Surrender 16: The Challenge

I’ve shared before how much I enjoy coloring. The current coloring craze that has swept around the globe has been so much fun to participate in. I have a growing collection of coloring books for adults and colored pencils, which is my preferred medium. 

I’m a member of several coloring groups on Facebook. These are supportive and inspirational as we post our completed pics and share ideas, techniques and trouble areas. Two of these groups have weekly or monthly challenges, in which instructions are given on what must be colored or how a picture is to be colored. 

  The four color challenge. Only four colors could be used to complete the picture. 

These challenges have been fun. I’ve completed the froggy challenge, the four color and six color challenges. And I just submitted my picture where I could only use shades of blue. I like pushing myself creatively and seeing what I’m capable of. That is, until one of the groups issued a challenge  for January that prohibited the use of colored pencils. Any other media could be used, but not pencils. 

 The shades of blue challenge.  

I immediately decided not to do that challenge. I don’t like coloring with gel pens or markers. I like coloring with pencils. The first week in January went by and that challenge kept nudging me. I’d push it away. Besides, I told myself, I don’t have markers or colored pens and I didn’t want to purchase them just for this one challenge. 

And then I remembered. I did own a set of Bic fine line colored markers, if I could find them. I searched through my house for another week, without success. Surely, I wasn’t supposed to do the challenge if I couldn’t find my markers. Right? There was that drag on my boat, as I flowed down the river. I recognized that feeling. Resistance. 


Once I realize I’m resisting something, which alerts me that I’m moving out of the flow of life, I have a choice to make. Continue resisting…drag, drag, draaaaggg.  Or release the resistance. The choice was not difficult. I would do the challenge.  I used my intuition, and asked, “Where are the Bic markers?” I returned again and again to the place I felt drawn to and searched through the interior of the cabinet multiple times. Finally, standing there once again, I looked in the closet to my left, and there they were. 

I am using markers to complete a challenge. I have until the end of January to finish the picture, a Johanna Basford Christmas print that I didn’t get around to during the holidays. And you know what? It’s fun. I’m enjoying using the markers and coloring with them is just as relaxing. 

I’m grateful for the challenge. It was a simple matter, but apparently a big one to me because it became a point of resistance. I’m learning. It continues to be good for my soul and my growth to move beyond my comfort zone AND my personal preferences, which tend to limit me. My awareness is revealing to me where I am not as open as I want to be. Open to everything…even using markers to color with. Attached to nothing…not even my favorite colored pencils. I believe I’ll be coloring with these markers again.