My new obsession! Learning to draw and paint mandalas on rocks. I’ve always been a collector of rocks whenever I go anywhere near the water. Something about how they look and feel. I just find they look so pretty and bring such an earthy vibe to my home. I like interesting shapes, colours and imperfections.
Like people really. Aren’t we just like the rock, travelling through the waters of life, landing somewhere to take up space on land until the tides move us elsewhere. Tumbling and bumbling through the rough waters coming to rest on the floor of calm waters. Being worn down by the constant force of the water rolling over us, taking the edges off and taking new shape as life moves us forward.
I like to think my rock collection has found a nice home to rest in for their whole existence. Honestly, I’ve moved around my whole life and didn’t I pack up my rocks each and every move?
They travelled with me, and I’d find a new place to display them in every home I moved into. I must confess I did let some go along the way, among other things…but that’s a different story.
I decided to try painting mandalas on these little lovelies to enhance their beauty further and lo and behold it actually has turned out to be extremely healing and meditative for me.
I mean I’ve always known that art of any sort is meditative and healing, but you know it actually is!
It’s not always easy to meditate the conventional way in this world we live in, with so many distractions. I can spend literally hours on Pinterest. Which ironically enough is where I found out about painting mandalas on rocks.
Finding this new approach to meditation really took my self-healing to a whole new level.
The process leading up to creating rock mandalas was just mostly research, a trip to Micheals craft store, and more research and then buying a sketch book and a book on rock mandalas. Pencil to paper, I drew my very first mandala.
Just a side note, before this I actually had a mandala tattooed on my foot, hand drawn by the artist himself. So I guess you can say I’ve been obsessed with mandalas as well as rocks. Go figure.
Drawing my first mandala was not as easy as it looked. I went in with such high expectations and the same amount of doubt that I honestly was just in that euphoria of learning to do something new! How the actual mandala turned out really didn’t matter…until later that is.
This is where the real interesting stuff became apparent. Each mandala design I attempted was met with an inner, “wtf?” and “are you kidding me?” and “omg I can’t do this”. All that self-doubt, self-criticism and sense of failure! I really had to calm myself down and just focus. Sound familiar?
Pooling all of my healing tools (I keep a batch handy) and drawing on my inner parent to encourage my creative inner child, I slowly continued to conquer my fears and just do it.
This was how I reacted to meditating in the conventional way as well.
I had to discipline myself to sit still and mindfully do it. As I became more comfortable drawing, making mistakes, getting frustrated, fixing the mistakes, and experimenting, the more at ease I felt actually doing it.
Mandalas are such intricate repetitive designs they just take over your mind as you draw the designs over and over. It is rather introspective. I mean, no wonder Carl Jung took such fascination with them and referred to the mandala as,
“The psychological expression of the totality of the self.”
Now my river walks with my dog Julius are more about finding that beautiful rock. We walk slowly and methodically, and as Julius putters in the water, I scan the rocky landscape for rocks.
I have become ever so calculated in finding the kind I like, then rinsing them in the river water to reveal their unique colours. I generally have to let some go because I always pick too many and can’t carry them all. I stash them in my pockets and carry a few with me.
It has slowed down my river excursions, quieted my mind, and put me in the moment. I am really grounding with mother earth
in the process and washing my soul in nature. It’s a beautiful thing for certain.
I now display my rock mandalas all over my apartment. As I continue this learning process, I am applying what I learn to my life.
They are so pretty to look at, even with their imperfections. Reminding me of my own imperfections and how much I too have been bounced around in this life shaping the person I am today.
I’ve also added intentions to the back of each one to focus on when I pick up a rock. Just another healing tool to help me navigate through my life as peacefully and honestly as I can!
Shawna Chalmers is a Reiki Practitioner at LunaHolistic. She is a firm believer in the body’s ability to heal itself through integrative holistic healing techniques. She views Reiki as a complementary, therapeutic healing modality designed to tap into the interrupted flow of universal life force; to balance and center the body, to quiet the mind and create stillness that allows space to bring the body’s energy into alignment.
She teaches you how to create your own river rock mandala in workshops held at LunaHolistic too! Click here for more details or to register!