Monthly Archives: June 2012

So what is a mandala?


The word Mandala is a Sanskrit word that  means “circle”. Mandalas have been seen in Buddhist and Hindu religious art forms dating back for centuries. Mandalas have been used in various spiritual traditions, to focus the  attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. According to the psychologist David Fontana, the symbolic nature of a mandala can help one “to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises.” The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as “a representation of the unconscious self” and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality. In my art therapy training I learned all about developmental drawing and learned that it is the circle that children will often draw first. It may not be perfect, but you can definitely see it. People also often circular imagery when they doodle. See if you are doing this unintentionally or try this technique if you are having a stressful day. Im the last person to push techniques on others, but I have found this to be helpful for myself.

For me drawing circular imagery or colouring a mandala can be very relaxing and probably the closest I can come to meditating. I’m one of those people who has a mind that never shuts up, so this technique really helps me, especially if I’m stressed or tense. I always knew that I was going to have a business of my own, whether it was a private practice or an art centre and that I was going to call it Mandala. For my company logo, I bought a program called Mandala Maker and it is a fantastic computer program that actually helps you to draw and create mandalas. If you like to make Mandalas I would absolutely recommend this program to you. Just a warning that it can be highly addictive!

The other day I was at Chapters (another one of my favourite places) and I saw a book called the “The Mandala Book: Patterns of the Universe”. It was graphic representations of Mandalas in everyday life. Circular imagery and form is something that happens constantly in nature. This book had some amazing pictures of very simple, yet complex Mandalas in nature and in civilization. When you start to look for them, you will see Mandalas are everywhere.

Just keep swimming…


I’m truly a person who likes things to just happen…again being calm and patient are not words that would be used to describe me. But I’m going to keep swimming and make this happen. Its pretty easy to get discouraged, but I know in my heart that my idea is great and that people will love the centre when its up and running.

Inspired by a group a friend invited me to on Facebook, I created a group called Women Entrepreneurs of Calgary. I was very shocked when I realized that a group like this didn’t exist yet…are there no women in business in Calgary? that seems absurd, doesn’t it? I know Calgary is a bit of an “old boys club” but there has to be other women out their with their own successful businesses? No? I guess I will see. If you are a women in Alberta, please join the group…I would love to hear from you…

Thanks so much to everyone who “like”d my Mandala Art Centre page. Im at 62 likes, getting close to the 100 mark.

Be the change you wish to see in the world…


“Be the change you wish to see in the world”…this is a quote I have always loved because it is true in so many ways. Whether Ghandi said it or it was adapted from something he said, change needs to come from the people who see what needs to be changed. Its very simple, yet so poignant. For me, this quote has kept me going on getting the art centre started. Starting your own business truly sucks in so many ways. As a complete control freak, I have issues being patient and waiting on others to do their part. Case in point, the bank…we finally got our business plan done and then the person we were dealing with went on vacation and we got stuck with a woman who was extremely UN helpful. Richer than you think? Hmm don’t think so if we were to deal with this person. So now on to the next plan…looking for other funding sources.

For me, being patient is my area of weakness and something I have to work on…I honestly think this may be my life lesson…to learn to be patient. But the annoyances add up and patience is out the window. This week I am extremely grateful for my partner who reminds me constantly that this is what happens in business and to not forget why we are doing this venture. We want to be the change in the world and we need to be the people to do it.

Its done…


We stayed up all night to get the business plan done and then the worst thing happened…it got deleted…At 4am we saved the document, then tried to email it and couldn’t find the document anywhere. Talk about painful. My poor, sweet man stayed up til 6am rewriting what we had done. Just awful. Technology for the most part hates me and Im fine with that, but not usually him. Anyway, its done and submitted to the bank and potential investor. Here’s hoping it all works out for us.

Pinterest…Im addicted…


Seriously I can not get enough of Pinterest…I mean just when I think, I should go to bed, Im still on it for hours. In starting an art centre, there is a plethora of art activities for all ages and abilities. Tonight I was endlessly learning about how to use gel mediums as transfers onto any medium (canvas, wood, fabric). Its amazing.

The other day, I was trying to explain Pinterest to my mom, she is one of the craftiest people I know (clearly where I got my abilities from) so I really wanted her to get inspired by all the amazing things on Pinterest. But its kind of hard to grasp the concept of what Pinterest is at first, but when you get it…its like magic. Pinterest is like an amazing filing cabinet of topics all organized in one place. If you want info on scrapbooking, you type that in and a ton of images come up. If you like a particular image then you click on it (and hopefully its not spam) and it takes you to a tutorial or instructions on how to do or make something. No more searching, its already been done for you! I thought I was skilled until I saw what others came up with. Very impressive, but I warn highly,  its freakin addictive! The other day, my boyfriend had to come and literally and Im not kidding, turn off my computer screen so I would go to bed. Its pathetic…but check it out if you darE!!

Tonight, I got hooked on a vintage digital stamps that you can print out/copy/use for free. gorgeous site if you are looking for mixed media images. Beautiful selection of free vintage images. They also have an Etsy store.

Crap I just went to look at the link and got hooked looking again. Alright,  enough, time for bed. Check this out though, really great stuff.

The never ending business plan…


Oh Man … there is a reason creative people aren’t accountants…its absolute torture taking something fabulous and making it one dimensional. So I write what I want to say and then my boyfriend takes it and makes it readable to those who want it summed up in one page. He even wrote in the plan…”boring stuff goes here, Ill do that part”.

So while I’m waiting for the boring part to be written, I’m experimenting with the projects I want to implement with my potential clients. Now that’s where Pinterest comes in…I thought I was creative until I went on there. There are seriously talented people out there reminding me of all Ive missed since being a working stiff for the last 5 1/2 years. Shrinky Dinks, forgot all about them and mixed media art…I’m in heaven. Ill post some pics of what I have done so far.

Getting to be very exciting and scary all at the same time with starting your own business.