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The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

Julie writes...

At some point, we have all probably heard The Golden Rule (not to be confused with the Golden Ratio, which is Ricks area of expertise, not mine): treat others as you would like to be treated.

I think that the past few years have really showed us how important it is to follow the Golden Rule. In times of uncertainty, grief, or hardship, a little kindness, patience, and compassion go a long way. Whether it is with your family and friends, or a stranger at the grocery store – we should all be striving to treat others as we want to be treated.

I would even argue that we need to treat ourselves as we would like to be treated. If you had to reread that sentence because it sounded a little awkward, I get it, but hear me out.

What would happen if we used the same kindness and compassion with ourselves that we used with those we love? I think we would find that it makes a huge difference. When I am being particularly hard on myself, I like to pause and ask myself if I would be this critical with my sister or my friend. Most often, I would not, and I choose to give myself a little grace.

What would happen if we admire and appreciate our own artwork the way we admire and appreciate others?

I was having a conversation the other day with a friend, and they said (and I am paraphrasing), “I should tangle more, but I am not good at it.” I told her, “The first step is to stop telling yourself that you are not good at it.” If you tell yourself you are not good at something enough, you will probably start to believe yourself.

I have been thinking about this exchange a lot. We can be our own worst critics and it can really take a toll on our Zentangle practice if we let it. The constant negative self-talk, the criticism, the doubt, and comparison can rob of us of the joy of creativity.

Next time you finish a tile, look at it as if you were looking at a friend’s tile. Ask yourself if you would give them a hard time about a wonky or out of place line. You probably would not even notice those so called “imperfections.” Instead, you may see everything that you love about the tile and how each line interacts with the next, creating a tangled masterpiece.

If you tell yourself your artwork is beautiful enough, you may just start to believe yourself.

Julie Willand


  • Thank you for the reminder on self appreciation.. we all need to practice this daily.

    Linda Rios on

  • You are so right, Julie! We are our own “worst” critics. Thank you for your insight! I try to be kind and empathic with others, but not with myself or my artwork so it’s time to include this in my Zentangle time. Thank you!

    Ruth Ann on

  • It takes roughly 66 days to form a new habit. So, telling yourself your artwork is beautiful everyday will make it so. And that will bring you joy.

    Jackie on

  • You are so right, Julie! Often, I find myself actually pointing out all the flaws in my tangles to others. We are our own worst critics !

    Jessica Dykes (aka Jake) on

  • You got it Julie! It does take a while to develop that mindset though. It gets easier with time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Deb Bowyer on

  • Great topic, Julie. We are much harder on our selves than our peers.

    Betsey on

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