Daily Mandala Challenge: Everything You Need To Know About This New Self-Care Trend :)

A Mandala is a symbolic spiritual geometric design which, when reflected on, has the ability to bring out profound inner transformation.  The Mandala is self-expression in the design, meant to represent the universe. The first evidence of Buddha Mandala art dates back to the first century. The Mandala is rooted in Buddhism but later became present in Hinduism, new age spirituality and other religions. Each Mandala has significance and represents an aspect of wisdom and is supposed to remind the meditator of a guiding principle. The Mandala’s purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones with the assistance of deep healing. 

The “Mandala a day” challenge was created by Australian artist Elyse Lauthier and it is now showing up in select areas across the world. Drawing, painting or somehow creating a Mandala a day helps express yourself creatively in ways you wouldn’t normally. It promotes self awareness and Chakra alignments. 

The Challenge is simple: Each day you make a Mandala and simply let your creativity flow, embracing your originality. Creating Mandala is therapeutic because you can express your feelings through art. The Mandala a day challenge is a form of meditation and art.  Mandala’s take “The meditator on a wordless journey into the minds deepest mysteries” said in Eastern traditions. 

Another way to fully grasp Mandala’s intentions is to work/meditate with them. I would recommend investing in Mandala Source Book by David Fontana and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, as it gives you specific guidance while approaching the artworks. The book includes 150 Mandala’s grouped in four sections: beginning Mandala meditation, healing mandalas, nature mandalas, And other mandalas. This book is a good reference for your own Mandala challenge or meditations. 

Obtaining Mandala mindfulness is a path of self discovery. This challenge challenges us to open up and learn more not only about our conscious minds but also our unconscious minds as we remain unaware of the deeper mysteries of our inner selves through Mandala realignment.

Image from Pinterest.com

Tis the Season

If anyone asks me of favorite holiday of the year, I would reply “Christmas” without hesitation.  There are several reasons why I like Christmas. First of all, I get to see my parents for solid amount of time. However, I just like the unique vibe of Christmas. I like the special smell of Christmas that triggers my nostalgia. Also Christmas carols that are played everywhere on the street.  Good foods are always available during Christmas, and then you get to enjoy the new year celebration. My favorite part of the new year celebration is Fireworks for sure.  It is mesmerizing to watch bursts of fireworks in the night sky, making me think about new year resolution that I will never do.

PC: Patch.com

Indisposable Disposition

I try to stay cheery as much as I can. I avoid being serious as much as I can, and even when presented with attacks on my character I often try to disregard them or make jokes. This often has the unintentional effect of making me seem weak, oblivious, or daft, but I allow it and move on with my day. It’s not that I fear confrontation, that I can’t stand up for myself, but because I’ve found that by making this change, I’ve created a very friendly environment, at least in my own headspace.

I like acting unaware sometimes because it detaches me from the monotony of everyday life. During finals, college applications, or other stressful moments in my life, I find that I myself am never as stressed as my peers, often they go on about how late they stayed up studying and how stressed they are, and I’ll chime in occasionally, but all-in-all I don’t contribute much because it isn’t the case for me. I feel as though my seemingly carefree attitude has translated into the parts of my academic life that don’t affect my performance, thankfully.

But I stray from the main idea of my post – I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I like being able to laugh at things that some friends would otherwise correct me for, trying to change me for whatever reason. Because of those little things, the incoherent gibber-jabber I have with myself walking down the stairs from lunch, the little dance I do on the curb by the hill of the English classroom, all these things keep me sane during the most stressful time I have ever been through in my life.

This method always works perfectly well until it doesn’t. It could be a few simple things throughout the day. I get blamed for the failure of something that I did for a group, I get called out for something I have to defend myself for, something that forces me to drop my jokes and get angry, that’s when it all comes flooding in, the test scores, the admissions calls, the loaded commitments. It’s moments like these I have to pull over on the side of the mountain road leaving school, I have to roll my window down and watch the sunset as the lights turn on over Ojai Ave. as the road clogs with headlights of every vehicle in town, and call my parents. My parents taught me to live my life embracing the positives, they reflected this idea in their own lives, making jokes and keeping me calm throughout all the hardships that they encountered when I was a child. After a few minutes of this, I hang up the phone, roll up my window, turn my music back on, and I’m ready to keep on chugging along.

Wandering

Let me be your beacon,

let me be your guiding light.

I know you’re scared, tired, and broken,

but I’m here to hold you tight.

