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hey there, i’m karen hansen

I came to Perth Western Australia as a wind- seeking windsurfer in the 80’s living my life travelling in a van and next to the ocean . As I settled and made a family life here, I soon realized that I needed to learn how to navigate the waves of my own life as well. With a family and 3 children, working and studying, my life became so busy and my mind never seemed to switch off. It’s no wonder I found myself washed up, physically and mentally exhausted in my early 40’s.

This was a pivotal moment for me and I decided to make a complete change in direction so I jumped off the professional treadmill and started my own business ‘Pure Relaxation’…specializing in relaxing and de-stressing.

 
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Pure Relaxation Starts

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Pure Relaxation started out 10 years ago as a massage business and straightaway I specialised in relaxation massage. I found this type of massage hugely beneficial for myself and at this time I learnt about Herbert Benson’s ‘Relaxation Response’ in 1975 demonstrating the great benefits of relaxation (blog post soon). As a remedial massage therapist I had a wonderful client base of people who either had a high output life themselves and came in to relax and recharge or people on a similar journey to me who had used up their resources just wanted to relax and restore mind and body.

A Pure Relaxation signature massage was described like this:

‘An hour of blissful pampering, soft towels, calming music and beautiful oils, combined with a deeply therapeutic massage. Easing and loosening tight muscles in the body, this massage helps you take time out and unwind the natural way, helping you to become more grounded and peaceful”…

I simply did for others what I found beneficial for myself. Sharing the benefits of learning how to relax mind and body was incredibly rewarding as the results spoke for themselves. Clients came regularly for their ‘relaxation massage’ saying they felt so much better. Very soon I was getting referrals from many health professionals sending their clients for the benefits of relaxation in order to de-stress. 

 

Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation

 

I later trained at the beautiful Gawler Foundation with Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson in the ‘Yarra Valley’ as a Mindfulness Based Stillness Mediation teacher and found that Mindfulness Meditation helped me literally learn the skills to have more ‘peace of mind’.

After the first module of my training I decided to start drawing again…something I loved to do as a child but hadn’t done a lot of throughout my life. I wanted a pastime that would train my attention and enhance my mental focus, and one that was quiet and peaceful. I started to draw line drawings and very soon found myself drawing ‘mandalas’.


 

Why Mandalas?

I learnt that ‘mandala’ meant circle in sanskrit and was interested to find that Carl Yung the famous Swiss psychoanalyst had worked extensively with mandalas and found them significant in terms of the development of ‘the self’. They had also been found in all ancient cultures.

I taught myself how to draw mandalas my way and eventually found the type of design I love doing …big mandalas with simple lines and lots of space.

I found mandala drawing focused my attention and helped me in so many ways. It is a peaceful activity and I developed a special ritual around drawing. I take time to become ‘present’ with beautiful oils diffusing and lovely things in my environment and mindfully meditate beforehand. The whole experience is one of being relaxed and Mindfully present allowing myself the time and space to create. 

 
 

Drawing Together

 
 
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When friends said ‘I could never draw a mandala, they look complicated!’  I showed them how I went about drawing mandalas so they could too. The first session I did with a friend was a Skype session and I was completely amazed at the totally unique and beautiful mandala my friend created! 

It simply went from there and I believe that everyone has a unique mandala in them’. This led to me developing a ‘Mindfulness and Mandala’ workshop which enables me to share this peaceful creative pastime with everyone. 

THE WORKSHOP

In the 3hr workshop we explore the concept of Mindfulness itself and how to apply it to draw and create a mandala. It is such a thrill when each person learns how to draw in the moment, and trusts that their design will emerge. Each person leaves with their unique mandala design and ideas as to how they can use their designs to create beautiful original artworks for their own environment.

 
 
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I have always loved beautiful, balanced and simple interior design, particularly creating calm and relaxing environments. Drawing mandalas on wood and creating prints to enhance the interior of relaxing spaces is the start of creating products that contribute to a relaxed environment whether it is a whole house, a peaceful room or a yoga/meditation studio.

So here I am at the beginning of my journey starting to share Mindfulness and Mandalas through original artworks, framed prints, workshops, studio murals and meditation courses …along with a variety of simple good things that I would love to share with you on your relaxation journey.

 
 

All of these things create more balance and enjoyment in my life. They help me relax and feel present and maybe they will in yours too? Then we’ll be able to surf the waves together! 

 

Thanks for being here at the beginning!

Karen x