There’s quite a few changes happening in my life at the moment, and lots of work to do, so I felt a need to take a day off and rest. Initially I was yearning to leave the hustle and bustle of London and head for the countryside, but even that seemed like too much effort!
So I found myself spending the day in my local park (Friary Park) and took a handful of felt-tip pens and a blank notebook.
After doing some mindful walking and sipping a nice cup of English Breakfast tea (but no cucumber sandwiches unfortunately), I sat myself down under a tree in the shade of the high noon sunshine.
I opened up my notebook and literally began to scribble. Like this:
When I was at school, my art teacher wasn’t very nice. He doubled up as the games teacher too, and he was too strict for my liking. He used to give us grades for our artwork and apparently my art wasn’t up to standard!
Fortunately, I’ve left those silly ideas of not being good enough at artwork behind me. ‘Modern’ art gives me the confidence that any old rubbish scribble I do could be worth millions of pounds! Thank you Damien Hirst. And so I scribble away, just for fun, relaxation and to tap into any creativity lurking within.
Interestingly, what happened was fascinating. I’d do a doodle on one page, and then have an urge to draw out some of my current challenges and work out some solutions. Then I’d do another drawing, which often ended up being very much on a mindful theme, and then the next page I’d give myself a question and come up with more creative solutions. By the end of an hour or two (cleverly, I have no watch so no idea how long I was there for), my artist’s notebook was filled with ideas, solutions and drawings!
I thought I’d share the discoveries from my little day of scribbling with you all. I’d LOVE it if you tried this out and shared your drawings or findings with me, in the comments.
Here’s 5 simple tips to get you off your meditation cushion and out in a park, drawing.
Leave behind digital distractions - Phones are boring. And so are watches. Leave them all at home and go out for a walk. Just don’t make the mistake I did and leave your keys behind! Walk as mindfully as you can to your local park or green space, if you have one. No need to rush. Forget exercise - this is a day to chill out. Just stroll, enjoy the weather and remember your notepad and colourful pens.
Just pick a colour and scribble on the first page...literally. Once you’ve picked your spot to relax, open up your notepad and literally start scribbling. Why? Because that way you can set aside all your perfectionist tendencies and just start. Enjoy the feeling of freedom about not having to get it right. Make your scribble as rubbish as you can. Let go and have some fun being messy!
Feel, don’t just look. When I was doing my scribbles, drawings and other inspiring stuff, I enjoyed physically feeling the pen on the paper. Especially when I was drawing imperfect circles. I also enjoyed listening to the sound the pen made on the paper. Beyond all this, I welcome in my emotions. If sadness came, I let her in. I also made an effort to connect to nature. I could have almost spoken to the trees and asked them for advice - in fact, I’ll do that next time!
Take naps. I think I fell asleep at one point. Or semi-dozed off anyway. All this relaxation can take its toll, you know?! After a few drawing and problem solving sessions on paper, I felt exhausted and enjoyed napping on the grass.
If you decide to explore your challenges...This is the optional bit for sure. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but it just happened. I asked myself questions like ‘What would I do next year if I had a budget of £1000 for the whole year?’ or ‘If I woke up and everything was perfectly how I wanted it, what would be happening?’ or ‘If things went ideally for me, what would be happening in 3 years time’. And I did brainstorms and mindmaps - I had a lot of fun exploring all sorts of new ideas.
Don’t follow these rules. Everyone’s different, so do what feels right for you. You may prefer to scribble indoors, in your garden or whilst having a bath (warning: it’s wet in there). Whatever you choose to do and wherever you go, I hope you find some peace of mind - or if not, enjoy a piece of cake instead.
Here’s some of my other drawings. I hope you enjoy looking at them. If you really like them and want to share them on social media or on your website, you can, but link back to shamashalidina.com and tag me on social @shamashalidina - thanks!