Several months ago, while checking out links on the web related to creative expression, I came across Cheryl Finley’s blog, Mandala Oasis ( http://www.mandalaoasis.blogspot.com/ ), which led me to her yahoo group site of the same name. I joined the group and have been repeatedly enriched by this connection. The group is comprised of predominantly women, but also include a few very creative men and everyone, male or female, is welcome. Over the months, I have found all of the members to be supportive of each other, incredibly creative and overflowing with stimulating suggestions for books to read , art techniques, supply resources and mandala prompts. The art presented for viewing in this group often takes my breath away.
Currently, many members of the group are involved in the creation of two Mandalas for Peace projects. One of the these is a card deck that 9 women have committed to produce. Each woman will create 9 cards that are symbolic representations of 9 themes: (Birthing/Transformation; Body/Mind/Spirit; Community; Creativity; Family; Ancestors; Nature; Right-Livelihood; Womanhood/Women/Woman) and the work will be completed in increments of 9 week cycles with a re-evaluation of the project occurring at the end of each cycle.
Yesterday, while facilitating a mandala group with six teen-agers in the residential treatment facility where I work part-time, I began to create the mandala pictured above. I find that when I create my own work with this group, it assists them to stay centered and focused upon what they are in the process of creating. My focus upon creating art that focuses upon going within to my center reflects back to them. The mandala, titled, “Peace Grows from Seeds of Love” reflects the birthing of peace and new possibilities that grow from a heart centered approach to life.
Love creates fertile soil for effective communication. Allowing seeds of love to take root in your life promotes the appearance of silver linings. When nurtured, seeds of love flourish to create a web of peace and strength that expands out from you and to everyone with whom you interact.