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

New Body, Old Positivity

There are many online trends. Some are funny, like the Hollywood sign vandalism, while others are, frankly, destructive, like the popular “transformation” pictures.

Photo Credit: @transformationfeed
Photo Credit: @transformationfeed

While scrolling through my phone, I came across an Instagram page called “@transformationfeed” which has nearly 1 million followers. The profile is filled with various before and after pictures. Some showed people growing older, more muscular, gaining weight, and, most popularly, becoming thinner. Each photo is flooded with comments about how inspiring these people are, how they wish they could look like him/her, or how they wish they could lose weight.

This page, and its many variants, are just another outlet for people to become obsessed with changing their physical appearance. Little girls/boys will see these photos and want to be older, because that’s the only way they’ll look attractive. Some will see the drastic weight loss and want to lose weight themselves. Obviously this desire will happen anyway, but pages like this just scream that changing ones appearance will make them “inspirational” or “lucky,” among other things.

Photo Credit: @transformationfeed
Photo Credit: @transformationfeed

Of course, these stories are inspiring. And of course, I’m glad these people reached their goal weight, grew older, or fought cancer. However, I don’t like seeing pages that promote unrealistic expectations. These stories spark feelings of discontent, unease, and make those who can’t gain/lose weight feel even worse.

Now, it must sound like I’m complaining, but what if instead of posting before and afters, we just post afters. We just post pictures celebrating the current beauty of these individuals. We just have an account celebrating people of every size. “All bodies are good bodies,” says an article in FEMmagazine.