Creating Big

Sharing a past post that today still rings true for creating, creativity and working with the mandala as an expressive and spiritual art process.  Enjoy!

Within the Circle

mandala

Moving beyond a standard size sheet of paper, going from an 8×8″ paper size to an 24×36″, to create a mandala can be a turn to an unknown world. It stretches our comfort zone. It’s too large, that’s a lot of space to fill, it will take forever, are some of the concerns expressed. Here is an introductory mandala exercise that will ease the jitters of creating large! Mandala Connect-the-Dots. Working with eight or sixteen spokes, the connect-the-dot mandala is designed to act as a guide for drawing, along with allowing for the intuitive process and creativity to flow. Mandala Connect-the-Dots is also for anyone exploring the circle, looking for an expressive art form for meditation, or for creating community connections working together coloring a mandala. Children, teens, adults, watercolors, acrylics, crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Download Mandala Connect-the-Dots and have the eight or sixteen spoke mandala printed in B/W, 24×36″ at an office supply store such as Home Depot. Here in the U.S. a B/W print is $3.00.

18x24
24×36″ Mandala Connect-the-Dots, sixteen spoke
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.

Dots to Stars: A creative way to involve young children and teens is to turn the dots into stars! With a colored pencil or marker, draw stars over/on top of the dots. Express the stars free hand or use small star cookie cutters or star templates. Connect the stars to create a personal Star Constellation Mandala.

With Sweet Grace.

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots

For YOU to CREATE

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots is an Expressive Arts tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety, connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness and for embracing our creative spirit.

Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots here.

Through my mandala classes I come across those who have never heard of a mandala and would like to know more about what a mandala is.

When providing an explanation I keep it simple at first, mandala means circle. As a spiritual art tool, what ever we create within the mandala acts as a reflection of our inner world in the present moment, and we bring these inner reflections into the physical world for us to see on paper, canvas, fabric, which ever medium we wish to work with. Working with mandalas over a period of time we begin to see patterns, colors and symbols that change to support our growth and life journey. Then I move on to the circle acting as a container for our wholeness, the vast universe that resides within each one of us, and how mandalas are found in all cultures around the world. In wellness settings where I facilitate classes, mandalas are used as a spiritual art tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety and connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness. In some classes we create mandalas for celebration and coming together in community. For those who would like to go deeper with their mandala practice, I suggest working with Judith Cornell’s Luminous Mandalas.

Through these mandala explanations and introductions I find myself asking, how can I keep the creation process simple for those new to mandalas and wanting to incorporate the mandala into their personal practice. This question brought forth the creation of PDF tutorials for everyone to download from Nature’s Sweet Grace tutorial page, Seed Meditations, Embracing MandalaArtfully Scrappin’ Mandala, and the newest PDF Mandala, Connect-the-Dots. Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots now to have for your personal practice or share with others through your work place.

The term connect-the-dots has been with me ever since I heard (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs’ Stanford University’s commencement speech. He talks about his life and how it was the journey from A to C to G, etc, that brought him to where he is in the present. And that journey is worth living.

With Sweet Grace.

Seed Meditation

Complementary Therapies Series
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL

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Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:00pm

This Seed Meditation evening is one of four different Wellness House evening programs being offered as part of a Complementary Therapies Series for those living with cancer.

Seed Meditation is an Expressive Arts tool used for calming the mind, centering our focus and enriching our creative spirit.

I welcome you to join me for this evening to learn more about Seed Meditationmindfulness, beginning a daily practice, and take part in creating a personal Seed Meditation.

The four evening programs are Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki & Energy Work, Seed Meditation and Acupuncture. The programs are an opportunity to have your questions answered about complementary therapies available through the Wellness House that can help manage side effects.

With Sweet Grace.

Art Journaling & Doodles….

for connection with others and going with the flow.


art journals and doodles

Art journaling and doodling are creative outlets for bringing your ideas, visions and expressive nature into physicality. They also act as portals for the extraordinary. Putting to paper, bringing them out of the ethers, is a key component for creating. You can come back to the drawings or doodles and expand on them at another time.

I’d like to share with you two of my favorite journal/doodle tips and exercises.

1-tip) Designate mandala pages throughout your art journal. Take a cup, bowl, or round object to trace and fill the page with a circle. Fill at least 1/3 of the journal pages with circles. Of course, you can make every page a circle too! Having circles in place for the next time you pick up your journal is helpful and you’re ready to go.

