Each mandala that we create is a reflection of where we are at in the moment. Whether we create with a specific intention in mind or we are working intuitively, each mandala has a story to tell...and these stories are our stories. I've seen it in my own practice where I'll reach for different colors, patterns, or styles often without thinking about why. When I take the time to step back to look and listen, I discover there is more to this mandala practice than creating pretty pictures. I uncover my mandala story. The story may be about a challenge or celebration that I'm currently experiencing. The story may be about my relationships with others, my work, with the Divine.
Within each of us is an innate wisdom that we don't always listen to. As we create our mandalas we slow down, relax, and tune in. Taking the time to sit with our mandalas and write down the messages it has for us deepens our mandala practice.
Today I've invited Patricia Moscae to share with us her process for creating and tapping into the messages of her mandalas. Our paths crossed back in 2007 in the "Mandala Oasis," a place where people posted and shared their mandalas. I was so impressed with how Pattie took her mandalas to a deeper level with her journal writing. For today's post, I share several of Pattie's mandalas and reflection pulled from her mandala collection over the years.
How did your mandala practice start?
In 2006 I was taking a class to become a Creativity Coach, part of the assignment was to make something creative and STICK with it! This was a difficult thing for me to feel comfortable with as I do not usually do anything more than once! And at the time I was not into art journaling. So, I started an affirmation journal that began with small paintings and gradually over time (2007) turned into 3 inch mandala circles. I would write next to it what I was feeling at the moment. What I discovered was that I was finding a comfort with my truth and the mandala made me feel peaceful. Over the years the mandalas have changed, but listening to my heart has been at the center of my passion as I continue to listen to my journey as I unfold and grow.
You have a beautiful way of tapping into the wisdom of your mandalas. Tell us about your process and how it has changed over the years.
I usually do my mandala and affirmation in the morning before I start my daily life. I light a candle and sit quietly with myself and ask one simple question: What is it that I need to be aware of today? Sometimes a word comes to me, other times it is a picture or a series of words. I still use the 3 inch circle for the mandala as I journal. The affirmations and messages come from deep within me and are based on a very simple principle: The way you think influences your life. Affirmations and mandalas go hand in hand for me. They are both powerful tools that take my thoughts and turn them into a positive form. I have found over the years that the more positive thoughts I have allows me to be aware of the positive moments of my life.
How has your mandala practice helped you during challenging times or when your inner critic shows up?
Over the years doing my mandala affirmation journal has helped me to walk through challenging times. I use to have a very hard time allowing my “dark shadow” to walk with me. I fought her at every turn because I think I was taught at a very early age not to show that side of myself. When I finally gave that shadow her voice with her own journal (the blue funk journal) things really began to shift for me. What I felt was a negative became a positive. She had things to say but most of the times I just did not listen to her and I was afraid of her. Self criticism is a difficult thing for all of us. Believing that we are “not good enough” allows us to be stuck in the swirl so that we do not have to venture deeper to find the real source of our fear. What I have found over the years is that my art is not any better or any worse than anyone else. It may be different but as long as I am following my heart than it is “good enough.” That as long as I stay present and honest with myself my life shows me the direction to happiness and it is up to me to follow.
A page from Pattie's "Blue Funk Journal."
Finding your inner voice is the key to your happiness. Listening to what your heart is telling you allows so much comfort. The biggest thing I have found is that showing up for yourself is the key. It is important to establish a sacred place for yourself to write, doodle, draw and dream from your heart. Have special pens, colored pencils, paints, sharpies, or even a box of crayons that make you happy. Purchase a journal that feels good to you where you will honor yourself. Make a commitment and an intention to: SHOW UP…OPEN UP…LISTEN UP…and FOLLOW UP with your hearts song and it will allow you to feel the magic of your life.
Patricia J. Mosca, New York, USA
Patricia Mosca is an artist and the author of “Permission Slips for your Heart and Soul,” her mandala style journaling has been seen in several national magazines. Painting mandalas and interpreting them allows her to listen closely to the whispers of her heart. http://soulfullyjournaling.blogspot.com
About the 100 Mandalas Challenge
If you are just discovering the 100 Mandalas Challenge, welcome! The challenge is to create 100 mandalas in 100 days (those don't have to be consecutive days). Learn more about the challenge at 100mandalas.org.
Each week (either on Sunday or Monday) a new theme and/or art technique will be shared. Think of these as a weekly vitamin, a dose of inspiration to get your creativity fired up. You may like what you see and want to try it out, or you may be groovin' with a particular medium and want to go deeper with it. We love exploring and diving deep and encourage you to follow what interests you.
So you don't forget to take your vitamin, sign up to receive Kathryn's e-mail newsletter. You'll get a weekly update with a link to the current theme.
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100 Mandalas Sharing Circle
The quote above captures the spirit of our 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle. It is a private Facebook group where you are welcome to share the stories that go with your mandalas. Join us and share with us how your stories and insights! 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle on Facebook.
Each week we feature a participant in our 100 Mandalas Community. This week our spotlight is on Chandini Harlalka from Bangalore, India. I love how she took the Celtic theme and made it her own in the mandala pictured above. Thank you Chandini for sharing your beautiful mandala with us over on the 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle on Facebook.
I hope you are inspired by today's post to go deeper with your mandala practice. May you find time this week to listen and learn from your mandalas.
Kathryn Costa, Collage Diva and Creative Dabbler
Kathryn Costa, New Hampshire, USA
I started the 100 Mandalas Challenge to explore the creative possibilities within a circle and discovered so much more: creating mandalas is a powerful tool for relaxing, healing, and cultivating joy. When I'm not creating mandalas, I enjoy collage and art journaling, photography, and Ikebana (Japanese Flower arranging). I live in New England with my Brazilian husband, Fernando. www.truenortharts.com