how-to, mandalas, offerings

How can a mandala practice help with healing and living a joyful life?


I’ve given myself a BIG gift in honor of my 50th birthday – the gift of health. I’ve set the intention that in this next year, I’ll explore various practices and modalities to help me to heal and balance my body, mind, and spirit. I want this next decade to be vibrant and joyful.

How can a mandala practice help with healing and living a joyful life?

On a simple level, we can create a healing and nurturing environment, by clearing a space in our homes, to listen to soothing music while we create, and to show up and make time for our mandala practice.

On a deeper level, we create with specific intentions, observe how the colors, shapes, and details reflect where we are at in the moment, and open up to our intuition and connection to Spirit.

The Seed of Life, pictured in the mandalas above, is one of my favorite “go to” patterns that I draw. It’s simple and quick to construct – we start by drawing a circle and then draw six more circle around it. That’s it! Seven circles come together to form this design.

As we step back and look at the Seed of Life, we can see how new shapes that look like flower petals are formed by the overlapping circles. When interpreting our mandalas, the center can been seen as the self and the objects around the center as the people, events, circumstances in our lives. We can also use this design as a “graphic organizer” to explore various facets of our lives. We can work with a specific intention like, “How can I balance my body, mind and spirit?” or we can work intuitively and follow our curiosity as we fill the design with color and form. Working intuitively, we can step back from the finished mandala and observe what shows up.

I have two opportunities coming up where we can explore the healing aspect of creating mandalas.


Opportunity #1: Yoga & Mandala Day Retreat

September 8, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Inn at Greenwood Mountain in Hebron, Maine
Hosted by Maine Center for Vital Living

Give yourself the gift of a retreat day that will bring balance to your body, mind, and spirit. This day combines:

  • yoga and an Ayurvedically balanced lunch to nourish the body
  • meditation to ease the mind
  • creating mandalas to tap into your intuition and activate your creativity

The combination of yoga, meditation, healthy food, and creating mandalas will give you a day to nurture yourself and connect with where you are at and what’s next in your life. We’ll draw the Seed of Life pattern and use it as our guide to celebrate all that is currently blossoming in our lives and plant seeds (set intentions) for this next season.

No art experience needed. All tools and materials provided.

Registration closes on September 1st.

Participation is limited to 16.

Register Now


Opportunity #2: Creating Mandalas for Insight & Self Expression

There are many fun aspects of creating mandalas but my favorite is to create them for insight, meaning, and self expression. The Great Round course opens a door to understanding and connecting with the Self. As you learn about the twelve stages, you’ll recognize times when you’ve experienced them and some stages will offer new insights as to where you are in this moment of your life.

The stages of the Great Round honor our milestones and celebrations, reflect the highs and lows in our creativity cycles, support us when faced with life’s challenges, and guide us when embracing something new like a developing project, career, or relationship.

We’ll create a wide range of mandalas to explore the colors, symbols, and designs characteristic of these stages. No art experience needed.

Great Round Course Details:

Lessons run August 26, 2018 to December 9, 2018
Closing the Circle Celebration: January 2019
15 Video Lessons
100+ Mandala Projects
4 Show & Tell Webinars
Instructor Led Course

All of this for $75.

Starting Next Weekend!!!

Get the Details & Enroll

mandalas, offerings

Omega Family Week Mandala Program


My first experience at Omega Institute will stay with me always!

For starters I arrived on Sunday, July 29th on my 50th birthday! Each person who said yes to my program was the very best birthday present I could ask for. What a gift for me to do what I love, to create and connect and to share my passion for mandalas.


This week I opened a door for many who found themselves drawing for the first time in many years. What joy to see them light up as their first mandalas came together. I often feel like a head magician revealing the magic tricks.


One very special gift was the opportunity to spend the week with Anne, a member of my online mandala community. For a few years now, Anne has taken my online classes and we’ve connected through threaded discussions, e-mails, and an occasional Zoom chat.

