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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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STORIES: Traumatic brain injury; dealing with loss and grief

In response to my recent announcement about adding this new occasional series to TanglePatterns, I received emails from readers describing in their own words how Zentangle® has changed their lives.

Here are two of these touching personal stories. Please share this with everyone you know who might benefit from learning about Zentangle®.

* * *

How Zentangle changes lives“I wanted to say thank you. A huge, gigantic thank you!

I discovered Zentangles about 18 months ago. However, I simply couldn’t get the hang of it and often felt frustrated. In November 2010, I was hit by a van. I spent twelve days in the hospital. I needed to find a way to spend “quiet” time while my brain healed. Knitting was getting boring! All my friends had new hats and scarves in a matter of weeks.

Unable to read or write for long periods of time due to the traumatic brain injury, I tried Zentangles again after a friend forwarded me the link to your site.

I love the way you explain things. I love to see the work that you do.

Zentangle sustains me as if I had taken a Valium. My brain is healing and I’m feeling stronger. You have fed my soul and saved my sanity. For this I thank you!” ~ C.R.

 * * *

How Zentangle changes lives“Zentangle found me when I retreated to my Maine house after the death of my eldest son Austin, from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  It had been a horrible 18 months and I had lost my mother to cancer just five months before my son was diagnosed.  I really didn’t think I would revive myself.  I stopped into a stamp store in Maine where the proprietor and I started talking. She asked if I had heard of this new craze that people were “even writing books about”!  Well my curiosity peaked and the minute I laid eyes on Zentangle I was hooked.

This art form was my medicine, therapy and a beautiful distraction from thoughts and worries.  I hope to become a CZT and bring this art form to the cancer floor Austin was on for patients and their families and also to the women’s homeless shelter that I volunteer in.

Thank you for giving me a venue to share my story.  I look forward to reading others.” ~ Debra C.

 * * *

If you would like to share your own experience for this 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.”™

11 comments to STORIES: Traumatic brain injury; dealing with loss and grief

  • Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories. Like Debra C. I live in Maine and Zentangle certainly helps me get through the long, cold winter months.

  • I think this is wonderful to share storeis of the help that tangling can bring to everyone. These stories are very moving.

  • Judy

    C.R., it’s entirely possible that drawing is in some part responsible for the healing you’ve experienced. For things that require analytical thinking and precision, the left side of the brain is involved, but when involved in creative activities, the right hemisphere kicks in, so you might actually have been building and restoring neural connections while doing Zentangles.
    Check out this story:,0,5964945.story
    and this one:
    And one more:
    The left brain/right brain switch and the healing power of art are some things you might teach about in your classes. Check out Betty Edwards’ book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. That one’s pretty much the drawing students’ bible.
    Just thought you’d like to know…
    Keep smilin’.

  • Judi

    Wonderful stories. Thank you for sharing.

  • J Bean

    My wife started this stuff a few months ago and I think god for y’all. For 30 years I haven’t had 5 minutes of peace and quite. Yack, Yack, Yack, during Football, Baseball and Nascar, whaterever I am trying to enjoy. Now she sits in her room all day doing zentangle. Except for the money she spends at garage sales for stuff to zen, I couldn’t be a happier man. Thank you and God Bless everyone.

  • Cheryl

    Beautiful! Thank you all for sharing your stories! 🙂

  • I am disabled by chronic pain, congestive heart failure, and some mental health disorders. Before I tangled, I would get on the computer and buy things I didn’t need when I was bored. A person can only watch so much TV and my vision limits my reading. Tangling brought an amazing change to my life. I started with just pencils and papers I had on hand. I got out pens, markers and colored pencils from my craft closet and then bought a few essentials like micron pens. I can spend hours tangling, when normally I cannot do much of anything. It takes my mind off pain and worries. I joined a couple of yahoo tangle groups and now I have some of the human interaction that I missed when I had to stop working. What a wonderful change tangling brought to my life!

  • You poor, dear! I’m glad the idea of Tangling saved your piece of mind in spite of dealing with the lost of your loved one and getting a diagnoses of a 2nd loved one.

  • Peggy H.

    I enjoy the art of zentangle and know how relaxing and refreshing it can be but never knew how healing it could be until I read the inspiring stories on your website. Thank you for what you are doing for others! Who knew!!!!!

  • We cannot force people to write comments but I’m sure there are much more wonderful stories of people who feel the benefits of drawing the real Zentangle art.
    I loved this kind of drawing, invented by RIck and Maria immediately. Zentangle art made my life so much better.
    Thank you RIck and Maria, thank you Linda!

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