Breathe + Believe (In the Creative Process, Too!)
I'm SO excited to be creating my uplifting word doodles again, but I have to tell you, when a word comes to me (which haven't been coming as frequently as they used to, more on that below) and I get some time to sit down and write it out, my left-brain is in FULL AFFECT.
If you're not sure what that means, let me show you.
When I first sit down to write a word, I always write it out on blank sheet of printer paper. I like to kinda get a visual for how I want it to look.
I don't use rulers or sketch it out in my art journal and then trace it with my sharpie after or do anything to help me get it to look perfect.
I just LOVE to freehand it all (even if it means going through a ton of paper in my art journal), because for me, when I set "rules" around it, it doesn't FEEL calming for me.
I don't doodle to create a certain outcome or to make it look perfect (although at times, it can come across that way, or my mind can make me think it's for that way...more below on that).
I doodle to CALM my mind, but, I do like to get a visual before I move over to my mixed media art journal.
Here's a few that I did, and yes, I could go through a bunch of these before moving on, especially when I'm deep in left-brain land, which you're about to see below. OMG! Just wait till you see...LOL!!
The bottom, left felt GOOD to me, so I aimed to do something like that in my art journal.
OH and I left out the most important part...I started this around 6 pm in the evening. I had just finished a full day of mothering with my 4 yo home all day with me...had just cleaned up dinner, did homework, got lunches ready for the next day, got backpacks ready and uniforms out and all the other stuff we mama's do for our kids and husband.
So this was AMAZING!!! I got to sit down in a quiet house and CALM my mind!! BEST EVER!!!
So I started doodling away...but, my left-brain, (ya know, the side that IS super analytical and LOVES to tell you when you don't like something), did NOT like that way that "h" was looking, so I started again.
And, again and again and again and again.
My left-brain was SO stuck on that "h" and then I started to write "believe" instead of breathe. What!?
I'd start to FEEL my flow and it would feel OH, SO GOOD (hello, right brain!), but then my left-brain would kick in again...telling me now the "e" looked horrible. So I started again...which, again, the "h" wasn't right.
I tried it again...still not diggin' that "h." But, then I started to get in the flow....ahhhhhh!! But, gosh darn it, my left-brain just couldn't stop it with that "h." OMG!!
And it just kept getting worse and worse. The "e's" were too small with their loops, the "t's" started getting out of the control and that dang "h" again. UGH!!!!
Until finally, I started getting somewhere. YESSSSSSS!!
The tracing always FEELS SO GOOD and I could tell I just wanted to get into my right brain flow. And it was really trying to make its way through, because I just wasn't giving up.
But then, after I traced and traced, my left-brain still was in control.
Although, when I look at it now, I'm not really sure what it was seeing, but for some reason, it wasn't happy and it was still telling me to "try again."
The more I tried, the more it wasn't working and the more I'd tell myself...
"Renee, just stop and come back to it another time. You're too deep in a mental, left-brain funk right now and your left-brain does NOT want to let go."
But, I just didn't want to stop. Because I LOVE LOVE LOVE calming my mind with these words and I could feel it within me of how much I really wanted to do this for myself. I was CRAVING it!
And now that I'm starting to allow myself to sit down again, I so want to be back in this calming flow, like I used to be. Words would come to be all the time and as soon as I'd sit down, I'd be writing and tracing and painting and photoshopping and sharing. I realized how much I've miss this calming, creative and uplifting flow and I seemed to have lost it.
So the more I tried, the more I found something wrong, like that first "e"..uh, way too big now! Ha!
Until, finally I made it through! But when I added in the word "and" I smeared it all over the page with my hand by accident.
O M G !!!!!!!!!
So I stopped for the night and went back to my mom duties of brushing teeth and reading bedtime stories and I figured I'd try again the next day, since it's my day when both kids are in school all day.
The next morning, I decided to paint. I've been craving time to get back into this, too, so I thought since my mind is SO crazy with my uplifting words, maybe it just needs some mindless-painting fun to help calm it down.
Because mindless-painting ALWAYS has this amazing way of calming my left-brain down
and letting my right brain shine through!
I was excited to paint my flowers.
When I'm deep in my left-brain and it's been a very long time since I've painted, I always start with something I don't have to "think" much about and what I know will calm my mind the "fastest," which is doodle flowers!
So as the blue was drying, I had a canvas that I painted purple many months ago (or maybe even a year ago...my mama brain has no clue) and decided to just do my curlie-cue's.
Oh gosh, this felt GOOD!!
As I started to get in the flow (see, that mindless painting easily gets ya in that flow...love it SO much and need to do more of it!), I began to have this HUGE craving to get back to my breathe and believe doodle.
So that's what I did!
And wouldn't ya know, I did it all in one-go-a-round....from start to finish...from the marker to the color...on my first try! Woooootothehooooooo!!!
And, yes, this is what it looks like before I play with it in Photoshop, which I have SO much fun doing!!
And this is what it looks like after! So fun!!
But, this process has been SO interesting.
It made me think about how far I've come with blossoming my inner, creative self in this mindless, calming way.
When I first started coloring again, like I did as a kid, I hadn't picked up a crayon in YEARS. And, I also never thought of myself as CREATIVE.
I was sleep deprived while navigating my way into my new life as a mom (C had just turned 1).
I'll never forget the thoughts my left-brain was telling me the first day I sat down to mindlessly, color this almost seven years ago.