Anne writes, “It was such a pleasure to be able to take your class with you in person.  You created a warm and accepting environment for all of us learners.  I love the way you helped us to be mindful always that we are doing more than drawing lines and coloring, that this is really soul work.”


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I am so proud of each and every participant. They stretched out of their comfort zones. They experimented with color and form. They discovered how their mandalas were much more than pretty pictures, and opened up to listening to their mandala stories and the wisdom from their wise inner selves. In one week over 100 mandalas were created!

If you would like to work with me in person, subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to find out where I’ll be next!

Until then,

Kathryn Costa

Opportunities to connect with me online.

Great Round – Fascinating study of the meaning of our mandalas. Discover your mandala stories. Next course begins August 26th. Instructor led.

Soul Journey Mandalas – Each mandala lesson includes a recorded Soul Journey and an activity guide (pdf) with reflection questions to go with each mandala project. Sample the first lesson to connect with your Soul Tree. Self Paced.

Journal Workshops – These interactive online workshops offer a unique experience combining Soul Journeys, oracle cards, creative journal prompts, time to create, and time for connecting with other participants. The next workshop begins a series through the chakras starting with the root chakra. Limited spaces.

Mandala Drawing I – Ten video lessons focused on geometric style mandalas. Each video is under ten minutes to get you creating quickly and successfully. Self Paced.

Color I – Always reaching for the same colors? Do you want to boost your color confidence? Maybe you want to invest in some coloring supplies and lost by the many options. This course is in two parts where part one offers a range of product demos and part two covers an introduction to color theory for the mandala enthusiast. Self Paced.

Sharing Circle – Free membership website for mandala enthusiasts. Includes monthly mandala challenges.



musings, sacred sundays, soulcollage

Turning 50: My Story is Changing

The Mystical Shaman asks, “Can you impartially observe the stories you tell yourself and others? Who would you become if you stopped telling the tales that have defined you up until now?”

For weeks now, I’ve been reflecting on my life and where my journey is in this moment. Tomorrow I turn 50 years old and I feel as though I am crossing over a threshold and stepping into a new life.


I gave myself a couple of birthday gifts including the beautiful oracle deck and book set called, “The Mystical Shaman” by Alberto Villoldo, Colette Baron-Reid, and Marcela Lobos.

Pictured above are the three cards that I pulled this week. The luscious, mysterious images and soul awakening questions invite me to pause before crossing the threshold of my next decade.

What have been the stories that I tell of my life to others and myself?


  • the single mother for many years
  • the string of losses
  • the unfulfilled worker not living her truth

While each of these stories have their wounds, they also have their gifts like how my grief led to tapping into my creativity to explore the mandala as a tool for self expression and healing; or how I followed my heart and ditched my day job.

The Mystical Shaman’s second question strikes a cord in me, “Who would you become if you stopped telling the tales that have defined you up until now?”

It may seem obvious but I’m realizing that I am no longer the single mother, in the depths of grief, or the unfulfilled worker. Yes, these are stories that led to where I am now, but they are not who I am.

“What if there were no need to explain you to anyone, not even to yourself?” asks the Mystical Shaman.

Next week I’ll be meeting many new people during my stay at the Omega Institute. What stories will I share? Do I need to explain myself?

Who am I?

I am Kathryn the kind-hearted.

I am connected to spirit.

I am a path finder, soul traveler, and a maker of magic.

I see beauty every where and in every one.

I am a dream weaver.

I follow my curiosity.

I make meaningful connections.

And, I am full of love, gratitude, wonder, and awe.

The Mystical Shaman adds, “The way to your extraordinary life is to become a blank slate and allow the form of your dreams and desires to show up, as it will. This is a sign of manifesting a life beyond your wildest dreams.”


Hanging on the wall in my studio is this assemblage of the Queen of Cups designed by my late friend Don Desmarais. When he was working on this series, I told him that I wanted the Queen of Cups. He thought of me as he created this piece. I see reflected back at me my round face.

