Mistakes, Asses & Flames

Today’s card is not a Tarot card (shocker, I know.) It is my own doodling using a pattern created by Erin over at The Bright Owl blog. She puts out challenges every week. And once a month she throws in a twist. This time it was to do the whole thing with just one pattern.

EEP! I’d never even tangled one of her patterns so what was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking that the beauty of the Zentangle method is that you don’t worry about the mistakes. You just improve on them.

How often have you made a mistake? No, don’t count. We don’t have that much time. If I counted mine, I’d be here a while. LOL But consider the times when you took the “mistake” and turned it into something more? When you learned from the error and grew.

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? To look back and say, “Yep, I screwed up on that one but I got better.”

We all have meltdowns and hissy fits and show our ass in public. Grin, you can find mine embedded in the annals of the internet if you look carefully. And I am STILL embarrassed by many of them.

One of my best things was to verbally shred someone for being stupid. I was really quite good at it. I’m not as proud of that as I sound. Now when I see someone else doing what I did, I think about what a heinous bitch I was. How could I take pride in being mean?

It was a long road for me but I’ve learned how not to do that. I’ve learned how to let joy replace the bitter ugliness of that life.

I’m still struggling with not attacking someone when they attack me or someone I consider part of my tribe. That’s a tough one. Sometimes I vent in private to friends (and a shout out to my friend who wrote to me asking me if I needed support…that’s what friends do!). Sometimes I try to go the other route by working on the positive things that need to be worked on . Like building community.

What do you do? When someone attacks you or someone you care about, how do you respond? Do you throw fire on the wood (yes I meant it that way)? Do you try to douse your flames by swallowing them? Do you go to a private, members-only campground where you can toast marshmallows while you vent?

What’s your most productive response?

Remember that when someone shows their ass, they are often sad, scared and/or sick. Compassion is hard to maintain sometimes, but it is the most humane response to some. I also advocate the avoidance technique.

So? What’s your method?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, all rights reserved

Thanks for following and liking me!

Friends, Grocery Sacks & Scouting

Today’s card is one of my Zentangles. You tell me what card this is. I have an idea but would love to know what you see. As I was working on this card, the figure emerged. She was not planned. I really don’t plan anything about these doodlings. I just let them happen for the most part. Sometimes I play with the shape of the strings (the beginning pattern).

I was thinking about what I wanted to share today when it hit me. A reusable grocery bag and a Zentangle figure popping up unbidden were the perfect combination.

I can see your looks of “WTH, Arwen” now. 😀 Stick with me, darlings. Here in Austin, we are moving to a “no plastic bags” model as of 1/1/13 so reusable bags are the thing. One of my local grocery stores had some made up celebrating the Girl Scouts (yes, I know they have their challenges). On the bag it states “building girls of courage, confidence and character for 100 years.”

I’m a die-hard GS fan even through their homophobic silliness which I believe has given way to a new way of thinking finally. Scouting brought me more than courage, confidence and character. It brought me my best friend, Cai Smith.

It is to her that this image is dedicated. Without the years of having her in my life, I would be a very different woman. We met at the age of 16 and never looked back. At 51, we are still as tight as we were in 1977.

Who in your life has helped you become the person you are today? Celebrate them. Make them your reusable grocery sacks. Don’t toss out friendship like cheap plastic bags. Make it work. Make it last. Take care of it.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Thanks for following and liking me!

Tangling, Space & Mistakes

Today’s card is from my latest obsession. It’s a reminder that space is a good thing. I have a confession to make. Are you ready? It’s a big one.

I can’t draw.

Well, I couldn’t draw. Now I can. On August 5, 2012, I took a class from Ginny Krauskopf, CZT. I went in with the hopes that I might learn a new thing and maybe, just maybe, come out with something cool that I made myself.

I came out with so much more, y’all! I’ve been tangling ever since. By Thursday, I’d done a total of 11 of these. It’s been doing some strange things to my brain. I close my eyes and I see patterns.

Just walking around, I see patterns. I nearly mugged a co-worker to take a picture of her shirt for the patterns. I type and I see the way the words could connect together in patterns.

It’s been an education for me in letting go of my own perfectionist tendencies. It’s done in India ink with pencil for shading. I can’t erase. I can’t go back. I can only go forward. So I’m learning to let go.

If you want to tangle with me, bring it. 😀 You can learn more here. All you need are:

  1. Some pens (these are the ones I use)
  2. Charcoal pencils, a blender thingy and a sharpener
  3. A book like Design Originals Zentangle Basics
  4. Some tiles
  5. And/Or a small sketch pad (this is the one I use)

And maybe something to carry it in. It’s really not that much and I didn’t find it to be cost-prohibitive. Mind you, I didn’t buy the tiles. I just have the little sketch book with me.

So, let me know if you try this or already do it. I’d love to meet my fellow Zentangle fans.

Thanks for following and liking me!

Tangles, Zen & Stick Figures

Today’s card is not a card. Before I start, can you do me a favor? I’m teaching a one hour webinar this weekend. I’d love it if you could let your friends know. It’s one of my Tarot for Writers series. I’ll be sharing some tips, tricks and spreads on how to use Tarot to create characters who stand out! Click here.

Okay, commercial time over! 😀 Now, you will notice that this card says “Seek Joy, Y’all” and has Arwen 8-2012. This might lead you to believe that I did it myself.

But those of you who know me are shaking your heads saying, “But that Arwen–she can write but her stick figures leave something to be desired–like, you know, looking like a stick figure!” GRIN!

It’s true. Visual art has never been my forte, but it’s always been my love. I get lost in art. It can make me cry, sing, happy, you name it…visual art moves me.

I saw this thing on line and thought it looked really cool. I sighed that I would NEVER be able to do that. I looked it up anyway.

Then I took a class because it pretty much promised me I could draw these things. Yeah right.

Um. Yeah. Right! The one you are seeing above is never going to win an art show. But it made me happy. Like dancing and singing happy. My co-worker is really tired of my “NOW LOOK” as I work on these.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to do something but let fear or self-criticism or old tapes hold you back? Now’s the time to move forward.


Go find a class. Go do it. And tell yourself it is good. Allow yourself to be your own mama/papa to your five year old “LOOK WHAT I MADE YOU” self.

Do it for you and no one else, darlings! I believe in you. And yes, you can “LOOK WHAT I MADE” at me if you like. I’ll love it. Promise.

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

P.S. This is called a Zentangle and you can learn more about them at (surprisingly enough) http://www.zentangle.com/ 😀 I know…crazy, right? I bought this book yesterday and some of the patterns you see in this piece were from this book.

Thanks for following and liking me!