December 2016: Focus

December 2016 MotM

December 2016 MotM

Download the December 2016 Mandala of the Month

This month’s mandala asks us to pay close attention to where we place our attention, especially as we approach the new year.

In our multi-tasking, sound-bite world, with information coming at us from all directions 24/7, we wind up being pushed and pulled in all directions but the one direction we truly want to go.

Creating a plan of action for our projects helps us to stay focused and on track for achieving our 2017 goals. How cool would it be to hit the ground running with action plans for our goals already in place by January 1!

Plan of Action

  1. Create a list of projects Treat this more like a brainstorming session where we write down every project idea without judgement or assessing its viability. Be sure that the project is measurable so we can know when we actually achieve it. (ie: drop 15 pounds, paint three new paintings a month, write one chapter a month, learn five new skills, adopt one new habit a month, publish one new blog post a week, plant an herb garden, etc.)
  2. For each project ask “why” we want to do it–this gives us our motivation (ie: feel better in my clothes, it expands my portfolio, this book will give more credibility as an author, it will make me more marketable, it will give me more confidence, help establish me as a viable blogger, I love to garden, etc.)
  3. For each project determine if the idea of it brings joy–basically to determine if 1) we really want to do this project or 2) we are being “should-ed” into doing it. (ie: pressure from family, would rather teach, friends tell me I should do it, it’s not what I really want to do, significant other wants me to change, other people think it’s a great idea, I should do something with the yard, etc.) If it’s a “should” project, re-think the project: either eliminate it or modify it in some way so that it becomes truly OUR project and brings joy—like wear a party hat while de-cluttering the garage.
  4. Pick a project that calls out to be done the most. Keep a list of all projects someplace where it can be easily accessed and all within our view. In determining which one to do next, projects that have a deadline approaching would be given a higher priority than others without one.  We could also use an intuitive approach where we peruse the list, allowing the project that wants to be done next to “jump out” at us.
  5. Convert project into a list of mini tasks. Create a list of easy, doable tasks that can be accomplished in under 30 minutes. (ie: do 15 minutes of resistance training, determine a subject for a new painting, describe a new character for the book, research a class to take at the local community college, determine the next new habit, write outline for next blog post, buy seeds, etc.)
  6. Each day, refer to the project’s task list for what to do next. When we complete the task, put a check mark next to it as well as the date it was done.
  7. Upon completion of each project, CELEBRATE! Commemorate the project in some way and do something special for ourselves as a reward for a job well done.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 for the next project. 

This process is one way that can help us stay focused on our goals, doing them baby steps at a time. In very short order, we’ll be amazed by how much we accomplish at this “slow and steady” pace.

Plan of Action Variation

A variation on this process would be to do Steps 1-3, then do Steps 4 and 5 for all (or most) of the projects. Then starting on January 1, and each day afterwards, do Step 6 for whatever project(s) need to be done and/or ones we feel like working on for that day. When we complete a project do Step 7!

Whatever approach we decide to take to help us stay focused, ponder our 2017 projects and why we want to do them as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 12 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

 

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Posted in 2016, Asymmetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

November 2016: Funny

November 2016 MotM

November 2016 MotM

Download the November 2016 Mandala of the Month

What does it mean to be funny or to find things funny? And what kind of “funny” are we talking about? Funny – “ha ha” or Funny – strange or odd?

All good questions. While we can go with either one, this month’s mandala invites us to focus on the laughter version of funny.

“Laughter is the best medicine”

  • On the Mayo Clinic web site, they list the short and long term benefits of laughter as well as providing ways to improve on our sense of humor.
  • The Chopra Center list 6 reasons why laughter is the best medicine.
  • Steve Mazan, comic,  shares his view on The Power of Laughter at a recent TED talk.

For a quick laughter booster shot and inspiration I give this silly video:

Many ways exist to help us feel better, some of them healthy, others are questionable. That being said, one of the best ways to feel better about anything is to “find the funny.”

Ponder this and let it tickle our funny bone as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 11 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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October 2016: Fortuitous

October 2016 MotM

October 2016 MotM

Download the October 2016 Mandala of the Month

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines fortuitous as: happening by chance;  having or showing good luck.

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. – Oprah Winfrey

How prepared are we for the opportunities we want to experience?

One person I know has a wonderful idea for what she wants to create and yet it seems to allude her. Turns out she has yet to put together any plans or proposals for the services and programs she wants to provide.

