Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mandala Journaling (When Words Escape Me)

first pages of my mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen























“Come out of the circle of time
. 

    And into the circle of love.”
       
– Rumi


I started a small mandala journal as a way to continue making art in the very early days of being a new mom. Now, 6 months into being a mom I am still turning to my mandalas as a path for centering, self-care, and mindfulness practice. There were many early morning hours holding my baby and the mandala journal in my lap - meditatively drawing as I listened to his soft in and out breaths. 


mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen

I realize that it has been a while since posting and I was reflecting on some of the reasons. Yes, there's the obvious 'new mom/no time' reason that most everyone understands. But in reality there is always a little time for writing if I carve out a few minutes here and there. I'm realizing that the greater reason had to do with how challenging it has been for me to gather my thoughts since giving birth. Perhaps this is part of why I was hesitant to begin a new blog post. I try to convey myself as clearly as possible through my posts, yet here I am looking at words as I type and just noticing how strange they look on the screen. The amazing transition into motherhood and this life-altering journey has left me a bit speechless at times. 

mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen
Cue the 'aha' moment music (if there is such music)...


While struggling through this blog post I realized that my intention with this post was to share and reinforce how important the art-making process continues to be in my life. So, if words are escaping me at the moment - must be time to make even more art! 

Art has accompanied me through every stage of life and this new stage is no different. Art has been a constant companion through the ups and downs, the known and unknown, the articulate and less articulate days as well. Perhaps my energy has been a bit tied up in trying to move through the world in the old pre-baby way, whereas the potential lies in embracing this new terrain and way of being. Perhaps I can look at this time of non-linear thinking as a time to delve even more deeply into the creative, spontaneous, and ever-shifting flow of life as a new mom, artist, and art therapist. 

Each mandala becomes a a visual response to the moment and I am struck by how naturally they arise. Many of these recent mandalas appear womb-like to me and seem to be incubating feelings and ideas, and yet they speak for themselves without words. 

I have found an interesting parallel on the theme of wordlessness with the last few art therapy groups I have led. There have been longer stretches of silence as group members worked on their art recently. During my last group one of the clients commented on how quiet it was and I asked her how she experienced the silence. She shared that it felt good and completely different from how 'loud and crazy' it usually was in the shelter environment. As art therapists we use words quite often at opportune times to help process the art, experience, and help frame certain themes that are emerging. However, at the core it is often the art-making process itself that opens up space for healing and self-knowledge. There are moments when too many verbal interventions may derail the creative process or take focus away from the deeper work that is really going on. 


mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen




The deeper work that is going on for me at this time seems to be about taking this creative and unknown plunge into new motherhood. And there aren't a lot of words that can quite capture this moment in time...good thing I have my art to speak for me. 

A final quote that seems fitting:

"Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." 
    - Einstein
mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen

mandala journal ~ Sara Roizen



6 comments:

Shelley said...

Beautiful mandala journey Sara. I just finished a mandala journal myself last year and I am enjoying watching yours grow and change!

Arte Mandalas said...

As a symbol of Self, the master organizer of psych, is no surprise that the Mandalas could speak for you now!
It's time to major changes and the symbol's probably helping you to fit your new status.
Blessed be!

art2heal said...

Sara, they are beautiful; and I bet you're a beautiful mom. Kitties helping?

Sarah S said...

gorgeous! i went through the same art/therapy process after i had my baby girl, but it wasn't as organized as this and it took me a while to realize i needed to draw, constantly, regularly. i love it.

anitra_larae said...

Just started doing Mandalas on a trip while working through a prescription medicine shortage. I found it was an excellent way to center my thoughts (and keep my brain from extruding). Just recently expanded from the extremely symmetrical to the more fluid and organic. Your work inspired me. Thanks!

Sara said...

Thank you for sharing your processes with creating mandalas! I love hearing these stories...