Recently I participated in a “Stop the Stigma – Mental Health Awareness Day” at St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School. I provided 2 workshops on Zentangle. I haven’t done many presentations on Zentangle in a while. I have been quite busy providing individual psychotherapy and art therapy. So, despite past experience, and due to my own introversion… I was very nervous preparing for the workshop.
What if I couldn’t talk clearly? What if I stumbled over my words? What if I forgot what to say? What if my voice is monotone? What if I can’t do these presentations anymore? I had a lot of anxiety about the workshops – to the point that I was asking myself... Why DID I SIGN UP? Well, I had to do some self-talk. I reminded myself that I have done these talks many times... to all ages and types of people. Has it every failed? Nope. I reminded myself that I was going to the school to hang out with a bunch of teenagers – and may never see them again. So what was I afraid of? I told myself: “Have FUN! Enjoy the process. Draw some tangles. RELAX!”
Well, I went through my supplies; organized my materials; cut paper; picked up pens… and through the preparation I reviewed what I wanted to say; what Tangles I would teach… and I began to get excited. From Anxious – “I don’t know what I am doing” to “this is going to be fun, go with the flow Deb!”
How did I do it? I took deep breaths. I focused on the moment with each preparation. I thought about how the materials will be used; I felt the paper; I held the pens; I counted the supplies. Each step was a means to reviewing what would happen, and to re-experience each object and become mindful about the parts of Zentangle. This helped me become centered. The preparation helped me become grounded in the process and refresh my plan of how to move forward.
I went into the classroom. I greeted the eager teachers and students. Setup my workshop. Spoke with individuals... and was ready.
Yes. It went well. It was accepted. The students were engaged, and wanted more. Success for them. Success for me. The anxiety had been calmed.
I work with clients with different backgrounds and experiences. I help my clients find new coping skills to deal with their depression, trauma and anxiety. I know that these emotions and physical manifestations of their mental health are real. I know because I experience it too.
I will be having more Zentangle classes. I will be building on these classes and providing more art therapy focused workshops to assist you in healthful living.
Stay tuned to Bloom!