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

follow me on:
www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady
www.instagram.com/themandalalady
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/themandalalady

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

Posted in 2015 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2014: Section 12

2014 MotY - Section 12

Download Section 12 of the 2014 Mandala of the Year

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

In Section 12 we embrace the horse energy of endurance.

horse running

go the distance

Essentially this section of the 2014 Mandala of the Year asks the question: Do we have what it takes to go the distance?

In our instant gratification society it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with something over the long haul. We tend to give up if we fail to get the results we want after only one or two tries. Or we want to do it all as fast as we can, racing through to the end rather than appreciating and enjoying the steady progress towards our goals.

Remember crossing the finish line in any race takes only a second. Find a way to bring the joy to the journey along the way.

What areas of our life are we glossing over or ignoring? What are we trying to race through? What areas would benefit from in-depth attention and exploration?

This section suggests we look at the bigger picture, allow for both setbacks and forward movement. Know that our greatest achievements and insights may be realized while working through the setbacks.

Simply put: keep our eyes on the prize, find the strength to endure and do it with joy, all while making steady progress forward…even with the setbacks.

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2014 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala lady

www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the December 2014 Mandala of the Month.

Posted in 2014 Mandala | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014: Section 11

2014: Section 11Download 2014: Section 11

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

In Section 11 we embrace the horse energy of adaptability.

horses-adaptable

Horses relate to the environment in a very special way. Their body has been shaped by the process of natural selection for eons. Horses are custom made by nature to function successfully on the grassy plains. The mind of the horse is a product of adaptation too. Their perception and awareness is tuned to survival. A remarkable consequence of this adaptation is the horse’s unique relationship to people.  – from “The Horse’s Adaptable Mind” post on “It’s a Lifestyle” blog

How adaptable are we? By the look of things, at least for me, we seem to want things to be “normal”, “comfortable”, and “the way we always do things.” We tend to freak out when things change. We resist it, sometimes at such great force, that we actually create more anxiety and stress than had we just been more adaptable to the situation.

This month’s section reminds us to pay attention to how adaptable we are. Are we allowing things to flow or are we resisting? Pay particular attention to anything we may be resisting. Why are we resisting? What needs to change in order for us to allow ourselves to move forward? Do we have an adaptable nature or a resistant nature?

Horses have an adaptable nature that lets them fit in wherever they go.

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2014 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully,
Maureen, The Mandala Lady

www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the November 2014 Mandala of the Month.

 

 

Posted in 2014 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Section 10

2014: Section 10Download 2014: Section 10

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

In Section 10 we embrace the horse energy of community.

Horses are naturally highly social animals. A normal healthy horse would never live alone by choice. When horses live in a herd situation …[they] have a rich and varied social life that includes activities such as play behavior and mutual grooming behavior. Horses that live in herds and graze naturally get to exercise their senses frequently…. They use their visual and hearing senses to look out for and listen for danger. RSPCA web site

This month’s section asks us to look at our place in community.

  • Do we isolate?
  • Do we play well with others?
  • Is our sense of safety within our community real or just an excuse to be exclusionary and fearful of others?
  • Are the communities in which we belong divisive or uplifting?
  • Do we take the time to know others outside of our communities?

At the core of community, in its truest sense, is the experience of coming together in love and support of each other as we each travel along our individual paths to enlightenment.

“We’re all just walking each other home.” – Ram Dass

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2014 Mandala of the Year.

For the first time in 3 years, both the Mandala of the Month and the Mandala of the Year have the same message: Community

Happy Coloring!

joyfully,
Maureen, The Mandala Lady

www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the October 2014 Mandala of the Month.

 

Posted in 2014 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Section 9

2014: Section 9Download 2014: Section 9

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

Horse Sweetness
In Section 9 we embrace the horse energy of sweetness.

What does it mean to have sweetness? It means to come from a place of caring, to be understanding, and to be kind…both to ourselves and to others.

We are all on our own individual journeys through this life while at the same time sharing our journey with all those in our lives…both directly and indirectly.

You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

It’s easy to judge and be critical of ourselves, others, and circumstances…yet often times we rarely know the full story. For example, maybe the reason that person cut us off in traffic is because s/he had to rush their injured child to the hospital.

To come from a place of sweetness means to be accepting and caring of ourselves and others. To just be with the person where they are instead of trying to fix them or change them. Can others trust us to be accepting of them without judgement or criticism?

Sweetness also means to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others, to trust, to have faith that others are there for us…all we have to do is just ask.

Ponder this while coloring this month’s section of the 2014 Mandala of the Year.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully,
Maureen, The Mandala Lady

www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the September 2014 Mandala of the Month.

