Moon Mandala Feature with Jennifer Lawrence (interview)
Jennifer Lawrence, LPC, ATR is an art therapist & licensed counselor who shares the teachings of cycle awareness for divine self-care. Jennifer has been documenting her cycle with daily mandalas on Instagram #100daysofmenstrualmandalas, and she even created a cycle tracking course for women who want to develop sustainable self-care based on lunar, seasonal and menstrual cycles. In this personal and down-to-earth interview Jennifer shares a window into her life and creative process!
April: Where are you right now? Where is the moon and what is she doing?
Jennifer: I think we’ve finally shifted into spring here in New Jersey. My daughter and I spent an amazing Sunday morning brunching and then playing at the beach. The full moon is approaching which always affects my sleep. Her bright light never fails to wake me in the middle of the night for a little extra contemplation I guess! She definitely likes to be admired… hmmm… maybe an energy I could bring into my own life. As I enter my perimenopause years I am certainly getting plenty of opportunities to shed insecurities and to own my brilliance!
A: Describe your relationship to creating moon mandalas... Where do you begin? What materials do you like to use?
J: I am totally in love with using the moon mandala! It is such a powerful tool for refocusing and recommitting each lunar cycle. I find that I use the mandala to give voice to my intuitive explorations and that drives the materials I use. Most of the time this means more structured and easy to control materials like markers and collage. Sometimes I simply write whatever comes to mind.
A: What is one thing that helps you access your intuition?
J: You recently demonstrated how you use oracle and tarot cards to begin your mandala and I’m hooked. This last new moon I used The Medicine Woman Tarot Deck and I felt like it really helped me access a whole new level of exploration.
A: In what ways does creating a new moon mandala enrich your life?
J: So many ways!!! When I’m feeling overwhelmed looking back at the current cycle’s mandala helps me refocus on my Soul’s purpose. It reminds me that I’m not just a mama working through the mundane routines of raising a small child; I’m also a person who is connected to something larger. This in turn supports me in finding the sacred in the mundane and to experience life with more intention.
A: How has your creative process evolved over time?
J: I used to have hours and plenty of personal space to create art. Now, not so much. I’ve had to learn to embrace the creativity of the present moment more than anything else. It might happen for like 10 seconds each day, but at least it’s a work in progress! I’m learning to give myself credit for bringing creativity to the challenges of parenting and homemaking, whether that’s approaching conflict in a manner that’s different from my instinctive response (um, to yell like a maniac!!), or discovering new ways to getting everyone fed without feeling like I need to become a personal chef. Like I said, it happens in brief glimpses but it is a moment to moment practice that is growing each day.
Images from #100daysofmenstrualmandalas pre-ovulation into ovulation.
A: What fuels your creative spark?
J: Nature and everyday life. There are also so many creative folks sharing on the internet. When I do get a few minutes to play with art materials I’ll often watch a tutorial and simply practice something. This takes the pressure off my tired mama mind; simply starting something/anything gets the creative juices flowing and shifts my brain from the details of my day into more of a flow state.
A: Would you be willing to give readers some ideas or inspiration for creating their own moon mandala?
J: Don’t feel pressured to make it look like anything. I super simple technique for starting a mandala is to simply choose a color that you are drawn to and start in the middle of your mandala. Let whatever wants to be drawn have a voice. You don’t have to create a “work of art” to benefit from the practice of centering and setting intentions with a mandala. And don’t feel pressured to share it on social media! If that’s a barrier to getting started then let it go, please!!! I’m also a fan of using concrete and structured materials - collage, markers, stamps. You can explore a lot of ideas simply by opening up to whatever you are drawn to and then arranging it within a mandala. If all else fails and you’ve got a little one around, invite him or her to start creating with you and then join the fun!!!
A: Three wishes ... and anything else you'd like to share…
1) That all women can celebrate their bodies as sacred, magical, and powerful. 2) That all mamas can know that they are not alone, that this sacred work we are doing is part of something much larger than any one of us and IT MATTERS. 3) That I could sleep in an extra hour, just one of these days, please!!!
Jennifer Trinkle Lawrence, LPC, ATR is a mama and a wife, a creator, and a passionate cycle tracker. She will help you get to know your personal rhythms, the natural ebb and flow of your hormones, and embrace all of the creative and restorative power of your feminine cycle.
Check out Jennifer's Cycle Tracking for Self care Course HERE and 50% of all proceeds raised during this promotion will be donated to Hatch Community, a Bay Area resource for that trains homeless and otherwise disenfranchised teen/young moms to be doulas for their peers.
Do you want to be more aligned with your natural rhythm and the cycles in nature?
Printed copies of the 2018 edition are SOLD OUT! Purchase digital version in the shop. This simple and beautiful circular calendar establishes the new moon as the starting point for each monthly cycle. It provides a structure for connecting to your inner wisdom and natural rhythms. This item sells out every year.
Big Blue Moon cover artwork by Jocelyn Mathewes from her Night Sky Cyanotype series.