Doodle Lessons – When The Shoe Fits

If we are lucky in life, we find something that really fits.  Even luckier if we find multiple “somethings”  I suppose.

Maybe it’s a purpose, or a passion that we feel strongly in our soul, or a relationship that feels destined to be…or the perfect pair of shoes.

Whatever it is, when we find it I believe we should embrace it and be grateful for it…even if attaining it is a challenge.  I heard in a movie once, “I’m not going to miss out on something great just because it might be hard.”


Today’s Doodle “scribble” message came to me as a shoe.  It started as a line that now makes up the top of the red shoe and the curvy line that is now the “heel”.  As I was filling in the colors and bringing the shoe to life, I got these words in my head:

“When the shoe fits…”

Doodle #2 in oil pastels


Following the morning Doodle, I opened my email and was presented with a new opportunity to reach more people and share the power of the “Doodle”.  After a few moments of the ego voice making itself known, the Doodle Voice spoke up.

“When the shoe fits…”

I think I’ve found a shoe that fits.

Stay tuned…


Doodle Lessons – Meet My “Shiny” Inner Critic Buster

Today I kicked off the 2nd “Do The Doodle” 30 Day Challenge.  If you haven’t already, you can sign up here.  It’s going to be great fun and we’ve got a lot of NEW Doodlers joining us.

I have a Doodle routine.  Most days.  I Doodle first thing in the morning.  Before I get my day started.  Opening up to listen from within and coloring out loud with my inner voice’s message.  Some days the Doodle comes late and when it does there is usually a reason for it.  A message that wasn’t ready yet or a day that was sure to need a Doodle sanity break.

This morning I Doodled early.  It wasn’t the usual Doodle experience of relaxation and fun.  I was awash in left brain, “ego” land.


My Doodle Superhero in oil pastels.


“I don’t like it.”

“The head is the wrong size.  The head is the wrong color.  Why does it even HAVE a head?”

“And, that hair?”  “????????”

“You’re going to post that?  For others to see?  Really?  No, REALLY?”

That led to:

“Why are you doing this?  You can’t do this?  Who do you think you are?”

Then I realized my inner critic has been YELLING at me for days.  I’ve been in this conversation in several areas of my life.


WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE, MS. CRITIC. I have something to say to you…“STOP!”

“Stop berating me.  Stop intimidating me.  Just STOP!”

And further…

“I am doing this.  I can do this.  I think I’m a pretty cool and shiny chick.”


This morning the Doodle spoke and we KNOW the Doodle doesn’t lie!  Today’s Doodle message from my inner voice was just what I needed.  “Shine Your Light”.


Do your thing.

Do it with confidence.

Do it with your unique “color”.

Do it with passion and joy.

That’s what matters!

Shine Your Light….


For all you new Doodlers out there who may be struggling with your inner critic (in the Doodle…or in LIFE), just let it go.  Defy it and Doodle.  SHARE your Doodle anyway.  You are coloring out loud and the world wants to hear you!  No matter what!!


And truly, do you think any less of me because my Doodle’s head is weird?

I didn’t think so.



Coloring Out Loud

I was never loud.


Quite the opposite actually.  I was quiet, shy, hoping to “fly under the radar”, just fit in and not be noticed.

I rarely raised my hand in class.  I dropped out of choir when I found out I had to sing a solo.  Complete fear set in that I’d be center stage.  All eyes on me.  WHAT?  NO WAY!  I’m OUT!

I battled myself to speak up in meetings as a young adult.  I had things to say…but what if others disagreed, thought I was dumb…

Have you been there?

When I started the “Do The Doodle” 30 Day Challenge a few weeks ago…well, I almost didn’t.  I almost chickened out at the last minute.  It meant I had to put myself out there. I had to “speak out” through my journal drawings. I had to SHARE my personal thoughts and feelings. Dude, really?  That’s SUPER scary! Not just the thoughts and feelings part but my drawings too.

“I SUCK at drawing”.

“My handwriting is so UGLY”!

“People will…[laugh, judge, think I’m strange…]”.

“I’ll share something personal and someone might discover all my secrets”.

But, something pushed me to do it.  To just let go and do it.


What You Are Meant To Learn Is What You Are Meant To Teach


My voice is important.  It matters.

Speaking up feels good.  It’s empowering.

But most important, I’m learning, is that it makes a difference.  To OTHERS!

When I silence my voice, I silence others too.  When I don’t share my thoughts, I don’t fully show up.  Others don’t benefit from my contribution.  And I, in turn, don’t benefit from theirs.


F/A Train Doodle with colored pencils! Doodling on the subway is fun...but challenging!



It’s JUST A Doodle….


I know.  It’s just some colors on a page.  Maybe a few words.  But really, it isn’t.  It’s so much more.

Yesterday I drew 3 Doodles.  I judged each of them.  I didn’t like any of them.  Most of my Doodles weren’t about listening to what that inner voice was saying.  They were about my image and your acceptance of it.  I hesitated about posting anything.  But in the end I did.  I posted the “worst” one (visual judgement again).  The first one.  The one that really carried my message and where I was in my life at that moment.

It resonated.  With several people.  But for one person, it resonated in a big way.  It touched on an emotional level something really challenging that she’s dealing with in her life.  It became a dedication to someone she loves.

