Pressure at Work…

Pressure at Work…

Hi there,
I hope that you are happy and healthy? Enjoying this daily blog?
I cannot believe how much I enjoy writing it! Seriously! It is so therapeutic, to be able to switch off from Work-work, and disappear into Blogland alone. It gives me so much pleasure preparing the artwork and setting it all up! 
And here’s the best headache cure ever! 
Zentangle. Or Filigraphy. Or Doodles. Whatever you want to call it. There are some copyright issues round the word Zentangle, which is why I often refer to this type of doodle art as Filigraphy – a noun which we at Clarity came up with by the way! Google Zentangle copyright. It’s certainly an eye opener! 

Speaking of headaches, today, I want to talk about P for Pressure. Many of us work under pressure, live with stress. I for one always seem to be scrambling from one project to the next one, and no matter how much one loves one’s job, this scrambling lark gets old after a while! 
In my case, most of the pressure comes from deadlines and sheer volume of work. I have friends who get to deal with the opposite; their pressure comes from absence of work, and worrying about the payroll. Financial pressure. Dreadful. Had many years of that; never want to go back there.
Other friends experience pressure from illness. Having to do things which they physically cannot, but having to because they have to earn a crust, and there’s no safety net underneath them.
I know people, too, who really have nothing to worry about! But they do. They are just worriers. They remind me of the Winnie the Pooh characters.
“Supposing a Tree fell down Pooh, when we were underneath it?” said Piglet.
“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh.

But that mindset can be harrowing, too. I see friends tormenting themselves with what to me seems nothing, but to them seems monumental. They’re just wired that way, I guess. 

Live and let live, eh. We need to walk a mile in a person’s shoes to understand them, don’t you think?

I know for sure which hat I’d rather wear. Give me good health and an overflowing in-tray any day. You will never hear me complain. I may sometimes look like yesterday’s dinner, due to lack of sleep or mostly not enough time to get my lippy on in the morning, but like my good friend Maria so succinctly puts it, as long as the hand holding the spoon that’s feeding me is still mine, I’m ok.

So P for Pressure. Years ago, I used to do interpreting (translating) for a living, and OH BOY! Did I get headaches! In fact, that seems to be my weak point, or my pressure point. Any stress, any problems, any pressure – Headache. 
And I discovered back then, that the quickest and most effective way to get rid of these searing headaches was to take a piece of paper and doodle. Or draw a shape and carefully shade it in. It seemed that as soon as I focussed on the patterns or the doodles, the pain subsided. So that’s what I did for years! Never had any idea that there was a whole Doodle world out there, a whole industry being created out of patterns and doodles. 
Yesterday, I started a Calla Lily Picture, which I had to abandon because it got so late, but it was lovely to go back to and complete.
So this is as far as I got before. Just black pen work
Then I decided to add some shade and colour with pencils. 
Different yellows, beiges and browns

topped off with a Pb lead pencil, to tone it down.
Mounted on some matching yellow paper.
Remember all I used was a sheet of copy paper. Nothing fancy.
And I could spend hours and hours perfecting the shading,
but you know what?
You see, if my intention is to relax and enjoy the moment, then I cannot get hung up on whether or not my work is perfect.
And we talked about that last Tuesday, remember?

So there we have it. If you are looking for a way to calm down, to quiet your mind, then maybe this artform will do for you what it did for me. 
And maybe it will take some time before you build confidence and get good at it, but if there’s a chance that your anxiety and worries will disappear for a couple of hours, that your mind will be calm, and you will be in a good space, who cares about the picture!! Enjoy the ride! x

much love,

50 thoughts on “Pressure at Work…

  1. Another excellent blog Barbara. If I thought it would get rid of my headache which I've had constantly for over 7 years now without a day off I'd be in seventh heaven. Had loads of tests seen load of different consultants, had a year off work and nothing's worked x

  2. You are so right, Barbara, we all need to step back from life sometimes and change our focus, and get art perspective. I, too, get severe headaches, partly as a result of whiplash for which I head off to the chiropractor, and partly from concentrating too hard for too long on a given task. Doodling or whatever it is called is just so relaxing. You have definitely turned it into a lovely art form. Thank you for showing us the finished article. xx Maggie

  3. Loving it even more now that you have added the colours. I am fortunate that I don't get headaches very often. When I am worried or stressed and I can't get to any loud uplifting music I clean and organise my whole house. When I am angry I have to have the loud music and the tidying up…sad lol. I do not have OCD as when I am feeling ok well the house can look after itself! xxx

  4. I love the pop of yellow – really brings it to alive to my eyes. I am a worrier – nothing I can do about it. I worry about keeping our home, our mortgage etc, but sometimes the pressure and worry become too much and I just find it easier to think of the warm sunshine, the smell of the beach and the sound of the waves hitting – now that sort of visualisation really completely relaxes me! I actually doodle a lot more when I am bored lol! Thanks for sharing Barbara, and isn't there a phrase about the journey being more important than the destination? Have a good day xx

  5. Barbara, even if I didn't enjoy your artwork which I most certainly do, I would still visit your blog for the pleasure of reading your posts! Thank you.

