Movie Mandalas – Snow White
Hello everyone. So…I feel like I have been at a standstill in my pattern-creating lately. As much as I try to focus on the ideas that swim around in my mind, I can’t seem to pinpoint any concrete instructions to write up new patterns for these hazy mental images.
I’ve begun watching movies and TV shows by the dozens to find something that can guide my mind through a structured story with a good ending, so that I know what to feel instead of just following the rationality of my depressed mind. And although this isn’t quite the same as watching a film when I’m doing well, it seems to feel better than staring at projects in my hands that aren’t doing what I want them to.
I know that part of this is because of the fibromyalgia symptoms I have, and part of this is because of the depression symptoms too. Chronic pain, foggy brain, inability to focus, inability to stay motivated, making me feel illogically unhappy.
Getting dark, right? Well, I intend to begin heading off the depression here.
Relax, Focus, Motivation
So this all made me realize that I need to take a step back and have a project that makes me relax and refocus, something that makes me remember why I love to crochet and reminds me of happier feelings.
Remembering how helpful making color palette-inspired mandalas were for Marinke from A Creative Being blog, I decided to make my own set of crochet mandalas. Mandalas are a generally circular design that are observed during meditation to help the mind stay focused on a specific mental or emotional goal or to find a spiritual connection to something greater than themselves, something connecting them to the universe. I can see why Marinke chose mandalas as a way to keep herself inspired and relaxed.
I can’t promise that my posts on these mandalas are going to be particularly profound or thought-provoking since depression can sometimes make me feel quite emotionally numb, and all I can really hope for some days are just to be able to focus on getting one project done at all. But I know that making my mandala entries for the Mandalas For Marinke campaign in remembrance of Marinke really helped me quiet my mind of upsetting thoughts. For more info on that campaign, check out the blog Crochet Concupiscence by Kathryn; she features the mandalas sent in for this project and provides depression awareness information.
I need to refocus. Although the research is still limited on this symptom-set, depression has been shown to impair cognitive functioning. Dr. James Cartreine explains it concisely in this short post on the Harvard Health Blog. So I know that doing something to quiet my mind and pull in my attention wold be helpful. Crocheting a mandala, using Marinke’s perfect pattern, helped me before: the slow counting, the observance of my thoughts as they came, and the readjustment of my thought-process to what I was trying to focus my meditation on. Finishing a mandala like this was a good way for me to practice mindful focusing.
I need to relax. Badly. Tension has started to really take it’s tole on me, so I intend to use this mandala project to meditate on something that I know can make me chill out and tune out the tension for a little bit: animated movies. Sounds silly, I know! But of the films I chose to watch lately, it was the over-simplified cartoon movies that gave me something emotionally easy to understand and feel. So I’ll be making crochet mandalas themed to different animated films so that I can recall happier thoughts as I count stitches.
I need to get motivated again. This can be a hard trait to come by when one has depression. But, as Dr. Clifford Lazarus explains in his blog article on Psychology Today, more often than not action precedes motivation. This crochet mandala project is simple compared to others on my to-do list, so if I just start, I know I can finish and gain something from my meditation through it. Practicing motivation will likely make it easier to start projects, to stay motivated.
I have started watching many of the Disney animated films from Snow White onward. So I thought that would be a good way to begin here too.
Extracting the colors for this project was interesting. I created a basic palette from the characters I chose and adjusted as I went along.
This film is my mom’s favorite of the Disney princess movies. I remember watching it with her when I was little and laughing about the shenanigans of the seven dwarves. Grumpy was always my favorite, and Dopey was hers. I felt bad for Snow White, she just didn’t seem to have that much influence over the course of her own life until she had the chance to run for it.
The Evil Queen
In most films I tend to like the villains because I often wondered what got them to this point. Talk about mismanaging your own thoughts and emotions! On some days with depression I forget to be mindful of my own feelings, or the lack of them, so I can be more careful of my actions and words.
I guess, on some occasions, I can relate to the queen. Good thing I don’t have a magic mirror. Heheh.
Until Next Time
After the mandalas were finished, I felt a little better. Small difference, but one I am grateful for.