Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Welcome to the World of Zentangle®

Hi everyone!

Six Giraffes is about to get tangled--with Zentangle, that is!

What is it?

The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas created this entrancing art form as a way to make drawing accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages and abilities. 

My Story

Everyone has their own story of how they came upon the art of Zentangle. A good friend introduced me via Pinterest a few years ago. It took me awhile before jumping in, though. After the toughest year of my career, while simultaneously planning my wedding, I began learning patterns online as a way to de-stress. Instantly I was addicted! My puzzle solving brain was satisfied and happy. I spent many evenings with pen and sketchbook in hand.

The following school year, I was excited to introduce a Zentangle practice to my first graders. Mindfulness practices were already part of my curriculum, and I had a feeling that the kids would love it as much as I did. I was right. More on that later...

Later that fall, my teaching job became exceedingly overwhelming, and I began to see that I was ready for a change. Tangling became my comfort and meditation. It soothed my anxious mind and helped me to slowly embrace a new way of doing life. I made the move to leave the classroom, and as a symbol of that change, I left for the Certified Zentangle Teacher training a week after school let out.

Your Local CZT

Since then, as a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT), I've had the honor of sharing this art method with many children and adults. While it's possible to teach yourself to draw the patterns from online resources, taking a class with a CZT allows you to experience the intention behind the method. You see, the Zentangle method is about more than drawing. It's also about mindfulness, risk taking, openness, and inspiration. Consider taking a class! But be careful, you might become just as addicted as the rest of us. 
Look at this friendly bunch of CZTs! I'm in the center.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let's do this, '13!

I am already on fire this year and I'm so excited about lucky year '13! Big changes await on the horizon.

A special goddess guide has come into my online world this year, and her name is Leonie. Her philosophy on bringing out the goodness and shining potential in women is irresistible. So I became part of her circle. One of the many benefits to this is her Outstanding Incredible Year workbook and planner.

I've been slowly working through this puppy for the past few weeks. It's filled with planning pages, space for reflection, and my favorite, a closing ceremony for 2012. How can we move forward without reflecting on the lessons learned and giving space to release what's no longer needed?

Check it...

I'm ready to make my Action Book. This book can take any format you wish, but it is a place to write down specific steps toward achieving your goals. As I envisioned this book this morning, a funny voice inside my head said, "Wait--you think you can make a list of steps and follow through with them all on your own?" It got me thinking about a Creativity Group some friends and I had a few years back. We got so much done when we set clear goals with our partners and coaches. And now, who do I think I am, assuming I'll be able to write steps down in a book and actually do them on my own?

 Why do we rely on other people to make sure our dreams come true?

Isn't it funny how tricky it can be to actually get things done? Aren't these goals OUR DREAMS? Don't we want our dreams to come true? Now I know that dreams are just made for bringing up our resistances, and that's what typically stands in the way of us shining brightly. But what if we took away our attachments for just a brief moment, and looked at that resistance as a treasure? A sign marker for Opportunity. We have all experienced that flood of pride and release that comes with accomplishing something large or difficult or just plain undesirable. Isn't the push worth the reward? 

Someone once asked me, "Have you ever regretted a time you took a big leap of faith?" I thought for a moment and had to admit that those times, while scary beforehand, had been important foundations to some of my greatest accomplishments.

What about you?

What actions will you take this year to make your dreams come true?