Mandala Mindfulness with 14 Secrets

The last few weeks I’ve been following Lani’s and Susanna’s 14 Secrets Mandala Challenge:

Mandala Mindfulness with 14 Secrets | creativity in motion

Part 1 of the challenge introduced this prompt by Lani: “Think of your mandala as sacred and work consciously from a quiet place inside yourself that contains your goodness and compassion”. In response, I created the above digital mandala using one of my favorite creative e-curating sites, Polyvore. Lots of mandala inspiring imagery to be found here!

Having created this mandala on a Monday morning, I remember feeling sincere appreciation for this time and moment at the beginning of the week- as well as left the experience with setting my mandala’s intention with love & growth.

Part 2 of the challenge (with lots of inspiring links!) and a how to prompt by Susanna about digital mandalas, inspired me to further experiment with digitally transforming my original mandala created for Part 1 through this lens.

I discovered the app Kooleido and that the app’s full version provides the feature to upload your own photo to create an awesome digital mandala kaleidoscope in motion using this image.

Below are only a few of the still screenshots I took of my Love and Growth Mandala morphing in action into new forms and expanding with moving life before my eyes:

Mandala Mindfulness with 14 Secrets  | creativity in motion

Mandala Mindfulness with 14 Secrets | creativity in motion

Mandala Mindfulness with 14 Secrets | creativity in motion

 To watch this transformation was absolutely soothing, relaxing, and completely brought my presence to the here and now. It was a very comforting experience to see the familiar details of colors, shapes, and symbols from my source image come together in new these mandala forms and patterns.

Thank you to Lani and Susanna for these 14 Secrets mandala prompts, links, and inspiration! Looking forward to the next part of this challenge…

You can participate every Monday in the 14 Secret’s Challenge here:


Related Posts:

 Finding Safety through Art: Relaxation Inspiration [14 Secrets Challenge]

Getting Addicted to and Making Art with Polyvore


Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

This past week-end I was inspired by Susanna (thank you!) to finally put the brown paper wine size bag she gifted me to good use for a new art journaling project. I wanted to discover how re-purposing this type of bag for creating an art journal would be different from the common paper bag technique I usually use.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal

Susanna graciously sent one paper bag already gessoed…which made starting this mini art journal even easier. (step 1 done!) I gathered some handmade paper, a bone folder, some twine, my SMASH cutter & scissors, as well as a paper punch to put it together.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal Opened

With the paper bag flat on the table, I folded an insert of the handmade pages to place in the center. Then I folded the sides of the bag towards the middle and over top one another, which created the book’s cover.  The open edges of the bag (on the right side I used my SMASH cutter to open the bottom of the bag) create cool pockets for discreetly stashing stuff in.

Brown Paper Wine Bag Journal Front

I used a paper punch and twine to bind the pages and book together. To start, my paper insert has enough pages for 5 spreads, but lots of room to add more. The concept of this art journal is dedicated to my self-care, especially in relationship to my trauma work as an art therapist.

This miniature book will provide a safe space to explore important considerations to keep myself grounded and refreshed in my work through intention, mindfulness, gratitude, positive affirmation, and of course: creative practice.

Gratitude: Self Care Journal Page
Trauma Stewardship- Page 223: Finding Balance | Gratitude

It was very cool to see this week’s 14 Secrets Challenge focused on gratitude, which was on my brain for a spread in this journal. Check out Lani’s post for lots of “focus-shifting for our peace of mind” encouragement and helpful prompts. Practicing gratitude is definitely part of my self-care to help me keep centered.

After reading Lani’s post I quickly cracked open Laura van Dernoot Lipsky‘s book Trauma Stewardship, headed for the index to look up gratitude and promptly flipped to page 223 to re-read Laura’s reflections about how this practice is an important part of creating balance in our life and work.  I included a copy of page 223’s text in my art journal and then created this image:

Gratitude Journal Page 2
I am grateful for painfully beautiful things (in people, moments, choices, changes) that help us all discover what truly matters

I started with an “I AM” SMASH cookie note to visually inspire me to think about what I am grateful for, especially in context to this quote from page 223 about the pain that exists in this world: “Remind yourself that while the suffering may seem endless, so is what we have to be grateful for…“. Struggles can become reframed with intention to discover moments of thankfulness within the experience and help us grow.

My response to this quote and the image I created above was to be grateful for the painfully beautiful things (in people, moments, choices, changes) that help us all discover what truly matters. I am also grateful for co-workers, friends, significant others, & family in my life that help support me in discovering this, as well as the women and children I work with.


I enjoyed using this kind of paper bag to begin this new art journal- especially with the inclusion of pages and how the bag serves as a comforting cover wrapping around them. I’ll continue to add to this self care art journal, its pages, and cover with additional content and inspiration to keep sharing with you!