My partner, Don, and I are in the process of co-creating the
2017 Co-Creative Mandala calendar. We’re having a blast! I
first learned about mandalas, the Sanskrit word for cosmic or
sacred circle, in the late-80’s. Like my ancient ancestors, I am
fascinated by circles...the egg from which I originated, the round
planet I live on, the circular orbit around the sun, the cycles and
seasons of nature and life, the waxing and waning of the moon,
and the joy of gathering to share a meal and chat around a fire.
There’s something comforting about circles. I think that’s why
I’m drawn to mandalas. They are visually beautiful as well as
provide a pathway for inner reflection and expansive
awareness. Psychologist Carl Jung associated mandalas with
the Self, the center of our wholeness (1973, Mandala
Symbolism). In other words, they are portals through which
we tap into the stream of wellbeing, allowing, and abundance
that continually flows to us, through us, and as us.
Co-Creative Mandalas were (and continue to be) inspired by an
inner nudge...a still, small, subtle and persistent voice that says
"Here's an idea...". I trust that voice and trust the process of co-
creation. Like circles, mandalas are about reciprocity, the
convergence of matter and spirit. Co-Creative Mandalas are the
synergy of nature (the flowers and plants from which the
mandalas originate), intuition (the sense of knowing when
something feels aligned), and technology (my digital camera,
computer, and software). Each Co-Creative Mandala is a sacred
circle that contains three elements: color, segments, and a
shape and form of the plant or flower from which the mandala
originated. Each element contributes to the energetic pattern of
I can't imagine a world without color! I'm drawn to certain colors
and not to others. The world is more vibrant because of
colors. We respond to color, physically, mentally, emotionally
and spiritually. Colors carry their own unique healing properties
and have a very specific vibration, electromagnetic energy.
According to the principles of Color Therapy, the use of color
can increase your energy, bring out your creativity, soothe your
emotions, and bring balance to your life. Studies show that the
Vagus nerve, sometimes called the "nerve of compassion", is
activated by color. Co-Creative Mandalas are also associated
with seven primary chakras, the Sanskrit word for "whirling
circle", and their corresponding colors.
Co-Creative Mandalas are typically made of 12 segments. This
was an intuitive decision. A few months after I began creating
mandalas, I found interesting information about the number 12.
The number 12 has significance across cultures, religions, and
spiritual teachings. It represents the cosmic order, the 12 signs
of the zodiac, completion of a cycle, and is found in Greek
mythology and fairy tales. Jung identified twelve with the growth
process he called individuation, the pathway to wholeness.
(1974, Mandala Symbolism) Listening to and trusting in the
guidance I received was a wise choice!
3. Flowers, Trees, and Plants
Similar to the principles of Flower Therapy (2012, Virtue &
Reeves), I tune into the nature beings associated with the
flowers, trees and plants I choose (or that choose me) for co-
creating the mandalas. I have been communicating with these
"playmates" since I was a child. Energetically, each flower, tree,
and plant has a message to convey. This is a very intuitive
process, that begins when I’m growing flowers in my garden or
observing them in nature, continues as I photograph the plants,
and culminates when I’m guided to choose a particular flower or
plant for the mandala and listen for the message it conveys.
No two Co-Creative mandalas are alike and each one has a
unique vibration. Before I co-create personalized mandalas for
clients, they tell me the colors they prefer and their intention, the
vibration they want the mandala to evoke. Clients report that
when they use their mandala as a focal point for meditation, or
for creating sacred space, or as wallpaper on their Smart phone
or desktop they feel an inner shift. Through the simple act of
mindful attention to a Co-Creative Mandala, they clear blocks to
remembering their wholeness and shift from self-loathing to self-
love, from self-rejection to self-acceptance.
and is derived from a photograph of a rose. The colors
correspond to these chakras:
Red--Root Chakra (Safety)
Yellow--Solar Plexus (Identity)
Green/Pink--Heart Chakra (Compassion)
Each Co-Creative Mandala has a message and an affirmation
that I intuitively access.
Honor the part of yourself that’s been keeping you safe.
Now is the time to love and accept all parts of yourself.
Acknowledge and release self-judgment and
self-criticism. Remember that you are whole, complete
and perfect just the way you are. Make room for more
love, abundance, and outrageous joy in your life!
“I joyfully love and accept all parts of me.”
Incorporating the mandala in daily practice reminds you of its
energetic vibration, message, and affirmation. Here's a simple
way to use the mandala:
Co-Creative Mandala Exercise:
I invite you to take a few moments and sit with this Co-Creative
Mandala. Allow Self-Acceptance to fill your being. In what ways
is this mandala speaking to you? Notice what happens in your
body when you look at the colors and the design. Notice the
thoughts and feelings that arise. Read the Mandala Message.
Let the words settle in your consciousness. What do you notice?
Read the Affirmation. How true is that statement for you? What
do you need for it to be 100% true? What "yes, buts" come to
mind? Use this information to access all parts of yourself…the
parts that you have yet to accept and the parts that you already
embrace. What do you need to hear or tell yourself that
It may take a while to feel the inner shift. I encourage you to
revisit this Co-Creative Mandala often. I look forward to reading
comments about your experiences!
Self-Acceptance means you're being your authentic self, you
accept the unacceptable. In practicing self-acceptance you give
yourself permission to be you-with all your imperfections. It can
be challenging for many of us, particularly in times when we
face serious upsets. It’s the opposite of being self-absorbed or
narcissistic; it’s about getting to know ourselves, caring about
our well-being and our happiness. Psychologist Carl Rogers
offered this thought, “The curious paradox is that when I accept
myself just as I am, then I can change”. We practice self-
acceptance so we can embrace and honor those parts of
ourselves that have been keeping us safe and clear our limiting
beliefs so that we begin to experience ourselves as an
amazing, bright, shining light who brings our gifts to the world.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson
Wouldn't it be wonderful to live from your authentic self and live
a life that truly shines with outrageous joy?
Peace and joy to your seeking heart,