Doodles. A way out of anxiety. A way into creativity

I started doodling when I was 15 … It was compulsive. All the pages at the back of my notebooks were doodles.
After a while my class mates wanted me to doodle for them.
I was pleasantly surprised.

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It is no longer taboo that throughout my life I had to sit down and talk to Little Miss Depression and her older sister, Anxiety. Putting pen on paper and letting things have their way calmed me.

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I never learned how to draw properly. Never developed any technique. I just do it so I can get a sense of peace.
Doing something without a particular goal can have a beautiful effect on your soul.

You get a sense of a  place where you don’t have to prove anything, don’t need to fit in a frame, simply letting it flow.

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Curiously enough, it is when you don’t set your mind up to be original and you just let go,  that creativity rains out of you as if you were a cloud transforming into rain drops.

Originality is a big concept. Sometimes overlapping with perfectionism.
Creativity oftentimes comes in small joyful bites.

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Doodling is just one way to be present with your inner child who’s playing with a stick, unapologetically and with no apparent reason.
But isn’t joy a good reason to do things?

Breakup: A Shortcut to Wisdom

In a way they were releasing into the world a whirlpool of love that was forever going to change each other and more.

They embrace as they look outside the window. The light sieves through the curtains mingling with her tears.
 They have been talking. There isn't any real solution. They will break up and it hurts tremendously although they feel grateful for this story that became larger than the time they have been granted together.
 Lidia met Damian in a club in Bucharest, nothing fancy.
 She loved telling her friends about the moment he called her for the first time. She was just visiting Romania, not intending to stay. So she told him there isn't much of a point to see each other again.
 "I might get a spam message from you for Christmas!" he said jokingly
 Christmas came and surprisingly Lidia called. Just for fun.
 He asked who it was. She was embarrassed by the situation and hurried to say that it didn't really matter.
 Hey, that is not really fair, now, is it? Let me guess. Is this Lidia by any chance?
 Yes, she responded.
 Intrigued, she continued: How did you recognize me ?
 It's not that hard, it's your attitude!
 She couldn't find a word that described her attitude but she figured it was something that had to do with the reluctance vs willingness to speak to him and she blushed.
 Conversations between them were a delight. They rested in each other's thoughts with relish and after days of talking for hours, she had to invent a reason to see him.
 She is a curious kind of girl.
 She wore a large hat and she was nervous thinking that meeting a complete stranger was such a silly thing to do. I really need to grow up! He might be a serial killer! were the thoughts played on repeat in her mind. What's more, she couldn't even remember what he looked like any more. He must be attractive if I gave him my contact, she thought
 When he arrived, she recognized him the minute he said hello. He had the warmest voice and the calmest demeanour. She looked up, her eyes showing sheepishly from under the large brown hat.
 She stayed over in his place, on 14 Little Lavender Street for 3 days and they both entered the dimension of bliss. They held hands and acted as if they had been living in that place for ages, they learned how each other had his cuppa', about theirs grandparents and friends and dreams and hopes and had the hungriest sex. She even read out loud The Little Prince and The Velveteen Rabbit. Her flight to London was in 4 days. She lost that flight.Her brother booked her flight from a different airport. Funny, isn't it?
 Truth be told, she was never too upset! He laughed( a lot!) then urged her to come back to his place.

Conveniently, she left her tooth brush there, as she was clumsy and forgetful and he adored her sometimes just because.

