Creating Brave is about
...Developing a creative practice
that assists in navigating life’s unexpected twists and turns. It’s about knowing that some things are not quite speech ready, and sometimes words are not enough.
...Learning a visual language
A powerful, soul-filled language of color and texture and pattern and form and line and shape. It’s not about right or wrong but about trusting the creative process. Anyone can do it!
It’s about enduring, living through and beyond adversity or hardship.
…Embracing life’s mystery with wonder and curiosity.
It’s about developing a creative practice that ushers us forward into living life fully engaged.
Whether you’re struggling with
- A need to reshape or fine-tune your life...
- Any kind of life-disrupting event that fills you with doubt, grief or depression…
- A chronic illness – cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, arthritis...
Ready to get started?
An eight-week eCourse tapping into the healing power of creative expression.
To freely create mandalas cultivates a skillful practice that calms and anchors us. Ask your gut instinct, your intuition to come out and play.
Creating mandalas is an ancient practice we have revamped for new times, our time.
Mandala, the Sanskrit word for circle, is an archetypal symbol of balance, wholeness and unity. They have been created for centuries as meditational symbols that when contemplated, lead to self-awareness, insight and peace.
We will get into the art-making flow by simply using a white pencil and black paper.
Then we will invite colored pencils and watercolor to come out and play. These playmates will become dear friends and we will create a series of drawn mandalas using a variety of techniques. These mandalas will become doorways, entry points into the written word. Your visual creations will inspire a flow of creative ponderings. The two will inform each other.
Creating a mandala is a journey that trusts and supports a willingness to open into the playful intuitive mystery of the creative process. Here is where your intuition comes out to play, where you re-connect with your heart and gut instincts. This is where the healing begins.
Optional – Black Paper Scrapbook or Photobook
If you really get into the black and white mandalas your will probably want to purchase one of these. I’ve included three examples as they can sometimes be hard to find. I like a small one that I can keep with me in my briefcase/satchel or a larger one just in case I feel like working big.
Any pencil will do but if you really get into this a series of Graphite Pencils can be fun to use. They come in different hardnesses which relates to the amount to graphite they leave on the page – The H Series is the hardest so it has a lighter touch. HB Series is more like a regular pencil and the softest is the B series which makes a very dark mark.
No supplies to purchase for this week- You will need one of your favorite writing/ink pens.
You will also need Paper Towels and a Paper or Plastic Cup for Water – if you are not going to use a water brush
No new materials needed!
If you are creating with others, each one in your group will need to make sure that they have a sheet of paper. Strathmore STR-445-112 is a pack of 24 12” x 18”sheets black paper which is a good buy and your group can split the costs.
Gather things from Nature
Flowers and Herbs, Sticks and Stones, Seeds and Berries, Sand and Shells…
No new supplies are needed
Each week a different focus will be presented and introduced to you through Watching some fantastic videos. Then you’ll be Practicing the presented ideas through our creative exercises. Next you will be Responding to what you’ve learned and finally Sharing your thoughts and creations.
Each week the information presented in the video will be synthesized into beautiful PDF’s that you are welcome to print out and place in your sketchbook journal.
The videos are beautifully filmed in the places that inspire Heidi – her art studio, her home and the Congaree River, barely a mile from her studio. We were fortunate to have the talented Maggie Calton join our team as filmmaker in charge and she introduced us to Thomas Keim, a talented musician who wrote and performed the music.
We will create our Mandalas on small sheets of paper – 4” x 6”. By the end of Mindful Mandalas, you will have produced quite a few of these. You can preserve your mandalas by sealing them within acrylic laminate pockets.
This is where your sketchbook journal will come into play. Each week, I will pose some questions for you to ponder. They will allow you to dig a bit deeper into the focus of the week. Your sketchbook/journal will be the keeper of your thoughts, the holder of the questions that will arise during the next ten weeks! It will also serve as an alternative place for you to create additional mandalas.
Along the way, we will be adding words and phrases to our mandalas. At the closing of our eight weeks together, you will have a “set’, a collection of Mindful Mandalas that will be a source of inspiration for you.
Building a Community: Our on-line Gathering Place and Social Sharing
One of our hopes for Creating Brave is to develop a vibrant caring on-line community. We hope you will share your creations, your insights, your fears, your joys, your ups and downs, your frustrations, as well as your successes. We will show you how.
Our On-Line Gathering Place
After each lesson you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts and your visual creations. This is of course optional, but we hope you will help us build our Creating Brave community of support.
Share your thoughts and progress on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Mention us @HealingIcons in your status, tweet and/or caption and include the hashtags #CreatingBrave and #artashealing.
