“Slow down, you're doin' fine You can't be everything you wanna be before your time” -Billy Joel
The season of life I am currently in does not allow for much “down time” and it had been a few months since I had time to pick up a micron and put pen to paper. Leading up to our recent seminar (Congrats CZT 41!), I knew I needed to dust off my tangling tools. Thankfully, it was like riding a bike. My strokes were a bit wobbly at first, but after a few minutes, it was like spending time with an old friend.
As many tanglers know, once you start, it is hard to stop. Over the past few weeks, I have had bursts of inspiration and creativity inside my head, but I still do not have a lot of time to tangle. When I did get a moment to draw, I would begin to tangle very quickly. I wanted to get the idea inside my head on paper as quickly as possible while I had the chance. Of course, in all my haste, my ideas were not quite making it to paper like I envisioned. That is when I heard our dear friend Bijou inside my head. Slow down…Deliberate strokes… Breathe…
I decided I was no longer going to rush. I would slow down and be deliberate about my strokes. This meant that sometimes I worked on the same tile over the course of a few days, sneaking in some tangles here and there throughout my day.
Here are a few things I learned from slowing down…..
- Perspective. I have not had the chance to sit down and finish a tile in one sitting. This means that I am tangling a bit, walking away, and returning later. Sometimes this is an hour later, sometimes this is two days later. During that time, my perspective sometimes changed. Had I finished the tile in one sitting, I may have continued the path that I originally set out on, but by walking away and returning later, I opened myself up to new ideas and opportunities.
- Be deliberate. It sounds a little bit like an oxymoron, but I realized that with less time, I needed to slow down and be deliberate. I had to make each stroke of the pen count. Instead of rushing to tangle as much as I could, I drew each line and orb with intention. I was able to enjoy the process much more by going slowly, deliberately, savoring each line at a time.
- It really is about the journey. When I first started, I was so focused on finishing the idea that was in my head. When I slowed down, my focus changed to the physical, mental, and emotional act of tangling and I was not as concerned about what the finished tile would look like (if I finished). The journey is about each of those small moments of tangling filling my cup.
I came to these realizations and then had a moment when I thought to myself, “Duh, Julie.” I am a CZT, a member of the Zentangle team at Zentangle HQ, and have been tangling for more than half of my life and the philosophies of the Zentangle Method are not new to me. Sometimes though, we all need a little reminder (thanks, Bijou).