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  Long story short: Romance was on!
 Due to another project she happened to have in Romania they spent time together and the fact that they were so happy was no longer just an illusion they could blame on the hormonal hype.
 They were still hopeful when she went back to London. What can distance destroy when they had so much in common, so much to share and even a few happy memories.
 But when 5 months have past and they haven't seen one another, both their lives too complicated and impossible to bring together, their next encounter was painful.
 Underneath there was the same love and respect but the reality that they lived in different countries, different lives, was screaming with frustration.
 The elephant in the room was all grown up now and it was impossible to ignore.
 There were tears. There was the talk and the unutterably cruel conclusion stroke: breakup.
 Damian wasn't the first boyfriend she had. She got hurt many times, she got emotionally abused until she learned all the mechanisms of the abuser, she even tried to have open relationships (She just wasn't suited for it) , and eventually she wriggled out of the script her insecurity was condemning her to. Then she chose to be alone. And that was her idea of safety or at least the closest she ever felt to safety anyway.
 But Damian melted all those toxic believes that safety means loneliness and isolation or lack of hope. His steadfast unconditional presence diffused all the wet mouldy walls she built around her heart. She learned what true safety meant: it oozed with affection and mutual respect and love and space to make mistakes and be forgiven. She had the chance to be 100% herself and that was something that she had never hoped for.
 Damian was also grateful for the magic, friendship and her honesty.
 This relationship represented the key that unlocked another kind of freedom for both: togetherness. A sort of freedom with enhanced benefits. This new discovery was the confirmation that they were lovable, imperfect yet magical, respected, admired, adored and above all, unconditionally accepted.
 He said:" We burned into the purest essence" And she knew exactly what he spoke of.
 They were magicians that fell in love with their own spell.
 In a way they were releasing into the world a whirlpool of love that was forever going to change each other and more.
 As she was watching the sunset she sobbed. Ahead of them lay their own missions to complete. They were young enough to hope against all odds but old enough to realize that not reaching their goals was going to turn them into a bitter couple. They both knew that not setting each other free was going to take away from the purity of their relationship.

Now they embrace knowing that they would never have chosen otherwise. She feels grateful that she lost that flight. He is happy that she stayed on, even if her departure will mean her unbearable absence.

They felt strangely wiser...
 They had the chance to recognize their true selves. No matter what definitions they may have worn, they were courageous enough to drop their shields in front of each other. They learned quickly that the strength of their relationship stood in their freedom to be as vulnerable as possible.
 They wished upon their dearest friends this kind of love. And now, they were stepping out into the unknown, the cold unfriendly space of randomness but with the certainty that LOVE Happens .

 

The Little Mermaid (who eventually grew up)

What if we’re actually withholding something worth saying but we’re petrified? What if we are worthy?

When I first read The Little Mermaid ( Hans Christian Anderson version, not Disney) I cried. The mermaid in the original story trades her voice for a pair of human legs. So she can be like the Prince she falls involve with. Now, that in itself is sad but she also feels immense pain with every step that she takes. For the sake of clarity, let’s think about the mermaid as the person which goes through a series of transformations and the Prince as the goal we are trying to reach( job, promotions, projects, unleashed creativity)

That’s how I felt before having a real conversation: in pain and with the certainty that my voice won’t be heard.

That’s how I felt in primary school. That’s how I felt when I tried to speak to my parents. I then started writing(what can a mute mermaid do? I discovered a sense of freedom in that)  But it still wasn’t a conversation. I decided to go to the creative writing group at the university and read my first attempts. When my teacher told me that my writing was awful I stopped writing for 3 years.

(After all,  what was I trying to add? And who was I, anyway?)

Now, that’s how you break someone’s legs! That’s how you reduce to silence…

So the mermaid walks aimlessly and painfully. Has employers, some good, some bad. I had 2 bad experiences when it comes to  jobs. The first one weighed on me until I couldn’t take it any more and I left. (I wrote about it some  years ago) The second was bad but I decided to speak up. I had this belief that things will never change unless I spoke up. And I did. I still quit but I was different, transformed. I started to imagine that those legs belonged to me and I stopped walking without purpose.

Am I still scared to speak up?

Of course!

But every single statement that I make makes me.

I am scared about being harshly criticized.  When I started this blog I had to imagine no one would read it in order to post something but the feedback was so touching, it reduced me to tears.

What if we’re actually withholding something worth saying but we’re petrified? What if we are worthy?  How many people actually believe that they will not only be heard but actually be listened to?

When we were filming for “Forgotten Song” we met some children. They were begging. I came out of the car and I asked if they wanted to play. They forgot  what they were told to be:i.e. beggars and for a second returned to who they really wore. They played hide and seek with me. I asked their names and I saw the happiness illuminating their faces. It was heart breaking. These children were happy because I was interested in their names. What would happen if I told them that I believe in them. That I am listening to them?

We often  say that children are attention seekers. But how many times do we step into their vision? The mermaid in the story, in order to step into someone’s shoes gets a pair of legs. And yes, the truth might be uncomfortable but I believe that within the little mermaid something clicked the minute she found her voice. But the real alchemy  occurs when one listens. I suppose that makes us all human.