The circle of life – 1

Creativity journeys are just that, a journey into exploring inward first and then the outward expression that gives birth to the flow of creation. My creativity journey for the past few weeks has been an exploration of mandalas.

Mandalas are circular images embraced by the completeness of a circle.
The word ‘mandala’ comes from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘sacred circle’. It is an image that is enclosed in an actual or imagined circle.
There is usually a center point within this circle. It is a shape seen in nature from the spheres of planets and moons to flowers, snowflakes, shells, and even smaller individual plant and animal cells. The circle is
a shape of completeness and wholeness. It is a safe place to hold your creative expression.

Mandalas have been created and used by humans for thousands of years in spiritual and healing traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. They were introduced to the western culture by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung as a means to the completeness of the self. Jung created mandalas for his own, and his patient’s, psychological and spiritual growth.
Mandalas can be as minimalist as a one-stroke ensō circle (The word “ensō” is a Japanese word meaning “circle”. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void. Creating a
one-stroke circle with a brush full of Sumi ink is a type of Zen meditation) or much more detailed and precise.

The very nature of making mandalas is one of creative expression and personal insight. One of our greatest longings is to express our creativity, to create something uniquely our own that embodies our creative energy and brings satisfaction, joy and healing in the process. This longing is coupled with a desire to know our deepest self through our creativity. Yet we often ignore these longings because we are too busy or don’t know what creative endeavour will tap into our soul and deeply enhance our lives.
Mandalas are a means to the discovery of meaning. The shapes and colours you create in your mandala will reflect your inner self at the time of creation. Your instinct and feeling should inspire and guide you
through the process of creation. Ultimately, you will be creating a portrait of yourself as you are when creating the mandala. So, whatever you are feeling at that time, whatever emotions are coming through, will be represented in your mandala. As with most art therapy, it’s not about the final product…it’s about the journey. When you reach your destination, you will have a representation of something meaningful and personal…a snapshot of you for a brief moment in time expressed through your mandala.

Today is the Full Moon, October 31st. On this day the Full Moon takes the shape of a circle, being fully illuminated by the sun. Today my mandala represents the moon which is said to represent life, strong
emotions and dreams. It is a time for light to be shown through one’s inner and intuitive vision, a time for abundance and gratitude. I use this as way to express what is inside my mind and heart. I encourage all of you to take some time to look inward as it can strengthen your creative spirit.


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