Food Mandalas: They are pretty, circular designs made from healthy, vibrantly colored, natural food, but that reasons I create these designs are for more than beautifying my plate.
I first discovered mandalas when I was studying Art Therapy Techniques in College. I had seen the designs before in art work, and décor, but I had no idea that they were anything more than pretty circles, or of the innate power they possess.
I was working with the elderly and Alzheimer’s patients when I came across an article in an therapy journal about an “Mandala Drawing” therapy that had been able to accurately diagnose what stage of Alzheimer’s the individual was experiencing. I tried the process with several patients and was astounded at the accuracy. All the person was asked to do was to draw a couple different lines on a circle I had provided. Their placement of the lines in relation to the circle accurately reflected their current stage of Dementia. I was fascinated how a very simple drawing could reflect something as complex as a medical diagnosis. The circle had something to it.
The ability to draw a circle is one of the first universal land-marks of a child’s development. For this reason, it may be one of the earliest representations of the self, as Carl Jung believed. He also felt that when a circle was present in a dream or art, it reflected a forward motion in ones self-knowledge. Circles surround us in nature, from the life cycle we experience, the orbiting nature of the cosmos, and the earth itself. This may be one of the reasons that the circle or “Mandala” can be found as a significant symbol in almost all cultures, religions, and spiritual practices for thousands of years. The word “mandala” is Sanskrit for sacred-circle.
One of Carl Jung’s other observation, was that the circle served as a unification method for opposites. One of the inspirations when I first created food mandalas was for this reason. As I shifted my diet to a more plant-based, raw diet, “cooking” and food preparation had taken on a totally different nature than the frozen, premade, microwavable meals prevalent in my culture. I often had a seemingly odd mixture of leftover produce, seeds, nuts, yogurt, and other items that I had never traditionally seen paired together. I had raised my salad game, with new and flavorful combinations, but there were somethings that I didn’t want to mix in a salad form. The mandalas serve as a way I can seamlessly unify seemingly “opposite” foods. A random mandala might include leftover greens, asparagus, a banana with numbered hours, half an avocado, a leftover spoonful of yogurt and some flaxseed. The colors and shapes caught my eye and inspired me to plate them in an attractive manner. Suddenly all of the chaos was in harmony.
The Mandalas helped keep my diet on track and brought mindfulness to what I was eating. They are fun and easy and fast to create, so even if I was crushed for time I could effortlessly design them with anything I had on hand. As I make a designs, it gives me a new respect and appreciation for the food, and for my body it will become a part of.
When we say something is made with love, that energy has been put into it, with the hopes that the receiver will be able to sense, feel, or taste the love put in to it. Everything is energy, vibrating on a certain frequency or level. I believe that the artful, loving, plating of the mandala results in a higher vibrational frequency in the food that will be consumed and can potentially effect the consumers energy as well.
*Please remember fullyalive101.org does not provide any medical advice, and all articles should be considered opinion. Consult with your doctor for medical information.
BY KIMBERLY BABIN
Fullyalive101 is a conversation about health and wellness in mind, body and spirit. We believe that joy, success, and happiness all come from curating a life that explores fun, unique and creative ways to live FULLY ALIVE, to live the life you were born to. In this series, we are celebrating visionaries who embody this spirit and help others to live an awesome, empowered life.
Christy Marshall is a force in fitness and faith. She is a lighthouse of a person, the kind that climbs out above the darkness that surrounds them to lead others on their journey. A traumatic childhood had created lasting inner turmoil, but the now motivator, coach, public speaker and author, found faith and fitness could free her. She has changed countless lives through her work and is ready to motivate many more through her newly released book, The Devo: A 60 Day Devotional to crush depression and anxiety while fusing faith with fitness. Christy writes “After years of chasing after Joy, I began to notice that joy started finding me.” It is her hope that Joy finds all of us.
fullyalive101: You have drastically changed your own life, what would you tell someone who doesn’t see change as a possibility for themselves?
