Interview : Patricia Fitzgerald, Mandala artist queen

Patricia Fitzgerald of Healing Creations tells how and why she set up her mandala healing workshops, and about synchronicity and co-incidence and Carl Jung. 

Q. How did you get interested in mandala art?

Patricia : In December 2012, I was not sleeping. I was extremely stressed out. Losing my temper and basically worrying all day. I was in the midst of going through a divorce, selling the family home and undergoing massive and unexpected changes in my personal life. I was not doing well. During that time I began to experience an inordinate amount of synchronicity or much so that it felt like I was meeting myself going around corners! It kind of freaked me out to be honest. I took myself to the doctor who promptly prescribed anti-depressents. I took them for perhaps a week...but it did not sit well with me. I was sad. I was going through the mill for sure.

But I was not clinically depressed. It is normal and natural for us to be sad when things like this happen in our lives. Why should I be medicated for that? I threw the tablets in the bin and began doing some research on the phenomenon of synchronicity that seemed to surround me. It led me to the wonderful work of eminent psychologists Carl Jung and Wolfgang Pauli. I also began to read a lot about quantum physics and Einstiens's concept of Spooky Action at a DistanceBohm's Holigraphic Universe theory and much more.

During this time, through a mind blowing series of coincidences, I came to discover the art of mandala. I had brought my daughter to Malta on a week's holiday. She kept asking me if she could buy a particular toy at a stall on the waterfront. Pester Power! I bought the toy and it turned out to be a wire mandala which you twist to represent the planets to draw in that energy. I found that I kept playing with it. At that time, I was writing a lot of fiction, and I decided to have one of my fictional characters fiddle with this mandala as one of her character foibles. So I decided to research a little on what mandalas actually are. 

The first time I googled mandala, the first result I got was the fact that Jung had drawn them practically daily! BOOM! Synchronicity strikes again! And with the man who actually coined the term! Wow...I was amazed. 

I decided to draw one in my notebook. It was enjoyable...calming. Remember, at this time I was going through a DIY divorce alongside selling the family home myself. 

I began to create mandalas more and more.  I would turn off the TV, light a candle and sit down and simply begin. Somehow creating them let me come to a realisation that I could only control what was in my sphere of control and the rest I had to trust. And to be okay with that. I was unaware of the journey that mandalas would lead me on, and it was only after things had settled that I began to really research and come to understand what it was that I had been intuitively doing and experiencing. Mandalas started me on a massive spiritual awakening, a word that was not in my vocabulary prior to these events. The journey continues and gets more fascinating with each and every day. Mandalas hold such power, the power to calm, to heal and to connect deeply to the self yet at the same time, to something much bigger than ourselves.

Q. And the healing aspect comes in with the actual execution of them?

Patricia : As I have continued to create mandalas over the past six years, practically every day, I have found utter healing. I no longer worry about the things that I used to constantly worry about. I sleep really well too. Each and every mandala created is like a brush stroke on the spirit, peeling back the layers of the onion that society and conditioning have built around us. The beliefs that we hold onto that are in fact not true, or were never ours in the first place!  I won't say that this journey is always a bed of roses...things come up for you during the process. It is a re-cognition of the true self. It is a journey for the brave of heart for sure. Going inside to take a good honest look at ourselves can be absolutely terrifying for many people. But by bringing things lurking inside up from the subconscious and into the light of awareness, we really do begin to heal them. 

We can begin to change the way that we speak to ourselves, to become more aware of when the inner critic is speaking, to become a friend to ourselves rather than the default setting of an enemy. If you truly want to have to do the work. It's an inside job.  What begins as a journey into the self, becomes paradoxically an absolutely amazing connection to the interconnection of all things. To the universal. As many spiritual gurus have said...we need to go within in order to heal what is without. As above, so below.
You can also use mandalas to gaze on as a tool for meditation. Often when people are in deep meditation they begin to see geometric forms in their mind's eyes. Gazing on a mandala, (it does not have to be your own creation) can be very powerful in bringing you into a deeper meditation process. If you are interested in purchasing a limited edition print for meditation purposes you can do so at my website

Q. What do you think then of the new colouring for adults craze?

Patricia : I think that it has its place. It is a powerful thing in itself to reconnect with our inner child. That child who loved picking out the colours. The child who would while away the hours with pencils and crayons lying on the grass in the sun. The child who ripped open a birthday present for a neighbouring child before she got to the party and began colouring in with the markers herself. (Yes...I did that and got into an awful lot of trouble for it!)
It is a powerful thing to agree to gift yourself time to yourself. Time for reflection. Time to lose yourself in the flow of creativity. I recently published an adult colouring book myself, one that takes the process a little deeper than most other books on the market. It contains 40 mandalas for you to engage with, all intuitively hand drawn. With each mandala there are three journaling pages so that you can capture what comes up for you during the process. 

