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Take Your Time

Take Your Time

I was editing one of the videos for our first Zentangle Apprentice Project Pack. Every now and then Molly would say, “Take your time,” as she guided us through various tangles.

I love a good metaphor and I also love word play. (I also enjoy reading contracts and Terms of Use, but that’s another story!)

Let’s look closer at “Take your time.”

According to Cambridge Dictionary, that phrase is “said to mean that you can spend as much time as you need in doing something, or that you should [or, in my opinion, may] slow down.”

But look closer at what the phrase states when taken literally:

  • Take YOUR time - suggesting that there is “time” that is “yours” already.

  • TAKE your time - suggesting that you must proactively do something in order to “take” your “time”

Notice also that Cambridge Dictionary mentions that you “spend” your time. That reminds me of another common English phrase, “Pay attention.”

Where am I going with this?

Well, what happens when you spend or pay money for something? The answer is, you receive whatever it is that you spent your money on or that you paid for.

My suggestion is that time is a wealth more valuable than items measured in monetary terms. I also suggest that your attention influences your experience more than you might expect.


Because whatever you “spend” the treasure of your time on, you’ve bought it — meaning you get more of that in your experience. Likewise, whatever you “pay attention” to, looms larger in your experience.

So, as Molly says in these videos, “Take your time!” — TAKE your time! — Take YOUR time!

Then choose to SPEND that time treasure on what you want in your life.

And as Bijou says, “Focus”. Focus, or pay, the treasure of your attention on what you want to grow; on what you want more of.

We encourage you, in a Zentangle way and with gratitude, to focus, to pay deliberate attention to the next stroke, the next step, in whatever you choose to nourish and support.

Trust that you will know what to do with the next stroke when you get to it.

And remember the intent of the Zentangle “No Mistakes” philosophy . . .

. . . that even if something goes in a different direction than you expected or wanted, that experience can inspire a response that only you have the ability to create and bring into this wide wonderful world in a beautiful way.

So . . .

Take your time. 


P.S. Zentangle Apprentice Project Pack No. A1

Rick Roberts


  • I am new at this, but I love it so much I can’t stop —I AM ADDICTED! ;>) Everywhere I look I see tangles. Thank You so very much for all you both do for everyone! God bless stay safe.

    Bev on

  • Hello Rick and Maria,
    Thank you for the wonderful art of Zentangle. For me it is the ideal opportunity to relax, focus and take my time instead of letting myself go in the turmoil of daily happenings, in my mind rushing to and fro from one problem to another.
    I found out about Zentangle one year ago through an article in a Dutch newspaper on things you could do to spend your time during lockdown. Nowadays, when I am too busy in my head, I sit down, spread my Zentangle utensils around me and make a little ‘work of art’, feeling happy and relaxed. Even if I fail to make something beautiful. At least I tried! I draw cards for birthdays, for friends in sorrow, thank you cards, cards for my grandchildren and more.

    Anita Muller (selfmade Zentanglist),
    Hoorn, The Netherlands

    Anita Muller on

  • SO well put, Rick! Random thoughts I’ve had on occasion but never bothered to organize. Thanks for putting all this into words.

    Margaret Bremner on

  • I seem to be the odd person out, but at the minute I am shaking and my chest is pounding in panic trying to figure this out. Take your time seems obvious to me and I’m confused as to why you would have to analyze 3 little words that are self-explanatory.

    Vickie L. Stamper on

  • Thank you Rick for your wisdom. When I first finished my CZT course, an experienced CZT graciously offered to accompany me to my first class. One suggestion after the class was that I needed to go faster to get through class in the allotted time. Unfortunately, I focused on that and never went on to teach more classes. I thought I couldn’t be fast enough. Even now, I find myself rushing through tangling. I will FOCUS on heeding your words to TAKE my TIME! Thanks.

    Ginny Sones, CZT 13 on

  • What a beautiful expression. I put your thoughtful words in my daily art journal as a reminder to take my time.