Just a simple little Doodle.  Done while sitting on my bed like a teenager.  Expressing a message from inside. Making a difference in someone else’s life.  A message that almost didn’t reach her because of my own self judgement.  How sad that would have been!

I contributed.  She benefited.  I benefited.  Maybe you are benefiting too?

But, it’s JUST a Doodle.  🙂


Colored pencils and pastel Doodle inspired by a conversation with a friend about rooting ourselves. When I finally got around to doodling at the end of the day, my first mark looked like a foot!



Coloring Out Loud


However you decide to share your message and use your voice, do it!  Don’t hold back.  Don’t hide.  You are important.  You are here for a reason.

Me, I’m going to continue “coloring out loud” because it works.  For me.  For others.

It’s about to get LOUD in here!


Getting DARING! Pastels, colored pencils, AND magazine clipping (GLUE STICK) doodle! I started with the clipping and when I read it the word "color" jumped in there.


A BIG thank you to “Team Doodle” for joining me on this adventure!  If you didn’t join the Challenge, no worries!  You can start doodling NOW.  Here’s how I got started.  And, I’ve been asked to do another Challenge when the 30 days are up.  I think the Doodle is here to stay for a while.


My favorite Doodle yet. A vision of freedom and joy in pastels.



A Doodle Challenge Update – Do The Doodle!

I kicked off the “Do The Doodle30 Day Challenge last week on my guest blog post on Creatively Fit.  It’s been really fun and I love all the colorful and creative doodles that are showing up on the melissaAnne Colors Facebook Page!  If you haven’t joined the challenge or checked out my Facebook page, here’s what you are missing:

Zan Packard of Loving The Adventure has taken up the challenge and is “Doing the Doodle” daily!


Zan Packard is Doodling in California

She’s also finishing final edits on her FIRST book this week!  Zan used to write in her journal first thing every morning.  Now she grabs her COLORS and doodles…before she even has her first cup of coffee.  That’s Doodle Dedication!  Zan says she can physically feel the shift as she begins to relax into the Doodle and let her art lead her words.


Tom Evans of Whole Brain Thinking Whole Mind Connection is Doodling daily too.  I love Tom’s Doodles. They are always inspiring.  This is one of my favorites!


Tom is Doodling from Guildford England! We're going INTERNATIONAL!


My Melissa Anne “twin”,  Melissa Anne Brummerstedt, of Honey Bees Cakes is sharing her doodles too.


Melissa Brummerstedt is Doodling from Palos Hills, IL


I’m “Doing The Doodle” every day too!  Here are a few of my favorite doodles from this week.


I drew this Doodle the other morning when I was struggling over “letting go” of some things I love.  It just came out…


This one was just a fun, flowy, wordy free for all.  It even has some hidden words JUST FOR ME!  I woke up in a “not so great mood” but after doodling I felt so much better!!


This one I did late in the day yesterday.  I was inspired by the vision board that hangs on my closet doors.  The shapes and colors are from images of textiles and designs from Morocco.  The words came from within and from the vision board.  After I Doodled I sat down to create this blog post.  I think there was a reason I waited until late in the day.  After a long day of designing for a client, I was tired and ready to shut down.  The Doodle energized me to come share and “COLOR OUT LOUD“!


Inspired to Doodle?

YES, you are!

Not sure how it works?

It’s so easy!  Just grab some crayons, colored pencils, pastels, markers….anything you feel comfortable “coloring” with.  Get a journal… I chose a special journal just for the 30-day challenge as a treat and motivation.   Grab a color, whatever color speaks to you and start Doodling!  Doodle for 5-10 minutes and feel the relaxation set in.  If words come to you, or thoughts emerge, add them to the Doodle.  It’s your inner voice “coloring out loud“.

Not sure where to begin?  Afraid of the blank page and can’t even get a Doodle shape out.  GREAT!  FUN!  Take your color, the one that speaks to you, and close your eyes.  Make a mark on the page.  Any mark.  Like this:


I just made this mark in my journal.  Tomorrow morning I’ll use it for my Doodle and see what it becomes.  Check out my Facebook Page to see it!

Open your eyes and see if you see anything in the mark.  Turn your journal all around if you need to.  There is no top, bottom or side to my journal.  It’s an open canvas for MY mind!  No rules here!! If you see something start coloring it in.  If you don’t add more marks or just add color.

Maybe you never “see” anything.  Some days it’s just about the release or the thoughts that come when you give in to the process.

Try it!  Don’t judge your final product.  We’re not looking for gallery art here.  We’re letting your new voice out!

UPDATE:  Finished Doodle from Above


Can you find the original mark? Remember..NO RULES!




“Do The Doodle” and join the 30-day challenge on my Facebook page!


International Women’s Day

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Every year, events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

These are some of themes from around the world for 2011 that inspired me.

Global, United Nations

Women and men united to end violence against women and girls


Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality


Sharing the Caring for the Future


Women’s Voices and Influence

I believe in the power of women when we are allowed to dream and are given the resources to reach our goals, support our communities, and better our world.  I believe in the sisterhood of women and our capacity to come together to give love and compassion.

Today I honor the organizations and people working for women.

Women focused organizations I follow for their amazing work in empowering, educating, and improving the lives of women around the world.

Women for Women International

The Girl Effect


Mollygoggles/Chaska Hill

Where I go for my own inspiration, support, and connection with women.

Women On Fire

Downtown Women’s Club

A special thank you to all of you who support women. When you support one woman, you support many.