One of my favourite ‘aha’ moments comes when a student starts the class by telling me they aren’t very good. “Don’t expect much,” they might apologise with a self-deprecating laugh, “I can’t really draw.” But they’re willing to give it a shot, and they’re usually surprised and delighted with what they create. “Hey, that’s pretty good!”
It begs the next question: If you thought you couldn’t draw, but you tried it and found out you could…
…What else do you think you can’t do?
The reason Zentangle is so satisfying is that it removes judgement and self-doubt from the creative process. Part of drawing a Zentangle tile can be starting from a blank tile and just listening to your inner voice tell you what draw next until you know you are finished and your tile is complete.
If you have no preconceived idea of how your finished product will look, you can focus on the process of creating and you can truly enjoy what is instead of what should be. Failure is not an option because it doesn’t even exist.
So what other things might you try if you didn’t worry about failure, or if you could let go of the fear of judgement?
Maybe it’s not too late to take that painting class, take a crack at writing, or take up swimming again. What things did you love to do as a kid? What things do you wish you could learn to do?
What else would you do if you shifted your focus from the outcome to simply enjoying the process? I know, stop and smell the roses, right?
But what if you did?