1-exercise) Group Art Journaling/Doodling – Ask a friend or family member to participate in drawing or doodling with you. You can both begin with a shared inspired intention or simply see where the drawing takes you. Take turns adding to the journal entry or doodle. It’s fun, intimate and a collaborative art activity. The two colorful mandala examples shown here were with my daughters.

2-tip) Keep pens, pencils, small notebook, sketch pad or loose paper available where ever you go! Keep them in your car glove compartment, near your computer or reading chair, in a tote, fanny pack, or any type of container so supplies are available in the spur of the moment.

2-exercise) Doodling With Spirals – Draw a free-hand spiral leaving enough area for drawing as the spiral gets larger. Begin at the spirals center and fill in with patterns, images, symbols, words and what ever comes to you in the moment.

Happy journaling and doodling to you!

With Sweet Grace.

We As Creators

Intentions – Boundless Creativity

flowers2

Have you ever come across a book where you found yourself saying, “I wrote that!” All the words resonate with you on a higher level and knowing. It’s as if you co-authored it coming into your physicality…all ego aside.

craftingcalmRecently, a participant in a jewelry class I was facilitating brought a book to share that she checked out from the library, crafting calm-projects and practices for creativity and contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon. Looking through it I could tell this book held much wisdom. After class I picked up the book at a local bookstore, went home and created a space for embracing the wisdom, creativity and energy within crafting calm.

In Maggie’s Introduction, and throughout the book, she shares simple yet profound reflections on creating.

The soulful statement that I hope this book makes is that whether you call yourself an artist or a craftsperson, both or neither, we are all creative. We are all creators. We are all creations of creator. It is to this that this book speaks–how we can stoke our deepest sense of ourselves and the Divine by employing the inherent flame that lies deep within each of us: creativity.

I see this essence when facilitating expressive arts classes. There is a creative spark that’s lit and participants voice this with an I wish the class could go longer, I could do this everyday, oh thank you so much, and this is fun! When we connect with the creator within us, we are at home with our Divinity. And that feels amazing. It’s light, at ease and timeless. It’s available to us when we are present.

It doesn’t matter if we are creating a craft or another life modality, the act of creating extends out to all creations; creating a meal, a vacation itinerary, a new space to relax, foundations for a new business, peace within a relationship, or a musical composition, we are all creators.

 At first glance, some of these crafts and suggested spiritual practices might seem simple, even simplistic. But everything–including the simple act of breathing–always offers an invitation to go deeper. The key, the alchemical ingredient that changes an activity from craft to spiritual craft, is one’s intention. How one consciously chooses to dedicate his or her creative time–and to what or whom one dedicates that creative time–is what turns an ordinary crafting experience into an experience of the holy.  

Intention is powerful. In this moment create an intention for what you have in front of you – maybe it’s a garden that needs weeding, a blog that needs completion or meal preparation for family and friends. How will what you are creating serve others and your well Be-ing?  As I begin _____________________, my intentions are _________________________. Apply this throughout your day and see how the energy of the world around you shifts. As Maggie Oman Shannon expresses it, crafting calm.

What are you presently and intentionally creating?

Enjoy the creative journey!

With Sweet Grace.

Seed Meditation

 For This Beauty Filled Day

Seed Meditation

It began as creative play in the kitchen with spaghetti squash seeds and over time expanded to using a variety of beautiful beans. Seed Meditations are now being used as a wellness tool in Chicago area Wellness Centers.

Download Seed Meditations to help you get started creating your own Seed Meditations at home or at a Wellness Center in your area.

With Sweet Grace.

Summer Energy Patterns

Which one resonates with you?

Let’s use the colors of summer for an inward check-in. Which summer energy pattern resonates with you in this moment? Using this playful Expressive Arts tool you too can paint these energy patterns! Begin from the center (paper center and heart center), paint with rainbow colors or an array of vibrant colors, incorporate clockwise and counterclockwise brush strokes and paper rotation. Be aware and open for Divine surprises – opportunities for Self-discovery and uncovering new patterns that speak to you can arise. Have fun!

summer dots
SUMMER STEPPING STONES – Focusing and taking small steps each day. Each step picks up momentum connecting and creating something much larger than we could ever imagine.
summer strokes
SUMMER BURSTS – Our creative energy can longer be kept silent, controlled or in waiting. The time is NOW to share our gifts with the universe.
SUMMER SWIRLS & FLOW – Energy effortlessly flows to us and through us aligning with our True Nature.
summer mandala connections
SUMMER CONNECTIONS – We are all in this together. With heartfelt intentions we begin to connect with others in conscious and meaningful ways.

 

With Sweet Grace.