Are you looking for new direction in your life? Are you trying to work through some difficult issues that are keeping you stuck in old patterns?
Are you exploring your own sense of calling and want to go deeper into what that means for you? Do you want to find a new creative way to work through the questions in your life?
This unique combination of story circle and creative process workshop might be just what you need.
In Mandala Discovery, you’ll enter into a six week learning journey along with a community of like-minded people. You’ll learn a new creative process that combines mandala-making with intuitive journaling and you’ll receive narrative coaching in a one-of-a-kind story-sharing circle.
You’ll be invited to explore your own stories and how those stories both support and hold you back. At the same time, you’ll learn a new creative tool for processing those stories and finding your path into new stories that serve you better.
What is a mandala and why make them?
“Mandala” is the ancient sanskrit word for circle and it symbolizes wholeness. It’s pretty simple, really – anything that shows up in circular form – whether it’s art, dance, or a slice of kiwi fruit – can be considered a mandala. What I love about them is the fact that they are so universal and can be found everywhere. In every part of the world, mandalas show up in the art work, nature, and cultural and spiritual history of a place.
Mandalas have been used in various spiritual traditions (especially eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism) for spiritual teaching and meditative purposes. They have also been used for therapeutic purposes by psychoanalysts, most notably Carl Jung.
I love mandalas because they combine spirituality, meditation, therapy, creative process, and play in one holistic circle. They help us slow our minds, process our complex thoughts, and shift out of our logical left-brains into our intuitive right brains.
They also have a strong feminine aspect to them, with connections to the womb and the birthing process, as well as to nature and Mother Earth. They ground and centre us and bring us back to the heart of who we are.
As my friend Christine says, mandalas are like “one dimensional labyrinths in which we take ourselves for a walk.”
To learn more about why I make mandalas, read this post. For me, mandalas are intuitive and unpredictable. I welcome whatever shows up when I sit down at the page. Sometimes they’re playful, sometimes they reveal my shadows. Sometimes they have symmetry, and other times they are as random as the clouds in the sky. Always they are unique and deeply connected to whatever I’m going through at the time.
What is unique about this mandala process?
I have developed a unique process that combines mandala-making with intuitive journalling. This process has been gradually emerging for me over many years of journal writing, creative process and art-making. I use the process when I teach creativity, writing and personal development workshops. My first mandala poem was published in a poetry journal twenty five years ago and I’ve been exploring it as a tool for my personal development ever since.
Unlike some of the more regimented mandalas that rely on specific symbols, follow certain rules and are closely associated with specific traditions, my mandala process is intuitive and unique to each person who does it. I give you guidelines and support, but I never give you rules.
I see myself as a mandala midwife, gently guiding people through the birthing process. Though I provide guidance, support, and deep listening, it is up to you to put the necessary effort into the birth. I will encourage you through some of the pain of birthing, help you breathe deeply, and cheer you on when the baby emerges, but I can’t do the work for you.
What will this six week investment do for me?
You will learn a powerful new creative practice that will help you quiet your restless mind, work through areas in your life where you’re stuck, and birth new ideas that are beginning to emerge.
You’ll be given permission to play on a regular basis. You’ll discover that creative play isn’t just a waste of time, it’s a necessity for personal development.
You will be part of a warm and wonderful story-sharing circle each week in which you will gain wisdom from the circle of people gathered on the phone and they will gain wisdom from you.
As you go on a self-discovery journey, birthing whatever is emerging for you, you’ll receive the gentle guidance and support of a mandala midwife who wants only the best for you and your dreams.
What will I get when I sign up?
You’ll get six coaching circle calls in which you’ll have a chance to share your stories and receive coaching and guidance on how to develop your own unique mandala process. Registration for Mandala Discovery will be a maximum of twelve people, so it will always be an intimate circle.
For six weeks, you’ll receive weekly mandala worksheets with a different mandala practice each week. The guidance on these worksheets will be further supported on the group calls. We’ll play with a variety of mandala processes to help you find the ones that work best for you. Some will be playful, random, and full of colour. Others will incorporate words and questions and images that pop into your head. Still others won’t use paper as the canvas, but instead might be painted on your body.
You’ll receive one individual mandala session with me (via Skype or phone) in which we’ll work through a particular issue that’s emerging for you. You’ll also be offered a discounted rate to book follow-up calls.
You’ll be part of a private Facebook group in which the community formed on the weekly coaching calls can offer each other support in the time between the calls.
There’s a bonus gift. You’ll get a special one-of-a-kind handmade mandala journal. Since I had trouble finding square art journals for my mandalas, I asked my friend Justin to make a bunch for me at the print shop where he works. I’d like to share one with each participant in this class AND I’ll do a special collage on the front cover of yours and add your name.
What are others saying about this process?
Here’s some feedback from clients who have done mandala sessions with me:
“In just a few minutes Heather invited me to a level of both creativity and deep thought that was invaluable. My brain is working on overdrive almost all of the time, so to be invited into an experience that provided me insights while NOT working so hard at it? Gift beyond compare.” - Ronna Detrick
“I love how accessible and simple mandala-work is, and I love that Heather is offering this as part of her work now. Heather is a wonderfully skilled and creative meaning-maker. If you’ve got something bothering you that you haven’t been able to “figure out” with your left-brain thinking, sign up for one of Heather’s mandala sessions and let her show you how you can access the creativity of your right-brain thinking and intuition to change your perspective or move forward.” - Cath Duncan (read more about Cath’s session on her blog, Remembering for Good.)
“This has been a great experience and what Heather offers others through the process is amazing. After completing my mandalas, I feel a lot more confident about what I have to offer the world.” - Shirley Keeton
“I was one of the lucky few to win a trial session from Heather as she fine-tuned her
mandala sessions. The initial phone work was instrumental in getting me unstuck, and the followup mandala work surfaced some new truths and complexity for me. I would recommend this process to anyone starting on a new path, wanting to dive deeper into an issue, or seeking clarity about a confusing issue.” - Sandra Whisler, non-profit manager and artist