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Bijou Speaks: Appreciate

Bijou Speaks: Appreciate

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!


Molly writes...
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.

Molly Hollibaugh


  • Thank you for your inspiring Words. It is much Appreciated!

    Heleen van der Sanden on

  • DtaofHqLnpJ

    hBcJtMbiKzdTIuR on

  • Bijou is so zen-Smart 🐌

    Miriam on

  • A wonderful reminder for me today. Thank you Molly and Bijou! I needed to adjust my attitude to one of appreciation and gratitude of all who come into my life today. Perspective/Attitude/Appreciate/
    Gratitude. I will hold these words in my mind and in me today. Thank you!

    Paulette Kirschensteiner on

  • Molly, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful, thoughtful and inspiring words of appreciation for Bijou and all that he represents. Like you, I try very hard to find some good in all things and you’re right…..sometimes that’s far easier than others. But we all have a light that shines, no matter how deeply buried it may be, and it deserves recognition and love. Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom and I, too, look forward to more of these.

    LovelyRita (aka Rita Miller) on

  • I have noticed, since i have been doing Zentangle, that i am more appreciative of nature, beauty, others’ artwork. And I remember to thank God, for He is the Creator and the original artist. Thanks, Molly, for this post

    Blythe Nicassio on

  • Molly, What a beautiful idea to celebrate each moment. As always, I continue to be deeply fond of Zentangle and the community it has created. With a grateful heart, Karen & Philly Area Zentangle

    Karen Izzi on

  • Thank you for the beautiful message. And thank you for being such a staunch defender of little Bijou. It takes a big heart to choose appreciation as often as possible. I’ve often thought there is beauty in everyone and everything; it just takes loving eyes to see past the surface. Not always easy to accomplish, but worth the effort. You are a mighty fine writer, girl. Looking forward to your unpacking the rest of the the Bijou-isms.

    Angelina Huard on

  • What an absolutely lovely message and reminder. Thank you.

    Devin, CZT on

  • I am so grateful for each Bijou-ism. Every one grounds me & brings a sense of solitude to my tangling time. They’re wonderful. I appreciate this post, Molly!

    Theresa Caillouette, CZT on

  • Molly, you know I love my Bijou! I thought you were going to post my tattoo. I love everything that Bijou stands for… ❤️❤️

    Kim Kohler CZT 16 on

  • Well written.

    Susan Arnsten-Russell on

  • This reminder couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thank you Molly and Bijou!

    Laurel Davis on

  • thx for sharing!

    Carol Lee Parry on

  • I love all of bijou’s bijouisms! It makes you stop, take a deep breath, and appreciate everything you have and want to manifest for yourself! Thank you Molly for taking the time to talk about each bijouism! Can’t wait to read the next one.

    Leslee on

  • I’m always impressed with how sensitive and articulate bijou is for such a young fellow!

    Gale Sherman on

  • Thanks Molly and Bijou for such inspiring thoughts. I agree that that if we initially make a conscious shift of our focus and attention to the things we love about things, people or situations, that gradually we start to do it without even thinking about it, and that is when the magic happens and we can ‘appreciate’ just about anything. It really is all about perspective.

    Lucy Farran on

  • I appreciate this writing and reminder. It’s so easy to just dive right in. I find that a little focus on myself before beginning helps me appreciate how fortunate I am to have found Zentangle. Thanks, Molly. And I appreciate you, too!

    Terri Young, CZT 16 on

  • I was finding project 6 a bit of a challenge …. laid it aside for several days. I came back to my next black and white page wondering what next? Looking at the black edges and thinking about a tangle I had recently stopped to appreciate, I was inspired to pick up both pen and gelly roll and get started. I have just finished the page I am -so far- most pleased with! AND ,,,. then comes your lovely message, Molly, about appreciation. Many thanks! Cec

    Sr. Cec Beresford, caj on

  • Thank you, Molly. In every class with you, you have reminded us to appreciate, and breathe. When I do that, my tangling flows easier. I hold my pen less tight and I lower my shoulders. All this encourages that magical “Zen Flow”.

    Lisa on

  • I appreciate your words on appreciation!

    Katrina on

  • Amen.

    Kathy on

  • I have found Bijou to be such a delightful and simple being. He doesn’t over-complicate his world with long and hard extractions of the things around him. He just sees the simple beauty, joy and the light of the world around him – encouraging me to do the same. To be thankful and have gratitude and appreciation for the so very many beautiful gifts around us is a gift we give ourselves and, in addition, to those around us.

    Pam Stevenson, CZT on

  • Thank you for this… as always your timing is spot on – I appreciate your reminder <3

    Heather Moffatt on

  • 💜 🐌

    Nancy Domnauer, CZT on

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