Stepping Stones Blog

Coloring Lessons: Scarcity vs Abundance

My artist date this week was a nostalgic return to a childhood pastime:  coloring.

I have thought about coloring for quite sometime, so I had all the necessary supplies:  a new box of Crayola 64 crayons, a set of 20 Staedtler markers, and an old set of 24 colored pencils.  I Googled “free printable mandalas” found the website and printed off the one that appealed most to me.

I am not too familiar with the historic significance of mandalas, so my coloring choice was not based on any kind of spiritual practice or belief.  I chose mandalas because I like the symmetrical organization of the creative elements:  everything is in balance.  The circle brings all elements into unison; they work in harmony with one another.  There is peace and tranquility.

I spent about an hour coloring – starting with crayon hearts then shifting to markers as I moved closer to the center of the piece.  I then used the pencils to lightly fill in the stark white spaces.  I tried to keep my mind free from discourse and just enjoy the exercise, but occasional thoughts drifted in-and-out.  I made note and continued coloring.  Three thoughts, however, were too big to ignore.  They begged for further exploration.

I will discuss the first one today:  Scarcity vs Abundance.

As I began using the orange marker I almost immediately worried that it would eventually run out of ink.  The triangles had a rather large surface area and the fine tip marker had only a finite supply of color.  I couldn’t understand WHY was I worried about this?  The markers were brand new.  I wasn’t going to use orange marker every day.  And when it ran out of ink, I could easily buy another set.

I quickly realized that I feel this way about most aspects of life, and I deduced that I must be operating under some kind of “scarcity” thinking.  I am afraid to use my journals for fear that I will run out; I am afraid of using a gift card for the same reason; I am afraid to finish a project for fear that I won’t be creative enough to develop another one.

This scarcity mentality in essence says, I do not have enough, which could easily lead to hoarding or mental paralysis.  This mindset is the antithesis of You are enough (the subject of a previous post) and it robs me of peace, joy and life experiences.

So this week I am adopting an abundance mentality.  What I have is enough.  I may want more, but I do not need more.  Put another way, I am enough.  I may want to improve, but I do not have to improve to be worthy.

Next week I will discuss what I learned about coloring styles:  pastel vs vivid and perhaps some day I will explore coloring outside the lines.


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