Week 29: Stars N Stripes

“Stars N Stripes”

Stars N Stripes

For this mandala design, I created one full-color version using color pencils:

Stars N Stripes
Stars N Stripes – 7″ Diameter

Stars N Stripes started with a single spiral, that grew into a double spiral, divided into striped sections. When looking at the area outside the spiral, the idea of stars popped into my head. In the end, it wanted to be called “Stars N Stripes”.

For most of my colorings, I lean towards using primary and secondary colors. I love the purity of these colors. And for this piece, the orange and green sections were created using two primary colors: orange (red/yellow) and green (blue/yellow). What colors would you use to color this mandala?

The Message

Stars N Stripes offers us a visual representation of a healthy interaction between our logical and creative minds…left and right brains.

Our left (logical) brain operates in a linear fashion and works best at doing logical things, like writing lists, doing math, analyzing data, process information, and so on. It can only do things based on what it already knows. So unless we feed it more input (as in the move “Short Circuit“), it’s limited by what it can do.

“The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein

New ideas, inspirations, and the like come from our creative (right) brain. The more we open and access our creative minds, the more that creative ideas flow through us. When we “think outside the box” (outside of our left brain), that’s when we tap into our creativity.

Once a creative idea presents itself, our lovely left brains can then take over to bring it into form. So rather than “think, think, think” our way to a solution, take a creative approach instead such as:

  • dreamwork
  • mind mapping
  • coloring or doodling
  • taking a walk
  • listen to music
  • play a musical instrument
  • dance
  • laugh
  • yoga
  • meditate

And then pay attention. We’ve all heard stories of left brain type people who woke up from a dream with a solution to a problem, or they were engaged in some other activity outside the problem area only to have a solution just jump out at them in some non-linear way, or heard a child say something from out-of-the-blue that’s just pure genius (little ones tend to be more ‘outside-the-box’ types because they have yet to be heavily influenced by our tendency to be a more left brain oriented society).

An excellent resource on how our left and right brains operate from first-hand experience is Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist (studies the brain), who herself experienced a massive stroke in her left brain and lived to write about it in her most excellent book: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. Through her 8-year recovery process she learned to value both sides of the brain and the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between the two.

Her 18 minute TED Talk  summarizes her ‘stroke of insight’ experience…well worth the watch/listen.

So let’s remember to check in with ourselves on a regular basis

  • are we using one side of our brains more than the other?
  • How balanced are we?
  • What can we do to center ourselves?

A quick & easy way to balance? Take 1-3 deep conscious breaths…it supplies vital oxygen to our WHOLE brain.



joyfully, Maureen
The Mandala Lady


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