I know you hide your fears from me,

you get ashamed when you let them show,

but babe,

I’ve cried in your arms many times,

so please just let me know

what’s going on in that beautiful mind of yours,

your wicked, twisted, brain

filled with lies and awful times,

but babe let me be your change.

I just want to love you,

you’ve been through so god damn much,

your beautiful soul deserves the world you know,

I wish you thought the same.

I’m sorry for everyone who hurt you,

you’re scared to let me in because you fear I’ll do the same.

Everyone you’ve loved has done you wrong,

but darling I’m not the same.

So let me be your beacon,

let me be your guiding light.

I know you’re scared, tired, and broken,

but I’m here to hold you tight.

Photo via: searchengineland.com

Your Vegan Thanksgiving is still a Celebration of Violence!

Photo via Pinterest.com

A vegan Thanksgiving is more sustainable and animal cruelty free. Supporting semen being sucked out with a straw from 46 million male turkeys’ anuses each year is cruel.  But having Thanksgiving at all is not necessarily cruelty free. The only ethical way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend it educating yourself on indigenous rights. 

“Happy Thanksgiving” I am so thankful for the Native Americans who continue to fight for their rights, their lands, refuse to abide by the societal expectations of pretending nothing terrible happened to their ancestors on this holiday. 

As we are having a beautiful Thanksgiving feast with our families and friends, remember that today is a national day of mourning for native Americans across the country. So while you’re thinking, “wow, this holiday is so incredible and based upon gratefulness and love between humans,” please don’t forget that thousands upon thousands of Native Americans have been brutally murdered in cold blood (partly) for their lands by white colonizers. 

And this question shocks me… but how many people across the country will celebrate Thanksgiving today having never even engaged with or met a native person, can’t name five tribes, can’t name the tribe whose lands they occupy or even can’t name a living native person? 

So… why not celebrate gratitude daily? It is one of the most important self-care practices a person can do. Daily practices rather than on just one day covered by blood which is just another white supremacist holiday. I’m not saying we should completely cut Thanksgiving from our yearly tradition but being less arrogant and realizing what this holiday truly represents. Being “woke” can be very emotionally taxing and difficult to talk about; but it’s worth doing the right thing rather than taking the easy way out and staying silent. 

Ignorance is not bliss. Even though it would be much easier not to post about these topics and just pretend today is a wonderful day of giving thanks…like everyone else does… so I don’t hurt any proud Americans’ feelings. If you’re not speaking the truth, you’re part of the problem. 

So bon appétit, but don’t forget!  As we celebrate thanks, for Native Americans Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the assault on their culture and history of colonial violence.

I wouldn’t say it’s a poem, but I would say it’s for you.

So many things I’ve felt, so many things I’m feeling: like

the lips, the teeth, my hands that go numb from time to time;

unwelcome visitors crawling across my arm, still not wanting to disturb them;

hoping to be an anarchist someday – not in a way so extreme as starting a revolution or in a way so dull as loving someone your family doesn’t approve of, but in a way that falls somewhere in between;

watching the words pour out of your mouth, pour out of your mouth and drip down the sides – they drip down the sides and spill all over me.

And I suppose if I’m still in the business of missing things, there are a few things I could miss:

I could miss the blue days, the warm days, but I don’t. I could miss the excitement that came along with summer, the uncertainty, perhaps, but I don’t.

Instead I miss your words.

NationalGeographic.com

Power Nap

I nap, a lot. I go to sleep late whenever overwhelmed by work or by myself. So if I got tired in the day, I would crawl into my bed, curl up and sleep like a baby. 

Photo credit: gq.com

Almost everyday, I have about one hour of free time during the daytime. That’s when I head to my relatively comfortable bed for some paralysis.

My name is (beep for anonymity), and all I want is a good day’s sleep. 

What’s so good about sleeping in the day?

I have dreams where I remember everything. It’s more of a conscious experience than senseless resting. Unlike a lucid dream, I don’t know that I’m dreaming. 

It’s amazing how sometimes, I’m truly alive when I’m unconscious. The dreams are beautiful.

However, it’s a nightmare trying to wake up from them. As a puppet under the strings of the educational system, I’m always on a clock. Beep, beep, time to be fed. Beep, beep, fetch that bone.

So I choose to go to sleep. Am I avoiding things? 

My name is (beep for anonymity), and all I want is a good day’s sleep.

Should I be done with day-sleeping? It feels like more hurt than help. Maybe I should discard my hobby.

But I know I’m not going to change. Maybe I’ll stop napping when I turn vegan. See you in ten years.

But for now, beep, beep.