And, yes, this IS how I started...nothing like what I do now (that's what happens when you let your right brain come out and play again! Woohoo!
Oh, it was having a field day.
- "What are YOU doing, Renee!?"
- "You're not a kid anymore...you do NOT COLOR!!"
- "You have SO many other important things you NEED to be doing right now...laundry, blogging, getting your business up and running, cleaning, getting dinner ready, reading a book, watching TV, taking a nap....NOT coloring!!"
- "YOU aren't even CREATIVE! You suck at coloring! Just look at what you're doing....it's awful."
- "Um, WHY are you doing this again!?"
- "You're not in high school anymore...you don't NEED to be bubble writing words!"
Oh, the fun it was having and boy did I want to listen (and, heck, I can still listen to it today), but something deep within me kept me there coloring away. Because, for the first time, I FINALLY felt the calm, happy and rejuvenated feelings I'd been searching years for, by just playing with color like this.
So, after going through my breathe + believe doodle funk, I realized, that yes, my funk is still there.
But, instead of my left-brain telling me to stop and go do more important "adult" things, I'm now struggling with how to find the time to DO all the creative things that bring me my most inner calm and joy during my busy mama days.
I want to paint, I want to photograph, I want to write my uplifting words, I want to write in my JOY journal and color it and share it, I want to paint and color with my kids more, I want to dive back into my photography classes and start learning again, I want to make videos for my doodles and my paintings, I want to capture moments that I love with my camera more, I want to blog more, I want to create more free stuff for my website, I want to create more ecourses and programs, I want to be an inspirational creativity calms coach to moms like me, I want to bring mindless, creativity into the education system, I want to connect with other creatives and photographers, I want to do yoga and mediate, I want to journal, I want to get out in nature, I want to dance, I want to take hot baths, I want to go get a message, I want to cook and bake more...and SO much more!
My right brain mind is SO lit up, but now I'm struggling to find the the time in my busy mama life to do it all.
So instead of my left-brain telling me that "I'm NOT creative" and that "I'm an adult so that means you don't color or paint or do anything fun like a kid anymore," and me continuing to live my life believing those words and that I had not ONE creative bone in my body.
I now want to confidently DO all the things that make me feel excited like a kid again and just don't know which one to start with first (because I wish I could do them all, all day long! Ha!)
So when I finally allowed myself to sit down and create again, I dove back in FAST and was SO ready to pick up where I left off.
But what I realized when I was painting, is that I have to start out slow...let my left-brain slowly unwind (by just painting all the white blue and painting a flower that will easily calm me...or even curlie-cue's, too, because those are another ultimate mind calmer for me).
And once my mind balances between left and right brain hemispheres (instead of the left-brain being in control and getting all the love and nourishment...yes, to-do list, i'm talking to you!!), my inner calming, creative JOY flow will shine through.
And that's when I realized...
"Oh yeah! I remember now!! I do the same thing with my word doodles...if it's been awhile, and I'm in a major left-brain funk, I always start out with the word, love...even if that means I spend days doodling it over and over again!"
And that's what I ended up doing to easily let my inner, creative calm and joyous self flow again.
Ahhhhhh! SO NEEDED!
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm always going to get in creative funks like this again. It's not like, oh, once I tap into my right brain once, I'll always flow.
But, ya know that saying about the more you do something new, the easier it gets, well it's true, with creativity and anything else you love to pursue in life.
The longer you step away from it, the longer it may take to get back in the flow. But the coolest thing I'm learning is that if you really truly LOVE it and it really truly brings you JOY, no matter how long it's been since you've connected with it, it will flow through you again!
The more I do it, the easier it gets! Just like with anything in life.
And, here's proof.
Remember my cray cray doodle?
I had a little bit of left-brain funk going on, but no where near as much funk as I was having my breathe and believe doodle.
Life isn't perfect and neither is the creative process. And when it comes to doing anything in life, there will be days when the flow seems easy to get to and some days when the flow seems impossible to find.
But just because on that day the flow wasn't easy to find, it doesn't mean you suck at it and that you should just give up and do more important "adult" things, it just means, hey, take a break, breathe and believe that if it's something you truly LOVE and want to pursue, it will eventually flow.
Now this I know for sure, because, yeah, I'm living proof of it! Ha!
So, if you're anything like me and you've tried EVERYTHING to calm your mind (like yoga, mediation, whole foods, walks in nature, alone time, etc...which area all great by the way!) and you're still struggling OR you have this deep, inner craving to do something more creative, more hands-on, but you're not sure what.
Pick up some Crayola crayons and start coloring and doodling like you did when you were a kid.
Not sure what to color? I'm sure you've bubble lettered your name before, right? Try that!
Or just get a coloring book and start there.
The more you color, the more you're right brain will come through and before you know it you'll be filled with SO many ideas on how to creatively calm and ignite your JOY that you'll be like me, struggling to find time to do them all and fit them into your busy mama life.
Oh, and next time, I'll be sharing the reasoning behind why I chose to doodle the words "breathe and believe."
So be on the look out for that. It's an awesome one and I can't wait to share!!
Until next time....
why doodle? because it easily calms the mind and soothe's the soul so YOU can easily reconnect back to your inner CALM, JOYous and CREATIVE self (something that's hard to do when your mind is running five miles ahead or behind the present moment).