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How do you feel about relaxing, focusing more easily, and having fun?

What is this thing called Zentangle?

Just last week I was sharing my love of Zentangle—a meditative art—with members of the IAF Visual Facilitation SIG. Toward the end of the session, we were talking about how relaxing and fun it was to create such beautiful designs  and I was asked, “So how would you use this in a work setting?” I live for such questions—as applicability is my jam!

So we chatted about it—and I shared a laundry list of ways. Here are a few:

* Enhancing team cohesion—focusing on how, when learning new tangles together, we use the same tools, “string” (spaces within which we work), and tangles (patterns) and our work is both similar and different. It’s a perfect place to begin conversations about how we work together as a team, to recognize areas of commonality and diversity, i.e., we have common goals, similar and different skills, approaches, communication styles, personalities, etc.

 

* making the time to explore how this method engages our minds and bodies simultaneously – creating whole body/embodied experiences.

*diving into new tangles, new combinations of patterns, and re-visiting old/well-known patterns in new ways provides us with fresh, stimulating experiences, challenging us to remain focused, in the moment, experimental.

* wrestling with our inner critic—because sometimes we can’t easily leave that little devil at the door! Learning to breathe through the mistakes we make—because we’re human and we will make mistakes—and continuing to move forward. (Notice that there’s no eraser on a Zentangle pencil!)

* living the philosophy which permeates the Zentangle method. Here are just a few of the ideas I share with folks

* learning to step away and return to our work refreshed. I tangle at night and there are times I don’t love my work as I put it away… when I see it the next morning I am always happier… perhaps it’s because my inner critic got a good night’s sleep!

* slowing down and taking multiple perspectives—feeling the beauty and surprises in seeing our work from different angles—just by rotating the tiles… and carrying the skills of pausing, becoming open to possibilities, and shifting perspectives into our work and personal lives.

* actively supporting people’s taking care of themselves—making time, from five minutes to a lunch hour —for stepping away from work and the ever-present screen, to become absorbed in the delight and the challenge of using simple tools to create beautiful patterns… emerging from the experience refreshed.

* encouraging thinking in new and different ways—not only when we approach a new tile, but also in the media that can be used… look here to see many of my “off the tile” creations—on sneakers, mugs, jewelry, pencil cases… and in instances where I engage in ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) most often for fundraisers/causes I support and gifts for family and friends. How can we look beyond the ways we have previously engaged in processes and developed products to literally change the foundation from which we work. (I feel a parallel here to Ben Zander’s ideas in The Art of Possibility, about changing the table on which the game is played. (If you don’t know the book, check it out, it’s one of my favorites!)

While it’s clear that I am passionate about the Zentangle method and tangling, I haven’t shared the most important element to me. When I teach folks to tangle they see themselves in new ways—in an hour’s time! My heart sings when people say at the end of our session, “I am an artist!”

Are you ready to tangle? Join me for Relax, focus, and have fun with Zentangle on Thursday, May 13th for my Creative Mornings Field Trip, learn more and register here!

Story of my life: Exciting Opportunity + Deadline = Motivation

What motivates you?

Just last week I was presented with the opportunity to do something I’ve been meaning to get to for a few months—something that I enjoy doing, love to share, and have folks ask me about often—teaching Zentangle!

Background

The practice of this art form, (developed by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts), is meditative and relaxing in nature. The tangling looks complex, yet it’s the use of one or more of five simple lines to form myriad patterns, and there are guidelines for doing so. Engaging in the drawing transforms people’s beliefs about themselves. Really! Learners enter the classes unsure of themselves and their capabilities and leave feeling that they are artists.

“I found the Zentangle class very soothing, relaxing, and meditative after a stressful week. Jill Greenbaum is an excellent instructor who goes step by step for someone like me with no artistic talent.” Berthe Burnside

Recent Past

At the beginning of the pandemic, I offered free Zentangle classes to my visual practitioner colleagues. It was such fun! I started thinking that I should offer more classes online—I am generally a hands-on learning gal. As often happens, life got busy, and I didn’t pull together all the pieces to this puzzle.