Abruptly, the Queen came crashing down off the wall one day this week. I was focused on my computer and was startled to tears. You see, I believe Don is one of my guides who often wakes me up in the middle of the night whispering creative ideas or nudging me to shake off my fears and dive into my creativity. One night last week, in a moment of fear, I asked for a sign. “I’ll be looking tomorrow for it.” I said to the dark night.


The crashing Queen certainly got my attention. As I picked up the Queen to hang her back up, I noticed that the word that was on the heart had fallen off.


When Don created this piece, I was a single mother and he recognized in me a warm, loving woman who sacrificed and put others before myself.

I’m realizing that both Don and the Mystical Shaman have the same message for me that I no longer have to sacrifice. I no longer have to live as though I’m the single mother, in the depths of despair, or as the unfulfilled worker.

Now I get to decide what word rests on my heart and I can even change it, if I want.


The second card that I had pulled was Fire. As a Leo and with Aries in Chiron, I love the fire sign. While others may be afraid of the intensity, heat, and its ability to burn, I see fire as powerful tool for transformation. It will quickly burn and release what we offer up.

In the guidebook that goes with this oracle deck, there is an invitation to “warm your hands and your heart by your inner fire. Let it burn away your hardships; let it consume your pain and your sorrow…Light a candle or make a bonfire, and toss into the flames everything that has become stiff and painful.”


A little lantern has sat on a coffee table in my studio waiting for this moment to shine.


I pulled off the shelf a votive candle that I had designed several years ago for a conference gift that bears a label reading, “be salt & light.” Now felt like the perfect time to light this candle.

I dedicated the moment to forgiving a family member who I’m estranged from. In my heart, I had already come to terms with the situation but felt this was an opportunity to ceremoniously honor and release any lingering feelings. As I lit the candle, I sent my sincerest blessings and love.

I thought about the messages from the fire and mystical shaman cards when I lit this candle the second time. What stories, old hurts, and disappointments am I ready to let go of? I closed my eyes and in my imagination, I saw a swirl of colors leave my body and flow toward the flame. I watched as the flame turned from yellow to a beautiful array of colors as it transformed any pain and suffering into love and healing energy.

I opened my eyes and the message “Be salt & light” shines before me. It invites me to simply be me and to share my unique gifts with the world.


One night this week, I met up with my dear friend Maureen to create SoulCollage® cards. Ten years ago for my 40th birthday, I hired a SoulCollage® facilitator to teach me and several of my friends including Maureen about this expressive arts practice. It felt like coming around full circle as we sat at Maureen’s dining room table cutting, gluing, and chatting.

Pictured here are three cards that I made.

The first one is I am the one who makes the time to pause and reflect on my life. I learn from the bird to be the sacred observer. I look, I listen, and I sense the world around me without getting attached to any outcomes.

The second card is I am the one who is taking care of myself. As I turn 50, this is a time to cleanse by body, mind, and spirit. I am one who is curious about many modalities to support my health journey. Note – This card captures my intention for this next year and I’m on the right track down 19 lbs already! I’m taking an integrative approach that incorporates nutrition, exercise, energy work, and the expressive arts.

The third card is I am one who recognizes the spirit within me. I am a lover of beauty. I am one who follows my passion. I am one who pauses often in awe and wonder of my creative and soulful life.


The third card, Completion, speaks to endings and beginnings. It couldn’t be more perfect.

As I step into this next decade, I feel like a blank slate, open to new opportunities. There is so much more for me to learn about myself and this wondrous world that we live in. I’m eager to see what’s next, where my curiosity will take me, and who I’ll meet along the way.

Here’s to turning 50 and stepping into the best years of my life.

{soul hugs}

Kathryn Costa

Related Links

Mystical Shaman Oracle Deck & Guidebook – This is a must-have deck for all soul travelers!

Root Chakra Journal Workshop – The root chakra is known for getting grounded, feeling safe and connected. This is a unique workshop that combines soul journeys, oracle cards, and creative prompts. Limited Spaces. It’s filling fast. Learn more here.

