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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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New Series: How Zentangle® changes lives

New Series: How Zentangle changes livesOne of my greatest, and most unexpected, rewards in running is receiving comments and emails from fellow tanglers thanking me for the site and describing how Zentangle® has changed their lives. It is a wonderful feeling to know you’ve made a difference in a person’s life. Of course the real difference is what the gift of Zentangle has given, but I’m honored to help in my way through TanglePatterns.

For some time I’ve been sharing some of these stories (not private details) with friends and family, and it seems to me that these should be shared more widely. Many of you are new to this art form and I’m not sure you are aware of how Zentangle has helped so many people in dealing with some really tough challenges in their lives.

With this in mind, I am beginning a new “occasional” series about precisely that, “How Zentangle changes lives”. My goal for the series is to show others in similar circumstances that Zentangle® offers them hope and comfort and joy where they might not otherwise believe it possible.

At CZT7 in Providence, Zentangle founders Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas shared an example about a ward in a major New York City hospital where the patients are all on morphine. The head nurse learned about Zentangle and began sharing it with the patients. Almost immediately the staff noticed a significant drop in the morphine dosage these critical care patients required. The only thing they could attribute the difference to is the new Zentangle activity the patients were absorbed in – and having fun with! These and similar accounts have lead to the beginnings of clinical trials and studies about Zentangle which will obviously take time to develop and publish.

Here is a small sampling of examples I’ve gathered from recent comments posted on the site.

“I just wanted to express my thanks for this amazing site.  I just discovered Zentangling this past summer after my husband of 24 yrs passed away from kidney cancer. This has been like a sedative to me when I get anxious or sad.  Therapy for the spirit.  Thank you..for organizing all the tangles and the tutorials.  Blessings, Tangle addict :)” ~ Deb

“I am disabled by several incurable medical conditions at a relatively young age and have found Zentangle to be a wonderful activity and distraction for me as I am unable to leave my home or be around people due to my medical conditions, one of which is a severe immune deficiency (remember the “boy in the bubble” movie with John Travolta? It’s kinda like that) … I very much love Zentangle, and I also very much need it. In fact, one of my specialist doctors has included Zentangle as part of my treatment plan while she herself has taken up the activity for her own enjoyment. It’s interesting to go to a dr appt and compare artwork. :)” ! Christina

“I discovered Zentangle a little over a year ago and I can honestly say that it has saved my life. Over the past 6 years I have been suffering from chronic hand and arm pain and severe depression and anxiety. I can get lost in my Zentangle. I also carry a book and pen in my purse so it is always handy to help me settle down. I can not thank you enough for what you have given me.” ~ Coral

If you would like to share your own experience for this new series, please email me (linda [at] tanglepatterns [dot] com). You can make your story as long as or short as you like and if you wish your personal details to remain private, I will certainly honor that.

By publishing your “testimonials”, I’m hoping it will help spread the word about Zentangle to many others who can REALLY benefit from it. As the Zentangle founders say, “Anything is possible, one stroke at a time.”™

16 comments to New Series: How Zentangle® changes lives

  • Judi

    This is a wonderful idea, Linda! Thanks!! Zentangle is magical, isn’t it? One day I’ll add my own story….

  • Diann

    These stories come from the heart and certainly reflect the power of the human soul and creative spirit. I am glad to know that Zentangle has been a source for nuturing this spirit. I am a nurse and I agree that it is a remarkable adventure and source of pleasure.

  • Last year I learned about Zentangle. I love to paint, but don’t have enough space to do this. Zentangle doesn’t need much space, and since I discovered this, I finally have found something I can do with my hands without a lot of hoopla like wet-paint-canvas, space and storage problems and other restrictions. Life is fun again! 😉 (and when I finally can move to a bigger house I swear I won’t stop tangling! 😉 )

  • Barbara

    I love Zentangle because one can’t really make a mistake in following a pattern or design. If something goes ‘wrong’ then it can be easily changed, it does not HAVE to be copied perfectly. I find it so relaxing and get totally engrossed with it all. Learning to take my time for a change and to be gentle with myself as I do one line at a time. There are days when I need to sit quite a bit, due to health issues, now I Zentangle such a lot thus the time flies by in a productive way, as most of the Zentangles I do become greeting cards for friends and family. Having now introduced it to friends, the sharing and common bond is wonderful. Heaps of thanks to one and all for your time and generosity.

