Last July, I participated in a free Facebook challenge and it wasn’t the ice bucket challenge!! This was a challenge to “journal artistically” for 30 days. Based on an email prompt you received daily from Artist Lisa Sonora, you would fill the page with the ideas inspired by the prompt. (getting started with a blank page is often the hardest part so the prompt was really helpful!) You had complete freedom to do whatever the heck you wanted! I admit, doing anything on a daily basis is hard, especially something new AND in an area where you are weak but during July something magical happened. I got FREE-feeling. I felt the freedom creativity invites in to your brain.
What hooked me? First it was the feeling of pure relaxation I felt when working without a timeline and without rules. Color inside the lines or not. Make a collage or not. Watercolor your doodle or not. There were no wrong answers – only a blank page for exploration. You were on a journey to see where the images took you. The activity invited in a freshness to my thinking as it swept out the stress.
I never considered myself an artist. My Dad could draw really well. So why would this type of artsy crafty project make me feel anything but frustrated? I am not sure I can answer that question because I felt completely opposite. I felt as if my creativity faucet opened full blast and goodness poured through me and out of me.
This simple (and FREE) challenge opened the door to a new way of thinking and of a great way to express myself.
Last week was really a tough one; tough with a capital T. My feeling was, “I can’t take any more!” When it was time to journal how would I visually represent my tumultuous day? All that came to mind were spirals and scribbles. You see, when I am super stressed, my brain can’t track a thought and there are so many thoughts that it becomes a forest of confusion. The page was so full of ugly scribbles that I almost threw it away! As I stared at it, the scribbles started to look more like flowers. Flowers? I added a little more detail and colored them in. Yes, it was a garden of flowers.
“Even amongst the chaos, you can still find beauty. “ Now that is a tweetable moment!
What a beautiful and satisfying way to end the day. Even when the shit hits the fan, it may look like flowers. Ha, ha! That’s totally gross. My point is that you can chose to find the beauty within the shit or it’s just a hot pile of poop. OK, enough bathroom talk!
Doodling is an activity I’ve added to my self-care strategies list. Why not give yourself the gift too? All you need is some paper and a pen or pencil. If you feel fancy then you can add some markers and colored pencils. Explore! See what happens!
I’ve shared quite a few of my favorite creations on social media and please, feel free to post your doodles here in the comments! On the other hand you don’t have to show anyone anything! You can decide.
Until we speak again, be sure to use Your Girlfriend Voice and let your imagination soothe you. Doodle away!
From the heart,
PS: Sometimes it is fun to doodle for note taking purposes. I listened to Kathryn speak and made a visual to represent the key learnings. Tying together major ideas with a visual helps me process and retain information.
If you want to learn more about doodling, I highly recommend my Doodle Guru Diane Bleck of The Doodle Institute.