decide changing colors adds to variety, so no tracking needed!

WARNING:  Already, time has flown by several people, and a true confession from coloring today:  afternoon errands started a bit late due to coloring!  If you haven’t signed up to receive the Meditations recordings to listen while you color, it would be a good idea to do that, so that you will have a way to time yourself.  Use the form jus to the left! These come once a week, as most meditations take a week to color!

Here you see two of us coloring and several hints can be found by observing this picture.  Many thanks to my fellow colorer, LeAnn!

In the image to the right, you see how to sit up straight, rest elbows on a table and hold your book up to color on it.  This alleviates back pain for those who may suffer with lower back pain.  For those who are nearsighted, holding the book supported by the lid of the coloring pencil tin close helps to diminish straining to see the lines.  For those of you who are farsighted,  using reading glasses may be a better option.  Remember to roll your shoulders back, pivot your head down instead of craning with your neck.  Hold your pencils, pens or markers gently, and realize that it is okay to let some white show!  This work is about flow.  Make sure stress from pain does not get into the show!

Posture helps your body and eyes, and eye exercises, such as looking around the room, looking into the distance out a window and then looking at your close work is also a good idea.  Closing your eyes, rubbing your palms together and placing those warmed palms over your eyes while you say a prayer will also help you avoid overtaxing eyes that may need to return to other fine work. For more posture advice, check http://gokhalemethod.com/ (not affiliated with Art2Pray)

 

Finally, a note about materials:  ANY kind of colored pencil may be used (Crayola, Col-Erase, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Prismacolor Premium or Scholar, Rose Art, Scholar, Verithin, and more!)  As you can see, LeAnn bundles hers according to color and works one color scheme at a time.  This is wise as she can layer colors knowing that she has looked at all the similar colors in that bundle.  In addition, the bundles you are not using can contain the pencils you are using in between them, which means none of them can roll off onto the floor.  

A  white plastic type eraser may be used for blending, or a blending pencil or marker may be used to soften  the lines made by the pencil.

Any sharp bladed manual pencil sharpener may be used.  Here between us is a German sharpener with a napkin under it to catch our shavings.  It is important not to sharpen colored pencils with a mechanical pencil sharpener to help their leads not break.

Comment below and tell what you learned or give yoru recommendations!

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