Archive for the Mindfulness Category

The Life-Changing Magic of the Mandala

The Life-Changing Magic of the Mandala

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh The year 2000 was a dark time for me. I wore mostly black. I was grossly overweight and unhappy. I was drinking so much that it was affecting my company and my family life. I felt lost and alone. A few years prior to that I was cut off from my family of origin. Coming from a large tight knit family, being cut off was unheard of. Without the support I

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What is Creativity? An Interview with Lisa Ferraro

What is Creativity? An Interview with Lisa Ferraro

You can’t mention Lisa Ferraro without including Erika Luckett. Lisa and Erika are a spiritual duo that bring the power of pure love and divine creative energy to us through their presence as devotees and gifted musicians and singers. The lists of accolades for both Lisa and Erika are well deserved and long! Here’s a highlight for each: Lisa Ferraro’s CD “Serenading the Moon” made the Billboard Jazz Charts. She has written music for ABC TV (Wife Swap), Polygram Films, Major League Baseball (More Than A Man for Roberto Clemente), The Roberto Clemente Foundation, PBS (The Other Side

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The Pleasures of Being Human

The Pleasures of Being Human

The Pleasures of Being Human by Jeff Leisawitz, illustration by Megan Hills   The other day I was cruising down the I5 freeway going from Seattle to Olympia to visit Jetta, an old college friend. It was a day off. I was free from the job, the hassle of life in general, everything. It felt like summer vacation when I was a kid growing up in Pennsylvania. More than anything it felt like I had space— in my mind, in my heart, and on the open road. I was sort of sick of the million songs on my

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8 Simple Steps to Draw a Mandala

8 Simple Steps to Draw a Mandala

Don’t be fooled, doodling is a powerful tool to activate your divine creative self. When doodling is combined with the power of the mandala, you are accessing deep parts of your creative self! Carl Jung encouraged his patients to doodle and color mandalas. I explain this in much more detail in the book, but for now, here are the 8 steps you can use right now! Step 1. Draw a dot Put a dot in the middle of your paper/canvas.  This represents the “seed” of an idea you want to explore and get creative with.  It’s like

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3 Reasons Why Adult Coloring Books are Popular

3 Reasons Why Adult Coloring Books are Popular

Have you seen the amount of adult coloring books showing up on bookstore shelves and on Amazon? What’s the big deal? Why are they so popular? 1. We are all tired of technology. Computers, laptops, ipads, iphones, apps, updates, emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Yikes!  It’s no wonder that people are taking to grabbing colored pencils and coloring on paper. We’ve had enough of it! Our brains are saturated. We’re overwhelmed. We’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. We need a rest. 2. Coloring settles the mind. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve

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Ever Changing: Always Changing

Ever Changing: Always Changing

This mandala was inspired by the ever changing nature of life. As I doodled it, I had no agenda in mind as to what I wanted to end up in the mandala. You may say, “That’s obvious! It’s so simple!” Yes, it is simple. The rule that everything changes is simple and easy if we allow it. Think of a few milestones in your life. We have hundreds of them! Everyday is a new adventure. Even as we’re going through big changes like getting married or getting a divorce, we still have to get up, suit up and show up.

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The Circle of Life: Relationships

The Circle of Life: Relationships

This mandala was inspired by all of the circles of friends, family and communities I have in my life. Each relationship effects us in some way and extends out to the other people in our lives creating a constantly growing and changing matrix of communities. We are born into our own mandala of folks. Our family. Our immediate family is the most influential community in our lives, and then our extended family, close relatives, friends, church, school, work, volunteer organizations. You get the idea. Sometimes we have to choose to create new communities if our current ones aren’t fulfilling us

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Self Actualization: The Individual Need to Evolve

Self Actualization: The Individual Need to Evolve

This mandala was inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As human beings we are evolving from fight or flight to love and compassion. We are taking care of ourselves, our planet and our fellow man more and more. It’s not longer weird to do yoga or to meditate and use alternative, healthy ways of healing. Collectively, we’re listening our individual bodies, minds and souls for answers instead of relying on religion, the government and corporations to dictate what we do and how we think. Here are some questions for YOU to contemplate as you color this mandala: It seems that

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It Takes All Kinds: The Universal Need to Express

It Takes All Kinds: The Universal Need to Express

This mandala was inspired by the song… “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”   If your light isn’t shining, you’re dead. It’s the gift of life, this little light of yours. The energy that pumps your blood and makes you breathe. It’s a light that can not be stopped short of death. You need to express this light. You can pretend you’re not creative, you can hide away in your tiny little life. But the light will always be shining to keep you alive and wants to express in creative ways. It can be crunching numbers,

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And So It Grows: Expansion and Creation

And So It Grows: Expansion and Creation

This mandala was inspired by the natural expressions of water.   Most of us have very little knowledge or understanding of what’s going on underneath the surface. The waves come and go, they swell, they break. We love to listen to the waves, walk the beaches, swim and skim along the surface in boats, jet skis and rafts. We harvest the bounty of life, we collect shells and build sand castles. Underneath the water there are millions of things going on that are not only a mystery to us, but are critical to our well being and the well being of

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