TV3 reviewed it and the lady said 'It might be the kind of book you keep under your bed'....perhaps she is right! Yes, things will come up. Good and bad. It is wonderful to have documentation of your growth, your journey through a particular life circumstance....a pregnancy, an illness, an engagement, a will always have ups and downs and we can come to accept that fact and be more at peace.

(Image Ana Dorado)

We can look back during bad times and see what we were doing and thinking during the good times. We can bring ourselves back into that energy. We did it once, we can do it again. Awareness of your particular ways of being and reacting is so very very powerful. Know thyself as Socrates said. Each mandala in the book also contains an inspirational quotation from some of the world's greatest thinkers both living and passed. From Mike Dooley of Notes to the Universe who kindly gave me a quotation, Pat Divilly Galway life coach also contributed, to Marcus Aurelius and even Willy Wonka got himself in there! You can see more about the book here.

While colouring mandalas is powerful in itself, nothing can come close to creating them from scratch yourself. Beginning that journey from one dot and seeing what unfolds and reveals itself to you. I give day long workshops and am just putting together my autumn programme. It is a really nurturing day in which I give you guidance on creating this circle of self. The groups are always intimate and involve a lot of meditation too. It is a safe space to do this work, and I marvel at how each time the energy of the group is always just as it should be...the right people seem to come together for this work, and synchronicity winks at us a lot! I'm very delighted to be hosting workshops in some wonderfully peaceful venues this autumn, including Townley Hall in Drogheda, and Russborough House in Wicklow.  

You can see upcoming workshops on my website. Also coming up from November 17-19 is a full Mandala Creative Visioning Retreat at Lisnavagh House which I am very looking forward to. A great group is forming already, and places are booking up fast. We will be giving gratitude for all that we have received and learned in 2017 and setting our intentions for the coming year of 2018.

Q. Do you get a lot of people interested in mandala art or is it niche ? 

Patricia : When I began this journey, none of the people in my circle had any idea of what a mandala was. I was embarrassed at first to be honest...would people think I was mad? But as I began to unfold and share my work, I began to connect in the most beautifully synchronous ways to other like minded people right across the world. As I began to heal myself and my own insecurities about being authentic in what I do, more and more opportunity to share the work became available. More and more people are becoming aware of mandalas through the work that I and many others share. 

Sometimes I give workshops to groups who have absolutely no idea whatsoever what a mandala is, and they become absolutely intrigued by it. There is such a rich history attached to mandalas across all of the world, all religions, all philosophies and none. We begin to see the stunning underlying patterns of nature from the microcosm to the macrocosm....and it is pretty mind blowing! During this process, your eyes and senses become keener to this I believe. There is an underlying structure that is so perfect. It allows us to feel safe. To feel safe in peeling back our layers of conditioning and to begin to become our authentic selves. To re-cognise our selves. Because we all at heart know that he/she is in there somewhere, simply waiting ... indeed wanting to be released. 

Q. What are your future plans?

Patricia : I have lots of plans and opportunities presenting themselves. During the workshops that I host, I give guided meditations that I create intuitively on the day. People find them powerful and very healing and have asked would I consider recording them. So I am going to do that! I am also going to have a private Facebook Group where I will host one or two live meditations per week. If you are interested in joining in from the comfort of your own home, you can hop into the group. The meditations will begin from September. It's lovely to do this in a group and with intention. A powerful energy and community is created. So I am very much looking forward to that.

I also am hoping to host more retreats both in Ireland and abroad in 2018 and of course more one day workshops. I also think these workshops could really work well for businesses bringing teams together in a very creative and thought provoking way. So that is another area that I would like to look at in more depth.

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