Great Round Course – Explore your stories in this fascinating series where we create mandalas and immerse ourselves in the world of symbols, colors, numbers, and metaphor. Starts August 26th. Join me here.

SoulCollage® – Check out this practice of creating collages for insight and meaning.


chakra, newsletter, offerings

Two Ways the Root Chakra is Helping Me

Did you miss this week’s newsletter? Here is a copy of this week’s edition. Not subscribed? Click Here.


One of the biggest delights this year has been how my journal workshops have turned out. When I put this idea out into the world in February, I wasn’t sure if anyone would sign up and if the idea would fly. It has turned out to be an amazing creative and SOULFUL journey for me and the participants.

Each workshop includes getting a gorgeous envelope in the mail with some little surprises tucked in that we use during the workshop. Participants find the Soul Journey guided meditation so relaxing and a way to tune in and listen to the widsom their soul. An oracle card is tucked inside the envelope; it is so fun to see how the message from the card is perfect for the person who gets it.

Kristens says, “Opening the envelope each month is better than my birthday and Christmas combined!”

Ann says, “I’m so glad that I gave myself this gift of time. It was so worth it.”

Yvonne says, “I felt so loved and nurtured.”

Allison says, “My favorite part is the Show & Tell, it’s where the magic happens. I get sooooo much out of other people’s experiences and insights. It seems like every time someone says something that just really gives me a “holy cow! wow!” moment.”

In the next workshop, we begin a new series where we explore the chakras where I combine my interest in the chakras, creating mandalas, and creative journal keeping. I’m offering the workshops a la carte so you can pick and choose when you want to participate. There is no obligation to do them all.

We begin with the root chakra which is about feeling safe, secure, connected, and peaceful. We’ll explore how this chakra connects with the four elements, air our mental state, water our emotions, fire our spiritual side, and earth our physical self.

As I’ve been preparing for this next workshop, I’ve been focusing on the root chakra and it has helped me in two ways. In one way, I’ve been aware of my body and have set positive intentions that guide me in making healthy choices. This week I’m down 16 pounds! The root chakra meditations are also helping me to ground my emotions. I’m not sure if it is because we are in the eclipse season known to stir up strong emotions, or that I’m turning 50 this week, but my emotions have been high and low and everything in between. Connecting with my root chakra through meditations, affirmations, and art making has helped me to feel grounded and more like the calm center in the storm.

In this workshop you’ll:

  • Learn about the root chakra.
  • Recognize the energies and qualities within yourself.
  • Balance body, mind, and spirit.
  • Connect with the wisdom of the turtle.
  • Create chakra mandala art.
  • Explore the topic with journal prompts.

You’ll receive:

  • A gorgeous envelope in the mail filled with surprise goodies to use in your journal.
  • Instant access to resources to get started balancing your root chakra.
  • An invitation to the new Journal Circle. It’s a private website for sharing your journals and experiences. It’s open to everyone who has taken one of the journal workshops.
  • Bonus video on how-to draw the chakra mandala.
  • Chakra template for creating a chakra mandala sun catcher using a recycled CD.

Live Online Workshop Sessions:

  • After you register, you’ll have the option to select the date/time that is best for you.
  • SESSION 1: Friday, August 31, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., EST
  • SESSION 2: Saturday, September 1, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EST
  • Can’t attend live? You’ll get a recording of the events.
  • There are only 20 spots!

These workshops fill up so quickly!

$35 (same low price for US and International orders)

Learn More & Register

I’d love to share this creative and soulful journey through the chakras!

Kathryn Costa


Your Questions Answered

“Do you find that the day you really resist creating a mandala is the very day you NEED to do one?”

Most definitely! It is true that when I feel resistance, it is a time when I need to show up. Invariably, when I break through those feelings of resistance and restlessness, I end up creating some of my favorite works of art and my energy and emotions shift to feeling lighter and more grounded.

