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Friday, August 2, 2013

Do a Zen Check

I've been very busy lately with work, family, and house projects.  I love to be busy, but sometimes it can get a little crazy around here!

When that happens, I try to find ways to be more mindful.  Since it can be easy to get swept away into the chaos, I have to do a zen check.  I take a few moments to think about what I'm doing and how I feel.  If I feel stressed or like I'm having trouble balancing things around me, I know I need to do some zen work stat!

First step, tangle.  

My mind was racing last night, and I was having trouble winding down for bed.  I grabbed my older Tangle-A-Day Calendar by Carole Ohl.  I never quite finished 2012, but I still love to tangle in it. I got into bed, grabbed a pen (02 this time), and I started tangling on one of the blank pages.  I wasn't thinking or planning what came next.  I just allowed Phicops to spread across the page while I began to relax.  After capping my pen, I fell asleep pretty easily.

When I woke up this morning, I already felt much better and more able to face the day.  I even took a few minutes to finish tangling a present for a friend (pictures coming soon).

Second step, assess.

Tangling is a wonderful way for me to relax in the moment and to find a calm sense of focus.  It makes it much easier to assess my world more realistically without a frantic mind.  Today's assessment allowed me to think of a few things that I could just let go.  It is possible to say "no" or "not now" when the things start to feel like obligations.  Phew, my shoulders are already feeling less tense.

Third step, do it.

After assessing, I make an action plan.  I find lists helpful, and I love to see my progress when I start to cross things off the list.  

The most important step, stay mindful.

The more I can stay mindful in my daily life, the easier it is for me to manage stress.  I love tangling, but sometimes I, too, forget that I can just pick up my pen to find my focus.  I think I will start to leave tiles and pens in a few strategic places around my house as a reminder.  

To balance out this text-heavy post, here are some zen postcards I created for a mindful swap.  All of the patterns had to start with the letters M-I-N-D-F-U-L.  I used chipboard letters as a mask and spritzed Glimmer Mist over the paper to create the background before tangling.  These were very relaxing and fun to create!

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