My Perfectly Imperfect Life- The new blog title.

My Perfectly Imperfect Life- The new blog title.

I have been silent for a while. While I’m still drawing Mandalas, I’m not doing it with the same regularity or commitment and for now, I feel that this is the right way for me. In the last few years, I have been experimenting with different tools and practices to manage my Generalised Anxiety Disorder without medication so that I do not end up, as happened twice in the past in a Depression diagnosis, and I think I am managing quite well considering that is more than four years since I have taken the last medication. What I learned so far is that there is no perfect solution that will fit everybody and will work all the time even for the same person because not only we are all unique, we, ourselves, also change and what used to work for us might not work anymore and we, almost continuously, need to re-assess and re-evaluate our own balance and our own support systems.

Drawing Mandala for a while it was a good self-reflection tool, but when the drawing itself became the focus instead of being a tool, I had to take a step back. It is very easy to forget the real intention behind our action and become distracted and confuse a tool for a purpose.

In the last weeks instead I have been working with the Artist’s way book by Julia Cameron and I started the practice of the daily morning pages (3 pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing) and even though I feel some resistance every morning, I am still doing it every morning and feeling the benefit of doing it.  More recently, I have added at the start a short 10 Minutes meditation that includes both short breathing and bodyscan meditation. While I cannot share my morning pages on this page as I used to do for the Mandala, as they are private, I want to share the benefit they have brought me so far, in particular, a feeling of joy in seeing that when I do something that resonates with my deeper self and with my way of being I can be disciplined enough to sacrifice something and I can conquer any resistance in order to do it. I think that when we struggle too much to implement a new routine that we think it would be beneficial for us, it might because we are trying to implement something that does not really fit our way of being, we need to experiment and find the solution that is suitable for us.

And here there is my last perfectly imperfect Mandala. It does not need to be even close to  be perfect. My own life and I are like we are supposed to be: perfectly imperfect.

 

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50th Mandala and some more – My Heart Desire.

50th Mandala and some more – My Heart Desire.

These are the last Mandalas of my first Mandala Sketchbook an explosion of patterns in various degree of black and white and then there is the first Mandala of a new phase of this life journey of discovery of my true Heart Desire.

Drawing Mandalas, like journaling, is for me a coaching tools for inquirying with kindness and curioisty into what is my deepest desire, to discover purpose and meaning and to heal the part of my life that have been suffering of neglect becasuse of my own ignorance and fears. It helps to create a safe space where to go deeper to uncover the truth that is hidden behind a thick black wall but that is starting to show some cracks and through that the cracks I can start to see glimpse of the light of my truest heart desire: my Life Path.

Where do I go from here? Do I really need to go somewhere? Or maybe I can just stay here in this colourful circle: nothing to change, nothing to achieve, nothing to desire, nothing to fear, nothing to possess, nothing to lose. This is the place, this is the moment to say YES, to let go of the search, to stand still and let life unfold with ease and the energy embrace me in a warm colourful embrace: red, orange, purple, green, blue, indigo and yellow hidden in the other colours. Because nothing is missing, everything is already here.

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Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Mandala- The Flower of Life Mandala and the Life Mosaic Mandala

Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Mandala- The Flower of Life Mandala and the Life Mosaic Mandala

 

 

 

From Seed of Life to a blown Flower of life.

From small parts without apparent meaning or purpose to a Mosaic of Life.

From apparent chaos to a Cosmo. From anxiety and uncertainty to meaning and ease.

From anxiety and uncertainty to meaning and ease.

From obsessive self-judgement and self-destructive thinking to count the blessings in the ordinary everyday life.

From rigidity, hopelessness and helplessness to, even if still timid, rekindled faith in life and in the possibility to change.

 

 

 

“Life is not really a series of unanchored, chaotic events. Rather, it is like a mosaic; it has a pattern. Each experience has some part in creating the whole. We can see harmony in the big picture.” (Lovingkindness – Sharon Salzberg)

 

 

 

“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter –

if your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things,

this is the best season of your life.” (Chinese poem quoted in Lovingkindness by Sharon Salzberg).

“the purpose of the artist is to create a cosmo in the chaos of this world” (“Walking on water of Madeleine L’Engle quoted in “A selfish plan to change the world” – Justin Dillon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flower of Life

 

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Life Mosaic

 

 

 

 

Forty-Seventh Mandala – Universal Particulars Mandala

Forty-Seventh Mandala – Universal Particulars Mandala

From a series of small details is built a big picture, from the picture I understand the idea, in general, but then I go back to notice the single small details that create the big picture. The big picture gives me a key to open a door on the comprehension of my reality, but then the details are the ones that give me the deep flavor and richness of that reality. It is a continuous journey from universal to particulars and from particulars to universal. It is a balancing act between focusing on myself, and my own limited experience of the world and the world outside me. The details disconnected from each other do not create a picture, they cannot be understood, but connected with each other they become something different and they can become visible and clear.

Mindfulness is teaching me patience and to look at the details of my surroundings, and looking at the details, is opening my mind to possibilities I could not even imagine before. Drawing Mandalas was not something I could imagine doing. It all starts with a small line draw on a page, with a word, with a step to a direction unknown, if we have the patience to wait until the big  picture is revealed.

Loving-kindness is allowing me to engage this drawing/reflecting journey as it is teaching me to be kind and compassionate with myself as I’m a beginner as all beginners, my efforts are very often clumsy and far from being perfect.

