2015: Section 7

2015 MotY - Section 7

2015 MotY – Section 7

Download 2015 MotY: Section 7

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that began February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 7 we look at the goat energy of gregarious.

Quite simply, being gregarious means to enjoy the company of others, which begs the question: how well do we play with others?

Judging by all the wars and violence going on in the world, the answer seems to be “not well.” And yet if we look beyond the news, most of the world is getting along just fine or at least okay.

While it may appear daunting to try to change the world, we can do our part within our own piece of the world by learning how to enjoy being around other people. We can start by focusing on what we appreciate about them; however big or small it may be.

For some, it may be all we can do to just appreciate that they showed up. For the more challenging (to me) people in my life, I also ask of Holy Spirit: “please let me see this differently” and take a few deep breaths to allow HS to do its thing.

Or maybe just watching how well these all-too-adorable goats get along can inspire us.

The message from this month’s section reminds me of our improv group’s rules to play by:

  • say “yes, and” to whatever is offered to us
  • make everyone look good
  • play all out

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the July 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 6

2015 MotY - Section 6

2015 MotY – Section 6

Download 2015 MotY Section 6

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that began February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 6 we look at the goat energy of wise.

wise-old-goat

In prepping for this month’s section, I found this perfectly wonderful wise goat photo by Richard Alton. He put only this quote in the description of the photo:

“If a thing goes without saying – let it” Jacob Braude

How wise.

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the June 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 5

2015 MotY - Section 5

2015 MotY – Section 5

Download 2015: Section 5

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that began February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 5 we look at the goat energy of disciplined.

This section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year presents to us the idea of self discipline; being able to have an objective in mind and the self awareness and self control to do what needs to be done to achieve said objective.

From “What is Self-Discipline – Definitions” by Remez Sassonis, self discipline…

is the expression of inner strength and staying power, vital for dealing with the affairs of daily life and for the achieving of goals.

Take this goat for instance. He wanted out. Looked at all his options. For some of us we might think there’s no way out of here and give up. In the end, the goat used is own self determination and will power to escape his pen…while his owner watched him do it.

 

“Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts. If you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do. Simply, self-discipline enables you to think first and act afterward.”  Napolean Hill

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the May 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 4

2015 MotY - Section 4

2015 MotY – Section 4

Download 2015: Section 4

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that began February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 4 we look at the goat energy of resourceful.

At its basic level, being resourceful means having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Goats seem to have this natural ability for being resourceful. It may really be that they are just so determined to get what they want that they let little stop them, finding any means possible to overcome whatever obstacles are in their way.

This section of the mandala asks us to take a look at our resourcefulness when it comes to going after what we really want to do, be, or experience.

  • Do we give up at the first sign of an obstacle?
  • Do we limit our view of the situation that we forget to think outside the box?
  • Do we limit our options by being so singularly attached to a particular outcome that we fail to see more and/or better opportunities?
  • Do we allow ourselves to see a different perspective of the situation at hand, thus giving us a whole new view and a whole new set of options?
  • Do we allow ourselves to ask for help…letting go of the idea that we have to do everything all by ourselves?

Coloring mandalas can help strengthen our creativity muscle in a delightful, inspiring way. As we play and explore different ways to color them, our creativity expands into all aspects of our lives. We become more resourceful, playing with ideas and our imagination…asking ourselves…”I wonder what would happen if I did ________ this way or that way.” When we can do this with coloring, we can do it with everything.

Just for fun, I’ve included this delightful video of a very resourceful goat. At about 50 seconds into it you’ll see just how determined this goat is.


Ponder this while coloring the April section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the April 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 3

2015 MotY - Section 3

2015 MotY – Section 3

Download 2015: Section 3

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that began February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 3 we look at the goat energy of tenacious.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.” — Amelia Earhart

This quote from Ms. Earhart defines it best. We often think of tasks or projects as being difficult, when in reality it’s the making of the decision to do it that makes it seem difficult.

Think back on some difficult tasks or projects completed in the past. What was our state of mind before doing it? Did we procrastinate? Did we come up with excuses to hold off starting? In the end, did our stall tactics actually take longer than the very task itself?

Our delays in starting projects have been more about our fears as to whether we can do something or not, or whether it will turn out okay or turn out to be a complete and utter failure, or our downright resistance to doing the task because we hate doing it for whatever reason.

Now think back to when we actually started working on the project. Once we decided to move forward with it, what happened? In most cases (maybe in all cases), it was all systems go. We went about doing what we needed to do to get the job done.

When we remain in an indecisive mode, we project ourselves as victims disguised as valid excuses. When we consciously decided to do something, we commit ourselves to it and thus empower ourselves to move forward with it. “I’m gonna do it!”

To See This In Action…

Here’s a goat who once he decides he wants to eat from that tree, he is determined to do so despite the pesky pig…and in the end he’s left to complete the task at hand.

This section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year empowers us to make a decision, once and for all, one way or another, knowing that the task is actually easier than the worrying and fretting we do about what to do.

And also know this…

We can always change our mind!

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the March 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 2

2015 MotY: Section 2

2015 MotY: Section 2

Download 2014: Section 2

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that begins February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 2 we look at the goat energy of being agile.