    Thank you

    Jennifer on

  • Such wise words and a wonderful reminder. When we Take Our Time it also helps us Trust the Process and Outcome. Wise words of Zentangle!! Thank you, Rick!! Looking forward to refocusing with these words after 5 days without power!

    Pattie Grove on February 17th, 2021 on

  • I must take a few of your phrases to "write on my mirror with lipstick " … so to speak! ;) Being a life-long procrastinator (which I blame on my mother, whom I adored), I struggle with choosing HOW and on what I want to spend my time. Often, if I have too MUCH time, I fritter it away on … … … see – I can’t even remember … that’s how unimportant my activities were! I have learned, over much time, that feeling bad that I have “wasted” my time doesn’t help me fix the “problem”. So … I am embracing your take on time and I believe that mindfulness is the key! Thank you so much for your thought-provoking post! :)

    Jan Brandt, CZT on

  • I so appreciate the beautiful reminders of the ownership we have on our own lives. We often readily give up precious time that doesn’t nurture our souls. I am eternally grateful to have found Zentangle and can take back MY time without guilt! Thank you Rick for this beautiful lesson! 💝

    Bonnie JohnsonCZT36 on

  • It’s amazing how we hear the words “take your time” but we don’t listen, rushing off to the next thing. Over the past month, my tangling has been forcibly slowed following surgery on both wrists – and it’s been a good thing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Yvette Campbell CZT on

  • Hey Rick,
    you touched my mind with this post. I thought about, how I often sit there. I take my time, look at that beautiful paper. Take my time to surch the „string of the day“, then I look at Zentangles beautiful book of patterns to find the pattern, that I need. People ask some times, how much time I need for one Tile. I don’t know it. And it doesn‘t matter, how many hours or minutes. Zentangle is such a treasure for me. It is fun. It lightens up the day!
    Thank you Rick for this post!🌸

    Sabine Voß on

  • Absolutely amazing, Rick!

    Thank you!

    Aurora Dabacan on

  • Thank you, Rick! I
    I also felt that it was important to take time.

    Yoko Makeawa on

  • So good. I’m glad I took my time to read this today. Timely indeed Pam S. Thank you, Rick.

    Peyton on

  • Good thoughts and well said.

    Sue Leslie on

  • Thank you so much for this post Rick. It’s a very important lesson for life… take it easy, take YOUR time… is one of the best things I’ve ever read about taking care of ourselves and do your all things mindfully. 🙏🏻

    María Tovar on

  • I agree, Rick. We exchange our time for something else. If we sit in a chair and stare at the wall, we probably get very little in exchange (unless, perhaps, we are in a state of meditation). One thing I am learning as I elder on the planet is that time is relative. My experience is that the “older” I get, the faster time goes. A week used to feel like it was a long time and now it is more similar to a day. I try to stay awake and use my time in ways that help me grow spiritually and intellectually. It does require focus! Thanks for a great post, Rick.

    Paula Schneider on

  • Yes! Timely, indeed! Thank you Rick❣️ I want to spend all my time tangling… but, alas, I must find balance 🙃

    Wendy Need-Beak on

  • Thank you for the beautiful reminders.

    Linda Rios on

  • Perfect! What a great reminder. Namaste.

    Georgianna Klein on

  • Yes.

    Though we say it casually, we must proactively take, take our time. You are so right, Rick.

    Lisa Hoesing on

  • Oh!!! This message came to be at the TIME I needed it most. Thanks for being an instrument of my Higher Power. Thanks 😊

    Miriam on

  • I have never thought of my time in terms of currency but you are so right! We have spoken of it in those terms since we learned to communicate with words. So, Now that I have more of the treasure, I will try to use it wisely, not waste it so I will no longer have it!

    Thanx for the enlightenment!

    Betsey Youngs on

  • Very insightful! Love the connections you make by breaking down simple phrases to give greater meaning – thank you!

    Heather Moffatt on

  • Wow! You have the whole of it right there in today’s blog. I teach Qigong and Mindful Movement and I’m sending your blog out to all my students today :)

    Thank you, thank you for your beautiful, insightful sharing today!! 🎶💕 Eileen

    Eileen Music on

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