How Many Bananas Per Monkey?

How Many Bananas Per Monkey? My own monkeys need those bananas.

Quotangle by Arwen Monkeys
Quotangle by Arwen (click for larger size)

[Tweet “My own monkeys need those bananas. What about yours?”]
#affirmation There’s a saying floating around on the internet. I’ve heard that it definitely comes from one place. I’ve heard that it definitely does not come from that place. For me, where it comes from is less interesting than the message itself.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys”

Said to be from a Polish saying, “Nie mΓ³j cyrk, nie moje ma?py”, it is said to be invoking the message of “I’ll mind my business.”

It speaks to me. And, like the “not Chinese” and “not ancient” curse “may you live in interesting times”, it works–shady roots and all.

I use it for when other people’s crazy starts bleeding over into my life. I wish I knew how to say it in Polish. Then I could say it in meetings but no one would know what I was saying.

I hear a lot of crazy. That’s okay. My friends hear a lot of my own crazy. It’s one of the things friends do. I just have to remember to sympathize and listen. I don’t need to offer bananas to fix their monkeys.

My own monkeys need those bananas.

So what about you? What do you use to help yourself stay out of other people’s crazy? Or do you allow yourself to be dragged into it? Sometimes it’s easier to critique other people’s monkey training rather than work on your own.

Gotta go…the chimpanzees just let the orangutans out.

Today’s affirmation:

I am a strong, capable human. I own my own crazy. I have all the tools I need to create a beautiful life. I walk an amazing path filled with what I need.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Quotangle by Stephanie Arwen Lynch, 9/5/2014, sharing is fine as long as you don’t alter the picture in any way.

Learn more about Zentangle here.


Am I Upside Down?

And isn’t that odd that I would think that. I mean I created it right?

[Tweet “And isn’t that odd that I would think that. I mean I created it right?”]
Zentangle#affirmation Here’s a Zentangle that I did. My question for you is this. Is it right side up? I ask because this is one of the ones I look back at thinking maybe it’s upside down.

And isn’t that odd that I would think that. I mean I created it right? Kind of silly to worry that it is upside down.

But I think we all do this. we look back on a situation–not to review it so much as to second guess ourselves. What is that tendency we have to judge our actions as wrong? Why not examine things with an attitude of “what did I do right?” “What could I have done better?”

In my day job we have a practice of “went well” and “could be better” that really works. It takes the focus off right and wrong. It helps frame a review as a training tool rather than a “let’s beat you up” meeting.

So why don’t we do that for ourselves? I say let’s start. To that end, here is today’s affirmation.

I acknowledge my past as a teacher. I learn from my experiences whether they are good or bad. I embrace this opportunity for improvement. I make wise decisions based on lessons learned. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all.

But really, is that tangle upside down?

Zentangle, Stephanie Arwen Lynch-Poe

My Number One Rule

Zentangle Rule Number One
Zentangle Rule Number One. Feel free to share

So you know that workbook I can’t stop talking about? One of the exercises was to write down your rules. The ones that work for you. The ones that are necessary in your world. Here is my rule number 1.

What is one of your rules for yourself? These are the ones you use to build yourself up with rather than tear yourself down.

Share with me. I want to know.

And if you want to grab a copy of the workbook+planner, do! If you get the downloadable version, I get a commission. And I am going to give you a free three card reading (but you have to email me or message me here to let me know. I can’t see your email or any information other than your name. πŸ˜€ )

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle Rule #1 by Arwen Lynch. Feel free to share.

Let’s Switch It Up

Click to see large version
Click to see large version

So today I am totally switching things up. I’m a bit stressed because of my MRI tomorrow. My mind isn’t on writing fun stuff for us. πŸ˜€ So forgive me?

What I want to do instead is have you dive into one of my Zentangles. Tell me what you see. Tell me what it makes you feel like. Do you hear a song?

Just relax and let go. No one is judging you.

Oh. The 15th is the cut off for the early bird price on my five week class. It’s online so you do the lessons at your convenience. For my readers, here’s a secret. If you set up a payment plan with me, you can get the early bird price as long as you pay the first payment by the 15th. πŸ˜€

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, June 12, 2013

What Are You Worth?

zentangle5152013So today’s card is not a card from any published deck. It’s one from my maybe Tangled Oracle. πŸ˜€ It’s a simple phrase that I share, but not always an easy concept.