Then fate/opportunity stepped in. My friend, Catherine Allen, whom I met while volunteering for a medical service trip to the Humla Valley in Nepal, created an ezine, Little Bit of Zen, and began offering free meditation sessions on Saturday mornings. I meditate consistently and love to support my friends. Catherine also came to one of my online Zentangle classes and enjoyed it. As we brainstormed a bit about how to get the word out about our endeavors, we decided to promote each other—and that’s when I got serious about offering Zentangle classes again.

For me, a learning opportunity, or sharing a learning experience, and a deadline are the perfect combination!

How about you?

What ignites your passion to begin a project? What do you know about yourself that supports you in getting done those delightful, exciting, new, or even old ideas, that are languishing? Do you need a buddy, a coach, to carve out time in your schedule, resources, or more information/learning? Can you put your finger on it? 

Because Catherine asked me for information to share about my Zentangle work with her growing group of meditators, I created a new page on my website, to share my passion for tangling. I’ll start offering online classes again on September 5th. I am excited to be walking on this path again.

Learn more about the joys of Zentangle here, and Catherine’s offerings here. 

Upon reflection, I realize what I need to motivate me—and I will leverage that information when I get caught up in wanting, and yet not moving forward.

What’s calling to you—and how will you find a way to answer?

Join me for the Bikablo Basic Day 1 Virtual Training this fall!

bikablo Basic Day 1—3 different sessions! 

Perhaps visualization is a part of your work and you want to broaden and deepen your skills. Maybe, you love to draw and aren’t quite sure how to bring your skills into your professional life. Or, perhaps you’re interested in discovering how to make your ideas, questions, notes, planning sessions, and conversations come alive. My suggestion—join me to learn this simple, structured approach to communicating more effectively!

Because I LOVE sharing this exciting introductory course to the bikablo methods— I am offering three sessions before the end of the year! Here are the details of the program and the several dates being offered this fall.

 

BIKABLO BASIC Day 1—Live Virtual Training

WHO     BIKABLO Global Certified Trainers – Jill Greenbaum

WHAT

  • Learn to hold the pen, draw clean lines, and structure your space on the flip chart
  • Create graphics and text containers/geometric shapes, objects, and symbols
  • Discover the easy ways the bikablo®  method provides to draw people, roles, groups, and situations
  • Use simple and fast options to color elements and spaces to support the graphic structure
  • Improve your handwriting—make it more legible and attractive—on flip charts… and more!

WHERE   Virtually — Using Zoom and additional apps* (i.e., WhatsApp and Miro), all sessions are live

WHEN   See the options below    4 sessions in all

Join me for this exciting adventure in learning Bikablo online! While I prefer the intimacy of our in-person training programs, I understand the need to remain responsive to current realities. With this in mind, I am offering the one-day Bikablo Basic training in several formats:

October 23 & 30, November 6 & 13, in four two hour sessions, from 11 am – 1 pm ET each Saturday, Register here

November 15 & 17—over two days, in four two hour sessions—with my colleague Jill Langer, from 11 am – 1 pm ET & 2:30 pm – 4:30 ET each day Register here,

Mid-December —over two days, in four two hour sessions—with my colleague Jill Langer. Dates to post next week!

I will send out Bikablo kits in advance of the session (requiring sign-up at least one week in advance, anticipating that most participants will be joining us from North America). Early bird pricing ($500 USD) ends 10 days before the first session). Please contact me with your questions,  jill@jill.greenbaum. I can’t wait to embark on this adventure with you!

Please reach out to me with any questions that arise.

Registration is Open for the Bikablo 1 Day Basic—Virtual Delivery

Jill Langer, my Bikablo colleague in Canada, and I had so much fun delivering the Bikablo Basic One Day Virtual program last week, that we’ve scheduled a second for June 15th & 17th!

Please contact us with any questions after you have learned the details of the offering. Registration is now open and space is limited.

 

Registration is Open for the Bikablo 1 Day Basic—Virtual Delivery

We have exciting news to share!

The “Jills”—Jill Langer, my Bikablo colleague in Canada, and I —are offering the Bikablo Basic program in May!

Please contact us with any questions after you have learned the details of the offering. Registration is now open and space is limited.