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Colouring Over The Lines

Apr 15, 2008
Do you remember painting by numbers? Or those colouring books where we were supposed to fill in the pictures with crayons? Some of us filled them in very precisely, some just coloured anywhere. On a mundane level it helped us as children learn co-ordination and dexterity and, as such, it was a necessary part of our education.

However on a subtle level it taught conformity. It taught us as children to conform to a standard idea, that it was a good thing to only colour inside the lines. Our parents were best pleased when we managed to colour neatly inside the guidelines of the outline and we were encouraged by their approval - it made us feel good. The subtle, subconscious message was - don't cross the line.

This, among many other situations in our childhood, taught us society's message - there are boundaries and limitations in our lives and it is far safer to stay within these limits. Not only is it safer, but if you don't stay within these limits what will people think of you? It was valid to learn these boundaries; we needed a template for living with others in a society.

What we did not know then was that we could challenge these perceptions as we took responsibility for our lives and made our own, informed decisions. Being a Taurean someone once said to me that it's like the bull being confined to the field with the command not to jump the fence. After a while the bull gets used to the field, no longer sees what's over the fence - let alone wanting to jump it.

A few years ago I was talking with a friend when she said she loved the slogan "colouring outside the lines". Often, old people when asked for advice about how to live life would say - take risks; don't worry about the dusting; follow your heart; don't let fear stop your dreams; don't conform - colour outside the lines. It struck me as so liberating, to do whatever I wanted to do, with responsibility, and not conform to pre set patterns and demands.

Colour outside the lines she said - do what makes your heart sing. For many years I did colour outside the lines, took risks - seemingly outrageous ones at times, and I learnt about myself and my life and what made me tick. I learnt what underlying beliefs ran me - the subconscious beliefs that I didn't even know I had - things learnt in childhood, the "which colours go where."

The period of time that I spent colouring outside the lines was exciting, inspiring, and broke many self-imposed boundaries. It was full of successes and what outwardly seemed like failures but what where in truth successes of a different kind - the occurrences that I learnt from, the things that showed me I was pointing in the wrong direction and that it was time to re-orientate myself. It was a very important era in my life and my personal development.

But there came a time when I began to feel the need for balance in my daily life. It began to feel as though the pendulum had swung too far in the other direction - like I had thrown the baby out with the bath water. I started to ask myself the questions, "what is my life's purpose? "What am I supposed to do with this gift of life? I had no idea.

It was at that time that a new slogan came to my mind - Colouring over the Lines. This shouted balance and harmony. This represented the idea of breaking all limiting thoughts and boundaries but bringing with me all my experience and understanding of life.

Our life's experience informs our future. It shows us what we have learnt along the way, the challenges that we have triumphed over; the things we have done that at the time we thought were going to sink us into oblivion; the successes that have shown us who we are and what we can do with our lives. These are the times when we have felt so alive, so exhilarated, so in the flow of life, that we know that this is what we love, that we are love. All these things from our past light the way to the future and we need to take them with us when we step over the boundary, when we colour over the lines.

To colour over the lines is to find the balance in our lives. To work at breaking free from what stops us moving on, reaching our goals, fulfilling our dreams. It means for us to find our answers to the big questions in life. By bringing with us our past it gives us the understanding to answer our future. We all have the answers within. No one is going to be able to tell us what is our life's purpose, what it is that will fulfill us and lead us to live the life of our dreams.

A great meditation master once said, "Summon forth the power of your inner courage and live the life of your dreams." I have always loved this quotation. It tells me to connect with my heart and take positive steps forward. Me, taking steps. Being courageous. It takes courage to change your life, especially if you already have many things in your life that you have worked hard for and thought would fulfill you. To stand and say this no longer works is a courageous act in itself. You may also be in a place where you just know something is missing in life and realise that life is too big a gift to waste. Whatever your reasons for wanting to change your life - to colour over the lines - are all valid.

Often it is hard to make changes without someone to cheer you along the way. Often those close to you cannot be your cheerleader as they are too close to be objective and constructive. It is useful to have someone to help you clarify your goals; to give you positive, constructive feedback; to be there when you need support; to remind you of your own decisions when things get tough; to make suggestions of where or how things might be accomplished; to simply be on your side.

A Life Coach offers this on an individual basis. They work with you so you can clarify and fulfill your goals, your life purpose, become passionate about your life again, and get to the place where your life has meaning in every way - to banish boredom and put fun and joy in it's place. It requires commitment from both parties but can be a hugely rewarding and inspiring process. A life full of colour all over the page.
About the Author
Jessica works internationally as a Life Fulfilment Coach empowering people to create the life they choose and gain fulfilment in every area of life. If you would like to arrange a time for her to call you for a free introductory session please email Tel +34 958 639 593 or jessica@jessicamcgregorjohnson.com. For more information visit her website by clicking this link
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