Mind Your Tangles

with Lori Champine, CZT

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Bonding with the nurses!

In late May, I spent an afternoon with a group of professionals from the Nursing Program at Middlesex Community College in Lowell.  The ladies were having an end-of-the-year wrap-up event which consisted of professional training in the morning, and then a more playful activity in the afternoon. The Program Director hoped her group would enjoy the relaxing and mindful aspects of the Zentangle® practice. Truthfully, they all seemed a little spent by the time my workshop was to start. I actually heard a few moans and groans as they shuffled into the room. I understood, but I was ready to share my love of Zentangle® with them, just the same.

Sometimes folks are convinced they have no creative ability. They tell me right off that they cannot draw. They are prepared to fail before we even begin.  I heard a little bit of that talk from one particular woman, so I stayed close by, and I was able to gently coach her through the process, building her confidence. We began the workshop in the usual way, by preparing our mind and our bodies for the practice of Zentangle®.  I presented three different tangles (Hollibaugh, Printemps and Bales), one at a time, and they all began to draw.

A couple of women in the group were familiar with Zentangle®, but for most of them, it was their first experience. In no time at all, everyone was fully absorbed in the practice. At times, you could have heard a pin drop in that room.  As I walked around to coach and to comment on their work, I overheard many positive comments and compliments between them.  The ladies were enjoying the drawing process, and they were admiring their own work as well as the work of their friends.  Everyone, including the few who were sure they couldn't draw, created beautiful tiles.

At the end of the workshop, we put our tiles together into a mosaic for all to view. The group was truly amazed at how interesting, how different, and how wonderful all the tiles were. Everyone had the same verbal instruction, and yet, each individual created a unique tile, expressing their own creativity.

I really enjoyed working with this group. Like many folks, these women have stressful jobs. I hope they continue using their new Zentangle® skills to promote mindfulness and relaxation in their daily lives.


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