There are too many people out there that define what happiness looks like by adopting a set of rigid rules and setting clear guidelines. Don’t get me wrong, we need laws, policies and a good sense of right and wrong in order to guard against chaos and anarchy. It equates to taking your 16 color box of crayons and filling in the pre-drawn picture with colors that stay within the lines. It doesn’t take much creativity, but it does require discipline.
For me, I’d rather have the 128 color box with the built-in sharpener, a blank piece of paper or a paper with random shapes and lines, and a bit of imagination. When you color outside of the lines, you open yourself up to new experiences, new outcomes, and new possibilities.
Today, my daughter and I did a non-traditional run that was akin to coloring outside of the lines. We had three miles to navigate color stations that were stocked with brightly colored corn starch that was sprayed, thrown, and pelted at us as we made our way through the various color clouds. There was no timing or competitiveness to the run and you absorbed more color the slower you went through the stations. My daughter and I took turns determining both our pace and location on the course. It was eye opening to see those who embraced the fun and irreverence of the run and exhibited sheer joy as they ran into the color clouds and created a few of their own. The finish festival invited all runners to open their individual packet of colored starch and throw it up in the air as part of a simultaneous count down. We gasped, marveled in the rainbow sky and let the color rain down upon our otherwise predictable lives.
We walked to breakfast at an outdoor café, still donning our colorful hair, running attire and color-smudged skin. People would approach us, curious about what ritual or rite we had taken part of. They delighted in the idea of running to collect color where ever you could find it and we were living proof that you actually could. We certainly had colored outside of the lines today and we loved every moment of it. It was a great reminder that the best parts of life often take part in the space in between the lines.
© Kelly Tweeddale 2012