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Meditation + Mindfulness Tip: Create Your Own Mandala

Inspired by our #MindfulMay campaign, I decided the other day to start an artist meditation after finishing my morning mala meditation + yoga ritual. I was in a great mindset to express my thoughts artistically after having just focused on the present moment, and it was a fun extension to my regular routine, adding a little color and energy to jumpstart my morning.

While doing my artist meditation today, I asked myself, "Who am I?" and decided to answer it honestly on paper. Since our authentic selves are rooted in our soul and the heart holds the strings to the soul, I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to create my own personal mandala in the shape of a heart, representing my authentic soul?"

So I drew a large, freehanded, open heart in the middle of a blank page of my sketchbook. Then alongside my initials, I put the first word that came to mind when I think of myself. I then proceeded to write words around the outline of the heartnouns and adjectives that I truly feel describe me. Here's how it turned out:

My personal heart mandala.

My personal heart mandala.

I encourage you to try this, too, as soon as you get the chance. It's amazing what happens when you translate your feelings about yourself into written words via your own hands.  

Not sure where to begin? Here are a few simple steps to making your own personal heart mandala :

1. Using either a blank page of a sketchbook or a piece of paper, take a black pen and draw a large heart in the center of the page.

2. In the middle of the heart, write the first positive word that comes to mind when you ask yourself, "Who am I?" 

3. Write your initials behind the word you just wrote down that authentically describes yourself.

4. Fill in the perimeter of the heart with other words that represent your true self.

5. Sign your masterpiece and date it in the bottom right corner so you can remember how you felt about yourself at this particular moment.





Mindful May: A Mindfulness-Focused Month of Mental, Physical + Spiritual Restoration

Mindful May

Last night, I had the most vivid dream about flying—not flying in a plane, but flying through the sky, propelled by my fear of missing an early-morning flight. Despite my amazing and newly acquired (but not so human) ability to fly, I still managed to miss my dream flight, waking up in a panic that I would, in fact, miss my flight home today. As someone who loves to discover the meaning of her dreams, I rushed to find out how to interpret this dream and came across the following interpretations on

“To dream that you are flying signifies a sense of freedom where you had initially felt restricted and limited.”

And …

“To dream that you miss your flight or a connection indicates that you are feeling helpless or trapped by some situation. You feel that you are being held back, either physically or mentally. Alternatively, the dream may also suggest that you are feeling disconnected in some aspect of your life—work, relationship or home life.”

After reading these interpretations, I was surprised at how well they related to how I’ve been feeling lately—restrained physically and mentally by everything going on in my life and the inability to settle down and have a real home life.

Let me preface all of this by saying that, despite all of the obstacles and hard work, the last several months of creating, launching and growing Mala and Mantra has been one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life. But with all of the amazing experiences and opportunities that come with pursuing your passion project and launching a new brand comes a whole list of challenges that are physically, mentally and spiritually exhausting. From the endless travel and back-to-back meetings to the design process and making sure orders go out without a hitch, the work never seems to end—though it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!

So with 2014 getting off to such a busy, hectic and sometimes-overwhelming start, I knew I had to make a change in my life. I knew I needed to take the time to step back, live mindfully in my own home, and spend quality time with my friends, loved ones and especially myself in order to nurture and restore my mind, body and spirit.

And because I’m sure many of you have the same taxing schedule and frenzied lifestyle that I do, I thought it would be a great idea to let you join me on this journey toward inner peace, restoration and mindfulness all throughout the month of May—a journey I like to call Mindful May.

From practicing meditation and creating affirmations to listening to my body and soul and just living in the now, I want May to be all about mindfulness and focusing on living each day and each moment in a completely present state of mind. That’s why, all month long, Mala and Mantra is going to be sharing tons of mindfulness-centric goodies, from tips on meditation and inspirational thoughts from influential figures to articles on mindfulness and even a few Mala and Mantra giveaways—all in the hopes that we can help you (and help ourselves) become a more mindful, present person.

I hope you’ll join us on this month-long journey and, along the way, share your own tips and examples of how you stay mindful, focused and present in your everyday life.