CM: I would tell them that if they don’t think it’s possible...then they are RIGHT. They have to first believe they can change. MINDSET is the biggest ingredient. I knew I deserved better. And I made up my mind. This is SO important.
fullyalive101: You have both children, and a busy professional life. How do you make time for self-care?
CM: Great question. I actually put myself FIRST. That may sound selfish but in doing so, I’m able to pour God’s best into my family and business. I can’t fill anyone’s tank unless I first fill my own. I work out every single day. I take hot baths every single night. Those are the ways I fit ME into the puzzle on my busiest of days.
.What do you hope your readers will take away from The Devo?
I pray that my readers will feel a shifting in their mindset as they fuse their faith with their fitness journey. THAT is an abundant life.
fullyalive101: What is the one thing you would tell someone who is still experiencing suffering from childhood trauma?
CM: I would tell that person to cling to Jesus with everything they have. To fight for JOY. And to remove all the toxic people from their life--even if that’s their own family.
fullyalive101: What is the wellness myth you would most like to dispel?
CM: Myth: Lifting weights makes you bulky. It doesn’t. It’s actually the best way to burn fat. When you build muscle, you are simply burning more fat at a much more rapid pace. So to all my ladies out there...get off the treadmill for an hour and build some fat burners (muscles!).
fullyalive101: What does it mean to you to live FULLY ALIVE?
CM: To live FULLY ALIVE is to be intentional. To do things on purpose. Like quality time with those most important to you--your spouse and children. Limit your scrolling on social media so that you don’t get caught in the trap of comparison. Rather, live YOUR story.
fullyalive101: When you are coaching or instructing a fitness class, how do you motivate others?
CM: I motivate others when I teach classes based on their energy. They actually motivate me more than I do them. And I motivate my virtual challengers online by being their biggest cheerleader. I also coach with grace so that when folks fall down, they know that isn’t failure. As long as they never quit getting up.
fullyalive101: Mind, body, or spirit?
CM: They are all three important, but it starts with your MIND. You have to make that choice to let the Lord in. He gives us a free will. You have to make that choice to MOVE your body--even when you don’t want to. It takes all three but it all starts with YOU getting out of your own way.
You May Read A Sample of Christy's New Book by clicking here.
*Please remember fullyalive101.org does not provide any medical advice, and all articles should be considered opinion. Consult with your doctor for medical information
By: Kimberly Babin
It is important to understand the power that our own energy possesses. When someone enters a room and you instantly feel happier, more at ease, and more energized, you are experiencing the energy that person brings. What energy do you bring to the room?
Everything is energy, vibrating at a certain frequency or rate. Raising your own vibration allows you to lift yourself out of lower-vibrational thoughts and feelings. When we are feeling amazing, lit-up, energized, happy, passionate, our vibration is raised. This allows us to act and be in alignment with our truest highest self. We feel more confident and motivated, and we take actions that express this, and create more freely.
1.} Take notice of the people, places, and things that energize you.
Is there a certain song that makes you feel happier just listening to? Who do you interact with that leaves you feeling inspired and passionate? Do you feel more energized after dancing, running, or reading a certain blog? It is of value to recognize anything that consistently is capable of simply making you feel good, and curating more of those experiences into your life.
2.) Re-evaluate and eliminate.
If there is someone or something that consistently makes you feel negative emotions, or drains you, it is important to evaluate, and eliminate. There are some circumstances that can feel hard to escape such as a difficult boss that you encounter daily. If you can’t cut them out, investigate ways to either narrow the effect on you, or counteract their vibration with your own. If you smile when you see them, does your interaction change?
3.) Cultivate the ability to maintain your own vibration.
Our control over outside forces is limited and so it is necessary to cultivate the ability to control your energy and vibration even in challenging situations. If feel yourself encountering a force that threatens to lower your vibration, experiment with what you can do to maintain a good feeling. If we realize the power of our own energy, we may be able to transform perceived difficulties into more positive experiences. A starting point may be asking what possible good there is in the situation, accepting that the situation is temporary, or reminding yourself of other perceived losses that turned out to be for a higher good in the end.
Fully Alive 101 2016