In 2014, we were thrilled to announce a new member of the Zentangle Community. It was a celebratory time when Bijou the snail slowly and lovingly glided his way into our hearts and lives. We immediately fell in love with the unique character Bijou shared with us, and most of all we all, we embraced the stories and messages Bijou has told us that align with the Zentangle Method.
As we move along on this tangled journey we have learned, when Bijou speaks, we listen.
In this Blog series we explore some of our favorite thoughts, quotes, stories and Bijou-isms. Enjoy!
Appreciate is the first of Bijou’s Bijouisms.
To see the beauty in something or someone… To recognize or admire something extraordinary… To cherish or treasure accomplishment, talent, or hard work… To value pure heart-filled intention… To see awesomeness beyond and document that thought internally or aloud… To APPRECIATE.
It seems as though this could be a simply defined word but when you really think about it, it becomes a bit more complicated. We use the word “Appreciate” quite often in Zentangle speak. In fact it is the heart of two of the eight steps of the Zentangle method. We begin and end each practice with Gratitude and Appreciation. But what do we mean by this? Why do we encourage people to include these steps?
One could easily sit down and tangle without this pause. However, what happens if you allow yourself that moment, that breath or that awareness before you begin to simply value your time, ability, and your creative flow? What if that energy changed the way your pen moved and your body sat and your breath flowed? What if your ability to see the beauty in yourself even before you began changed the way you see your art?
To me, the word Appreciate is directly linked to our perspective. And one might say that our perspective is how we interpret the things we see and feel. And what is amazing and fascinating is that we all see and feel things differently Even the same person might see the same thing differently at different times. I take that definition a step further to propose that maybe, perspective can be a choice. I believe that everyday, every moment the world presents us with things, situations, and scenarios that are outside of our control. However, we have a choice on how we see and deal with all of it.
This, of course is easier said than done. Always seeing the light is a talent, strength and part of a journey. There are days when this will come easy and days where one will need to dig deep. However, the affects from this practice are powerful, inspiring, even contagious and so well worthwhile. And like other repetitive activities, the more you practice, the better and easier is gets.
I never expected in a million years that my Zentangle practice would double as a way to shift my perspective and increase my ability to find appreciation in almost anything. I have always been an optimist for the most part but I did not use it the way I do now. Or maybe I did not realize it’s potential. Since I have had Zentangle in my world I have truly learned that if I look for it … I can find something that I see or feel that is beautiful in almost anything. Starting small and appreciating the little things can be a first step, and like Zentangle you can challenge yourself to focus on that one thing you find beauty in and that inspires you and allow that thing to lead you to the next and the next. It’s amazing.
The first step of the Zentangle Method is Gratitude and Appreciation. It is a step that after a while you might think of skipping. I imagine most of us have skipped over it here and there … I have. It is easy to convince yourself that it is not necessary. But when I do take the time to honor my time… To see the beauty in something or someone… To recognize or admire something extraordinary… To cherish or treasure accomplishment, talent, or hard work… To value pure heart-filled intention… To see awesomeness beyond and document that thought internally or aloud… To APPRECIATE… there is something magical that is added to my practice and my artwork.
Thank You Bijou for reminding me of the importance of Appreciation.