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

Aubrie and Daisy

Every month, Netflix updates its movie collection, and ever since 2013, it has put out some new shows with each batch. Recently released was Audrie and Daisy, a documentary that caught my attention.

Released to Netflix on September 23rd, Audrie and Daisy tells the stories of two high school girls’ experiences with sexual assault.

The first girl, 16-year-old Audrie Pott, had gone to a high school party. She was black-out drunk when a group of three teenage boys sexually assaulted her. When she woke up the next morning, she was berated with hateful comments at school and online. It was only nine days later that she hung herself.

The second girl, Daisy Coleman, had a similar story. When she was fourteen, she and her best friend snuck out and went to a “party” in the basement of seventeen-year-old Matthew Barnett, grandson of a former state legislator. There, Coleman was pressured by Barnett and his friends to drink until she was in a coma-like state. When she was immobile and asleep, the boys continuously raped her for hours. She woke up frozen on her front lawn and was immediately rushed to the hospital. Even for almost 12 hours after, her blood alcohol level was a striking 0.1349 (the legal limit for Missouri adults is 0.08.) Immediately following her recovery, she was harassed online by kids at her school and even adults online.

When I heard their stories I was appalled by our society, even though these events happened nearly four years ago. I feel ashamed to live in a world where people who sexually assault others can walk away from a victim they just took something from, and not face any severe consequences. I feel ashamed to live in a society where victims are driven to suicide just so people will stop making their terrible memories even worse. I’m ashamed that grown adults join in on the childish gossiping and bullying.

News stories of these two rapes held a certain air to them. When Matthew Barnett was put on trial, the news anchors refused to say that Coleman had been raped. They would talk about how Barnett’s grandfather was a state legislator and how he would simply apologize to Coleman and be granted two years’ probation. He would walk free, while Coleman would always have to live with what he did to her. She would have to live with the constant criticism in her home town.

We should learn how to help victims of any crime, especially ones as sensitive as rape. We should learn to teach our children not to rape people. We should teach our children not to say things without thinking of the consequences.

Click here to read an interview with Daisy Coleman.

Ojai Valley School continues to Relay

In the past two years, I have been one of the many students from Ojai Valley School to attend an amazing event called Relay for Life. It is sponsored by the American Cancer Society to raise people’s awareness and fight against cancer in a fun and community-oriented event.

When I first signed up to attend the Relay for Life event at Buena High school in Ventura, I had no idea what it was about. But within no time, there were hundreds of people and tents set up all around the track with different information, games, prizes, raffles, and live music as well. Everyone was walking or running around the track, and it was a great feeling to see all of these dedicated people in once place.

All of the teams, including the OVS team, raises money ahead of time to donate to the American Cancer Society to help research. Last year, our school raised over $5,000, earning us the Silver award, which means we donated in the middle category of high-level contributors. Although OVS is a little school, we are still mighty. Donating $5,000 is such an amazing contribution that I never could have even imagine for us.

This year, OVS is in the game once again – we even have our own Ojai Valley School page on the Relay for Life website where there is information and an opportunity to donate to this great cause. (Click on the link to go to the page)

Personally, I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for the Relay for Life event this year. It has been an amazing experience in the past, and I’m sure we can contribute just as much if not more this time. So far, we have $50 worth of donations, but I know how supportive our school will be and the donations will grow greatly over time. If money isn’t an option, anyone can contribute by attending the event and walking, running, or just being there to support. The first year was great, the second was even better, and I’m looking forward to a flat out amazing time this year.

I highly encourage everyone to check out the Relay for Life website and our school’s personal page and help support the fight against cancer!

Volleyball hosts “Dig for the Cure”

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Week, On October 16th, the Umass Volleyball team will be hosting an event entitled “Dig for the Cure.”

During its game against Southern Connecticut State, players will be selling T-shirts, and pledges, and admission tickets. Each pledge per “dig” during the game, along with all of the proceeds from the sales of their merchandise will be going directly and entirely put toward the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

I believe that this cause is very important and influential, and we should all reach out in this effort. It would be cool if our OVS athletic teams could try to participate in our own spin off of this idea, in correspondence to whatever project we decide to donate to at the time.