When resistance strikes, I notice what is going on. It may be that I’m exhausted and need a nap! More often, I have some emotions that want my attention and this is when I sit before the circle with an open heart. To get things started, I’ll draw a grid as it is an easy starting point. Then I’ll allow the pattern to emerge without thinking too much. Playing some light music also helps to soothe my soul as I create. I reach for colors that I find attractive in the moment. Some days, the colors are vibrant and others light and soft. Sometimes the palette is warm and other times it is cool. I trust my intuition to guide me. As an alternative activity, you may trace a circle and then pull out some pastels and work organically.

My background in studying the Great Round comes into play as I use what I’ve learned to interpret the colors, symbols, and overall design of my mandala. I notice the thoughts and feelings as I work and I enjoy being the sacred observer as I watch the mandala emerge. I enjoy sitting with my mandala and journal as I make connections between what I’ve created and what is going on in my life at the moment.

Do you have a question? E-mail me at


Explore the Meaning in Your Mandalas

I’m excited for the Great Round course this fall. Now that I have the lessons all dialed in with great videos, I’m planning on taking the course along side the participants. I’m at a turning point in my life as I mark my 50th birthday, and I’m curious to work intuitively to see what shows up. It will be fun to have the time to take this course as both participant and facilitator.

Truly, every time I approach the circle, it feels like a new adventure awaits.

Are you curious to learn about the meaning of your mandala art? In this series, we explore what the symbols, shapes, numbers, and colors convey in the mandalas that we create.

If your curiosity is piqued, I hope you’ll join me.

Great Round Course Details:

  • Lessons run August 26, 2018 to December 9, 2018
  • Closing the Circle Celebration: January 2019
  • 15 Video Lessons
  • 100+ Mandala Projects
  • 4 Show & Tell Webinars
  • Instructor Led Course
  • All of this for $75.

Get the Details & Enroll

how-to, mandalas, monthly mandala challenges

July Mandala Challenge – Pattern Play

Mandalas with all of their shapes and spaces lend themselves well for drawing repeating patterns. In this challenge, Kathryn Costa invites you to play with the design principle, repetition. Watch this quick video to see examples of how patterns can easily add detail and beauty to your mandalas.


How to Enter

  1. Draw a mandala.
    You may also use one of the many coloring pages found in the members library of the Sharing Circle. Be sure to select a mandala with lots of open spaces.
    Get your entry counted twice if you create a mandala from the Drawing I course.
  2. Fill the mandala with repeating patterns. Color is encouraged.
  3. Scan or photograph your art.
  4. Post your entry in the Sharing Circle. It’s a free membership website for mandala enthusiasts. Join Here.

    Deadline to enter is July 31, 2018.
    Winner will be announced August 8, 2018.

  5. No limit to the number of entries.See Contest Rules


One person will be randomly selected to win a copy of The Great Zentangle Book by Beate Winkler

Related Links

The Mandala Guidebook – Refer to chapter 4 for pattern ideas.

Mandala Drawing I – Learn how to draw the mandalas featured in this video. 10 video lessons under 10 minutes each. Perfect for those who are just beginning, experienced mandala makers looking for more mandala design options, and tangle enthusiasts in search of a drawing practice that compliments their love for pattern play.

Color I Course – If your color confidence is low, this color course gives you an introduction to creating color harmony. Includes product demos to learn how to use a variety of mediums popular among mandala enthusiasts.

The Zentangle® Method

My Favorite Supplies

Here is a short list of my favorite supplies and the one’s that I used to create the mandalas that you see in the video.

Note: These links will take you to Amazon where I’m an affiliate. I receive a small commission for each sale at no extra charge to you. Your purchases help support the work of this site and provides art supplies for demos and prizes.

Drawing Mandalas


Coloring Mandalas

Faber-Castell Pitt Pens – India Ink

TomBow – Water-based brush pens

Spectrum Noir – Alcohol markers

Micron Fineliners

Marvy LePen Fineliners

Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pen – My favorite white gel pen. The broad point works best.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils


Blending Stumps (aka Tortillons)