Why I can't color inside the lines

I sat on the floor of our discombobulated kitchen this weekend and said, “Ugh, I’m done. I do NOT like this.” Actually, I think I said I hate this in a mini-meltdown fashion. But, the mind blocks out the really negative things, right? Eugene, aka Yoga Dear hubby, kind of chuckled at me and took over the paint brush for a bit.

Do you ever see yourself from a bird’s eye point of view? Every now and then, I totally can. There’s me, frustrated in the middle of paint cans, painters tape, random screws, a fridge pulled out from the wall, rags strewn all over the place and I’m plopped in the center of it all. You might know that we bought a bit of a fixer upper about 1.5 years ago. And, now we’re redoing the kitchen - painting the cabinets, painting the hardware, changing up the colors of our walls that are half bead board, half regular drywall. It’s going to look so good. I know this. I do. But, sometimes...I loathe this process.

So, Eugene asks me why. "Leanne, why do you hate painting so much?" And, thought about it for a second. I actually don’t hate painting. Give me a canvas and I'm happy, but the walls...? And, then I realize. It’s because there are so many rules when painting walls. You have to wipe them clean, you tape the borders just so, you roll in this direction with this much paint so it doesn’t drip, you have to cut in the corners, and if the wall is dark (ours was), then you have to prime a bajillion times. And, that’s all before you get to the fun part with the actual color!

Ahhh, so, that’s it. I don’t like all those rules. And, I certainly don’t like coloring inside the lines. It all clicks and falls into place. That’s why I’d rather cook something delicious for the painter than paint the trim myself. That’s why I like to move furniture around, rather than build it. That’s why I prefer roles where there’s a lot of creativity and problem solving and a dash of this and that, rather than being given a set of directions. It’s how my brain works. It’s just how I am.


So, why do I share this story? Because, these little snippets of life show us who we are, our true nature. And, instead of fighting them, we can learn to work with them. Here’s a bit of yoga magic working it’s way in... As I thought about my realization this weekend, the mantra Sat Nam came to mind. Have you heard of it?


Sat Nam is a mantra, meaning “truth” (sat) and “name” (nam), or sitting in our truth. Sat Nam encourages us to accept ourselves completely, fully; and, to acknowledge our strengths, our true nature. By repeating Sat Nam as we breathe in and out, we can be reminded of all of our strengths and gifts, and we are urged to live and cultivate those rather than beating ourselves up about our weaknesses or things we simply don’t enjoy.

So, in case you need the reminder (because I sure do), truth is your name. You have innate gifts. You have a path all your own, and it’s the right one, because it’s yours. Believe in your genius, be aware of your weaknesses, and try not to get frustrated by themAfter all, if we were all drawn to the same interests and had the same talents, wouldn’t the world be pretty boring? That's why I’m okay with handing over the paint brush. I’m better at the design part anyway.

- Leanne Matullo