All posts filed under: Practice

Total Eclipses & Mandalas

Here in the US we are anticipating the total solar eclipse tomorrow, August 21st. This is the first one to be visible since 1979. While many people will be in a region to view it, everyone in the US can catch a partial eclipse. Here’s a cool tool that maps when and what you’ll see in your location. If you are concerned about missing it, not to worry. Lena from the Power Path School of Shamanism writes, “It really does not matter energetically, only psychologically. But with that said, this is definitely a time to honor a marker of huge change and the agent of a massive reset. Even if you have been working with these energies now for the past weeks, it is always good to honor the exact time frame around this event. What can you do? Be aware, through a list or a mental awareness, of what you are resetting. Do something that symbolizes coming into a still point, an unplugging, a dropping into the void. Acknowledge the absence of the sun …

Walking a Labyrinth

Labyrinth is a Greek word that means path. A labyrinth has a single path that twists and turns leading to a center point. To exit, one walks back the way she came in. It’s different from a maze that is designed with dead-ends. Walking a labyrinth can be seen as a metaphor for one’s life journey. Each time I walk a labyrinth, I find myself reflecting on my life and what needs my attention in the moment. Today’s labyrinth walk was at The Mercy Center in Madison, CT and features ocean views. As you look at the photo above, imagine hearing the crashing waves and feeling the coastal breezes blowing your hair. Breathe it in. Shall we walk the labyrinth together? Let’s… There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth and that’s a good thing for I found myself finding it hard to stick to the path at this site. Even though I have drawn this style labyrinth many times and I’m familiar with the pattern, I found myself a bit off …

Spring Renewal Mini Retreat

May 13, 2017 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Lunch Included White Swan Yoga Studio 1889 Elm St, Suite B Manchester, NH 03104 REGISTER A Day of Yoga, Art, Color, and Sound Zen Buddhist Master, Soen Nakagawa said, “All beings are flowers blossoming in a blossoming universe.” With the coming of spring we are reminded of the cycles of nature and that it’s never too late to begin again. We are blessed with an array of color and surrounded by new life and beauty. The cold of winter fades away and the light of the sun grows stronger, giving us hope for the future. Spring is the perfect time to revisit intentions you might have set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Join us on May 13, for a day of renewal and hope, as we examine the “seeds” of intentions we planted earlier in the year or as we “plant” new ones, exploring ways we, ourselves, can blossom. Learn from mandala artist, Kathryn Costa how to create a Seed of Life Mandala. Rosie …

Blessings Jar

I was a single mother for many years. My son and I had a nightly routine that began with four familiar words, “It’s time for bed.” As soon as I would begin to utter this announcement, we’d race headlong to my bed. The first person to get there would exclaim, “Name three things that made you happy today.” We’d take turns recounting good things from our day but the last person to get there had to go first. Here’s what we discovered: We started looking for good things in our day. We knew we were going to report on it later in the day, so we collected good things to bring back home. We noticed patterns in our expressions of gratitude. Often they involved connecting with other people, accomplishing a goal, finishing a project, or learning something new. The blessings were not always big things, but were more often something really small like smiling and being kind to a store clerk and noticing how it would brighten their day or the smell of coffee and …

A Gratitude Mandala Exercise for Those Challenging Times

It is easy to count our blessings when everything is sunny and cheery, when the kids are behaving, and the bank account is flush. We need our gratitude practice the most during challenging times. In this exercise, think about an area in your life where you are struggling. Maybe you are having a difficult time at work or with a specific person? As you work on this mandala design, think of eight things you are grateful for about this challenging situation or person. When you are done, I guarantee you’ll feel a greater appreciation for the situation, and you’ll have had fun making this mandala. Bloom Where You Are Planted Step 1: To create this mandala, I drew two circles and divided the outer ring into eight equal segments using a protractor and ruler. (45 degree increments) Step 2: Fill each segment with doodled patterns using a black fine liner pen. Be sure to leave spaces for writing words and short phrases. Step 3: Fill the shapes using bright juicy colors. Color has a way …

