In my wildest dreams, (and I have had some very wild dreams) I would not have anticipated this life as it is unfolding.
But, what can we do in these times to stay afloat? Is this not the best time to exercise our skills in finding gratitude for the life we have? Perhaps it’s time to rethink our situations: mandated staycations, much needed time to ourselves, lunch and dinner together and maybe a walk in the sunlight /moonlight or, (my favorite) time to tangle.
But maybe, as artists, we can do much more. All of you have experienced the healing, relaxing benefits that our wonderful Zentangle drawings reward us with. Without so much as a whisper, it has transformed our lives in ways we could not have anticipated. I was already a working artist and Zentangle made me a writer! For some of you, the Zentangle Method made you the artist that you always dreamed of and knew was always there . . . somewhere. And for some, it has bestowed upon you the inspiration to become a teacher and mentor. The Zentangle Method, in all its dynamism, has gifted us a "tangle of friendships" all over the world, to encourage, inspire, and comfort us when we most need it.
In this strange time of being allowed “only what is essential”, understand that our art is, in fact, one of the most essential items on that list. The essential part is helping us not to lose our “self”, our balance, our ability to love . . . not to let a day go by without noticing all the beauty in the world, and to be grateful for all things.
Rick and I and our amazing staff continue to do what we can with open hearts.
You know that you can access a steady, inspiring flow of your own creativity and imagination through a Zentangle practice. You have learned to focus on the immediate stroke you are making. And you have learned to trust that you will know how to make the next stroke when the time comes to make it.
Many of you have faced fear before, a fear of putting pen to paper and creating art that never existed. You discovered that you have an ability that comes from within - it's not a matter of copying someone else. You have access to something within you that is rarely taught.
Trust that. Cultivate that. Put pen to paper and maintain your connection to that. In the current of contradictory story lines these days, your job is to maintain your sense of joy, gratitude and connection to your creative imagination.
Maria mentioned "staying afloat." Part of staying afloat - at least, staying afloat comfortably - is having a deep and solid keel under your boat. With that, you remain stable and able to move more steadily through wind and wave. For me, that keel is a trust and connection to a consciousness that is creative, beautiful and good and beyond what I can describe. A Zentangle practice reconnects you to that positive, trusting knowing and it makes for a much smoother journey.
I hear lots of talk about "essential services." In my opinion, Beauty is an essential service - particularly during the promotion of Fear. One antidote to fear is to do something. One of the best things to do is to create something beautiful and do it with gratitude. This is an opportunity to use the Zentangle Method to unstick yourself from fear.
You will feel better. You will be more able to respond creatively to changing scenarios. Best of all, you will have something beautiful!
At each moment, you get to choose what to pay the coin of your attention to. I don't know what the beautiful gifts are that will come of this situation, or any situation. (Much like when Maria spilled ink all over her beautiful journal.) But I know that if I focus on finding something to be grateful for, I will find it.
I know from all the messages that Maria and I receive at Zentangle HQ, that people all over this world are finding inspiration, refuge and solace these days in creating Zentangle art.
It is humbling and inspiring to know that the Zentangle Method is beneficial to so many people as each one of them discovers they can create something beautiful, one stroke at a time.
We put this Project Pack together specifically in response to these times as an inspiration to put pen to paper. We think that you will enjoy it.
All the best,
Rick and Maria