This is the mandala I spoke about in the video yesterday.
TL;DW: The practice of creating/coloring mandalas is an opportunity to focus our energy on wholeness, connection, and integration of parts of the self and parts of our world/universe and to center/align ourselves and our nervous systems in the midst of great disconnection and separation.
What I didn’t get to in my video is:
1. You can easily download and print these online. Search: “printable mandala”.
2. You can make your own by tracing a larger round object and a smaller round object for the center and fill in the rest however you see fit (use rulers or a compass, trace things, or freehand).
3. You can create/color mandalas with your kids or while they’re creating their own crafts.
Why is this extra important RIGHT NOW? This is a microcosm practice for what is being asked of us in the macrocosm.
“There is no more need for competition, as what is being called in is radical cooperation and coherence for us to evolve into the fullest potential of our Highest Good – individually and collectively, which turns out to be the same thing.” - Aligned wise words from Eron Zehavi’s Dreamspell contemplation for today.
Unsurprisingly, my nervous system regulation practice # 2 is: MAKE SOME ART!
It doesn’t matter what it is — it could be coloring in a coloring book, pasting a collage, doodling in a notepad, painting on a canvas, or messing with some clay. We can approach the act of creation as an active meditation and we can easily access a flow state, regulating our entire system.
I’ve been working more on my houseplant series and truly nothing calms me and grounds me in the present moment quite like sitting down and focusing on pasting these little torn pieces of paper onto the canvas. Everything else drops away and I am immersed in flow... calmed, grounded, and regulated.
I invite you to try making something this week if it’s been a while. Don't focus on the outcome or finished product - no need for your creation to look good or to be shared with another single soul -- just create as a form of meditation and let the rest go.
I’m honestly pretty bad at plain old meditation. I prefer some form of active, creative meditation which, for the past few years, has taken the form of coloring in coloring books. I was recently coloring and was reminded of what a powerful form of meditation it is. I felt so inspired by it, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and share it with everyone I knew. So, I decided I would color a flower mandala and post it here — no matter how it turned out — as a way to inspire others. Once I committed to posting it “no matter how it turned out,” I obviously wanted it to look pretty fabulous — and then of course, all of the things went wrong…
As I was coloring, a few of the colors bled into one another; the paper started pilling; one marker ran out of ink halfway through and I had to improvise with a similar color; I didn’t end up liking some of the colors I chose once I saw them on the paper; and I kept accidentally coloring outside of the lines! As I experienced each of these mishaps, I noticed a part of me that was very frustrated, worried if this flower would be inspiring and lovely enough to share, and wanted to throw in the towel and start a new one altogether. But every time, a smaller, softer voice chimed in and reminded me that regardless of the end result, I was meditating - a practice of simply staying in the present moment and continuing to color. I chose to listen to this softer voice over and over again until I finished the mandala.
Once it was complete, and having persevered through my various mistakes and doubts, I decided to do a bit of active imagination (Jungian dialogue) with the flower and ask it if it had anything to tell me. It said: “Despite my imperfections, I am boldly blossoming.” I loved this so much; it was exactly what I needed to hear - and don’t we all need this reminder? This year, I’m committed to sharing with you more about my imperfect creations, attempts at meditation practice, and messy creative process so I can boldly blossom as a creative human being. What about you? Is there anything you’re committed to persevering through - despite any imperfections - and boldly blossoming in 2019?