I am a doodler and I am sane!
The power of doodling.
When you were a child do you remember doodling in class and getting reprimanded by the teacher when she caught you?
I remember there were not many pages left untouched by my scarabocchi, my scribbles. In primary school my teacher was la Signorina Guttadauro; Miss Goldendrop was the most rigid spinster you could think of and creativity was not her favorite subject.
She had the body of Olivia, Popeye’s girlfriend in the cartoons with a very harsh face. Whoever was not frozen on their chairs, fully listening to her teachings, was punished by being asked to stand behind the A frame blackboard for an X amount of time.
Drawing on our composition book was one of the don’ts. The risk of punishment was too high. I remember I was caught twice. I did not understand.
Brene’ Brown, in her book The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are writes that by the age of eight all the damages to our creativity are done. I believe that to be true. I believe that we are so afraid to express our creativity fully just because of fear of ridicule or the feeling of being ashamed.
I only found out recently that what I was doing at that time was doodling. The Oxford dictionary defines doodle as scribble or draw, esp. absent-mindedly. But what clarifies everything for me is the word doodler. A doodler, coming from German dudlekopf, was considered a foolish person. Today doodlers are becoming trendy. There is a lot of published literature on the subject.
We doodle when we talk on the phone; it’s natural when we listen to a conference. Whenever I start to get bored, doodling is what keeps me sane, receptive and present. It’s been demonstrated that if you doodle at a conference you retain 20-25% more of its contents. By doing mindless flowing drawing our two hemispheres of the brain get integrated and relaxed.
In my experience when I doodle I relax fully becoming open and receptive to the learning. At times when I get fully absorbed I go into a daydreaming space that allows new ideas to be born, inspiration to run freely, having ‘ah, ah moments’ and solutions to problems. In fewer words … It disentangles my mind.
MY INVITATION TO YOU
Whenever you feel stressed, you are in your board meeting or at a conference, doodle! Let your pen draw on the margins of your agenda or your note book. Notice how simple it is to stay engaged.
If the speaker takes it personally, and becomes your Signorina Guttadauro, explain to them that doodling is a great tool for retaining more information and bringing your learning to the next level. Then even Miss Goldendrop will be proud of you and you will be inspired and surprisingly relaxed.
Do you have any doodling experience? I truly appreciate if you share in the comment section below.