Perhaps you can relate.
We none of us arrive at mid-life without a variety of experiences both sublime and tragic.
We have a pretty good handle on how to enjoy the awesome sublime. Tragedy on the other hand…?
Illness, death, divorce, loss: just look at the top of the Stress Scale and you know what I mean.
There is “the event” and then there is coping in the aftermath. Somehow we have to take these previously unimaginable circumstances and shape ourselves into the new person we will become.
What to do? Who to be? Where to go? How to get there?
Somewhere on the internet in 2009 I discovered Zentangle®. It was a “coup de foudre” for me, which can mean both “bolt of lightning” and “love at first sight”. I was shocked *and* enraptured.
Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts described many of the elements I was yearning for in my desolate circumstances: “Focus”, “Ease”, “Beauty”.
For me, the mindfulness aspects of Zentangle were a glimmer in the dark, a possible safe haven in which to begin my recovery.
In 2009 I started to draw again, simple black pen on white paper. Because I had been *so* low, I stopped having expectations of what my drawings “should” look like. I chose the cheapest, small sketchpads because that way it wouldn’t matter if I “screwed up”.
In 2010 I graduated from the Certified Zentangle Teacher training in Whitinsville, MA (my class).
I love author Maria Popova’s description of Zentangle in my favorite weekly newsletter, Brainpickings (see Zentangle post here).
In 2012 I founded “The Mindful Drawer”. It was a leap that was bundled in fear, but with a core of certainty. My previous way of life could not continue. And if I could pull my own life back up out of the dark and smelly sub-basement, so could others.
In 2013 I suffered a debilitating head injury, taking almost a year to recover. In 2014 I made a cross-country move, just me and my dog, from New England where I’d lived all my life, to Oregon.
There’s no mystery to “one day at a time”. I have had the quiet joy of keeping Zentangle journals that have provided visual touchstones along my path. I highly recommend some type of daily meditation, and for someone who has difficulty just sitting still, like me, Zentangle drawing is a perfect fit.
I love to teach. I have many, many stories of wonder and satisfaction for myself and others. I share through my blog, newsletter and videos.
What are you struggling with? Zentangle can be a great process for exploring options as well as forming a quiet pool of calm for you while creating beauty.
Drop me a line and let’s see what we can dream up together.