Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sharing the Joy & Beauty of Zentangles!

Whew! Just back from rushing to the post office to mail my contribution to the grand endeavor of increasing awareness of the Zentangle Method through approaching CBS News Sunday Morning... Tanglers across the US have mailed their stories and their work/tiles TODAY to demonstrate the breadth and depth of peoples' interest in this beautiful art.

Here's my letter (it was written on letterhead with a tile, so here's my closest approximation to that) and two more goodies I sent to Charles Osgood—the tile I was willing to part with (it was difficult to choose one), and my story about finding this meditative practice.

Good day!

I am writing to share my passion for the awe-inspiring practice of Zentangle. As you can read in greater detail in the enclosed piece, I discovered Maria and Rick’s fabulous creation while searching for resources for teens engaged in the college admissions process. While I knew of, and practiced, meditation, I stumbled across Zentangle in my continuing desire to best serve my coaching clients. I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the process, the philosophy of the practice, and the artwork that resulted from immersing myself in this relaxed yet focused endeavor. 

Without hesitation, I signed up to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher as I realized that there was much to be learned about drawing the repetitive, structured patterns and the mindset that accompanies the work... I have embraced the challenge of sharing this practice with adults and teens—just last week, in working with ninth and tenth graders in Worcester, Massachusetts about resiliency, I taught them how to tangle. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as they worked on their tiles! They left their time with me not only knowledgeable about how to meet adversity, but with a tool/resource they can use the remainder of their lives.

Please make the time in your busy schedules to explore Zentangle—it’s magical! Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas can be reached at 508-234-6843 or here, rickandmaria@zentangle.com. Of course, I would also be delighted to share more details and stories with you. My contact information is in my signature.

Tangle on!

Jill Greenbaum, Ed.D.
Certified Zentangle Teacher

Here's the tile...

And, the piece describing how I stumbled into this wonderful world of Zentangle...

My Path to Zentangle

Just a few years ago, I was coaching a young man who was really stuck (and scared) early in his college search and selection process. In my effort to encourage him to step into responsibility for his future, both the exhiliration and the nervousness that accompanies making important decisions, I searched my bookshelves and the internet for resources. Of course, I suggested meditation (I love Andy Puddicombe’s, www.getsomeheadspace.com, Rick Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin, and Susan Jeffers, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway). 

Fast forward to early this summer... As I began planning for my first group coaching program, and listening to students’ conversations about their hopes, dreams, and concerns about the admissions process, I decided that I wanted even more tools for students. I was reminded of my “go to” list of resources, and yet I sought a more immersive approach, something intriguing, relaxing, reflective, maybe even meditative. I remembered reading about Zentangle on my first foray into discovering resources. Since I am a visual coach, using drawings to help teens see/understand themselves and the college admission process, this method of creating beautiful images by drawing structured patterns felt like perfect fit for my style and the students who work with me!

Long story short, I began my journey with Zentangle in earnest almost a year ago, on my own, and quickly signed up to learn how to become a Certified Zentangle Teacher. This method, developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, supports everyone in shifting into a relaxed focus to achieve astonishing results—a sense of calm, achievement, and appreciation of one’s own capabilities.

Here are just a few examples of my work. 

When I show these “tiles” at the beginning of each workshop, everyone says, “I could never do that!” Quietly, I suggest that they too will discover their abilities to create such beauty during the session. To a person, the participants complete several wonderful “tangles”/designs and leave with new perspectives of themselves. Some of the questions they reflect on during the session include...

  • At first you thought you couldn’t do this beautiful work—and now you see that you can... 
What else do you believe that you cannot do? Perhaps you can!
  • Re-define the line. 
What are your perceived limitations or barriers? Must you stay within them or can they be altered to better effect?
  • Zentangle is about consistency, not perfection.
As Rick and Maria say, “Anything is possible, one stroke at a time.”

Our time together is always one of exploration, learning, and the opportunity to appreciate our own and other’s work. We conclude the session by arranging the tiles into a mosaic so that everyone can see both the similarities and differences in their designs.

If you, your teen, or someone you know, feels anxious, confused or overwhelmed during this period of transition from high school to college, I’d be happy to have a conversation. I help teens and parents feel engaged and empowered through my resources, teaching the Zentangle method, and coaching. You can contact me at jill@majorinyou.com.

Jill Greenbaum, Ed.D.
Certified Zentangle Teacher

February, 2014

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