Step 11: Do You Meditate In Color?

This is my prayer corner. The colored pencils are from Iowa. I bought them at an art supply store when I started coloring during prayer. Bear with me. I can explain…maybe.

I dream in color. I respond emotionally to color. Being in the wrong climate devoid of much color used to drop me into a depressive torpor. Arid climates would make me feel like a lizard suffocating on a hot brick. I am less controlled by color now…but I still crave it. Living in my RV gives me the opportunity to travel while surrounded by my favorite colorful things and with my own supply of colorful prayer tools.

Before I stopped drinking, I based all my prayer times on reactions to scripture or readings. I would read a section and then write out what I learned from the reading.  I still grab those journals and find treasured passages that should have lit my path through tough times. Of course, much of the good that could have come from the wisdom in these readings was drowned in alcohol. One thing about drinking: I don’t remember much of what I read. The journals show me that God was giving me a lot of guidance and my insistence on the drug was a constant dilution of His loving messages.

After stopping the drug, I started coloring during prayer. I would still read during the first part of my morning break. Then I’d journal a little and empty my emotional bundle on the page. Finally, I would pick out a color that represented how I felt and start to color the little sketches that bordered my journal page.

I found the coloring to be a soothing meditative method. From this, I began to buy coloring books to use. More of my time was spent coloring than writing some days. I suppose I was learning a way to still my mind a bit. I was learning silence. Following the pencils with my eyes and enjoying the colors was enabling me to relax in His presence in a way I had not found previously. I used to love coloring when I was a kid, but this goes beyond that. It has become a prayer tool. One that works without words. A tool for silence and stillness.

The following comes from Into Action. The placement is at the end of Step 10 and just before Step 11. It summarizes why doing the Steps is important and stresses how a right relationship with God is dependent on prayer.

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action. Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer.

~ PS: Sherrie Theriault, my favorite recovery poet and artist also designs coloring books.