the value of personal art

From time to time we augment our writing circles inside prison with art-making. These mini-projects take many forms; yet, however simple, they have one feature in common. Art in any form allows women to access feelings that often sit deeper than words, even deeper than conscious awareness of their existence. Almost universally, sharing the artwork around the circle at the end of our time together permits an ‘aha’ connection. The experience has taught the woman something about her inner process or her world view. And more often than not, this ‘aha’ leads to a new understanding of what is needed, now.

The mandala below, completed by NL during a recent session, places into focus the whole of her intentions in response to this prompt: ” A mandala is a sacred circle containing an image or message of wholeness for your life – to inspire you, to live by. Use words that feel strong and true, that remind you of the possibilities of living a whole life, neither in the box nor given entirely up to fate.”