I often find when writing a blog post, the underlying theme is how the characteristics and philosophies of the Zentangle Method have made their way off my tiles and into my everyday life. Things such as gratitude and appreciation come easy to me, but the “No Mistakes” took a little more time to embrace (and still working on it!), but the one that I think has affected me most is “Anything is Possible One Stroke At a Time…”
I’ve always had a flare for the dramatics and for as long as I can remember, my first instinct when faced with an unknown situation was to get all worked up and try to figure out how to solve the whole problem/situation all at once. And while in the end things usually worked out how they were supposed to, it was not without some unnecessary self-induced stress.
But, that is not how the Zentangle Method works. When you sit down to begin a tile, you don’t know what the end result will be. Perhaps you have an idea of where you want to take your tangles or you are drawing inspiration from elsewhere, but as you begin to tangle, you take things one stroke at a time. You can’t finish a tile without first putting down the first stroke, and then the second and so on. This is one of the greatest lessons that practicing the Zentangle Method gives us – to take things one stroke at a time.
When I first began working at Zentangle HQ, I came in one morning to begin processing and printing orders only to find that a clock had fallen off the wall, landing on the computer and ultimately damaging it and making it unusable. If I remember correctly, we had just released a new product, so it was a busier day that usual and my first instinct was panic. I distinctly remember though how Rick and Maria handles the situation – it was unfortunate, of course, but they very much took a one stroke at a time..approach, which was calm and productive. Over the years, that small incident has stuck with me and is always a reminder to take things one stroke at time.
Fast forward, and my husband and I find ourselves on an exciting and new chapter of life. While we are more than thrilled, we are faced with many unknowns. Unknowns and uncertainties can lead to fear and panic if you let them, but the good news is you don’t have to. In the beginning of this journey, my husband and I began to discuss preparations and decisions we would have to make and all of sudden everything felt very overwhelming and I just wanted all of the answers all at once. That is not how life works though so I took a deep breath and told him we were going to take this one step at a time. We looked at what decisions needed to be made first, what did we need to know in the beginning and focus on things we have control over.
We have repeatedly reminded ourselves of this mindset over the past six months and will continue to do so whenever necessary, all while being grateful for this wonderful and exciting adventure full of unknowns and opportunities.
I was inspired to write this blog before recent world events, I just had not gotten around to putting my thoughts into words yet. Given all the uncertainty in the world right now, I think these principals are important to remember. We cannot solve every problem all at once and there are going to be things out of our control, so now it is as important as ever to take things one stroke at a time.
Anything is Possible One Stroke at a Time print (above) available here.