I’ve been doodling. Often. Almost daily since October, since The PYS Diva Monster descended upon my blogger’s bones. I turned to doodling and invested myself wholeheartedly into it perhaps for (creative) survival. The writer’s block was in full force just then so I found another outlet which I’ve always enjoyed since childhood.
First it was mainly out of frustration. I was overwhelmed with things to do and my mood was mostly in the muddy pits. Oy, the many things to do! I didn’t have Tita Naty, our new housekeeper, not yet, and J was on another business trip. I also found out that our Manila holiday which I’ve been looking forward to all year was not going to happen. A feeling of desolation hung heavy in the almost Christmas-y air.
So with energy and motivation and mood at its lowest and not at all feeling like tidying up another room in the house, I turned to my journal pages instead like I always do when I’m desperate for escape. I happened to pick the one by Jen Lee called Take Me With You, a journal for the journey, and turned to the page that said: A Doodle Page, (No writing here please). So I did. I produced one very basic, elementary doodle, the kind that one creates while on the phone with a girlfriend and talking about nothing and everything.
Then, five, maybe ten minutes into it, something clicked inside my now much quieter head: Follow that lead and interview the recommended housekeeper. Not later, not tomorrow, NOW.
You see, I received a text two days prior about a potential housekeeper and was procrastinating and instead of calling, was putting up with the craziness and overwhelm. (How often do we do this?!) Turns out, the recommendation was good as gold and it was the best lead in the whole year of searching on and off. We are in the process of hiring her. YAY! More time to doodle.
Now what does hiring someone or stress management have to do with the doodling experience, you may ask? Here’s my simple answer: the right-brain doodling opens and allows for space inside my head. I was, if only momentarily, able to breathe easy and plan better. Most times, it’s all about taking an honest breath. Easier said than done, I know. Yet here’s what one gentle and wise woman says about it:
Sarah Ban Breathnack, in her bestselling book and one of my favorite daily reads, Simple Abundance writes, “Carve out time for personal pursuits that bring contentment…Isak Dinesen arranged flowers. Katharine Hepburn whiled away the long stretches on movie sets by knitting. Queen Victoria filled dozens of sketchbooks with charming watercolors of her children that reveal a glimpse of the real woman who delighted in holding a brush when not ruling an empire.”
I doodled. I continued after that one mind-taking-a-breath experience.
We moms may not have an empire to rule as Queen Victoria did but we do have a home, and yes, gratefully, a much smaller kingdom. But rule we do, just the same. We owe it to ourselves and our beloved subjects to be sane while we do so.
Ms. Breathnach continues, “Space and time to nurture our creativity may be one of our authentic hungers. Perhaps we think that only food, drink, work, sex, shopping, or pills can reduce the gnawing to a dull throb. But maybe if we took an hour a day to paint, to plot, or to throw pots we wouldn’t be in pain – physical or psychic. Just maybe.“
Maybe? Personally, I think for surely!
Tell me: What do YOU do to help with the overwhelm and stuckness? I’d really like to know how others do it and if ever you’ve found a fool-proof way to overcome the muddy moodies, naturally, of course. 😉
To breathing easy,