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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Take a Few Minutes for Yourself

We all get busy.  

I've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to blog even though the words and art have been eager to jump onto the screen.  Sometimes work, family, the house, and the thousand other things that fill our days take priority over our passions.  Of course we have to pay the bills and feed our children, but we are better able to do all those important things when we are in a better place personally.  

It's like we're instructed on an airplane in case of emergency--put your own oxygen mask on before assisting someone else.  How good are we to others if we're struggling--for air, sanity, or relaxation?

Life takes over easily, and we can forget to take care of ourselves.  When that happens, I try to fit in a little tangling even if it's just for a few minutes.  I may not have been able to blog lately or even turn my computer on much, but I have managed to tangle.

With each breath and line, I become more focused and able to complete the many daily tasks on my to-do list.  Sometimes lists can seem daunting, but with a little perspective achieved from focus and relaxation, I'm able to check off the items happily.

Amid the craziness lately, I taught a wonderful class at Memorial Hall Library.  I enjoyed sharing the Zentangle® Method with about 18 new tanglers.  

We started with a breathing and line exercise inspired by Netherlands artist John Franzen.  Please check out his web site for some truly inspirational and talented videos.  From there, we explored a variety of patterns and shading techniques.

The class marveled at the beautiful mosaic they created at the end.  They commented, praised, noticed the subtle differences, and took lots of pictures.  I love hearing new students admire favorite spots in another person's work while forgetting those areas in their own work that they might not have liked.  

There is something truly special about the shared experience that happens when people come together to learn or to continue their Zentangle® practice.

After class, a woman told me that she didn't think this class would do anything for her.  She was stressed and tired and hesitant about the meditative aspect of the class.  She loved the class and was surprised she was able to let go of her day while relaxing and creating.  I enjoyed watching her explore her art in class and was honored to hear about her experience.   

Sometimes it can be difficult to explain that the Zentangle® Method just works.  You have to try it to see for yourself.  What's the worst that can happen?  You get a few minutes for yourself.

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