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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May 2016: Forgiveness

May 2016 MotM

May 2016 MotM

Download this Month’s Mandala of the Month

Probably one of toughest challenges as humans: offering forgiveness. We tend to want to hold onto our grudges, our victimhood, and our martyrdom; wearing it like a badge as if to say “look what ______ did to me.”

We let this badge define us and our actions. While doing so we lose sight of all the joy and wonder that thrives around us, holding us back from experiencing any further growth.

While deep in the throes of our martyrdom, chances are we are the only ones suffering. Our “transgressors” are probably clueless or could care less. How many stories have we heard where person A, years later, confronted person B about person B’s transgression only to realize that person B forgot it even happened or even realized that it hurt person A in any way.

We also have this mis-conception that if we forgive someone (or ourselves) it means we’re condoning what they did. In reality what we do when we forgive is really forgiving ourselves for making a decision, more than like unconsciously, to be angry/hateful/etc about this person or situation. And with that decision, we inflicting these negative emotions upon ourselves.

In A Course in Miracles it states:

We cannot be angry at a fact

A fact is a fact is a fact. Someone does something. That’s a fact. I do something. That’s a fact. How WE react to said “something” is our responsibility, our decision. If we choose to react with anger/hatred/resentment/etc, we subject that upon ourselves, projecting that outward with our words and deeds. If we choose to react from a place of peace/love/joy/etc, we subject that upon ourselves as well, projecting that outward with our words and deeds.

In the end, forgiveness has little to do with what’s going on outside of us. It starts from the inside when we decided to change our minds about ourselves, other people, or our experiences. It can start with thoughts like these:

  • It is what it is – we can continue to play the victim card, to continue to abuse ourselves, or we can learn how to see things differently, starting with seeing things from a “just the facts, Jack” perspective.
  • They are doing the best they can – based on their life’s experiences, what they know, and what they understand. Given the same circumstances, we would do the same thing.
  • I am doing the best I can – here too, based on our life’s experiences. Can I do better? yes, of course, certainly. For right now, though, this is the best I can do. Or, back then that was the best I could do. I know differently now.

Here’s yet another way to look at forgiveness:

  • Thank you “for giving” me this opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Thank you “for giving” me this opportunity to love/like/appreciate/etc you again.
  • Thank you “for giving” me this opportunity to love/like/honor/etc myself again.

Ponder this (and cut ourselves some slack) as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to download the Section 5 of the 2015 Mandala of the Year

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April 2016: Freedom

April 2016 MotM

April 2016 MotM

Download this Month’s Mandala of the Month

We are totally free to do, think, feel or be whatever we want. And with that freedom comes taking 100% responsibility for ourselves, our choices, and our actions (positive and negative).

  • We are free to eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting.
  • We are free to finish our latest project.
  • We are free to be indecisive.
  • We are free to be on time for meetings.
  • We are free to skip a loan payment.
  • We are free to be happy with ourselves.
  • We are free to break the law.
  • We are free to love our family and friends.
  • We are free to spend beyond our budget.
  • We are free to be true to ourselves.
  • We are free to play it safe.
  • We are free to risk it all.
  • We are free to believe negative thoughts about ourselves.
  • We are free to believe positive thoughts about ourselves.

Freedom is neutral – without judgement, without blame. The question comes down to: are we willing to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our free will actions?

Our struggle occurs when we allow ourselves to become victims of our apparent lack of freedom. “I gotta go to work. I gotta pay the bills. I gotta take care of this. I gotta take care of that. If I don’t do it who will?”

This month’s mandala reminds us that we are powerful beings, neither the victim nor the victimizers. We always have a choice.

For example, if going to work feels like a “gotta do thing”…try this process:

  • what do I want to do today? answer truthfully …go to the beach instead of work
  • am I willing to take responsibility for following through …it would mean missing an important meeting or I do have some vacation days left or this would be the fourth day this month I’ve taken off-I could lose my job or I need to find a new job
  • now the most important part: consciously choose what it is I want to do …I’m going to take a vacation day today and while doing so I plan to review my work options and figure out how best to make work a better experience for me until I can find something better OR I’m going into work today knowing that I chose to be there…I can also choose HOW I want to be there–begrudgingly, happy, content, miserable, etc.

For another example, if we struggle to be around certain people who, for whatever reason, have to be in our lives right now we can apply the same process:

  • how do I want to feel about this person? answer truthfully …I want to feel annoyed, angry, frustrated, disappointed
  • am I willing to take responsibility for following through …it would mean raising my blood pressure or me feeling miserable, agitated or me missing out on anything else going on because I’m so focused on my feelings towards that person
  • now the most important part: consciously choose how I want to feel …I’m going to remain neutral with this person (I find repeating the mantra “I choose power” silently to myself, helps) OR I’m going to knowingly choose to be angry with this person and avoid her/him at all costs OR I’m going to do some inner work to determine what my reaction to this person is all about (people mirror for us that which we fail to see within ourselves). 

When we come from this place of choice, we gain our freedom. Rather than remaining victims, we empower ourselves. We may happen to be in a very oppressive situation and yet we are still free to choose how we feel about it and how we want to react to it.

Human freedom is not a freedom from but freedom to (Viktor Frankl 1988, p.16 Man’s Search for Meaning).

Ponder this as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to download/color the April section of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.

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