It’s a Zoom Doodling Class – for pity’s sake! “Just let your body feel relaxed, breathe, remember there are no mistakes. Just allow your arm and hand to be loose and make your circles and lines on the paper,” repeats the lovely instructor, Sharon. I hear her loud and clear. I thought I was ready. The piece of paper is in front of me, pen in my right hand, you can do it I self- talk, now just do it! Nothing happens. My arm does not move. The creative artsy “pen or paint” side of my brain has been idle far too long and I think that battery is dead or for sure, dormant. It’s a weird feeling.

I consider myself accomplished, bright, productive, professional, and good at my work. Now, in this Doodle class confidence has abandoned me – I’m stuck, frozen in the moment. My First-Born Child Syndrome shows up: don’t want to make a mistake, do it right, Oh…Oh -there’s nothing here to copy! The instructor, Sharon, continues in a soft comforting tone, “Just move your hand/arm, and make a circle. Breathe, Relax, Breathe. “

Minutes tick away as everyone is busy creating. My thoughts are shifting. You can do this. Just start. I begin to make circles. Little circles, one after the other, in a row across the paper. Then concentric circles, small and big. I notice how my arm feels, how tightly I’m holding the pen. I hear another Sharon reminder, “Feel at ease and just let your arm relax, so you move more freely to create the circles.” I follow. I give myself permission to let go of the tightness. My arm and hand relax. There’s a nice freedom of motion. Next from circles to lines. Straight lines, horizontal line, vertical lines, curvy lines, and squiggly lines. My paper is filling up with lines and circles and yes, I am feeling more relaxed and more comfortable. Thoughts: you can do this, just let go of expectations and self-criticism. Just be in the moment with creating the circles and lines in any pattern that you want. Here there are no Rules. There are no Mistakes. What do you know? I’ve patterned my life to stay within the lines, the rules and heaven forbid, make no or few mistakes. Permission to be creative granted.

In retrospect, it has been a year of giving myself the permission to be creative with drawing and art. And I have also moved from thinking everything I created had to be good enough to send to loved ones as a card or gift (project to complete – who needs that stress!) to drawing just for me! Now that’s a very freeing place to be. The artwork brings me another avenue to be quiet and to use my creative energy is a very positive and beneficially way for me.

Thank you, Sharon and Deborah! Respectfully, Judy