Why Doodle?

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen my doodle break posts.

I never, ever thought I was creative.

You see, my mother is an artist.

She painted my daughter's letters (shown below) for her room.  Amazing, right? I cried when I saw what she painted because I thought it was SO beautiful.

She also painted this stool for me when I was 14.  I wanted to be a writer when I was growing up (as you can see on the bear's book). But the detail...my goodness...just beautiful!  It sits by my bedside. :)

And she painted these cute little flip-flops to place on the tables at my wedding reception.

Growing up, I watched my mother paint the most amazing things with the most amazing detail. I was her cheerleader. Her support team, which ALWAYS resulted with the words, "MOM! You have to sell your work.  It's amazing! I could NEVER do what you do"!

So, yeah, I NEVER thought I was creative, or artsy, for that matter, because in my mind, my mother truly represented to me what a real "artist" is.  And I never thought I fell under that label.

But honoring my creative itch since becoming a Mommy, learning how to be a Creatively Fit Coach and what it truly means to balance left-brain and right-brain thinking changed me.

For years I had been trying to calm my thoughts.  You know, the one's that keep you up at night tossing and turning way after your head has hit the pillow for the night.

Yeah, those! Ugh, not fun!

Because I was in dire need of some mind calming activity, my mother introduced me to yoga...10 years ago.

I tried it and I like it, but my thoughts didn't.  My thoughts wanted cardio, cardio and more cardio instead!

With yoga, I then tried meditation, massage, hot baths, walks in nature, journaling and even spinning chinese meditation balls in my hands (which are pretty cool and fun!).

I realized that I LOVED all things "spa" and "calming" and soon found myself immersed in everything slow living.

This new love motivated me to leave my stressful, elementary school teaching job and to pursue a career in holistic nutrition so I could help others slow down and live life more presently.

I was eating the cleanest foods; local, organic, natural. Making the majority of my foods from scratch. Taking hot baths every single night.  Trying to do yoga more consistently.  Doing cardio as much as I could.

But I still felt my thoughts were out of control.

While I ate, my thoughts were still going wild (no where near calm).

In the middle of yoga, my head was spinning with thoughts like, "OK, after yoga, then shower, then breakfast, then errands, Oh, I think we'll have chicken for dinner tonight.  I gotta call my mother.  Don't forget to take the trash out".

When I'd soak in my nice, melt away the stress, hot candle lit bath, my mind was still partying like it was 1999 with constant chatter.  Chatter that consisted of how the day went.  What I want to do after the bath.  What I need to do tomorrow and so on.  My body had left the party for the day, but mind had no desire of ever leaving it.

My body was THANKING me for the calming activity, but my mind was still in dire need of a relaxing BREAK!

As I went through my Creatively Fit Coach training, I knew I had finally found the missing link to whole and slow living.

As we grow older, life isn't so NEW, like it was when we were kids.  We're not constantly learning new things like kids do.

We lose our creative side as we move further and further away from elementary school.

Remember when the teacher would say, "OK! Time for free art"!  and how excited you'd get.  Yeah, no more math or science! It was COLORING time!  No rules.  No grades! YES! :)

Every single one of us colored as a child and every single one of us IS creative.  I gaurantee it!

Because we live in a very dominated left-brain world (linear, routine, fear, ego, anxiety, numbers, information, technology driven, go, go, go and get), our confident and calming creative side (right-brain side!) got buried way deep underneath it all.

Just like we have a full day of light and a full night of dark, so we can rest and rejuvenate for the next day, we have LEFT and RIGHT brain hemispheres, too (just in case you forgot...or haven't thought about it in awhile, like I did).

If we never had dark, and only light, we'd never get a restful sleep and feel energized ( or, what I like to call it, inner-gized!) for the next day.

The same goes for our left and right brain thoughts.  They both need to be used to create a balanced life.

If one is used more than the other (which, right now, we live in a very dominated left-brain world...although the RIGHT brain side is making a comeback...oh yeah!!), that's when we get out of balance, which results in life that feels very stressful and very overwhelming.

You can do all the yoga in the world.  Eat all the healthiest foods ever.  Take hot baths every single night. But if you're not calming your mind down with right-brain activity, your body will feel wonderful, but your mind will still be running 5 miles ahead of you, which results in less motivation to try something new, lots of inner criticism and judgements, and many feelings of exhaustion and burn out.

So if you want to calm your mind.  Want to get more present.  Want to feel more rejuvenated and refreshed. And most importantly, want some CALMing FUN ( you know, kinda like how it feels when you take a trip to the spa with your girlfriends) you've got to reconnect with some right-brain activity again (this isn't just for the people who we think are "artists" ~ this is for everyone!).

The best way to start is by saying hello to your inner creative child again.  You know, the one who used to LOVE free art.  The one who could take out the crayons and go to town on the paper without any judgemental thoughts.

The one who loved pink, purple, turquoise, black, yellow or sea green (remember all those FUN crayola color names...so fun!). :)

This IS the number one way to calm your mind down.  Give it 5 minutes and you'll be in mental bliss.

The colors, the movement of crayon to paper, the fun thoughts of what color to choose next...all melt away the stress of the day and leave you feeling like you've just stepped out of hours of fun in the pool (SO refreshed!).

And guess what?  This one simple tool will lead you to connect with all the creative passions that you loved as a kid, too! Those passions are still there...I promise! :)

So grab some paper, a pen, a pencil or some crayons.  Get a coloring book or a notepad.  And just color a page.

Notice how you shift from thinking, "This is stupid. I can't color.  I have too much to do." to "Oooo, what color should I chose next?  This is SO fun!  OH, I remember when I used to doodle this in high school" thoughts. Once you've shifted from judgement to fun, that's when your brain has exited left-brain-land and entered right-brain-land.  OH YEAH! :)

And remember, you've got to get past the 5 minute mark to truly see and feel the beauty benefits that doodling provides. No rules! Just fun!

Oh, and one more thing.  Since doodling, I now eat with more calming thoughts, do more yoga, mediate more and write so much more in my journal than I ever have in my life!  (But more on WHY this happened later!). :)

Want to create some inner stillness in your life?  Doodling is your answer!


So, until next time...

{life IS colorful}