  • It changed my life in a way. I always knew how do draw since I was a child, but this is one more skill I acquired in the craft-world.

  • Your generosity in sharing the zentangel patterns is a rare and wonderful thing. I suffer from a debilitating but not fatal disease and there are days just getting dressed is a challenge. I make cards to send to friends that have so much more to deal with. Thank you so much for everything you do! It has set me free and my mind occupied when my body cannot be. When I get an extra dollar I want to send you something as small thank you for all you have done. Blessings, Peggy

  • marcie steinberg

    if you know of anyone in the west palm beach area, which includes many cities, i would love a group to connect with.. thanks marcie

  • Gina

    I tried to do my first tangle on Christmas day. I made a commitment to try and to at least 30 minutes of drawing a night before i go to bed. I may have missed a few nights, but believe me, it has brought me closer to others and allowed me to “let go” of all of the tensions that prevent me from sleeping.

  • micqué

    To Peggy L.

    I do not know if you have noticed(and this is not a critique) in mentioning the patterns, you’ve called them ZENTANGEL… I think this is so appropriate for the state we are in when we draw these patterns, we do become «zentangels» and Linda for all the work she puts in her website,certainly is angelical. Thank you so much, made me feel real good! micqué

  • What a great idea! Everyone has something to tell about Zentangle, what it did with their lifes, how great it is.

  • mary

    this is a great idea! i discovered tangling through a local creative body/mind/spirit center. it sounded so intriguing, i had to give it a try. since then, i talked to a group of kids about tangling, being careful to explain that i’m not a certified instructor (yet). what i heard from the teachers later is that the kids got more out of the few minutes i spent with them then they had from their actual art teacher who comes in weekly. i think what they liked best is that there are no mistakes, and i could easily confess that even if i can’t draw a straight line to save my life, even using a ruler!-but i can do this, and the picture still is pretty amazing.

  • Ann

    Just found zentangle recently and has really help me forget. I am a funeral director and see things that no one else should see. When I do zentangle, it is like everything disappears and I just get lost in it and for that time everything is okay. Thank you.

  • Jason

    I had knee surgery recently and have picked up tangling. I am no expert but I am fascinated enough to keep absorbing more and more information. I have spent many hours so far on this site and plan to read everything. Thank you for providing something that has taken my focus off of my pain.

  • I learned about Zentangle from my sister. I started Tangling in December of 2013, and have not stopped, because it is personally very rewarding. I am a clinical practice leader in a concurrent disorders (Addiction and Mental Health) treatment centre, and decided to show our patients this art form to help them learn about mindfulness and non judgemental thinking and to help them slow down with one stroke and one thought at time. The information on your site is invaluable and gives me confidence that our graduates will have a resource to turn to after they leave our program. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your website and your insights.

  • Dawn

    I really enjoyed today’s article about disabled bedridden person doing Zentangle I knew I could not be the only one! I have severe chronic pain along with many other disabilities and illnesses. I just found Zentangle a few weeks ago and I agree with the story teller it helps relieve depression and anxiety and loneliness and depression! I could go on and on Zentangle really helps free your mind! The creativity is awesome although it is hard to do when you’re laying in bed I try to sit more upright to work on it but I hope as I learn more and get better it will be easier to do while laying down as I am due to have spinal surgery soon! I’ve been so worried about the surgery and I believe that through Zentangle I have become less fearful and have something to look forward to to keep my mind occupied while healing! I just wanted to stop and say thank you for this wonderful article! I hope the spread of Zentangle continues across the world and finds its way to people who are in need of it!

  • Pauline

    Thank you very much for sharing this creative and relaxing art. I started last year after taking a little class offered in a Rec. Center. This helps me to relieve any stress and tension in my head, and has improved my eye/hand co-ordination once again. Love passing time away doing this due to concentrating and remaining focused whereas before I worried over my Health. I feel productive again instead of thinking of All I cannot do anymore. My Granddaughter is very interested and I am showing her how to do this as well. Thank You very much for giving me back my hope by providing a Meditation type exercise.

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