“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination, and wonder” Ronald Reagan

Limitations have been on my mind a little since I barreled right into one of my own this weekend.  A few years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I have learned to manage it and I rarely have a really bad flare-up anymore, especially since I began Zentangle.  But, I got careless, let a few things slide and got a wake up call from my body on Saturday.

Feeling much better, I took some time today to watch the movie Soul Surfer with my granddaughter.  This young woman, Bethany Hamilton, loses her arm in a shark attack, yet goes on to become a pro surfer.  Amazingly, she was back in the water only a few weeks after the attack.  Her determination and spirit proved to be more powerful than the loss of her arm.  She found a way to overcome the limitation and achieve her dream.  By the same token, I see my eleven year old granddaughter captivated by this story, when her own is pretty inspiring.  Within two weeks of emergency brain surgery for what should have been a fatal head injury, she was back at school, adamantly refusing home schooling suggested by the psychologist in the hospital.  About half of her skull was replaced with titanium and an unforseen effect of the brain injury was a hypersensitivity to sound.  Few environments are noisier than a middle school classroom. Each day, you could see the toll it took on her physically. Worried about how it was affecting her, I voiced my concern.  The answer she gave was: “Kacki, I can’t make the world shut up just because the noise bothers me.” Soon she found a way around it.  Ear plugs.  She slowly acclimated herself to the noise with them – first both, then one, then none.  Once again, an incredibly determined little girl with the heart of a lion finding a way to overcome a limitation.

When you take the time to look at people who amaze and inspire, there is often a limitation that provided the catalyst for moving beyond those limits to something much better than they would have accomplished before.  I know that is true with interior design.  So often, many of the most amazing interiors are born from the very real limits of budget, space, time, resource, etc.  The limits that form the basis of Zentangle serve the same purpose.  Each tile is small, 3.5″ square.  You draw a border and a string, then tangle in the spaces using a black pen. There are no erasers.  These limits are the power of Zentangle.  The average person isn’t intimidated by that tiny tile.  It takes away the pressure to be creative.  But as each person grows with the art form, the limits get pushed aside and creativity begins to grow.  Soon, the person who “can’t draw a straight line” is producing very beautiful artwork.  Limitations give us a goal to strive for and ultimately an obstacle to overcome with our own brand of creativity, intelligence and imagination.