I don’t have much of either of these items in my life right now, but I’m working on it. I read an email from a business coach I follow where she talked about using a “word of the year” instead of writing down a bunch of resolutions. I decided that I would try that this year as I am not usually very successful with lists of resolutions. I tend to go overboard and create very long lists of things I need to improve on or change and then it’s just overwhelming and feels like too much work and I don’t do any of it. So, I spent a few days thinking of what my word would be for 2013 and what I came up with was Focus. I am juggling a lot of balls in my life right now (aren’t most of us???) and I can succumb to the “Oooh, something shiny” syndrome very easily. I desperately need to find a way to “focus” in order to accomplish some goals I have for this year.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I was at a quilt show in central Florida and as I wondered through the booths in the vendor area, I came upon a table set up with this book laying on it with some fun designs, cool looking pens (I have a pen fetish) and some cute little square cards.
What caught my eye was the line under the title “Drawing your way to increased creativity, focus, and well-being”. Wow, that’s a big claim. Then, I opened the book and the first line said “This book will change your life”. Wow, again! I had heard a lot about this technique and even have a couple of friends who have told me about it directly. I wanted to try it because I thought it would help me think of new free motion quilting designs to use on the long-arm, but I was also intrigued with the idea of increasing creativity and focus. So, I bought the book and a couple of the pens and sat down that evening to try it out.
The book went on to say that this drawing technique has been used to help people with chronic illnesses or suffering from grief or depression. You don’t need any artistic training or talent, for that matter. There are specific patterns in the book for you to replicate and when I sat down to try my hand at it, I was amazed at how easy it was. But, the most amazing thing for me, was that after working on my “tile” for a few minutes and just concentrating on the pattern I was creating, how amazingly calm and focused I felt. For that fifteen minutes or so that I was working on the tile, I was thinking only of the design I was drawing. My mind wasn’t racing with the million things I needed to do! Here is my very first tile! (a tile is what the small square cards are called)
Not perfect by any means, but I’ll tell you, I am hooked! And it falls right into my word for the year…..Focus. I plan to keep doing this activity for lots of reasons, one of which will be new designs for my quilting. Look at this page, it’s feathers! With some very cool background fillers.
Have you tried Zentangling? Or another form of doodling to spur your creativity? I’d love to hear about it!