Being agile means to be light and quick in body and/or mind. The video of these goats on the flexible metal panel beautifully demonstrate their agility in a light-hearted way.

For us and in relation to this section of the mandala, being light and quick means to be able to change directions, change our minds, change our thoughts, in such a way as to quickly adapt to what’s going on all around us while maintaining our peace and joy.

When we become so grounded and locked into our ways, it becomes a major issue when change occurs. We become resistant to what is. And it’s that resistance to change (versus the change itself) that causes our pain and suffering.

May we ever be light on our feet with joy in our hearts.

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

Be sure to download/color the February 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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2015: Section 1

2015 MotY: Section 1

2015 MotY: Section 1

Download 2015: Section 1 (corrected 5/19/2015)

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram that begins February 19, 2015, I’m dedicating the 2015 Mandala of the Year to the Goat. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the goat to explore how we can incorporate it into our own lives.

For Section 1 we look at the goat energy of slow and sure.

Section 1: 2015 MotY

slow and sure

How wonderful for this to be our focus for this month. With the beginning of any new project, idea, or timeframe, we tend to be all fired up, ready to go, full speed ahead, move forward, get going, etc. And with that there is also a tendency to burn out soon after from trying to do too much too soon, loosing some of the momentum,  joy and enthusiasm we had from when we first started.

With any type of moving forward,  we experience set backs, changes in directions and other such things that may veer us away from our target, often discouraging us, and even disappointing us…making it too easy to just give up.

With all this in mind, Section 1 encourages us to take a slow and sure approach to moving forward. Take heart in the small advances that build upon each other. So that when we look back on them a year from now, we realize that we’ve made major strides in a very unassuming way.

In Darrin Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect he states:

“Since your outcomes are all a result of your moment-to-moment choices, you have incredible power to change your life by changing those choices. Step by step, day by day, your choices will shape your actions until they become habits, where practice makes them permanent.”

EXAMPLES, PLEASE

  • WEIGHT LOSS: Instead of being overwhelmed with wanting to release all kinds of weight, focus on releasing small amounts (1, 3, 5 lbs) at a time, celebrating each one. Making drastic changes that potentially overwhelm you, make small changes, a little at time forming new habits that stick. So instead of going from a 2,000+ calorie a day food plan down to 1,200 calories, make one simple change in your eating habits each month, adding a new one on to the previous one…building on what you’ve previously done…forming new habits that stick. Rather than deprivation, reduce the portions. For example:
    • reduce the number of calorie-loaded drinks by one or 2 a day
    • reduce the number of sweets/empty calorie foods you normally eat in a day, by 1 or 2
    • up the number of glasses of water you drink in a day by 1 or 2
    • when you go to a restaurant, cut your meal down by a 1/4 (or half) and put it in a to-go box BEFORE you start eating your meal
    • decide to put your fork, spoon, or food down in between bites to thoroughly chew AND ENJOY the food you’re eating
    • in general, find a way that best works for you and that will be easy for you to do consistently do on a regular basis to reduce the amount of unhealthy food you normally consume while slowly and surely increasing the amount of healthy foods you consume.
  • BECOMING FIT: Instead of going all out with a major exercise regime, start out with small life changes and then build on each one. For example:
    • Instead of training for a marathon after living a sedentary life for the last few years, start by walking around the block or up and down the street. Then gradually add more distance and speed as you build up your endurance and strength.
    • start with 1 lb weights and fewer reps, gradually building up the weights/reps over time.
    • instead doing all resistance training 2 days a week for 30-45 minutes at a time, work on one body a day for 5-10 minutes (ie: arms on mondays, thighs on tuesdays, abs on wednesdays, back on thursdays, hips on fridays, planks on saturday, ankles/calves on sundays. This way you build up a short daily (and doable) routine that becomes a healthy habit. You’ll be amazed over time how strong you become following this approach. Check out Jorge Cruise’s book for his method of doing this very idea: 8 Minutes in the Morning
  • MEDITATING: Instead of starting to meditate for 30 minutes a day, start slowly and build on successfully doing it for longer periods of time. Better to truly quiet the mind for 5 minutes than to TRY to do it for 30 minutes, only to feel frustrated in the end.
    • So for example, the first week in January start by meditating for 1 minute a day…really focusing for that 1 minute to quiet the mind and focus on your breathing. As the weeks/months go by add another minute or two. By the end of the year you’ll have successfully worked up to 20+ minutes a day, reaping the rewards of really meditating.
  • READING BOOKS: So you have a pile of books you’d love to read and you keep saying one of these days I’ll get to them. Or you start to read one, only to jump to another one, being left in the end with a pile of books still waiting to be read.
    • Instead pick three or four books you truly want to read for the year, then allow yourself time to read them…a little at a time…maybe 5-10 minutes a day. With three books, for example, that gives you four months to read each book, enjoying each one, and absorbing all the insights they have to offer. And if they are self-improvement type books, it also gives you time to put into practice what you have read.

SLOW & SURE

Breaking down our goals into small, doable steps offers us greater opportunities for success, creating new, powerful habits that help us to move forward, slow and sure.

“Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”  ― Darren Hardy

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2015 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

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Be sure to download/color the January 2015 Mandala of the Month.

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