DIY Gifts to Lift the Spirit

This last year I had been contributing mandala art for the Heart to Heart column in Parable Magazine. When the editor of the magazine saw my book, “The Mandala Guidebook” she approached me about contributing a project for a new column. I came up with the name “Prayerful Projects” for the column to tie in with Mae Edwards’ new focus for her Heart to Heart column about making time for one self in the form of a personal retreat. Pictured above you can see the layout and how our columns face each other. The first project in this series is a journal project designed for the non-artist who wants to create a special place to record their thoughts, ideas, inspirational quotes, and prayers. A plain notebook is transformed into a lovely space with the addition of a mandala colored, cut out and glued on the cover. My mandala practice – creating and coloring mandalas – as well as journal writing offer me a quiet time to relax, reflect, and renew. In this weary world, we need …

Gratitude Mandalas

42 gratitudes. Pictured above is the Flower of Life pattern made up of 42 petals filled with declarations of people, accomplishments, and gifts that I’m grateful for. At the center is my “inner circle” including my devoted husband, son, colleagues and dear friends. In the white petals are words that describe the qualities that I’m grateful for within this circle. The other circles in this design cover a variety of gratitudes: Family Friends 100 Mandalas Community Accomplishments Gifts and Talents that I’ve nurtured in myself Authors and Artists who I admire If you look closely at my mandala you’ll find some keywords that repeat: friendship, connection, creativity, curiosity, support, love, sharing, and caring. I see each of these words as invitations. Invitations that point to what to focus on in 2017. Last year I did this exercise and it is interesting to look back on how I filled in the design with color and gratitudes. I didn’t look at last year’s mandala before working on my gratitude mandala for this year until now as I post them here in this …

2016 Inspired Year Mandala

Fifty participants of the Inspired Vision Retreat were invited to contribute a piece to this group mandala project. Each person was given a piece and assigned a color. They printed the piece, filled it with color and form and incorporated their word-for-the-year into their design. When I started creating these “community mandalas” it was to bring our group closer together and illustrate how there is a place for everyone. I love that you don’t have to be an “artist” or believe that you are creative to fit into this project. The mandala was designed with a sense of movement to convey how our positive intentions and inspiring words-for-the-year inspire us to take action. The round circles are seeds and the flower aspect is the opening up and our becoming in 2016. I chose soft colors that reinforce how important it is to be gentle with ourselves as we takes the steps we need to realize our dreams. Compassion, self-care, and nurturing are all woven into the color choices. This is a powerful symbol of love and …

Product Review: Art-n-Fly Gel Pens

I recently received a complimentary set of Art-n-Fly gel pens to review. The set of 40 gel pens comes in a plastic container that makes it easy for storage. You’ll see on the right how I store my pens upside down so the ink will flow and collect on the end where the pen tip is. This ensures that the ink will flow smoothly. There were a few pens that needed some encouragement to get the ink flowing but for the post part I was pleased with how the ink flowed in these pens. Note while this canister is convenient for storing the pens in your studio, it isn’t sturdy enough for throwing into your bag. The lid will fly off and the pens will empty out into the bottom of your bag. If you want to travel with these pens, I would put them into another pen case or bag. The set comes with a variety of colors and styles including: metallic, classic, pastel, neon, and glitter. I thought I would give the pastels a …

Create a Mandala Shield

Dear Mandala Family, Serendipity has been showing up again and again in many ways for me. A couple of months ago I designed a “virtues shield” that you’ll see further down on this post to go with a magazine article. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was reviewing the different projects for Stage Seven of the Great Round in Susanne Fincher’s book, “The Mandala Workbook” and came across a “mandala shield” project. How cool that what I had created for the magazine article was published in July the same month that we study Stage 7. I seem to be in synch! The mandala shield project is similar to a project that I learned about in my training to become a Virtues Project Facilitator. The prompts from the VP training are more specific than what Susanne offers in her book. Pictured above is the mandala shield that I created this week for myself. I started by drawing a circle, dividing it into four and drawing a circle at the center. In the upper left quadrant, I picked …