Ooodles of Doodles

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Flowers over the fence….

Life is full of twists and turns. One minute you are up, the next you are being hurled to the bottom, by the universe itself.

I’ve always been one to multi task. I’ve sat through many a staff meeting listening and doodling. A couple Christmases ago I came upon a zentangled book. I briefly skimmed through it before gifting it to my niece for Christmas. In the month that followed I lost a job most unexpectedly. I was a mess. I cried until I had no tears left. I was shaken to my core. I thought back to the Zen tangle book I had gifted. I decided I needed to get a copy for myself. The store I bought it from was going out of business, but graciously helped me order a copy for myself. I knew there was something healing for me in that book.

I was not new to art. I’d taken years of advanced art in high school. But I was plagued with the notion that to be good, something had to be perfect. How many times had I started something only to tear it from my work board and toss it for its lack of perfection. I had an art instructor who told me I was no longer allowed to do cute, it had to be beautiful. My response was to drop the class I once loved. I couldn’t do beautiful, so clearly there was no place e for me there. Now 35 years later I found myself with this book in hand full of embellished doodles. It was as if the art in me began to buzz!

At the same time the stress of loosing my job was crushing upon me. I was finding myself overwhelmed with anxiety. I went back to the Zen tangle book. It was like looking at my own doodles. I decided to go get the needed supplies and try it. I quickly realized that the part of my brain so deeply engrained in worry, couldn’t keep its focus on worry when I had a pen in my hand.  Step by step I began to do a drawing almost daily. Each time I put my focus on the empty page before me, anxiety had its grip lessened on my thoughts and mind. It was quickly becoming my own meditation.

I found the softness of the paper I was using to be soothing to the gash in my soul. Day by day I made a point to just draw. I was immediately hit by my own inner voice pointing out my imperfections, “it’s not beautiful, it’s not perfect, you should just toss it! ” But I had started sharing my drawings on Facebook each time I finished a design. In doing that I gave myself a way to over ride that self critical inner voice. Each time I was ready to tear the page from my board and trash it, I felt I had to keep going. It was God reminding me that He wasn’t done with me, that beauty could come from the ashes.

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