The Life of Doodles

I have always been a doodler since I was a child. Instead of feeling pressure to "make a work of art" with pastels or paint since I love art making but never seem to have the time,  I have a sketch book handy in which I doodle when I am on the phone, just hanging out or waiting for an appointment. I then discovered that there has been some research on the art of doodling and its benefits - from expression of emotions too complex for words to a "mediator between the spectrum of thinking too much or thinking too little, which then helps you focus on the current situation". They even discovered through some testing that individuals who doodle have a higher memory retention when they are doodling while listening to information. I have introduced this to clients when they are struggling at home with emotions that are challenging. This kind of expression is spontaneous, non-pressured with no outcome in mind, and exploratory. The action of doodling seems to provide some internal ease and stress reduction. One client remarked that she was surprised by the outcome and that it felt good to see how she felt inside herself externalized right onto the paper.

HAPPY DOODLING!

It felt freeing to just move the marker and delight in the colours.

It felt freeing to just move the marker and delight in the colours.

I started with lines and shapes. A face then appeared which was a nice surprise.

I started with lines and shapes. A face then appeared which was a nice surprise.

Many individuals have recurring patterns in their doodles - mine is the circle which comes up in all my images.

Many individuals have recurring patterns in their doodles - mine is the circle which comes up in all my images.

This is a client's doodle of her mood state. The next time she doodled it was completely different! Such a powerful display of her internal world.

This is a client's doodle of her mood state. The next time she doodled it was completely different! Such a powerful display of her internal world.

Resources

Books

  1. Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships - John Welwood
  2. Radical Acceptance - Tara Brach
  3. True Refuge - Tara Brach
  4. Falling to Pieces Without Falling Apart - Mark Epstein
  5. When Things Fall Apart - Pema Chodren
  6. The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown
  7. Daring Greatly - Brene Brown
  8. Calming Your Anxious Mind - Jeffrey Brantley
  9. Healing Through the Dark Emotions - Miriam Greenspan
  10. A Hidden Wholeness - Parker J. Palmer
  11. The Art of Stillness:Adventures in Going Nowhere - Pico Iyer
  12. Broken Open - Elisabeth Lesser
  13. The Art of Possibility - Rosamund Stone Zander

Web Sites

  1. www.dharmaocean.org
  2. www.tarabrach.com
  3. http://brenebrown.com/about/
  4. https://www.zentangle.com/zentangle-method