Express Yourself - Step 2
PeaceLove is an organization that helps millions of people create peace of mind through expressive arts and storytelling. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending one of their workshops. This specific workshop is called “PeaceLove Mandala Poetry”. We took about an hour to create our own mandala and write a poem that went along with it.
This is a fun exercise that feels therapeutic. It is fun to do with a group of people because you leave feeling uplifted and motivated by others. It is also a great activity to do with kids to help them focus and express themselves. You will need paper and drawing utensils (colored pencils, pastels, markers, etc).
Start by identifying what brings you peace of mind. Anything from taking a walk on the beach to getting a pedicure. What are the things that help put you at ease? Start to embrace the way these things make you feel. You should start feeling yourself relax. Then close your eyes and let yourself go into a 2-minute meditation. Pay attention to the colors and shapes that appear. I remember doing this when I was a kid. On a long car ride I would close my eyes and be entertained by the images that appeared, completely out of my control. Your mind may wander but remind it to come back to the images, forming like magic.
After about 2 minutes open your eyes and identify where you want the center to be on your paper, and mark the spot. Start creating around the spot. Mandalas are usually round but you can create any shape, just make sure it is fully enclosed. Do not over think what you are drawing, be inspired by what you saw with your eyes closed, and let It flow onto the paper. Allow yourself about 20 – 30 minutes to finish your mandala.
Next, on another piece of paper, write words or/and sentences that reflect what you feel when looking at your mandala. Again, do not over think, this is not being published anywhere;) This is to benefit you and allow inner thoughts to be brought to the surface in an organic way.
If you are doing this with a group, you will now turn over the piece of paper with writing on it. Then everyone will go around the room and write what words come to mind when they look at each person’s mandala. When you finish, come back to your mandala and look over the words that everyone wrote about your mandala. Chances are the words will either resonate with you, or inspire you, either way the feeling will be amazing.
You will now write your poem, using the words and phrases you first wrote, along with anything that feels right from what other people wrote. Don’t spend a lot of time with this, write the first things that come to mind and let go. You will be surprised at how right this feels and how easily it comes together. You may choose to keep your mandala artwork and poem, file them away or frame them, use the mandala as a focus point during meditation, or throw them out. Whatever you want to do with them is fine, this is all about the experience. Relax and let go!