“Why doodling?” you may ask. I’ll give you four reasons. After you’ve tried it you’ll likely find there are many, many more.
First, the word doodle. It’s fantabulous and fun. In this, my Year of Wonder & Whimsy, I wanted to start out with practices I like and lead me into those spaces. Doodling does that. Plus, it’s a great rhyming word for both real and made up words. Canoodle with your poodle, schnoodle. Love you oodles! Toodles.
Second, anyone can doodle. There are no rules and you can let your pen, pencil, marker, crayon, whatever tool you’d like, lead the way. You can create the atmosphere, doodling at a desk with tea and a candle lit. Or while at a meeting, a lecture or while watching your favorite t.v. show … whatever strikes your fancy, Nancy.
Third, you don’t need a lot of time to do it. 15, 10, even 5 minutes will do. A lot of us are so busy, we barely have time to have lunch. Rather than add another burdensome “to do” to the list of “to dos”, I wanted to offer a way into creativity that could be done in any time period. Which is why I created the Doodle Extravaganza challenge this month. To start opening the door to creativity with as little stress as possible.
Fourth, with doodling, you can change and expand your state of mind. I find that when I’m stressed out and anxious, my body and mind relax when I’m doodling and drawing. The ahhhhhhh happens. It’s a form of meditation and helps me get into a creative space, a place where I get new ideas for projects and art. Or just simply relax without any specific goal. (A miracle for me!) I feel much happier. And these effects are supported by research in neuroscience and psychology.* Doodling helps people “stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information. A blank page also can serve as an extended playing field for the brain, allowing people to revise and improve on creative thoughts and ideas.”**
So….come on over and try it out. You can create a ritual for yourself. Like this one: For 15 minutes, I’m going to have a cup of tea & doodle! Start with your eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths. Note how you feel in your body. Start doodling, using the daily prompt. After the time is over, close your eyes again and take a deep breath, noticing how you feel.
You can use whatever materials you like. I have a list of materials in each of my videos, in case you want a specific materials list. Here is the link to the three videos: Seaweed Doodle Extravaganza!, Flower Doodle Extravaganza! And Animal Doodle Extravaganza!
So come on over and explore Doodle Extravaganza on Facebook. You can keep your doodles private in your notebook or share them in the comment section each day. I love seeing your doodles!
Happy Doodling! And being your you’est you!
*Heller, Steven. (2015, July 9.) The Cognitive Benefits of Doodling. The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/07/doodling-for-cognitive-benefits/398027/
**Shellenbarger, Sue. (2014, July 29.) The Power of the Doodle. Improve your Focus & Memory. The Wall Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-power-of-the-doodle-improve-your-focus-and-memory-1406675744