"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Confession Friday - Finding my Zen

I am a doodler.  For today's confession, meet one of my obsessions - doodling with a purpose! Yes, I admit -  I doodle every chance I get.

You know when you are talking on the phone and you sit and draw randomly on the margins of your notepad?  Many people do this.  Just a time wasting activity with no meaning or purpose, right?  Well, my friend, you would be highly mistaken!

A couple of years ago in my wandering through the world of the internet, I came across the theory that doodling is actually a productive activity.  Say you are sitting in a boring meeting or lecture and you are doodling.  You will actually retain more of what is said than those who aren't doodling! Without the activity of doodling, most people are daydreaming, which requires more brain attention than doodling.  Imagine that!

In the process of finding out what a great thing doodling is, I found a website about something I had never heard of that uses doodling.  This website was about Zentangles - a structured doodle!  Zentangles was started by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, as she was telling Rick how she felt as she doodled - "feeling timeless, free and engendering a sense of deep well-being" - in other words, a meditative condition.  And that was the beginning.

They began to develop a series of doodling patterns that they could teach people easily.  Taking it a step further, they started going to businesses and corporations to teach Zentangles, as more management began recognizing that when people doodle they are actually more productive.  Zentangles can be done anywhere, anytime and helps people to relax.  The idea is that most Zentangles can be done in a short period time, 10 minutes, and taking a short break to clear the mind can refresh and boost employees.

Over the past couple of years, Zentangles has taken off in popularity.  Now Zentangles are used in therapy for stroke victims and anger management,  in art instruction, in problem solving, in gift-giving, in card-making.

  Since I first discovered Zentangles, there are now Certified Master Instructors for Zentangling. There are books that you can purchase to teach you how to 'Tangle. People all over the world are participating in classes and fun activities centered around this doodling.

I have a sketch book in which I am learning new patterns, at least a couple each week.  It is so much fun and the neat part is you don't have to know how to draw to be able to learn how to Zentangle!  There is this wonderful website www.tanglepatterns.com that you can go to and click on a pattern and it will show you how to learn that particular doodle step by step. The names for the doodle patterns are equally entertaining!  Hepmee, wired, click clack, blooming butter, kandysnake to name a few!  Check it out!

For Christmas this year, I drew Zentangle pattern pictures for two of my friends and framed them.  One was an owl, the other a heart.  It was a fun way to stay within our $10 budget we had set.  I am planning on doing some 'Tangle Christmas ornaments for gifts next year and I think I am starting on them SOON!
I hope mine look as good as these!!!
So if you have always wanted to draw but felt like you couldn't, I encourage you to try Zentangles.  And the next time your boss sees you doodling, you can honestly say that you aren't just doodling for doodling's sake, you are actually helping the bottom line by being more productive and attentive to your work!

Now I am going to go feed my creative spirit and soul by creating some Zentangles!  Go feed yours somehow, someway and let me know what it is, or share your attempt at 'tangling!  I would love to see it! Or better yet, come 'tangle with me! Happy Doodling!

P.S.  Just for clarification....all the images above are NOT Zentangles I did!  Just wanted to show some GOOD examples of what people can do 'tangling!


  1. What fun !! I love the Angel ornament!!

  2. I have read about this in other emails between you and De, and now I know. Can't wait to go to the site. You are always moving ahead! Thanks for the info. Did you see the link on blogiesta?