The dark months are upon us. The overcast Upstate New York winters have arrived. The trees have shrugged off their colorful foliage and stand naked against the stark sky. Surrendering to the cold that clambers under their bark and creeps into my bones. This winter I’ve decided to combat the dreary and freezing with the practice of creating the feeling of cosiness, charm, happiness, ‘contentness’, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness. I’ve dedicate a day every week to practicing Hygge and to practice mindfulness.
This month I collected sweet smelling leaves and berries from the trees around my sweet country home and arranged them in pretty mandala designs. A fall mandala to savor the colors around me before winter turns them brown and dead. I left the bowl of pretty colorful leaves perched on my fireplace, a lovely bowl of fall to greet me in the cozy evenings when I curl up warm in the blankets on the couch and watch a romantic movie. Enjoy!
How to Make a Fall Leaf Mandala
- Take a walk in the woods, your backyard or local park and collect pretty petals, leaves, herbs, berries, rocks (anything that calls to you!)
- Find a lovely spot to stage your mandala, your staging canvas can be almost anything or anywhere! Examples: a slab of rock, the grassy ground, a piece of paper…etc
- Sort your fodder into piles of similarity – all berries of a particular color in one, all leaves with a particular shape in another. Sometimes the act of sorting will give you ideas for a design. See how the objects lay on the canvas, some will curl and some will lay flat. These different elements and the way they interact with the surface will give you ideas!
- Then begin placing them on your canvas, try them out one way, if that doesn’t feel right move them to another. See what looks and feels right. Ask the leaves and petals where they want to go, how they want to be? Who do they want to be next to?
- Every once in a while take a step back and look at your work from a distance. There is no right or wrong here. Approach this activity with no judgement, no criticism – only peace and acceptance.
Practicing hygge is a way to find moments to celebrate! Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s like a perfect marriage! 🙂