 

Posted in 2014 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Section 8

MotY: Section 8

MotY: Section 8

Download 2014: Section 8

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

In Section 8 we embrace the horse energy of intuition.

The horses are masters of intuition and powerful teachers in helping us become more deeply aware to ours and learn how to begin not only to recognize it but to trust and act upon it. – from Hillary’s post on “Horses and the Wisdom of Intuition” on the Epona Rise Retreats web site

In our western culture we place more emphasis on our brain capabilities than on our intuition. Very early on we learn to ignore our intuition and eventually stop trusting it.

This month’s section reminds us to value our intuition, improve on it, and to trust it more. All it requires of us is to practice using it and to learn its language. The more we do, the more we can trust it and thus gain access to guidance beyond our limited brain capacity.

Plan of Action

  1. Declare an intention to honor our intuitive self, such as: “From this day forth, I use my intuition more and more, trusting that it has my best interest at heart as well as the greater good.”
  2. To help learn the language of intuition, pay attention to our body signals and what follows. Whenever something happens, positive or negative, note where it is felt in the body? Is it consistent? For example, if the stomach or chest feels like it’s shrinking inward prior to something negative happening or when around a negative person, that may be the intuition letting us know that very thing. Or if the stomach or chest feels light and open that may be the body language of something positive. Other possible body clues: goosebumps, sudden shiver up the spine, tingling sensations in different areas of the body. For each of us it may be different.
  3. Learn to use a tool which will help connect us to our intuition, such as oracle cards, pendulums, energy testing, etc.

Using Intuition When Coloring

We can start using our intuition with the coloring of this month’s section. Spend about 15-20 minutes at a time for coloring. Here’s how:

  1. set up your space with the coloring tools of your choice spread out so that all the colors can be easily seen
  2. set an intention that you wish to use your intuition to color this section of the MotY as an exercise in learning to use and trust your intuition. Ask that it assist you in coloring this section so that you find it pleasing to you when you’re finish coloring it.
  3. pick an area in the mandala section that you want to color next
  4. now look at your colors, whatever color you notice FIRST, use that color…without question or judgement.
  5. repeat steps 5 & 6 as needed
  6. as you color, be aware of any insights that come to  you
  7. also be aware of any new ideas that come to mind on how to color this section especially if they are different from the way you normally color…trust that thought and go with it.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully,

Maureen, The Mandala Lady

www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady
www.twitter.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the August 2014 Mandala of the Month.

Posted in 2014 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2014: Section 7

2014 Section 7

2014 Section 7

Download 2014: Section 7

In honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse that began January 31, 2014, I’m dedicating the 2014 Mandala of the Year to the Horse. Each month we’ll explore a trait or symbol of the horse to explore how we can incorporate it into our lives.

In Section 7 we embrace the horse energy of playfulness.
(25 examples in this video playlist)

The message for this section is quite simple: for our overall health and well-being…

  1. We must find time to play – to horse around
  2. Incorporate play into our everyday activities
  3. And when time seems to prohibit us from play, then find a way to do our “serious” stuff in a playful manner

#1 & #2 are self-explanatory. Here are some ideas for #3

  • for women, wear playful jewelry or accessories (feather boas are particularly nice) with “serious” clothes
  • for men, wear playful socks, tie, handkerchief, watch, jewelry, etc.
  • add playful covers to tech toys
  • wear a clown nose while driving (as long as you can still see clearly, of course)
  • take a moment to do an energetic happy dance at work (in the office, cubicle, work space…or if that’s a bit intimidating…then do it in the bathroom or in the elevator…any place where we can easily (and comfortably) give ourselves a playful booster shot
  • when walking, add a few skips…remember how to skip? (here’s another “how to skip“…love this lady!)
  • listen to happy music or comedy albums
  • wear a playful hat, tutu, angel wings, all of the above, etc.
  • write with colorful gel pens
  • color mandalas while attending meetings (this is my favorite idea). Contrary to popular belief (and yet scientifically proven) coloring/doodling while at meetings brings our creativity into play, making meetings more productive, giving us greater access to “outside the box” problem solving!
me wearing angel costume at work

Wearing angel costume at work; gave a presentation that day. Very fun!

Feel free to share any of your ideas for being playful while doing serious stuff. I’d love to read them…and try them. :-)

Be sure to play as you color this month section.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully,

Maureen, The Mandala Lady
www.facebook.com/TheMandalaLady

Be sure to download/color the July 2014 Mandala of the Month.

Posted in 2014 Mandala, Mandala Sections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment