Many people send us pictures of their Zentangle art and tell amazing stories about how drawing Zentangle art benefited them. They describe rising above fear, depression, grief and suicide. They report relief from severe pain, mental and physical traumas, addictions, insomnia, and even selective mutism.
When Maria and I began teaching, we did not expect such stories.
At first, I thought it might be because when you enter the relaxed focus of Zentangle art you access a recess from the pressures and demands of the world. For example, imagine picking up something light, like a glass of water . . . no problem. But hold that glass at arm’s length for a while and your arm will ache. However if you can put it down every now and then, it’s easier to hold it out for a longer time, even though it still weighs the same. Even knowing you can put it down whenever you need helps.
This morning I began to wonder if there’s something more behind these stories and came up with another analogy.
Imagine you are riding in a car and the radio is playing something irritating, but you don’t know how to change the station (perhaps you borrowed your friend’s car). You could drive to the radio station, confront the people there and insist they change their broadcast or, you could pull over and learn how to tune in a station you like.
Maybe these amazing stories have something to do with discovering a metaphorical inner tuning dial that can access other stations, even if only while tangling.
The point of this metaphor is not that you should tune in a particular station, rather that such a method to deliberately shift focus is available at all . . . and all wrapped in the enjoyable experience putting pen to paper and creating unexpectedly beautiful images in a fun and relaxing way.
These are the sorts of thoughts and questions that fascinate me.
What are your experiences? What are your thoughts?
I look forward to reading about your experiences and your ideas.
The art at the beginning includes Maria's and my 3Z Tiles (from the "12 Days of 3Z" Blog series) and Maria's lettering and butterfly. We made this to welcome students to our 2017 Certified Zentangle Teacher training seminars.
I had to include some Zentangle art with this article! And, it was also a good way to remind you about the upcoming seminars! :-)
Thanks again for your comments!