In this coming new year, one of my goals had been to do some sort of sketching each day. I have been hesitating in making a commitment to this goal because of the self-doubt that comes whenever I try to create in a medium in which I am not particularly adept. I know that this lack of confidence would become too burdensome and I would quickly drop the practice.
Then it occurred to me to try “zentangle” drawing because of an article I recently stumbled upon in Psychology Today on the psychological benefits of this type of doodling. Some might say that such drawings are not really “art,” but the final product is not the point of the activity. The point in creating these pen and paper doodles is to relax and de-stress. This is really the whole reason of my making this an evening after-work exercise. It has been a stressful 2018 and I don’t foresee 2019 being any different. So today, I have been exploring the basic techniques. Below is a video on what I want to someday achieve and after that is a basic tutorial I watched this morning.
Zentangle Time Lapse (about 2 minutes):
And a tutorial in case you are interested too (about 30 minutes):
I came across this TedX video about the benefits of a daily writing practice. Since life recently threw me a curve ball, I have fallen out the of that practice. This video has motivated me to pick it up again and make it a part of my daily spiritual routine– just like prayer, meditation and yoga. If you are a writer — or even if you are not– I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to this writer’s entire presentation. She really provides some practical advice for developing a daily writing routine.
It is Christmas Day, and I am now in a new home. The house is old and has a lot of quirks, and I have had to learn how to approach those activities which I formerly performed in a mindless manner with new care and consideration. For example, I have to remember not to operate more than one appliance at a time in the kitchen or I will blow a fuse. Not flip a circuit breaker– but blow a fuse– which I don’t know how to fix. Everything I do in this old house I must approach with slowness and gentleness.
On this Christmas, I find myself approaching all areas of my life with a little more slowness, mindfulness, and gentleness. I find myself meditating more, praying more, being more grateful for the simple things in life — like a roof over my head even when I wonder if it will leak when it rains.
I think it has something to do with the season when Grace came into this world in the form of a Child. This time of the year always makes me reflective in this way. Now the trick is carrying this mindful practice beyond the holiday and into the new year. Can I do it? I aim to try.