    Lesley Xx

  6. Hello Barb, well seeing the finished article, and reading your very inspiring blog, has certainly given me food for thought. Who would think that this sort of activity could ease headaches, wonder if it will ease the ones that strike in the middle of the night. Thank you for another amazing early morning read. Bx

  7. Morning Barb, I love the doodling, I have doodled for years and when I first saw you on C&C describing it at Zentangling I thought wow I can and do, do that – I have a tangle I did 23 years ago when I was on a 4 week long training course – started as a tree – but I look at it and can see how it helped me through that period of time. I don't get too many headaches but when I do they are doozies so I will try doodling when I do to see if it helps. You are right about when you describe 'pressure' I think we can all identify with the groups of types of friends you have…. and I always try to remind myself that there is always someone worse off than yourself…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I love Emma's comments – music up load and clean – music is also a healer – just some peoples choices of music can leave a lot to be desired…LOL. The touches of yellow and beige have really accentuated the tangle….love it xx

  8. Loved this blog as it certainly has given me food for thought. I am a born worrier and tend to bottle things up, certainly with the pressures of work. Although I don't feel stressed my body is telling me another story as I suffer with Chronic Urticaria. and have had it for over a year. Thank you for sharing the finished artwork, it looks fantastic.

  9. "That'll doodle"…..I'm all set now for my day at work after reading your blog today….Although I think my Manager would probably wonder what I was doing "doodling" instead of getting the European employees paid! LOL 🙂 Beautiful artwork Barbara, as always – I'm going to give it a go later…I think today is going to be quite busy, so it'll be a welcome way to chill out tonight…..Have a good day 🙂 x

  10. Another great post today Barbara, the Doodle has definitely transformed into a stunning piece of art.
    As to pressure headaches, I suffered for years, with no results from the doctors, they were so bad, I was literally sick and had to go to bed, I eventually tried an Osteopath, where you lay with his hands under your head and back, no manipulation at all, I feel the places getting warm only, I go once a month and believe me or not, I have not had a headache now for over two years. Look forward to tomorrows post, enjoy your day everyone. Michelle.

  11. Fab read, I think we all know the different people you talked about. I am probably all of them at different times but I think my crafting helps keep me sane! Apart from the 'z' word I can't understand how someone can copyright an idea that people have been doing for milenia, all those little doodles down the margins of my school books……….. If only I could tell my teachers I wasn't wasting time I was being creative!!!

  12. Barbara, you inspire me. I got some lovely fine nibbed pens from my daughter for Christmas to do some "filigraphy" but i haven't used them yet. Maybe I'll do some tonight. Your picture is fab. Lynne.x

  13. Lovely read for a rainy Tuesday. I have to admit that I'm the 'Pooh' worrier and I hate it! To calm myself down I stamp anything and colour it in, or knit and knit more. Maybe I should give the doodling a go, but then I'd worry as to whether I could fill in the space or not. Crazy I'll just have to relax and get a grip!

  14. What a lovely start to the day. I'm a big worrier and its hard to calm down, I have doodled for years but didn't know it as zentangle. The artwork is beautiful as always. Have a lovely calm day. Joan x

  15. Great Barbara .Love the Zentangle ,I have a challenge for it on one of the facebook groups that i belong to and there are some lovely ones put up xxx

  16. Hello Barb
    I too am the "Pooh" type 3 in the morning I imagine all sorts of dilemmas, and stay awake for hours, then when I wake finally I have forgotten what I was worried about!
    I suppose its from childhood, always expecting the worse to happen, never quite expecting something wonderful!
    You will guess from that mine was not good!
    I have spent most of my time making my children more positive than me!
    My Grandchildren are a happy bunch and love Filigraphy!lol
    I love the one you have drawn Barb!
    Take Care
    Love Marg

  17. Love it Barbara!
    I think I was born worried! I can't help myself I worry about absolutely everything when really there is no need!
    I am off to London tomorrow to see my daughter so hopefully when I get there I can relax and be stress free. 🙂
    Lorna D

  18. Hi Barb,
    Love today's post. Like you When stressed I get terrible headaches( migraines actually) and also when I'm hungry. I'll have to try filigraphy to see if I can stop the headaches – better than taking tablets and being confined to bed. Love the way the calla Lillie's turned out, the yellows and beiges really make a difference. Once again, thank you for all your inspiration. Love Alison x

  19. Morning Barbara, I thought this piece of Art was fabulous yesterday….but wow …what a difference the colour adds to it….not too much colour though….just the right amount….I do hope all your P's ( Pressures ) are small ones……love Jo…x ….keep smiling……x

