Last week I wrote about different ideas for journals besides, "Dear Diary." In exploring journal topics, I discovered "doodling journals." I've also been toying around with Nataly Kogan's idea for a "Morning Bliss Practice." She describes it as setting aside 15-20 minutes each morning for something artistic--even if you think you're not artistic. That's not the point; the point is rather just some time of zen. I realized these two ideas can come together--a doodling journal that you grab in the morning to just draw and doodle away. And what better place than in a journal. Kogan got her idea from Joseph Campbell's idea of a Bliss Station, which he describes as a time or place that's just your own--a place where you can shut out the world. So there you have it--a SMASH UP of those two ideas. A quiet place where you can go and doodle in a journal.
*Joseph Campbell describes a bliss station in his book, The Power of Myth. He says, "You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen." I'm thinking that one might ascertain that he was talking about writing, but I like Nataly Kogan's idea wherein she says, "Give yourself 20 minutes. Do something your inner most being feels is blissful, joyful." She further adds, "I love thinking about this as a practice. Something you intentionally do every day."
I happen to think this is a great idea for ANYBODY--not just writers or artists. When the news of this old world is so unsettling, we all need this quiet time and place. And a zen practice, whether it be crocheting, knitting, quilting, sewing, sketching, and yes, even doodling.
I think I discovered this idea of a bliss station during the pandemic. We were home-schooling our grandson, and I knew the importance of inserting music and art into our day. Adney loved the quiet art time, whether he was drawing or coloring one of the above coloring books. They are not the traditional coloring books of our youth--they are more like the adult coloring books you see today, but with pictures that appeal to kids. We BOTH looked forward to what we called our art time.
But wait! There's more. I also have something else you can put in your doodling journal. Zentangles! I discovered zentangles on Pinterest. My friends were pinning a lot of zentangle patterns, and I was intrigued. So I went exploring. I just copy various zentangle patterns from miscellaneous websites, but you can do a search on youtube and there are videos on there that will give you step by step instructions. I don't actually have a doodling notebook (but I may start one), but I draw my zentangles in my prayer book. I use them to embellish my prayer requests and favorite verses. Just drawing them is a prayer or meditation in themselves. Zentangles might be the way you'd rather go, than a color book.
And there you have it! A SMASH UP of two ideas I've seen recently--a doodling journal and a morning bliss station. This old world doesn't seem to be getting simpler. It's getting more and more complicated and more stressful--even for us retirees. I think we all need a bliss station and a doodling journal. These two can help in these difficult times.
Please note: The idea for a morning bliss practice came from Nataly Kogan. I follow her on Instagram. Here is her website as well:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!