United States has been observing Mental Health Awareness during the month of May since 1949. Each year, businesses, organizations, schools and individuals dedicate this month to acknowledge those effected by mental illness and present innovative ideas, events and programs that support the treatment and prevention of Mental Illness.
A special Zentangle friend wrote me a thoughtful letter recently. She detailed so many lovely thoughts that warmed my soul, but there was one part that made me smile and then made my mind go into a tailspin of curiously wonderful thoughts.
Her words were, “Zentangle has been a vitamin for my Soul! A lot better than regular vitamins!”
It really made me think about our “regular” vitamins and some of the other routines we prioritize to stay healthy. Many of us put a lot of energy toward keeping our bodies healthy by making sure we eat healthy, to make sure we get all the vitamins. Some of us also exercise regularly to keep our bodies strong. And, don’t get me wrong, those things are very important. However, what about the health of our minds and even more importantly our hearts and our souls? How many of us make sure that each day we do something to keep our hearts and souls healthy? Are there vitamins for the soul?
If you think about it, if our hearts and souls are in a good place, it makes the task of keeping the rest of our body healthy a little easier. If our hearts and souls are under nourished, no matter how much effort we put into our physical bodies there will still be an imbalance and perhaps, an emptiness.
Each one of us is unique in what nutrients and vitamins our specific body needs. For instance, some of us might need a little extra vitamin C or D while another person might need extra zinc. We also might consider the time of year or time in our life as to what our bodies need.
What if we brought that same intention to keeping our hearts healthy by nourishing our souls? What if there were specific things that we thought of as vitamins for our souls. Perhaps these things don’t come in pill form or things that we eat but rather these are things we experience.
For instance, perhaps you enjoy fishing. You might enjoy the preparation, the calm, the time with nature, the quiet, the whole experience. It warms your heart and nourishes the soul. It makes you full and more equipped to do all the other things you need to do.
There are so many things in life that may seem like extras or things that we get to do only if you have the time, but they are important and vital components to keeping our “whole” bodies healthy. They are things that deserve priority. They are not extras.
Think about taking your daily or weekly doses of smiles, laughter, slow walks, coffee with a friend, phone calls with family, gardening, playing cards, candlelight dinners, reading, singing, painting and for us tanglers out there … Zentangle. What if we recognized the effects these things have on us and prioritized them as integral parts of a healthy lifestyle. What about taking a regular doses of “Vitamin Z” right along with all your other healthy habits.
Like anything it is easy to slip from taking care of ourselves. But, there is always today to make little change. So, the next time you make a choice to eat better, get more exercise or remember to take your regular vitamins, remember to also acknowledge the other things that bring you joy.
I know that creativity is important to me. I need it in so many ways. I have learned in my life I can get it various ways. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I build, I sculpt, I cook, I garden, almost anything I can get my hands on. But a lot of times, when life gets too busy, it is hard for me to access those things. My Zentangle practice seems always to be there. It is my go-to. It’s small, simple, portable, and accessible. I don’t need a ton of time, but I can get lost with it for hours if I do have the time. My tangling time fulfills my creative need. It calms me. It inspires me. It allows me let go of the day. So, for me taking a regular dose of Vitamin Z does warm my heart and nurture my soul.
I encourage you all to take a moment to acknowledge what warms you heart and nurtures your soul. Perhaps today you will take in a little vitamin Z and whatever else it is that you need to honor your whole body.
Thank you, Annie Rocha CZT, for inspiring this
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