If we lived in a society where we bartered services, worth would have a different meaning. It might mean three cows, one chicken and a loaf of bread. It might mean a tire change and a new dress.

But we don’t so a lot of us think our worth is what we have in the bank or what we earn. We think it is the kind of car we drive or the brand of shoes on our foot. We think it is our neighborhood or even our neighbors. We think it is shiny and hard to attain.

When we work from that mindset, nothing is ever going to be worth it. No amount of dollars will ever equal what you are worth. If I offered you cash for your best friend, how much would you want? How much would I have to pay you to take away friendship from you?

Know your worth, babies.

It’s not money.
It’s not stuff.

It’s the people at your dinner table.
It’s the laughter on the phone.
It’s the photographs on your wall.

For your 180 second challenge today, I want you to spend that three minutes counting up your friends. Weigh that against what you think you should be worth.

Seek joy, y’all. It’s worth it. Pass it on.

Zentangle 5/15/2013, Stephanie Arwen Lynch

How Do You Maintain?

Today’s card is not a Tarot card. It’s a reminder via a tangle I did. I’ve been doing this awesome group called “Becoming Safely Embodied” with my therapist and three other amazing women. We just completed the sessions.

Among the things we did was some art therapy. On the last day we were asked to take a large piece of paper to draw or write about our experiences in the group. I grabbed a red pen and tangled.
This is only a portion of that sheet. And, truthfully, I didn’t find JOY in this group. Joy is something I find all the time because I actively look for it.

I think that the best thing was a chance to meet with others who were on a similar path of healing but who were not women I would have normally met. Each was unique in her own life and so incredibly authentic.

I think that is one of the hardest things to maintain. For me at least. No, not the joy seeking. The really hard thing is for me to maintain authenticity as a joy seeker.

There are times when I get so freaking tired of all the negativity. I want to stop leading a joy-seeking life and shriek like a mad woman.

Oh, I’m not perfect. Ask my stepson. He takes the brunt of my non-joyful behaviour (mostly around things I ask to be done that aren’t done–this doesn’t make me joyful.) I don’t pretend to be perfect either. I think that sucks too.

LOL. This post is more about what sucks rather than joy, isn’t it. πŸ˜€

So my 180 seconds today will be focusing on why the negativity of others eats at me. Why I feel so compelled to get out of my hula hoop. And how to stay in that self-described hoop.

What will your 180 seconds be devoted to today? Your choice! Just dedicate three minutes to challenging your self on some level.

Seek joy, y’all! Pass it on.

Joy Tangle, Arwen Lynch, feel free to share with copyright attached pretty please.

Who Do You Believe In?

zentangle5042103Today’s card is not a card. It’s a Zentangle Quote. You will see that the design shows several paths. They all point the same way.

Or do they?

Maybe they point the direction you are heading. Maybe the person next you is heading a different direction. Maybe you are going the same way but wearing different shoes.

Do you think that makes a difference?

I do.

Do you think that makes one of the path walkers wrong?

I don’t.

There are many ways to get to where I think we are all going. That’s the Center for me. Others call it something else. And it’s all good.

As long as it is good.

I can’t, and won’t, deny that there are those who are on the wrong path. Those whose course needs correcting. Those whose journey seems to be a mission to hurt others.

I choose to make sure those I’m walking with are on journeys to the positive, the sacred, the good as I see it.

I think that a key part of that journey is to believe in yourself. I can tell you that I believe in you. That may give you a warm fuzzy inside. You can tell me that you believe in me. I know that gives me a warm fuzzy inside.

Still, when the leather hits the road, the only belief that keeps me moving is my own. I believe in myself. Better yet? I know.

Today I am a beautiful soul. I walk with grace and joy. I open my eyes to see fellow joy seekers. I hold out my hand to make a circle of opportunity. I am loved and loving. Today is a beautiful day. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Zentangle 5142013, Stephanie Arwen Lynch, feel free to share.

The Secret To Life Is…

And joy is such an easy thing to find when you realize the secret to the whole thing.

zentangle007Today’s card is one another of my Zentangles. I’ve done three in a row. I’ll tell you a secret. I’ve been out of town the past two days and had to be at work today at 7am. I’ve been at a family gathering to say good bye to a loved one.

