Time Required :
About an hour
Intermediate
Intermediate
You're somewhat experienced with the skills necessary to complete this project, but you haven't mastered all the elements, yet.

moss mind map

Let the process of making this Moss Mind Map by Nat G. draw you inward and help you feel fully present in the moment. The finished piece will be a hanging reminder to find that focus again when you need it.
Step 1

Set yourself up to be present for your creative time. Do so by creating conditions for creativity to come out and play. Don’t worry, the conditions don’t have to be a clear room without any noise or distractions. The goal is to find that clear space within. Simply mark the beginning of this project time with a little ritual. Maybe it involves cleaning up a bit or closing your eyes to get conscious of your own breathing. Whatever your day calls for, as long as you’re listening to your intuition. Intuition is a powerful tool to tap into your inherent creative energy. So use it, especially if you’re not entirely sure what you need in the moment. See this as an early moment to attune to your intuition, as you’ll want to align with it for your actual ‘making.’ I like to close my eyes if I feel unsure. It’s a little easier to hear what’s trying to get my attention when I remove visual stimulation.
TIP: As you gather materials to use for this project, perhaps you engage in a practice of gratitude. Imagine for a moment the path this material took before making its way to you, all the people that were part of its creation, transport, sale, etc. Send them a little mental ‘thank you.’

Step 2

To build the foundation so that the Moss Mind Map can actually be hung on a wall, attach the foam disc to the metal wreath using hot glue. This is just to set the wreath into place and doesn’t have to be super secure as you’ll reinforce the structure with wire. Then, stick some floral wire through the floral foam at about four points along the outer edge from the front of the disk. You can mark the four points where you’ll make the wire holes first, but it doesn’t have to be exactly distanced. Punch the floral wire through at a bit of a distance (about 1"-2" [4 cm- 5.1 cm]) from the foam disk's edges so that the wire doesn't rip through. Loop both wreath and disk together at the back and close up the wire on the side of the wreath by twisting it around itself and tucking it under the wreath. The wreath back structure serves as the part to hang from.
TIPS: 

  • If you like, you could add some rope/ribbon/more wire to hang from the back wreath as well, but the back structure itself will do too. No worries if the wire is sticking out at the disk side of your piece, you’ll cover that with moss later.
  • As you’re building the base for your moss art, see if you can tune into your own physical foundation. As we want to cultivate a strong base in this piece, you’ll want to do the same from within yourself. How are you balancing the weight between your feet or on your sitting bones? And if you shifted something about your posture by just 5%, could the experience change?
Step 3

It’s time to create your Moss Mind Map structure. Flip the disc to have the flat foam part face up, the wire wreath facing down. Mark the middle point (this can be approximate, it’s where your middle succulent will eventually go). Separate your embroidery hoops, each hoop has two pieces and you only need one. I like to use the hoop without the metal fastener, but you could always glue moss over it (this is a great way to repurpose and make a second piece too!). Using hot glue, attach your wooden hoops in concentric circles, from biggest to smallest on your foam disk. Try to have approximately the same distance around them.
TIPS: 

  • Without structure, creative freedom is flimsy and lacks clarity or direction. This again applies to our inner worlds as well. As you create the structure for your mind map, know that you have the freedom to fill it with whatever you please. Maybe you ponder on whether you’d benefit from putting a few more structures into place in your own life.
  • Before gluing down your hoops, lay out your hoop structure and look at it from a few different angles to see if it’s even.
Step 4

As you begin adding moss within the outermost ring, everything about the design is still unknown. Try to be open and receptive to what is about to unfold in front of you. It’s OK to be unsure about what is going to happen. Choose a pattern of moss that calls your attention and begin gluing it repetitively inside the two larger hoops using small drops of hot glue. Try to notice everything. Observe the textures, shades, the scent of the natural material. It’s made of organic matter, just like you, a part of this universe. Witness how it feels in your hands and how it affects your posture. How it sounds when you attach it. How you feel when you do it. Focus completely on the material in front of you as you begin to lay it out, and let it guide you on and on. You don’t have to be perfect at this and you can allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes. The point is the process anyway. For my pattern, I chose darker shades for the outermost ring. I repeated a pattern of three alternating shades of moss all the way around my outermost hoop-framed ring.
TIP: If you’d like to use succulents, you can cut them with wire cutters and simply stick them directly into the foam!

Step 5

After you make your way through the first ring, repeat this process with different patterns for the other two outer rings using varying shades of moss, textures, pebbles, succulents, etc. Any succulents used can be stuck into the floral foam by pushing the stem straight into the moss and securing it with hot glue. I chose the shades to get more lush and bright towards the inner rings. Listen to yourself and what feels right for you.
TIPS:

  • Repetition has a lot to reveal. When you do something over and over again, you set the stage for awareness. Observe where your mind goes when you engage in a repetitive activity. Although you’re doing the same thing, you experience different things over time. The repetition and this activity can be a mirror for areas you might work on in your life (i.e., If you're impatient to finish a ring, you potentially want to look at cultivating more patience in general).
  • When you notice your mind wandering, try to bring it back to the task in front of you. Make a deliberate effort to be present without judging your experience, but being open to all emotions that come up. It’s about sitting with the full spectrum of emotions and letting whatever arises move through you and with you. As you open yourself to the experience, you start to tap into flow. Creativity is readily available at this stage.
Step 6

Fill in the middle circle by gluing in your moss and attach the middle succulent by pushing it through the foam (securing with hot glue if you like). Cut your succulent with wire cutters from its stem if you need. I chose the brightest shade for the middle, but there are many other possibilities. As you get closer to the innermost circle (or any ending of a circle), perhaps you notice the tendency to want to rush to it and move on to the next thing your day holds. Try to make it your practice to be as present as you were when you first started. How can you approach the final parts of the project with a sense of purpose, and maybe even find something new? This might just be where transformation happens.
TIP: Observe any resistance you may encounter and see it as something that can teach you something new. Often, life presents us with many opportunities to work through our ‘stuff’ and rewrite the stories we have come to believe about ourselves. All we have to do is stay receptive.

Step 7

After you’re done with all the inner moss circles, attach tree bark around the sides of the floral foam with hot glue. You can fill in any gaps where the floral foam is still showing with moss. As you approach the last stretch of the process, you might take a moment to zoom out and reflect on your mindful, creative journey. Has it become a little easier to be present? To do something simple like gluing? How is your breath feeling now? How is your body and my mind? Take a moment to check in again. Finally, make sure everything is properly secured and then hang and enjoy! Let it serve as your moment to be fully present whenever you pass it.

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Materials

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