“I believe that the big picture is somehow shaped by how we live the details, the little pictures that run through our lives.” (The Dance – Oriah Mountain Dreamer)

“Concepts always remain universal, and so do not reach down to the particular, yet, it is precisely the particular, that hast to be dealt with in life.” (Schopenhauer as quoted in the Art of Reflection by Ratnaguna).

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Forty-Sixth Mandala – The Heart of Life Mandala.

Forty-Sixth Mandala – The Heart of Life Mandala.

Even when everything seems to fall apart in my head,

thoughts and emotions spinning out of control,

with no vision beyond the small restricting darkness that clouds everything,

the jewel at the heart of life always shines even if I do not see it,  feel it or remember it.

And then, sometimes even if I know that the jewel is there,

I seem unable to find my way out of the darkness.

Prisoner of my own monkey mind, I fail, I try again, I fail again and I try again… to find my way to the Heart of my Life.

“...e ti accorgi che quello che senti ha radice nel posto dei santi,

ma tradotto nei gesti dell’uomo che sbaglia ogni volta si torna perdenti.

perdersi per poi riprendersi … siamo sostanza che non puosparire. (Il posto dei santi – Negramaro)”

 

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ps. the little gem at the heart was the touch of my daughter, a small but immense contribution in my eyes.

 

Forty-fifth Mandala – Unicorn Tears Tea Mandala

Forty-fifth Mandala – Unicorn Tears Tea Mandala

I am drinking a Unicorn Tears tea and I wonder what if it really contains Unicorn tears? Would it contain any magic? If I can let go of the need to think that anything, I do or believe, should make sense, have an explanation or being scientifically proved and, just for this moment with this cup of Unicorn tears tea, I allow myself to believe in what might appear unreasonable but enchantingly magic, what could I believe?

Some time ago, I lost  my faith, the faith I inherited from my family and the community I grew up, and now, I realised that I approached life and all different therapies and supports systems, both traditional and not, without a full commitment because deep down I didn’t have real faith that anything could really work, that there was no solution for my internal conflicts and core unhappiness. Now I wonder if I can have a new stronger Faith, one that I discover through the long and hard journey of self-discovery instead of an unquestioned gift from above or from others?

I believe that we are so small in this Universe and our knowledge is so limited that there is no reason why I could not believe in anything I choose because I believe that nothing can be proved to exist or to not exist beyond any doubts and if nothing can be proved beyond any doubts why should I limit myself? So for now,  when I still have a full spectrum of opportunities in front of me and a cup of Unicorn Tears tea, I allow myself to believe in Fairies that live behind little doors in my back garden,  that Unicorns run wildly and freely but hidden in the same woods I visit, that stones and crystals have healing powers, that animals not only can feel as I feel but could talk to me if they only wanted, that trees have wisdom beyond any old sages of all times, that mysterious potions of herbs and flowers can bring love and passion, that sounds and music, but mostly the human mind have the power to hypnotise and heal….

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Some of these reflections were inspired by the Unicorn tears tea I drunk at the cafe’ bookshop “Book Upstairs” and by the book that I’m reading and I’m working with that is “Inner Work” by Robert A. Johnson.

“...we know that, although we seem to be individuals, we are actually plural beings. Each of us has a great multitude of distinct personalities coexisting within one body, sharing one psyche. We also know that the human mind experiences the world as a duality: we divide the world and own selves into darkness and light… and we stand eternally in judgement, siding first with one side, then with the other but rarely we take the terrible task of integrating all this into a whole. It takes courage to go to the bad side of ourselves, to acknowledge it as part of ourselves, to consider that it could have a constructive role to play in our lives. It takes courage to look directly at the fragmentation of our desires and urges. Sometimes these conflicts seem irreconcilable, and we feel torn apart in the conflicts of desires, duties, and obligations that we feel. … We could not find the courage to face up the terrible division in us unless we felt instinctively that the conflicts must eventually resolve, the warring parts come together in peace, the fragmentation finally reveal a deeper reality, an underlying fundamental unity and meaning in life. … there is only one Source, one beginning, one unity out of which all the multiplicity of this life flows, and to which it returns.” (Inner Works page 36-37)

Forty-fourth Mandala – A grounding Mandala

Forty-fourth Mandala – A grounding Mandala

Lively red, Warm orange, Clear non-blinding yellow, interrupted by a blue-green transparent flow and surrounded by the dark blue of the infinite sky.

Roots. It was time to go back to my roots for a little while, replanting them firmly and deeply in the soil and tending to them as I had left them forgotten for too long. I discovered myself groundless, lost in a sea of transparent, fleetings thoughts, drifting along, I became unknowingly vulnerable again to my own insecurities and doubts. So, it was time to re-connect, to restart the journey, but from a new starting point. Even if I continue to get lost, I also continue to reconnect and every time I do it with a bit more awareness, a bit stronger each time. I am learning each time something new.

I reconnected with my roots but with my eyes also up to gaze at the infinite sky. For me it is a constant search for balance between my material life and my spiritual life, so that I can avoid becoming lost for too long in the fears and uncertainty of my daily life which can appear so small in the face of the never-ending universe above my head and I can avoid forgetting for too long how to feel at home in my own body and life.

For few days, I felt the pressure of my commitment with myself to publish something regularly, but then I could not find the words and so instead of forcing myself, I followed the advice I found in the book I am reading now (The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer) and I waited, until the flow came to me with ease and along with the words I realised that what I thought before was complete was missing one important component and I added the last part to my grounding Mandala: the dark blue sky surrounding my Mandala. Because life for me is constant research for balance between being at ease with life and the tension to move forward, between creating a strong connection with my roots and a steady gaze on the sky above me.Mandala-44