chakra, monthly mandala challenges, musings

Staying Motivated & Inspired

A new member of the Sharing Circle asked me, “How do you stay inspired and motivated?”

I’ve been thinking about this question all week and here are three observations about me that may be true for you too.

I feel energized by the creative process and working towards something.

Thinking back, I started the 100 Mandalas Challenge to give myself a big, juicy goal, that piqued my curiosity and was ripe with possibilities. I love learning new things and to this day, I continue to explore the many facets of creating mandalas. Having a measurable goal like creating 100 mandalas helps me to see progress. A generic goal like creating more mandalas is too vague and I’m not likely to stick with it. When I don’t have a project or goal, I feel lost. It isn’t reaching the goal that I love, it’s actually the process of working towards it that I enjoy.

Sharing the creative and soulful journey with others lights me up.

I started the Mandala Sharing Circle as a place to connect with others who share my interest in mandalas. It isn’t enough for me to sit in my studio and create. It’s more fun to show it to others and talk about the process and what the mandala means to me. I love seeing what other people are creating and hearing about their process, stories, and insights. I’m always learning from people in my community.

My husband comments often how renewed I get after each webinar that I host. It’s true. I love the live interactions with participants in my online courses and the Show & Tell sessions. It gives me a chance to get to know the members and to hear their stories. We often laugh and cry together. It’s so very precious. I’m deeply grateful for the tools and resources that make this type of sharing available to people across the globe.

Small steps and lists keep me moving forward.

I love lists! My planner is a constant companion where I brainstorm projects, record action steps, and keep track of where I’m at. I like to break things down into small steps. I always have several projects happening at the same time so having the project lists give me options in the moment and keeps me moving forward. While the planner looks orderly, linear, and logical, the way I work is organic and I bounce around a lot between projects. I like that I don’t have to keep everything in my head. The planner becomes an extension of my brain.

What small steps will you take?

This week I came up with a variation on the mandala challenge for March. In the original project, we trace our feet and draw concentric circles between them as we reflect on where we stand on an issue. Here I took the project a “step” further by asking, “What needs my attention right now?” and “What small steps can I take?”

Last week, my husband and I had what felt like a “rock bottom” moment. Without getting into the personal details, an area in our relationship that had been neglected came to the surface and needed our attention. While the conversation was difficult, it felt good to express the thoughts and feelings. It is better to have things in the light of day than stewing in the dark.

Cards from Wisdom of the Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid

Each week I pull three oracle cards and ask the same question, “What message will help me to align with my highest good?” It always amazes me how I receive the messages that are truly helpful to me in the moment. The cards, “mending,” “chaos and conflict,” and “between worlds” not only speak to my situation with my husband but also relate to the theme of standing your ground for the March Mandala Challenge.

After tracing my feet onto lined paper, I added little stitches that followed the contour of each foot. I thought about the first oracle card titled, “Mending” and what it means to mend. To mend something that is broken, isn’t about throwing it out and replacing it with a new one. To mend is to care for what you already have. As I drew in the little stitches, I realized that mending doesn’t have to involve big and difficult steps. Small stitches are actually more effective in holding things together than large stitches. I asked myself, “What small things can I do that will be supportive of this very important relationship?”

Colette’s question about mending spoke to me, “Closing your heart isn’t the answer. What would love do?”

The second oracle card titled, “Chaos & Conflict” speaks to the tension I felt in my relationship. Colette writes, “This is a time for understanding rather than to be understood. Can you find a way through the stormy emotions to higher ground?”

In between my feet, I drew a root chakra mandala that’s about feeling safe, secure, grounded and centered. Creating and coloring mandalas is a practice that I find centering. My attention shifts from the “stormy emotions” to creating the mandala where I can’t think of anything else. After the careful planning, measuring and drawing, I shift gears again to coloring where I explore an intention. Here I asked myself, “What needs my attention? What small steps can I take?” Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, moving my body, and time in solitude are all essential practices that support me in showing up in my relationships in a healthy way.

In the third oracle card called, “Between Worlds” I resonated with what Colette writes, “Explore the new energy between you and another. This is a moment of discovery and curiosity.”

Drawing freehand brings a feeling of flow and opens me up to “discovery and curiosity” just as Colette suggests.

Here sun-like rays of energy radiating from the root chakra moves the energy. As I filled the rays a gradient from red to orange to yellow, I considered the connection these colors have with the chakras. The red reflects the root chakra, what we need to take care of our self. Orange, the color of the sacral chakra, that lightens things up as we tap into our creativity and delight in our senses. Yellow, the solar plexus chakra color, is where we shine our light, live our truth, and confidently take the steps for realizing our intentions.

Journal writing within the feet was the final step. On the left, I wrote about tending the relationship with my husband and on the right foot the care that my body, mind, emotions, spirit, and business needs.

Before sitting down to share this mandala story with you, I had a wonderful visit with my husband where I showed him this mandala, shared my thoughts, and asked him some small questions. We feel a closeness after that initial conversation and know that we are both loved very much.

What keeps me motivated and inspired? Creating mandalas and sharing my mandala stories. I truly love how we can express ourselves in our mandala art. It’s an opportunity to gain insights, make meaningful connections, and to learn, grow, and heal.

Now It’s Your Turn

What needs your attention? What small steps will you take?

I’d love to see your mandala and to hear your story. Join me for a Show & Tell webinar where we’ll gather with other mandala enthusiasts to discuss this project.

Show & Tell Webinar
March 22, 2019
8 pm, EST
Save Your Spot Here

Feeling shy about showing up on a video camera to tell your mandala story? Dana “Jonesy” from our community knows exactly how you feel and tells you her story of how showing up felt hard at first, but it was so worth it. Swing by the Mandala Sharing Circle to hear Jonesy’s story in the coffee chat video.

Not a member of the Mandala Sharing Circle? Join here. It’s free!

Learn more about the chakras and take one of my workshops!

Do you love creating expressive mandala art? This project is an example of the mandala art created in the Great Round Course. Don’t delay! Enrollment for this course closes on March 31, 2019.

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