Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zentangles as Therapy

A while back, we talked about Zentangle here on the blog. I shared with you how much I enjoyed this, as it legitimised my incessant need to doodle!

Recently, I was invited to share some Zentangling fun with the residents and clients of our local HACC (Home and Community Care) - mostly more 'mature' members of our community - which was great fun. So  engaging, in fact, that the camera sat idle in my basket until there was just one lady left. So, I grabbed it and shot a few quick photos. I was even fortunate enough for one of the staff to think to suggest she take a photo, so that I might be in one for a change! Jenny and I are having some kind of deep and meaningful discussion about her efforts by the look of this...

My friend Kathy had asked me along; this lovely piece of work belongs to her.

For the uninitiated, Zentangling is really all about making complex looking marks from simple, repetitive lines - and while you're at it, achieving a very centred, almost meditative state - it quiets the mind, slows down your pulse and breath rate, and is generally a feel good kind of thing to do. It was wonderful to watch the participants get lost in their paper and pens, and suspend, even for a short while, their concerns with their health and for some, a focus outside of constant pain.

I loved having the opportunity to join our HACC team for this activity...They are a great bunch of women who care so very much about the welfare and well-being of the people in their care. (Just a few of them are pictured here: L to R. Jenny, A HACC client, experiencing some challenging health issues at the moment; Kathy - my special friend  responsible for me joining them - thanks Kathy! Jenny, who has been the face of HACC in this community for the longest time, and Diana, the activities officer - who also happens to be one of the most precious friends a woman could wish for!)

I have long held the belief that art has the power to transform our experience...this activity showed me that even something as simple as doodling within a framework, can have a powerfully positive effect. Will you give yourself twenty minutes today to create something (even something as small and simple as a doodle) for no other reason than your own well being? I hope so. Today, I'm hoping, you'll take care of you

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