Making your way through the holidays with creativity

They're back...arriving each year without failure at the same time. They leap upon us like a tiger leaping on its pray. And you know that before you even digest your Thanksgiving meal you're thrust into the holiday madness. With this madness comes spending, giving, receiving, colds, expectations, sugar, stress, invites, aloneness, pressure and the list goes on. It's difficult to not get caught up in the change of energy the holidays bring. Every year, I try to take a step back and just observe, but at some point, usually the day before Christmas, the guild sets in and I dash to the closest shopping center to pick a few gifts up. Each year, I write in my journal that this year is going to be different. I will give from my heart; I will give of my time; I will give only if I wish to. I'm even feeling this way as I write in my blog. The question always becomes to give or not to give? But this piece is not about whether to give or not to give, it is about taking care of yourself artfully during the holidays. It is about if you feel the holiday blues beginning to sneak in, how can you care for yourself during the dark periods that can emerge like a winter chill. As I like to say, when in doubt, create! For me that means, draw, knit, write, bake, work in my garden, make my holiday cards, journal, rearrange my home, expose myself to creativity around the city and finally, to read. I read and I discover ideas. For each of us our creativity is a personal process. It is something that sparks your soul. Something that is a reflection of you. It does not have to be about perfection unless maybe you are painting your home, and even then a little mistake here and then will not be noticed.
So what is it for you that is the voice of your soul? What is that makes you feel alive? Without worrying about being good at it, what is it you would like to try? Make a creativity wish list and don't worry if you've been naught or nice, just go for it. Ask the critics to leave the room and toss the "shoulds" out the window and allow yourself to play. A walk around Micheal's craft store is sure to spark some ideas. Buy a canvas and some paints and explore. Create a mandala. Walk around your neighborhood and take some photos. Take some magazines and cut out images and make a vision collage of what you wish for in 2010. Make an altered book. Check out a knitting store. If you are interested in support or more ideas, please write me at sealoverv@aol.com. Most of all, have fun and allow mistakes, if there are such a thing

Centering


I'm often asked, how do mandalas aid in healing? I reply that when we focus and allow our attention to be present, in this case on the circle or center, our minds become centered and relaxed. They are at rest from the constant chatter that our thoughts create. It is why, I begin the mandala workshops with a meditation to help bring the mind into a peaceful & rested state. For those who struggle with calming their minds, creating mandalas can be a tool to help center them and provide a space for calm to enter. Using already designed mandalas are one way to begin to learn how to relax the mind. This way, you do not have to think or worry about what you are going to draw when creating a mandala from scratch. There are many mandala coloring books that provide different mandala designs, which can be photocopied and colored. I recently took a training where I colored in a mandala design using Crayons. The use of Crayons I was told allows us to tap into the child in us helping to eliminate the "shoulds" and perfectionist adult within us.
Here are a few mandala color books to get you started:
Enjoy in peace.

Everyone's Mandala Coloring Book, Monique Mandali

Mystical Mandala Coloring Book by Alberta Hutchinson by Alberta Hutchinson

Coloring Mandalas 1 by Susanne F. Fincher