Within the next 8 weeks you will:
- Meet Heidi Darr-Hope and tour her art studio
- Understand what a mandala is and why we create them
- Experience over half a dozen ways to create mindful mandalas
- Learn how to create mandalas with others in community
- Meet Healing Icons students and watch them create
- Quiet the thunderous roar of mind chatter
- Reconnect with your inner voice
- Learn there is no right or wrong way to create
- Cultivate time for art play = fun = rest
- Begin to “speak” the silent powerful healing language of art
- Appreciate the difference between art as healing and art therapy
- Discover a supportive nurturing community
- Create a collection of Mindful Mandalas that will serve as a testament to your own inner wisdom and guidance.
Going It Alone or With Others
It can be a thrilling experience to gift ourselves some reflective alone time. Sometimes a bit of quiet solitude is what the soul longs for. All of our practices will support you while you begin to reconnect and deepen your relationship with yourself. Creativity will become one of your best friends.
Other times, it might feel good to be supported by a trusted handful of friends, caregivers or family members. You can gather a small tribe to register together and meet weekly to view and discuss the Mindful Mandala lessons.
You will know which approach is right for you. Whether you experience this by yourself or with others, you can always take advantage of our on-line community.
Our On-Line Community
One of our hopes for Creating Brave is to develop a vibrant caring on-line community. A community that shares honestly the ups and downs of what they are discovering. We hope you will share your creations, your insights, your fears, your joys, your frustrations, as well as your successes. We will show you how.
From time to time, we all need a touch of time just for ourselves, to recenter and connect with the still small voice within.
We all know that a cancer diagnosis, as well as any medical "scare," turns our world upside down and inside out. We assemble our medical team, make treatment plans and get started with healing our body.
But no one addresses the internal struggles, the emotional roller-coaster that goes hand in hand while living with a life threatening disease. All of this anxiety and uneasiness weighs us down and has the potential to weaken our immune system, one of our strongest weapons for the battle against disease. We need more than medicine.
Life Disrupting Events
The loss of a job, a divorce, a change in careers, the death of a loved one or any other life changing event has the potential to add layers of stress and worry into our lives. Instead of pushing through and ignoring the natural side effects that come with change, creativity practices can help usher us through these difficult times with grace and calm.
Our approach is unique and our methods are 100% evidence-based.
You are in good hands.
I wholeheartedly recommend this E-Course: Men and Women, Friends and Family, Daughters and Sons, Sisters and Brothers. Everyone will benefit from this experience.
I have been associated with the talented and empathetic Heidi Darr-Hope and the Healing Icons program for over 25 years. I am so impressed with Heidi’s creative approach to emotional healing in which she uses multiple artistic techniques from writing to mixed media to help participants express feelings, gain insight and resolve stress. We have published two papers on the results of the impact of participation in Healing Icons in professional journals.
Sue P. Heiney, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dunn-Shealy Professor of Nursing
Co-Director, Cancer Survivorship Center
College of Nursing, University of South Carolina
I have utmost respect for Heidi, not only as a gifted professional artist but as a leader in the field of art as healing. Her ability to naturally tackle difficult issues puts her students at ease, allowing them to open up within a safe, trusting environment. Recognizing the health benefits associated with stress reduction and the important role it plays in healing is the benchmark of Healing Icons. We have been the proud sponsor of several of their programs and are delighted to support the expansion of their work.
Franklin G. Berger
Director, Center for Colon Cancer Research
Department of Biology
University of South Carolina
"The Arts and Healing” program has proven to be an invaluable adjunct to our therapies here. The participants feel energized, engaged, hopeful and able to truly articulate the effects that the entire experience has had on them. The finished products- all pieces of art- are lovely tributes to each individual and their respective journeys- profound symbols of the human spirit and resilience of mankind. Heidi has the gift of being able to open those doors to the heart for each person and empowers each and every one of them to stand, to be, and say “This is who I am now.”
Manager for Cancer Programs
Lexington Medical Center , Columbia, SC
Give the Gift of Healing
A Creating Brave eCourse is the perfect gift for any occasion.
More than an art class, Creating Brave offers your loved one the joy of discovering their own unique creativity; a chance to meet others in a warm, enthusiastic, and supportive community; and the catharsis needed to overcome life's challenges and disruptions.
Instead of a material gift, give the gift of experience — the chance to learn something new and make lasting memories.
Join Our Newsletter
Be notified as soon as future course registrations open and get exclusive access to our free mini-courses!
You can follow Healing Icons and Creating Brave on many of the available social platforms. News, inspiration, contests and special offers are posted all the time!