I know yesterday’s post was a bit of a downer. That happens sometimes. So today, I wanted to remind you, my darlings, of why my life is so spectacular even though I’ve just been at a funeral.

It’s because of you. Each of you who read this. Each of you who tell me that something made them think of me saying, “Seek Joy, Y’all.” Each of you are held in my heart like bright, shiny lights.

I seek joy because I must. I seek joy because to seek is a verb that demands action. It demands a partnership. It requires participation.

And joy is such an easy thing to find when you realize the secret to the whole thing.

Pay attention, y’all. I’m fixin’ to tell you the secret to life.


Okay, no, that’s not it. Well it is it, but not this it.

The secret to finding joy is that joy piles up. Little tiny specks of happy roll up into drops of bliss that merge into whole tsunamis of joy. Joy will overwhelm you if you let it.

Stop getting in your own way, my darling dears. Stop refusing to allow joy to pile up. Stop denying those miniscule moments of merriment.

Acknowledge them. Nod your head at them. Wave to them. Write them down.

Seek joy, y’all. And keep on seeking it. Don’t ever stop. This is an avalanche we are creating here.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

Curious about Zentangles? Learn more at

The Awful Truth Is…

Really not any better to be the teller or the told in that case. Awful truths are just that–awful.

I’ll never forget when my mother told me…read more.

zentangle008Today’s card is one another of my Zentangles. Tomorrow’s will be as well just in case you were wondering. πŸ˜€ This one is an odd one because I was challenging myself to use new patterns. I feel slap in love with the one that makes the wavy fans.

In a way, this might be the Wheel of Fortune since I think the center wheel looks a bit like a ferris wheel. But those three stripy things could be the Three of Wands as well.

What do you think? What does this tangle say to you? Where does your mind go when you look at it? With the three hearts up in the right, maybe it is the Three of Swords before the betrayal, the heartbreak. Maybe it is that moment before we learn the awful truth.

Have you ever had to learn an awful truth? Sucks, doesn’t it?

Have you ever had to tell someone an awful truth? Sucks, doesn’t it?

Really not any better to be the teller or the told in that case. Awful truths are just that–awful.

I’ll never forget when my mother told me she had cancer. Well, no. That wasn’t the awful truth. That came later when she told me it was inoperable and that she was going to die.

Awful, I tell you. Simply awful. I remember doing my best to be brave and tell her I was optimistic. I know she knew that I was doing my best ostrich impersonation. She loved me and I loved her.

Fiercely. Fiercely enough to understand that as awful as that information was that nothing would ever stop either of us from loving the other.

Awful truths.

Yeah, I think this must be the Three of Swords for me. I know I asked you what you saw. I still want to know. Even if it’s an awful truth.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

Curious about Zentangles? Learn more at

Is Your Life In Balance?

I have this insatiable urge to tilt the whole thing just a bit to the right to fix that.

zentangle005Today’s card is one of my Zentangles. I haven’t written down which tangle is which Tarot…if I were doing a Tangle Tarot. And I’m not. πŸ˜€ Yet.

But this would be the Two of Pentacles. I like how this one turned out. There are so many patterns here. I count nine altogether. The two that seem most important are the large ovals. They aren’t quite balanced, are they? I have this insatiable urge to tilt the whole thing just a bit to the right to fix that.

And if I did, wouldn’t the one on the left fall over? Maybe this off-kilter card really is balanced. Maybe this is what balanced looks like.

Over on Sharyn’s Quirkeries, she shared this quote:

“If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!” ~ Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

And I have to agree with Picasso on this. Perhaps what you see here is not the actual Two of Coins but the essence of the balance of this card.

I know for myself that balance is a funny thing. I sometimes whine about no me time, but then again, the only person saying yes to the stress is moi. Likewise, the only person who can clear up my social calendar is the same person–me.

What about you? Do you ever feel like your life is nothing but running and gunning with very little funning? πŸ˜€ Sorry, but the punning will continue.

How about this? For 180 seconds today, that magical three minutes, can you commit to NOT worrying about whether your life is balanced or not? Can you simply live your life for three minutes celebrating the fact that you are living it?

Find joy in just being for that precious few moments today, darlings.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on!

Curious about Zentangles? Learn more about this art style.