Monday, May 21, 2012
I love the energy of approaching summer. In my adopted little part of the world the seasons are so extreme that the awakening of spring has a very powerful affect on me. I come from Australia where the sun shines and the waves roll most of the year. But here in the Upper Mississippi Valley, the summer sunshine doesn't last long, but when it's here, it sure makes up for the darkness of a long winter.
One of the things I love most about this time of the year is my ability to sit outside in the early mornings and think. The children are usually still asleep, hubby has gone off to work, and I have some precious time to myself. Before I had children, I used to meditate all the time, loosing myself in peace and calm, breathing, focusing, without fear of interruption. Now, it's a rarity if I can engage in purposeful meditation, usually the best I can manage is some quiet contemplation.
One of the tools of my self-nurturing, calming, quiet-time process is making mandalas. I don't always have an image of art in my head, but I do always have the urge to create. So, when I'm feeling this way, and it's usually due to excessive stress, then I start to draw patterns and shapes around a circle and let my mind focus on what is emerging.
If I can, I will take this one step further and add color. Sometimes in the form of markers or pencils, other times by splashing and swooshing paint over the page. Sometimes its the patterns to which I connect, other times its the colors. It doesn't matter, every day is different.
This mandala process is very powerful for me, and very necessary in my life. It is also the process I teach in Wisdom Circles, my little workshop offering which is part of 21 Secrets - An Art Journal Playground. Since this program has been up and running, I have met some amazing people, heard some incredible life stories, and been privileged to see the sacred circles of others on this journey. I am astounded how Wisdom Circles has connected to so many people, and I am honored to be a part of it.
When I created this particular mandala, it was at a very difficult time for me and the energy that flowed through this process was amazing. It was apparent to me that this was a process I wanted to share. The process I teach in 21 Secrets is actually part of a larger program offering I run that focuses on the art of mandalas in many forms and styles, coupled with insights, stories, and visualization. This program will run again in 2013. Narrowing my full Wisdom Circles program down to a smaller offering for 21 Secrets was a challenge, but it was lots of fun.
So this mandala is what I call "Fear". It was done using Silks Acrylic Glaze over black gesso. The experience of letting my fear choose the colors, letting my frustration push the brush, and letting my heart create the circle was incredibly healing and centering. A process I highly recommend.
So now, when I'm in a state of flux, stress, or frenzy, I steal away in those early morning moments and meditate as best I can upon this mandala. It always helps bring my fears and frustrations back into perspective, and sets me up for the day. Remember, 21 Secrets run through until 1st January 2013. Wisdom Circles is one of 21 workshops from 21 amazing instructors. For more information or to register, click here.
Thanks for checking in. xx