  20. Thank you for sharing that Barbara, I shall try it. I love doodling, as a child I used to doodle a lot and make patterns with tiny dots. I also love the children's pattern book you can buy to colour in LOL! I worry a lot and have many 'what if' thoughts going round in my head! By the way I love the lily, it's gorgeous.
    Happy crafting take care
    Love Sheila xx

  21. Thanks for posting your finished project – it's just a delight! I once learnt to juggle at a conference on thinking differently. They broke the task into simple easy steps, and by doing them one by one, you ended up being able to juggle – a bit like your blog posts and classroom sessions really! Still the point is, it's very relaxing – you have to use your whole mind and body to juggle, and somehow it just clears away all your anxieties and worries! Maybe this is the crafty equivalent!!!

  22. Hi Barbara – I love your Doodle-Artwork and I for myself will just call it "doodeln" frei verdeutscht, oder Freihand Kritzeln 🙂 – es gefällt mir so gut. Einen schönen Tag noch!

  23. you are a wise lady Barbara – and I do love the way your lilies turned out – I wasn't expecting the colour – its always nice to be surprised! Hugs rachel x

  24. Your blog is amazing and so entertaining while being inspirational and informative at the same time. I did as you suggested and googled zentangle copyright – too many rules! Your word Filigraphy will do for me and I'm going to hurry up and get the boring stuff done this morning so that I can spend the afternoon Filigraphing. xx

  25. PS the pictures in my old childhood Winnie the Pooh were in black and white. I know I am older than you, but where did you find the colour version, Barbara? xx Maggie

  26. Love your finished filigraphy Barbara and the advice that it's a good place to go to relax, think I might have to try it. The idea of using a stamped image to start off with is a good one I think I shall stamp some simple images ready to fill in. Thank you for your wonderful blog, I love coming here everyday to escape for the few minutes it takes me to read your blog.
    Jackie x

  27. Hello Barbara……..another inspirational blog; you are such a talented lady. I think I shall have to try the Zentangle/Philigraphy method of relaxing – you make it look as if I just might be able to have a go! Thankyou. I too look forward to reading your blog each morning – it sets me up for the day. Happy crafting! Beryl

  28. Hi Barbara. I am so glad that you get as much pleasure out of creating your blog as we do out of reading it : ) I love the filiography. Showing it from start to finish is really helpful, and interesting to see how you build up the basic stamp, love the colours and shading too. I doodle when on the phone etc. but didn't know where to start a "proper" doodle. Using a simple stamp is a great idea. will be trawling through mine to find suitable ones. Will have to try it the next time I get a headache, will be much better than tablets, and you have something to show afterwards! What a Bonus : ) I used to worry a lot, strangely ill health has rid me of that, suppose it makes you realise what is important. I am much more positive now about just about everything. There is always someone far worse off than me and I have the most important thing in the world….no, I have very little money, but lots of wonderful family and friends : ) What more do we need, or want? Thanks for your blog Barbara. It really is insperational. Take care.

  29. A great finish – reminds me of something but not sure what apart from definitely a plump cushion! The border makes it rise up in the middle? Perhaps it's the dark arrows down the left side or the shading overall ? Whatever, for a cure for a headache it will do me! Loving the colour too.

  30. Was not sure I would like the lily with colour added but WOW it is lovely, really seems to pop out from page. I shall have to try adding some shading to my efforts now. As for headaches I used to get them bad but practically gone now I am retired. Must be because I can now spend my time doing all the things I enjoy, really not enough hours in the day. Not sure how I managed to work. I am not a worrier so that probably helps as well. Thanks for your blog I reckon we all enjoy reading it as much as you enjoy writing it. Lynne xx

  31. I love this stamp and have used it quite a bit, though I've never tried zentangling it. I really liked what you did yesterday and just love how the art work looks now with the shading. I agree it's a great way of losing yourself and de-stressing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas I look forward to reading your blog everyday. xx

  32. The Calla lilies are lovely Barbara! I hadn't expected colour as well as shading but the finished image looks so effective.
    I hate to be stressed and to see others stressed, it has to be one of the worst things in life which is why we all need to find a way of de-stressing, like crafting! x

  33. Hi Barbara, yesterday I thought you might have overdone it with the Filligraphy – but today what a bit of shading and colouring can do, this absolutely gorgeous.
    LOL Jan xx

  34. I love doodling, when I was working I used to doodle when I was in meetings because it focused my mind but my boss complained at me for doing it!!! I do find it relaxing but I'm not very good at it – love yours with the colour. Thanks for sharing Jx

  35. it's amazing how you made the lilies pop with your shading. yesterday i was thinking, maybe background should be blank but today i stand corrected. that is uber awesome wow! hugs xx

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