It might seem like a daunting task and yet if we break something that big down into doable daily pieces, we can be prepared for that opportunity in very short order. And then when we “happen to meet someone” who asks us if we do “___________” (whatever it is we do), our reply can then be, “why yes I do. Here are my offerings.”

Whatever our dreams may be, we can be fortuitous by being prepared and making our own luck. Check in each day to ask: What one small thing can I do today to make my dream(s) come true.

Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 10 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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September 2016: Fluid

September 2016 MotM

September 2016 MotM

Download the September 2016 Mandala of the Month

Being fluid means to go with the flow, without resistance; it’s about movement, continuity, flowing from one step to the next. Without limits or boundaries, fluids spread out in any direction it can go or is allowed to go.

This month’s mandala asks us to take a look at areas in our lives where resistance dams up the flow of that which we want to manifest.

Resistance (fear) takes on many disguises and usually boils down to just these two main concepts:

  • lack of confidence/low self-esteem

Surprisingly, lack of self-confidence is not necessarily related to lack of ability. Instead, it is often the result of focusing too much on the unrealistic expectations or standards of others, especially parents and society.

…While self-confidence is the knowledge that you can succeed at something, self-esteem is the capacity to like and love your self, and feel worthwhile, irrespective of all the ups and downs of life. It is your values, beliefs and personal philosophy by which you define your personal worth.

PsychologistsAnytimeAnywhere.com*

  • convenient excuses

From Wayne W. Dyer’s book: Excuses Begone!: How to Change a Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habit he offers this description of “convenient excuses”:

Next Step

Instead of ignoring these inner “dams of resistance”, it’s time to acknowledge their presence, face them, and then ask them “why are you here?” and “what can I do release you?”

When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.
– Byron Katie

Surprising answers await us when we ask!

Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 9 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

* a well-written article…I’m not affiliated with this site nor am I endorsing or promoting them in any way. I quote them because they provide helpful descriptions.

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August 2016: Fly

August 2016 MotM

August 2016 MotM

Download the August 2016 Mandala of the Month

This month’s mandala inspires us to fly, to soar above the fray, to expand our horizons. Staying in place, playing if safe, holding ourselves back, are less desirable options for us now. As Marianne Williamson says:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

And as an added bit of encouragement, we can adopt the message from my Falcon Mandala:

Let me rise above my fear and soar like the one I am meant to be

Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 8 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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July 2016: Family

July 2016 MotM

July 2016 MotM

Download the July 2016 Mandala of the Month

We are family
Get up everybody and sing!

By its simplest definition, family means “a group of people who are related to each other.” Usually we associate “related” as meaning by blood; it can also mean by marriage, adoption or by common interests/traits/characteristics.

Essentially “family” is whatever unites us, brings us together. Of late we hear more about that which divides us, isolating us, keeping us fearful and fighting with each other. It becomes our goal, our quest, then, to find the “family” in everyone, the rose that unites us…thorns and all.

So of course it becomes necessary to include, as part of this post, the ultimate family song sung by Sister Sledge, written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards which also includes some additional family insights and guidance.

Here are the lyrics to the second verse:

Living life is fun and we’ve just begun
To get our share of the world’s delights
High hopes we have for the future
And our goal’s in sight
We don’t get depressed
Here’s what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won’t go wrong, oh-no
This is our family Jewel

Now you’ll have this song in your head for the rest of the day to uplift and energize you…you’re welcome.🙂

Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 7 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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June 2016: Friend

June 2016 MotM

June 2016 MotM

Download the June 2016 Mandala of the Month

When we think of “friend” we usually associate it in relation to someone outside of ourselves. And depending on how we feel about that someone, would determine what type of friend and how close of a friend we are to that someone. Where we may be fair-weather friends to some, we may be best of friends to others, through the good and the bad times, in all kinds of “weather”.

In looking up the word “friend” in a thesaurus, I found this fascinating list of synonyms:

confidant, colleague, acquaintance, buddy, associate, companion, roommate, partner, cousin, ally, crony, cohort, comrade, chum, sidekick, compatriot, mate, schoolmate, pal, consort, alter ego, soul mate, classmate, playmate, well-wisher, bosom buddy

This month’s mandala invites us to look at this word (and its synonyms) from an inner perspective. How much of an ally are we to ourselves? Would we treat our pals they way we treat ourselves? Are we fair-weather acquaintances or best of buddies with ourselves?

It also gives us this food for thought: until we can honestly be wholehearted friends with ourselves, we limit our capacity to be truly best of friends with anyone else.

Ponder this as we color this month’s Mandala of the Month.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 6 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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