Sunday, October 28, 2012

Refuel with mindful tangling

Mindfulness has been on my brain lately. On Wednesday evening, I attended an informative presentation on "The Art of Mindful Eating" by Carrie Huseman, MS, RD ( Carrie focused on how important it is to be aware of what we are eating, regardless of what that food may be.

Today I attended a brunch for our women's group at church, where the speaker, Robin Morris, MA, LMHC (, shared with us how to refuel in our personal lives. She laid out for us five "Positive Habits," which she suggested we practice and develop for and in ourselves. Habit number three includes a personal option combination of meditation, prayer, and mindfulness. There it was again. Mindfulness. A key aspect of this habit is to unplug, really unplug, from the 24/7, highly-technological existence many of us live today. To let go of the tendency to multi-task. To focus. To breathe.

As she was speaking, I immediately thought of Zentangle®. Tangling a la this method is a totally unplugged practice that has been shown to increase mindfulness. Laying the repetitive strokes of the structured patterns on the paper tile allows us to create wonderful visual images, of course. A sometimes undervalued benefit is the opportunity this practice provides for us to tune in to our still small voice and tune out, at least temporarily, the distractions of daily life.

I invite you to find a way to incorporate more time for mindfulness exercises in your life, whether or not you also choose to include prayer and meditation. And keep in mind Carrie's advice to focus on more mindful eating, as well. It's another healthy, mindful habit!

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