Like any artist, there are times I stare at a blank canvas in complete frustration – my mind a tangled mess of ideas with no sense of direction. So I’ve looked for ways to tap into my creative flow and want to share a method that I find especially helpful.
A few years ago I took a class on the “Art of the Tangle”. The method is called Zentangle and is best described as a meditative art form using repetitive patterns to create art. Creating the repetitive patterns requires focus and mindfulness. I find the process of tangling relaxing because it quiets my mind (no easy task). When my mind is quiet, space is created allowing the flow of creativity. In essence, tangling puts me in the zone.
I know what some of you are thinking…back in the day we called that “doodling” – and I get it, but there’s one major difference. When you find yourself “doodling” on your notepad at work during a meeting – that’s mindlessness. You’re escaping through the repetitive process of doodling – often you’re daydreaming (trust me, I doodled my way through many a meeting). When you “tangle” it’s a mindfulnessprocess – a difference that makes a difference. Tangling requires awareness because you are creating repetitive patterns purposefully, not with random, reckless abandon (that comes later when you get back to that blank canvas!) When you tangle, you end up with something like the elephant in the photo above. Doodling often gets you an “eye roll” from the boss – but hey, day dreaming has its advantages too!
If you’d like to learn more about the art of Zentangling click the link here.
As for the benefits of mindfulness, let me share this infographic I found down my favorite rabbit hole – Pinterest!