The other day I accidentally shortchanged someone in a financial transaction.  As soon as I realized it, I corrected the mistake and apologized.  The other person thanked me for rectifying the situation and that was the end of it.  Until I realized something.

In the past, something like this would have really bothered me.  I would have spent a lot of time thinking about how I had made a mistake, how it looked, what the other person was thinking, and how I really messed up.

This time, I went ‘oops – sorry about that – here’s the correction,’ and continued on with my day. No recrimination, or dwelling on the error.  It happened, it was incorporated into my day and on the whole, it was a good day.

The difference?  I attribute it to my daily Zentangle practice.  When tangling there have been many times when I accidently drew a line in the wrong direction, slipped and wiggled my pen, or filled in a space I meant to leave empty.  In Zentangle, you simply go – ‘oops’ – okay what do I do now? The act of looking at an ‘oops’ as an opportunity instead of an error moves you instantly from blame-mode to problem-solving mode, and you realize that that ‘huge mistake’ is hardly noticeable in the end.

Apparently, that habit has transferred into my everyday life.

When you look at the things we talk about in Zentangle, so much of it relates to this bigger picture. Take your time. Breathe. Appreciate. Even things like ‘redefine the line’ or ‘aura, aura, aura’ can be interpreted as reflecting on where you are, what you’ve accomplished,  and where you want to go next.

What have you noticed about your everyday life that has changed because of these simple Zentangle practices? Or, what can you take from Zentangle and apply to your life?

I’ve heard two versions of the meaning of OOPS – ‘Outstanding Opportunity Presented Suddenly’ or “Outstanding Opportunity for Potential Success’.  Both are good.  All I know is that an OOPS event is now an opportunity for problem solving, not self-castigation.  And that alone is a gift.