Wish Tree – Art for self-reflection

wish treeIdentifying what you want to bring into your life – both tangible and intangible things – can be the first step toward making it happen. A Wish Tree can help you clarify and then stay focused on your goals.

What you need:

  • Paper or poster board for the collage
  • Magazines suitable to your goals
  • Scissors, glue, drawing and colouring materials

How to do it:

  1. Draw a tree. It doesn’t have to be great art. A child’s drawing of a trunk and branches is just right.
  2. Look through magazines to find pictures of things that you want to bring into your life. It can be tangible things, like a new car, education, or travelling to visit friends and family. Or the pictures can be symbolic of intangible things, like love, friendship, or courage.
  3. Glue all the things you want to bring into your life on the branches of your tree. Add any other colouring or decorations that you like.
  4. Hang your Wish Tree in a place where you’ll see it and be reminded of your goals.

Image by: Wojtek Kowalski
This Activity is from The Salt Spring Experience.

Relationship Mandala

relationship mandala

This exercise is a continuation of Making a Personal Mandala. As explained there, a mandala is a symmetrical design that uses shape and colour to express an idea. Mandalas are usually abstract, sometimes geometric, and often, but not necessarily, circular. Your personal mandala represents the layers of your self, from the innermost self outward to the face you show the world, with all the protective layers in between.

What you need:

  • Drawing paper
  • Materials for colouring. Colour is important in a mandala; oil pastels are great because they have strong, vibrant colour. Felt pens are also good.

How To Make A Relationship Mandala

  1. In this exercise you make two mandalas on the same page. The first is your personal mandala. The second is for the other person. Let the mandalas come from inside, where you intuitively know about this relationship. Don’t try to control them.
  2. When you’re done, have a look at the page. What does it have to tell you? Colour, size, placement on the page, kind of lines (soft or sharp edges) – all these things can tell you something about the relationship. Is one mandala big and the other small? Is one crowding into the other’s space? There is no right or wrong way to interpret your drawing – you may have reasons for your interpretation or simply a feeling about what it means. Let yourself be intuitive as you look at the mandalas and how they interact on the page.

Photo by: Antediluvial

Make Your Own Mandala

Mandala

A mandala is a symmetrical design that uses shape and colour to express an idea. Mandalas are usually abstract, sometimes geometric, and often, but not necessarily, circular. Your personal mandala represents the layers of your self, from the innermost self outward to the face you show the world, with all the protective layers in between.

What you need:

  • Drawing paper
  • Materials for colouring. Colour is important in a mandala; oil pastels are great because they have strong, vibrant colour. Felt pens are also good.

How to Make a Personal Mandala

1. Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes closed as you let the demands of daily life fall away. Allow yourself to relax. Let go of the outer world and turn you attention inward.
2. Now imagine your innermost self, the part of you that is most hidden from the world. what do you notice about this inner you? Stay with your sense of self, noticing anything that comes up, until you feel ready to begin drawing.
3. Begin your mandala in the centre of the page, using colour and shape symbolically to represent yoru innermost self. The size of this representation is up to you, and will probably be different for ever person. Choose colours and shapes that feel right to you. You don’t have to know why you are choosing them. and remember, this is not about making art.
4. Gradually move outward from the centre of the page, allowing your colour and shapes to represent each protective layer of your inner self. When you reach the outside edges of your mandala, depict the face that you show to the world.
5. When you look at your finished mandala, you’ll see yourself from a new perspective. This is who you are in colour. What do you learn about yourself form the colours and shapes you’ve chosen?

Photo by: MAMJODH