Blog

musings

Blooming at the Right Time

Lotus-BloomingRightTiming

For the last decade, I thought of myself as a late bloomer. This morning that story has changed. I had the realization that…

I am not too old.

I am the perfect age.

I am ready.

I feel prepared.

I have the experience & knowledge.

I love learning new things. It energizes me. Anything I need to know, I absorb like a sponge.

I have the maturity, wisdom, confidence, and heart.

I am not a late bloomer.

I am blooming right on time.

I know who I am and I really like myself.

I choose the best for me.

I no longer have to fit in places where I don’t belong or doesn’t resonate with who I am.

I say “Yes!” to me.

I can see Louise Hay smiling at me right now. I picture her bright, beautiful face and twinkling eyes. She agrees, I am blooming right on time and she is glad that I finally see it too.

What limiting beliefs are you ready to let go of? Join me for one of my journal workshops. It’s an opportunity to tune into what your soul wants you to know.

{soul hugs}
Kathryn Costa

 

musings

Rediscovering a Little Treasure Box

TreasureBox1Originally published five years ago on June 29, 2013. I’m grateful that Fernando continues to be healthy and well.

My morning started with an unexpected visit to the Emergency Room. My husband was concerned that he was having a heart attack. In the three hours that we were there, I went from a quiet panic thinking I might lose my husband the same year I lost both of my parents, to feeling calm and confident that my husband has a strong heart and will be more than okay, he will be great.

 

By the afternoon, I was worn out and completely exhausted. My nerves were raw and I was feeling so vulnerable. Not only was the morning stressful, but I’ve been revisiting some unresolved issues from my past as I lead the Journey of the Heart online class. Tears come easily for me when I’m feeling vulnerable. They help me to release the stress in my body. I hugged my pillow and fell into a deep slumber.

 

When I woke up I was still feeling vulnerable and wishing I had my mother to comfort me. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I took off my watch and it fell to the floor. Something in my head told me to look under the bed. I generally don’t store stuff under the bed, but there was a basket with some odds and ends that I didn’t know what to do with and tucked inside was the tiny little treasure chest my mother had given me.

 

TreasureBox2

 

I had long forgotten this little sparkly box. I opened it up and found her little note tied with a red ribbon.

 

TreasureBox3

 

It reads, “The next time you feel out of sorts or just can’t cope, open this box.”

 

TreasureBox4

 

Inside you will find a mirror, look at it, in case you’ve forgotten, remember who you are.

 

TreasureBox5

 

Some extra hearts in case yours gets worn out.

 

TreasureBox6

 

A broomstick to fly away when it all gets to be too much.
TreasureBox7

 

An angel available 24/7 in case all the others are busy.

 

TreasureBox8

 

Some stars to remind you to reach for them when life gets too earthbound,

 

TreasureBox9

 

and a turtle to remind you to slow down.

 

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Finding this little treasure chest from my mom was a reminder that she is close by to comfort me and that I’m loved.

 

One parting thought, I absolutely love my deck of Virtue cards. Quite randomly the top card today was “strength.” The following lines from the card stand out:

 

We grow in strength as we tackle life’s challenges
with courage and determination.
We deepen in strength when we
choose gentleness and practice patience.

 

My husband and I spent some time together cuddling up this evening and chatting about how grateful we are that he is in good health. We feel ready for the next chapter in our life.

 

If you are tackling life’s challenges, feel free to swing by here any time and look inside the sweet little treasure chest from my mom.

 

{soul hugs}
Kathryn Costa

 

PS – It warmed my heart to rediscover once again the little treasure box from my mom.

 

how-to, mandalas, offerings

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

SeedofLife-Samples

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.

InnGreenwoodMountainHebron800

Opportunity #1: Yoga & Mandala Day Retreat

September 8, 2018
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
$89
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

GreatRound-2018-Overview

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

Omega2018-GroupPhoto

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.

Omega2018-Door

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.

Omega2018-AnneA.jpg

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.

MysticalShaman-Reading50

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?

There’s…

  • 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.”

QueenCups-Desmarais

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.

heart

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.

sacrifice

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.

fire

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.”

lantern

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

light-be

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.

SoulCollage-Reading50

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.

completion

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.