Saturday, January 23, 2016
My 2016 Mandala makes me happy
Today is the 2 week anniversary of my course to make my 'power' mandala for 2016. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know how much I love these magic circles and their power to focus intention and heal. So it would be no surprise to you that when the opportunity appeared to do a whole day workshop on the sacred circle I leapt in with both feet!
The course was facilitated by the gorgeous and beautiful soul who is Dawn Meader. Please check out her website if you haven't done before, and buy her book (or come visit me and look at my copy!) - it's filled with beautiful images and poems.
I've admired Dawn from afar for a few years and was thrilled to be able to do the workshop at her home studio. That was the first milestone of the day for me - it was the first time I had driven to Fremantle by myself! This is such a huge achievement, as when I first became ill a few years ago I was so anxious about driving as I thought that every time I went out I might die in a car accident! As a result I didn't travel very far, which didn't help my mental health obviously, These days I am much better, can manage my anxiety around driving, and always give myself a big pat on the back when I get to places under my own steam. Anyway, I digress, back to the mandalas ...
I shared the time with 13 other wonderful women, which was lovely. We were all there for the same reason; sometimes I worry about being in a group as there is usually someone who wants to take centre stage and it be all about them (may not always be true, but it seems a general group dynamic to me), but this was so not the case. We all got to talk or simply be quiet if we wished, and it was all ok. I won't go into all the fine detail as it seemed a really sacred time for me and the other women present, but there was a genuine feeling of belonging, which I suspect I may have been missing for some time?
Our first exercise was to practise drawing a bird from a picture - we shared the drawing, by starting off with a pastel outline, then moving onto the picture next door when told to by Dawn. It was all done very quickly, not giving any of us time to think 'I can't do this!' In the end the bird you started ended up being created by 6 people. I loved mine so much I took it home! Birds have become a really significant symbol for me since Dad passed - I think they visit sometimes to let me know he's about! Usually the cheeky ones like teeny blue wrens or the Willy Wagtail :)
Our first task was to make our background using acrylic paint using 3 colours in any combination we liked - red, yellow and white. Then we would complete the mandala using soft pastels, which I have never used before - I've always been put off by the texture, and 'chalk down a blackboard' sounds, but they produce such a gorgeous result. We completed a visualization before moving onto each 'ring' of the mandala. Each ring stood for a certain area of our life, e.g. health, finance, play, relationships. Can you see my tiny dragon in the circle for play? And I made the finance circle pretty in lilac and green as I am scared of money so wanted to represent it as less so in my mandala. Every mandala needs a centre point, and we also did a visualization for this. I was determined at the start that I was not going to draw a heart, as I draw hearts in everything I produce, but throughout the visualization the heart image would not go away and was so strong I knew it needed to be at the centre of my mandala. And I'm pleased with the result.
It was such a wonderful day, real food for the soul - I can't recommend it enough, And Dawn is gentle, gracious and very humble, you'll be drawing before you know it, even if you think you haven't got a creative bone in your body! So please go and check out Dawn's website if this post has spoken to you at all (even if in a tiny, quiet voice, as that is the inner powerful you!) There is a meditation on her blog page too which is good fun - don't give up if it feels odd on the first try - meditation takes a few goes! But is so worth it :)
You see, the magic of the mandala must be working, as I said yesterday I would write about something that made me happy, and look at me being all creative today!