What will you experience here? 

I’m listening to this amazing book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship by Father Gregory Boyle. I’ll be honest, I am as surprised as anyone that I am loving this book. (If you’re curious about that statement, let’s chat.)

I listen to it every day as I take my walk, often pausing to step off the path, to tap a quote into my phone so I don’t forget it. Just the other day I was listening to a piece about what volunteers often ask when they arrive at Homeboy Industries (the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world). Their question, is “What should I do here?” The response from Father Gregory is priceless, “The  question is what will you experience here?” I love that! 

Can you feel the difference? As I listen to Father Gregory‘s question I feel an expansiveness, an opportunity to open up to the possibility of what might occur. When I listen to the question about what to do, while it could lead to many possible answers, my sense of it is that one or two answers are being sought. It feels like possibilities are closed off, along with creativity, and imagining beyond what’s right in front of me. While there are times for needing a specific answer… what if we lived that question every day, throughout our days? 

What will you experience here?

What do you think? I have several thoughts about it:

  • It would be exciting and mind-expanding.
  • It might be exhausting and unsustainable. 

I think of the latter because having routines and habits can be very helpful. It certainly streamlines my day and reduces the number of decisions I make, whether I’m thinking of my breakfast routine or the route I will take to the train station. If I approached every task with the query, “What are all the possibilities?” I’m not sure I get enough done during the day.

Perhaps there’s a middle path—discerning the times to choose a routine and when to be open to something novel. I might have more varied and quite different experiences if I  consciously choose to embrace the question of how I will engage in them.

One of my students, years ago would ask me, when he received an assignment, “What to do?” Of course, the tasks varied, some were more close-ended/one right answer while others were more open-ended, with multiple perspectives or answers. 

The question, “What to do?” does not necessarily imply a way to do something or a way of looking at it. Yet, I wonder how frequently I/we step back from an immediate appraoch to tackling a task to wonder about the experience we will have. What do you think? I know that I am already wondering about how I will step into situations later today.

As you enter the weekend, perhaps you will play with these questions. If you do, or whenever you do, please let me know your experiences. 

More than Repetition—Conscious Practice (redux)

I just finished two bikablo Day 1 training programs (in-person for the first time since the pandemic and online) plus I offered a monthlong Mystery Tangling adventure for those who love the Zentangle method (and focusing on the philosophy too).

Both of these experiences explore guidelines for drawing yet more importantly…

  • In bikablo, we have a developmental approach and success factors to guide our work
  • In the Zentangle method, we use certain marks and are supported by a philosophy and techniques

In both, the focus is on being mindful about each stroke, conscious of our process —it is what improves our skills—it’s more than repetition.

When is the last time you were focused and aware of each stroke of the pen/marker? Maybe yesterday or…

What impact did that focused, attention have on your intended result? 

My tangling classes/teaching the Zentangle method and Bikablo trainings offer opportunities to engage in conscious practice and receive appreciative and constructive feedback about the results. 

What work or play are you engaged in that offers you feedback to grow on?

In thinking about how to best support the ongoing growth of my participants’ skills in all of my courses, I am developing a planner. I’d love your help in crafting an agenda/calendar/diary/planner that provides space to practice every day—consistency counts when you are burnishing your (drawing) skills.

Here’s my request for your ideas from my recent newsletter about designing the planner. (My apologies to those of you who are on my ezine list and saw this yesterday.)




I’ve got a bee in my bonnet and I’d LOVE to hear what you think!

For years, I’ve been crafting my own planners/agendas/calendars—I’m a bit like Goldilocks in the story with the three bears. I can’t find a planner that’s just right for me so I keep working to make it.

I came “this close” when I purchased the Passion Planner but alas no… so I’m building one with several objectives in mind.

It’s going to:

  • look great
  • support my planning throughout the year—with a year, monthly and weekly calendars
  • facilitate my practice—ensuring that I’m keeping up my skills

And I’d love your ideas to help make it the best!

I’m thinking of a few variables. Please take this survey now—it won’t take even 5 minutes.

I’m going to make this planner—though I’m thinking that I like the name “Owner’s Manual”—over the next few weeks and offer it for pre-sale in early November. 

Please help me make it great!

Take the survey here.


And, I drafted a practice sheet… Visit this Miro board to see an example of how to use it and download the blank practice sheet for yourself!

Please play with it and lmk what you think! Do you like the different angles of the tiles? Please lmk!