2011: Section 1

Section 1 – 2011 MOTY

Download Section 1 of the Mandala of the Year

UPDATE 2/1/2011: My apologies for anyone trying to download this image prior to today. I totally missed that I had uploaded such a large file. A new smaller version (108k) is now available for downloading at the above link.

This is the first of 12 sections of the 2011 Mandala of the Year.  Unlike The Mandala of the Month, I leave it up to you to determine your focus for coloring these sections.  You can have each section have its own theme or you can have a theme for the year and make each section some aspect of the overall theme.

If you’re like me, you’ll probably want to color this section all in one sitting.  I recommend that we spread it out throughout the month; maybe for 15-20 minutes at a time.  I find that when I do this, I experience a different perspective each time.

If you’re open to it, I recommend treating the coloring of these sections as a meditation, as a way to tap into your higher self, your Divine Essence, your higher mind, or whatever concept that raises your vibration.  You may even want to meditate prior to starting. When coloring from this place, I find I receive wonderful insights.

Suggested Focus Ideas

  • How many self-help books to you have on your book shelf waiting to read?  Maybe you started some only to be sidetracked by other stuff.  Find a book that has 12 chapters and read one chapter a month.  For this month, read the first chapter and contemplate what you learned as you color this section of the mandala.
  • List 12 issues that you would like to resolve and apply each one to each section of the MOTY.
  • If you’d like something a little more random or spontaneous, you can pick a card from a deck of angel cards, motivational cards, inspirational cards,  tarot cards, etc and use that as your focus as you color.
  • Along the lines of the previous suggestion, you can close your eyes and open to a random page in a sacred book of your choosing for your inspiration.
  • Using astrology, “Section 1” can represent the first house, which is the house of personality, how you project yourself out in the world, your personal identity.  What do you like about you and/or your personality?  What would you like to change?   What issues do you have that prevent you from being who you really are and what you want to be?
  • Another astrology theme would be to focus on the sign the sun is currently traversing, which this month is the sign of Capricorn.  Some keywords for Capricorn are ambitious, conscientious, prudent, efficient, reliable, practical, and patient.  How do you relate to any of these words?  Positively?  Negatively?

Here’s What I’m doing

I pulled out a book I read over 15 years ago that I have yet to fully implement in my life:  “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD.  As serendipity would have it, the book contains 12 lessons!

In the author’s note section, he ends by stating “Teach only Love for that is what you are.”  Right now, today on January 1, 2011, I struggle with these lofty words; I also know that by living these words, I will experience a wholehearted life.  Therefore, it is my overall theme for this 2011 MotY.  My heart already leaps for joy at the prospect of my working through these lessons.

My intention is to contemplate each lesson as I color each section of the 2011 MotY.  The first lesson is “All that I give is given to myself.”


I would love for you to share your coloring experience in the comments section of this post.  What, if any, are you using as your theme?  How often do you color?  What insights have your gained?  I plan to share my experience here as well.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen, The Mandala Lady


  1. I started coloring this section today and posted the image on http://www.flickr.com/groups/mandalaoftheyear/ I spent about 30 minutes coloring in the background with a dark green. While coloring it dawned on my that the whole section is split in half horizontally with the top representing the right brain (bubbles/balloons/balls/etc) and the bottom the left brain (organized, ordered lines). It amazes me that this only came to me when I started coloring…that’s what I love about coloring…it is then that the piece really talks to me.

    As I stated in the post, I’m using Jampolsky’s Love is Letting Go of Fear book as a guide for this year-long process. This month’s lesson is “All that I give is given to myself”; that to give is to receive, which could easily be represented by this section.


  2. I continued coloring this section again today and added it of the Flickr Mandala of the Year page (see previous comment for link). I spent about 30 minutes adding a light green over the dark green background and adding shadows to the lines and orbs.

    I noticed a ‘boo boo’ today with the design. Throughout the entire section, little bubbles/orbs float either upwards or downwards, depending on your perspection, in front of everything else in the design. Well one of these little orbs occupies a space a little behind one of the bigger orbs…only one of them. It’s a bit peculiar and has me curious if it has any significance.

    Along with discovering the ‘boo boo’, I also noticed something else about the bubbles. They transcend both areas of the piece, either upwards or downwards. The upper portion does its thing and the lower section does its thing and yet the bubbles occupy both areas; almost as if the bubbles are their to offer a line of communication between the two.

    Coloring this section with the focus on giving/receiving is creating an interesting phenomenon…between my daily readings and receiving blogs posts I’ve subscribed to, I’m receiving more information and insights about giving and receiving. You can read more about it on My Daily ToDos blog: http://dailytodos.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/day-6-2011/.


  3. While coloring two days ago, I carried on this conversation in my head with people in general about how they should just color for the sake of coloring without worrying if it’s going to look good or not…just enjoy the process of coloring. It dawned on me that I worry about the outcome and feel mostly stressed with I color…such hypocrisy on my part. I worry about ruining or whether people will like what I’m doing, etc. I’m hardly practicing what I preach…then the guild set in.

    Then yesterday, just as I started coloring I heard this voice in my head that said “you’re showing them the possibilities,” that by caring about the outcome, I can do different techniques and colorings. By posting my progress on my Art Progressions’ blog (http://www.ArtProgressions.com) I can teach along with enjoying the progress…guilt free.

    My challenge in giving in this way is to let go of the worry and learn to practice what I preach. Please note, I do love coloring, I love what I can do with color pencils, and 99% I love the results. I just need to be in the moment and enjoy the process.


  4. Today I finished my 8th session of coloring this section. What I continue to realize and see become more solid is the yin yang of this section. The upper half is the creative, free flowing side; the lower half is logical, analytical. Both of these describe the two halve of the brain. Often we treat them separate and in our western culture we tend to value the more logical side of our brains. This section seems to be promoting a healthy balance between the two sides, a healthy give/take from both. It’s all about balance.

    Another aspect of this is that I feel compelled to share with you my coloring process as a learning tool for you to learn about coloring…if you’re interested. I’m posting my step-by-step progress on my Art Progressions Blog (http://www.ArtProgressions.com)


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