© 2014 Marica

Doodling

Blank white pages challenge me. I love them and I hate them all at the same time.

A blank page presents a new canvas to work with – to create, to play and experiment. It is an opportunity for discovery infused with limitless possibilities where ideas and dreams take form. Messages that lie hidden deep within are revealed. Things we never imagined emerge. There is an energy pulsing out of the blank page that fills us with excitement.

The other side, is connected to fear and the power of old messages and bad experiences. Our limiting beliefs and assumptions take control. This is when the internal, critical, voice takes over. “I can’t draw.” “I’ll make a mess.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “Who am I kidding that I can do this?” On and on it goes. This negativity takes hold. We become frozen and feel stuck instead of being in the moment and going for it.

Making that first mark is never easy, just as taking the first step towards anything you want to do or change is never easy. It feels like a massive commitment from which there is no return. In reality this is not the case. Almost everything can be altered in some way – either physically or in the way we think about it. Often things turn out better than we imagined – or at the very least different – and by looking at things from another perspective new possibilities emerge. This is the best part. This is how we expand our understanding and our skills. This is how we become connected to the real us.

Doodling entered my life a few years ago as I was having a ‘blank page’ moment. I decided to search online for inspiration. I discovered zentangles/zendoodles. I remember sitting there tracing out the shape of my hand on the page in my journal and starting to doodle. I couldn’t stop drawing. I felt calmer the more I did. I was mesmerised by the lines, patterns, shapes and the overall image that emerged. Five hours later I was still going and it was 2am!

These days I do a variety of doodling – on random pieces of paper, in my journals, using fabric and stitching and a variety of other mixed media – I have even started doodling at work on meeting papers or the notes I am taking. Apparently these work related micro-meditative doodling moments have other spin-offs. According to Sunni Brown:

We think doodling is something you do when you lose focus, but in reality, it is a preemptive measure to stop you from losing focus. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing.

I now carry a little doodling kit ready to use whenever the mood takes me. What makes this kit even more special is that the pencil case that houses my suppliers was made by my youngest daughter, Mira, when she was 11 years old as part of what was referred to back in those days as “manual”. This gift she gave me all those years ago now has a new use.

Doodling not only connects me to myself, it also connects me to other important aspects of my life!

In case you want to find out more about doodling here are a few links to explore. There are so many resources out there to inspire you.

Doodling Your Way to a More Mindful Life by Cathy Malchiodi
Sunni Brown’s Doodlers, Unite! TED talk

Zentangles with Rick and Maria
TanglePatterns.com
Suzanne McNeill
Milliande Zendoodle Sampler – her videos are a great place to start.

You are in control. You can do anything you want. There is no right or wrong to doodling. It is fun and incredibly relaxing. Give it a go! I’d love to hear what you think.

Manifesto
01. Every day is a fresh new day.
02. Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
33. Every day try something new.

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