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Friday, December 9, 2011

One Stroke at a Time.

Two quotes caught my eye recently:

Small things, done consistently, in strategic places, create major impact. What are [your] top 'small things' right now?

— David Allen:
Author and productivity consultant

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

— Lao Tzu: Philosopher

When I (Rick) read those quotes, it was natural for me to think of individual strokes in a Zentangle creation. Each stroke is a small thing. Each Zentangle creation is made up of small individual strokes. 

Then I thought of our Zentangle slogan . . .

 . . . and I realized that not only is anything possible, one stroke at a time, but that most things are ONLY possible, one stroke at a time . . . at least for me. My activities are more successful and certainly more mindful and enjoyable when I am able to do them one at a time.

However, there is a Zentangle paradox at work here, too: When you can't concentrate at all, creating something in a Zentangle way can help your concentration.

Some weeks after after Maria and I had given a Zentangle workshop at our local book store, a woman stopped us on the street. She said she regularly went to church with her two sons. She also said she never remembered the sermon, but continued to go for her sons' benefit.

One Sunday she was sitting in church and thought to herself, "I'm not going to remember anything so I might as well tangle!" So she took out a Zentangle tile, a pencil and a pen and tangled during the sermon.

"I remembered everything he said! . . . for the first time ever!"

So, however small a thing you may be doing (or thinking, or saying, or planning, or . . .), appreciate and savor it, "one stroke at a time."

And if the tumbling tumult of (seemingly) big things becomes too distracting, grab your Zentangle tiles and tools and treat yourself to a Zentangle moment.

Click image for larger view of small strokes.


Carole Ohl said...

Always a great reminder! I love the tile too. Thank you!

Unknown said...

I've recently had an evaluation at work (I'm a teacher), and while I knew that it was going to be fine, I was still experiencing stress. I've tangled more in the last week than I have since the summer! It helped me to sleep, helped me to feel more focused at work, and best of all, made me feel more relaxed. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift :)