Mandala is Sanskrit for ‘circle’. It represents wholeness and balance. The symbol’s purpose is to assist with healing through meditating on a central or guiding focus. Many cultures around the world use them as part of their spiritual practices.
It was an honour to design hand-made mandalas for author, mama of three and creator of Happy Mama, Amy Taylor-Kabbaz. The mandalas are part of Amy's Divine Mama Circles, where mamas sit in circle together (physically or virtually, online) and hold space for each other. For more information on Matrescence and the transition to motherhood, please listen to her amazing Happy Mama Movement Podcast.
Colouring mandalas has numerous health benefits for kids and adults, including:
The floral mandala pictured above was inspired by Amy's focus, 'Simplicity, Creativity, Connection' for a program currently underway. It is my hope that mamas connect with their innate creativity and feel inspired as they colour the pattern surrounding the focus. The buta mandala pictured below was inspired by Amy's focus, 'Rest to Rise' for another recent program. The buta is Sanskrit for ‘fire’. I hope mamas in this program feel relaxed and renewed with fiery energy as they colour and contemplate the mandala.
Colouring is one of the kids - and my - favourite activities. My kids enjoyed colouring in these mandalas over the school holidays :)
WHAT WE USE:
CONNECT & INSPIRE...
It was great to see my kids physically relax and get creative over which colours they would use. Be as creative as you like and unleash your imagination. The flowing and swirling patterns in the mandalas pictured here are especially helpful in reflective thinking and encouraged my kids to let go of the day.
To learn more about my mandala designs for your unique project or program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below!
Author Elizabeth Gilbert once said, 'A creative life is an amplified life. It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life and a hell of a lot more interesting life.'
Kids who often practice creative pursuits in life (such as writing, singing, crafting, painting and dancing) are generally more thoughtful, reflective, better in problem solving, challenge the norm and build greater confidence.
Other benefits to raising creative kids include:
Encourage your kids to be creative, to use their imagination, and then praise them when they do. Build their confidence to present their creative point of view, their thoughts, and their feelings. In this way, you are not only empowering them and powering their brain, but you are also helping them to hold onto childhood just a little longer :)
Do you think creativity can help your kids in some life skills? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Once upon a time, boys who engaged in creative play and hobbies that were perceived as feminine - like crafting or cooking - were laughed at, so many boys often stopped doing them! Thankfully, we have moved on from believing that boys are limited in their abilities to create and innovate :)
We know that kids who often practice creative pursuits in life (such as writing, singing, crafting, painting and dancing) are generally more thoughtful, reflective, better in problem solving, challenge the norm and build greater confidence. Read Creativity can empower your kids to learn more.
Studies show that most boys are innately good at building structures but when it comes to other forms of creativity, boys are often not given the opportunity to express their true enthusiasm and potential. They are often dismissed as 'being boys' who do not have the patience to sit still for long periods or follow instructions in order to create.
One of my greatest intentions is to debunk this myth after getting regularly creative with my first born son and delighting in experiencing his creative juices flow. Little boys are naturally active. To help increase their attention span and keep his focus, it is best to start early and encourage experimenting with different creative pursuits.
After getting creative with my second born son, I have the pleasure in proving my prediction. I have curated various creative activities for your inspiration, including the ones below:
Who would have thought having our two beautiful boys would help to affirm my own creativity? I am grateful to do it all over again with my toddling daughter! I would love to hear how you get creative with your kids in the comments section. Thanks for dropping by :)
When kids engage in creative pursuits in life (such as art, craft, writing or dancing) they are better at self-expression and have higher emotional intelligence. This is because they have a safe and welcoming (creative) space to explore and understand their emotions. Read more about how Creativity can Empower your Kids here.
Dr Laura Markham, trained clinical psychologist and founder of Aha Parenting advises we teach our kids that:
When my younger son has trouble expressing his emotions, he sometimes act out by yelling and sometimes even hitting the person nearest to him. This is because, his brain has not developed fully to physically control his wild emotions. He doesn't even know his behaviour is inappropriate in a full-scale meltdown. Child development expert, Daniel J. Siegel suggests that “connection should be our first response in virtually any disciplinary situation.”
WHAT I USE:
It's not easy to drop whatever I am doing and become very present and empathetic to my son's needs but it is my most successful way in making him feel safe enough to express his tears and feel the fears that may be driving his anger. Holding him close, I acknowledge how he is feeling. He knows someone understands, which makes him feel just a bit better, so he's more likely to cooperate. He knows he doesn't have to yell or act out to be heard.
Engaging in creative ways together with my kids is also an integral part of my connection with them. In order to help them cope with their emotions whilst limiting their actions, I connect with them via a visualisation technique I created. When my son is willing to listen, I compassionately invite him to visualise an Airport Control Tower trying to help land planes safely, during stormy weather at the airport. The Airport Control Tower is his brain's Emotional Control Tower and the planes are his hands, feet and mouth.
I help him understand that just as we can't control the stormy weather, we don't usually have a choice about what we are feeling. However, the Airport Control Tower can control the planes flying around it and similarly, our brain's Emotional Control Tower can control how we use our limbs and voice. Our brain can choose to land our limbs safely by our sides and control the volume of our voice, during the storm. In time, the stormy weather will pass and so will our stormy feelings. They always do.
CONNECT & INSPIRE...
This holistic visualisation usually engages my son's imagination because he loves aircrafts and begins to focus on what types of planes his limbs could be. This dissipates the desperation in his emotional outburst and helps him to feel in 'control' of his emotions, which he often expresses to me when he is ready. That is, until the next time a new challenge filled with new emotions he is unable to control comes his way!
Before that happens, it's time for a big glass of water to boost my own oxygenation and patience power...knowing that one day he will be able to 'control' his emotions because he has a healthy, expressible emotional life (like my older son) makes it worth the effort and wait!
Read Ice Excavation & The Art of Distraction for another technique your kids can use to let go of tension and release energy. How do you help your kids with their emotions? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!
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