Find yourself and express yourself in your own particular way. Express your love openly. Life is nothing but a dream, and if you create your life with love, your dream becomes a masterpiece of art.
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Yesterday was the last day of 2015!
I was fortunate to spend a couple of hours in my studio as the golden light crept across the snow outside.
While drawing, I silently meditated on the past year. It was full of transitions and new adventures, with a move from NYC to Massachusetts and the birth of our second child. Now that we are fairly settled, I have been increasingly focused on my art and art therapy paths. I am excited to put down my creative roots here and see what grows.
I stopped making ‘official’ New Year’s resolutions a while ago. I used to make rather concrete resolutions related to healthier eating, exercise, and career goals. Like many people, I would steadfastly chip away at my New Year’s goals for a while and then revert to my normal patterns. This year I felt a strong pull towards holding an intention instead of making a resolution. To me, an intention is something that you gently hold in your heart and continue to reflect on each day. It can be somewhat abstract in nature, and more of a guiding inner framework.
As you probably know, I love creating mandalas. Yesterday as I reflected on my intention for 2016, I was inspired to create two mandalas. I will hang them up in my studio as a daily reminder. The two words that came to mind for my first mandala (top image): open heart. This is my intention – to live with a more open heart every day. This sounds like a very broad intention, but in my mind it is very simple. Simple but not always easy. Each moment, experience, and interaction can be met with a closed heart or an open heart. Another way of framing this is choosing to respond to life’s moments from a place of fear or love.
The second mandala I created is inspired by the heart chakra mandala. Chakras are energy centers within our bodies and there are 7 chakras. Each chakra relates to a different spiritual and physical aspect of our being. The heart chakra is located in our chest and governs the heart, cardiac, and lymphatic systems. When the heart chakra is closed or blocked, we have a hard time connecting with others and with ourselves. We make fear based decisions and live from a smaller sense of self. When this chakra is open, we are connected, grounded in self-compassion, and move through life from a place of love.
As I sat down to create this mandala, I felt my breathing slow down and my shoulders relax. The sense of the daily rush faded into the background. There was a feeling of ‘enoughness’ instead of lack. I could almost feel my heart expanding as I drew each line. As usual, I did not trace out a deign beforehand. Instead I trusted that each line would end up where it needed to be. My mandalas are never perfectly symmetrical. I like it this way. It’s not about a quest for perfection. It’s about embracing each perfectly imperfect moment with an open heart.
Here is my finished heart chakra inspired mandala. Every time I look at it, I will be reminded of my intention to live from an open hearted space.
What is your intention for this year? What would your intention look like if you express it visually?
May your upcoming year be filled with joy, growth, and creativity.