Forty-first Mandala or First Mandala of the second year- The One Year Mandala

Forty-first Mandala or First Mandala of the second year- The One Year Mandala

It started a year ago this strange journey through shapes and colours.

It started without a destination, reason or timeframe and it is still a journey with no map, boundaries or rules. It is a journey of letting go of the need for control or approval and just let ideas and forms flow freely.

It is a journey of discovery and learning with many detours and even few temporary stops along the way.

It has been a journey of fun and pleasant surprises, of moments of doubts and tiredness and more than one failed attempt or false start.

one-year-of-mandalas

Now, I reached the one year anniversary and I want to mark this day to recognise having honoured a personal commitment with no hidden motivation other than engaging in this personal experience with no end.

This Mandala journey continues and the first Mandala of this second year, it is about wholeness and integration; it is about the Life energy that flows from the root to the crown and it is about connecting the dots and observe the Life that emerges.

20170206_212039.jpg

Twenty-eighth Mandala – Behind the veil.

Twenty-eighth Mandala – Behind the veil.

Behind the veil and web of intricate thoughts and stories, I tell myself, lies my deeper truth.

The intricate web of stories and false beliefs I created to protect my deeper vulnerable self from disappointment, shame and ridicule from protective shield became a prison.

If I can go beyond the superficial layers of desires and values that I believe to be mine,  can I uncover what really lies at the core of my own life?

The process of uncovering the truth is a life project. It requires courage, patience, dedication and faith to navigate through the moments of weakness and doubts. Piece by piece I reveal the true colours behind so much darkness, I untangle little pieces of deceits and pretence and a different picture starting to appear.

20160926_231342

“If I had the power to live the life I wanted to live, well beyond the boundaries of what I know to be realistic, almost like if in a dream where even the most trusted law of physics does not have to count, what life would I create for me? Would I fly without wings? Would I travel the world fearlessly?  Would I believe myself as a worthy and lovable person?  Would I find happiness in who I am more than in what I do?

Would I fly without wings?

Would I travel the world fearlessly?

Would I believe myself as a worthy and lovable person?  Would I find happiness in who I am more than in what I do?

Would I find happiness in who I am more than in what I do?

What life would I live?”

Twenty-seventh Mandala – A Borderline Undefined Mandala

Twenty-seventh Mandala – A Borderline Undefined Mandala

A Borderline undefined Mandala.

It is a different Mandala or maybe not. I’m not sure if it is different in a good way or not, but in this journey I’m trying to accept all of them, to bring all of them to the light: the ones I love, the ones I feel connected with, the ones that I understand and the ones I’m not sure I fully understand or that leave me a bit perplexed or unsure.

I’m sharing all because this is a journey where every effort count, every step even the smallest one has a significance in creating my big picture because all my “successes” contain the myriad of small failures and hard work before them.

In this Mandala, like in this journey of self-discovery and self-coaching that I’m journaling through Mandalas, there are different at times contrasting patterns, different stages connected and at times opposing or hiding from each other.

Like this journey sometimes it seems I have a clear sense of direction, an empowering vision of the arrival line, other times out of the blue I find myself lost as if around me a scary forest populated by imaginary unknown beastly threats has appeared, sometimes it feels like I’m expanding beyond my usual self and a deepening reaching the most secret part of yourself. It is a continuous flow like in a river at some points almost calm and shallow in other becomes agitated deep but always moving. And around these continuous flowing of ideas and changes, some very small others more important, walls are starting to crumble. Some walls are still quite high and strongly in place, but the small changes that I’m in my life are starting to bring them down and the lights are starting to filtrate and bring luminous sparks in what used to feel like a very dark night, the dark blue almost black of the sky is fading into lighter tones of blues.

 

 

27-mandala

 

My self-coaching journey – second session

Almost a month ago I started this self-coaching journey, I am in a phase of my life where I feel I need to re-valuate and re-consider the direction I’ve been taking with my life and this type of journey is far from being easy or straightforward and these first steps are taking longer than I expected  landing me temporarily in an even more confused situation than before without a clear sense of my direction and with doubts appearing along the way about what I am doing and its relevance for my ultimate goal of living a meaningful and happier life.

The possible self-coaching process I envisioned for this personal journey was going to go through an ideal set of steps: during the first session, I was going to assess my current situation “my here and now” using the “Wheel of Life” with the underlying vague sense of my ultimate goal as a compass for the process during this preliminary phase, then in time for my second self-coaching session I planned to have investigated the values, beliefs and aspirations (needs, wants and wishes) which are the foundations, the borders and the background of my life and for my goal. By the third session, possibly by the end of the second month of this journey,  I thought I would have defined an action plan, following the clarification of my Goal possibly using a SMART approach during the second session, which would have implied an in-depth revision of the Specific goal (who would have been involved, what I wanted to accomplish, where it would have taken place, why I was doing it, what would have been the constraints/requirements that needed to be considered), the necessary Measures of my progress and ultimately my success, its practical Achievability and its Relevance or its being Realistic  in relation to my needs and my personal situation, the Timeframe within which I could have realistically achieved my goal. Along the way, I thought I would take time to assess my level of success to make adjustments where necessary and, if necessary, considered some support systems to use in the moments of doubts or difficulties that I could have used also after the coaching process was completed. I also expected that I needed to do lot of work in between session to be able to progress to the next stage.

In reality, I reached my second session without having fully completed the homework I had give myself and with still quite  a confused picture so not ready to work on the specific aspects of my Goal.  This does not mean that the self-coaching process is or would not be effective, but it only highlight a need for continuous adjustments to fit the reality of life. I believe that this process is effective because it provides practical tools and directions instead of generic guidelines or principles, but that is also effective only as long as I trust the process and myself, I am fully honest with myself about what I want to achieve and the commitments I can realistically make and I am really engaged.  In fact, I believe that the effectiveness of any process to change my life will depend on me, not on my coaches, therapists, mentors or even doctors, because there is not perfect solution that can fit everybody’s life and condition and nobody else other than me can have the solutions for my life or hold the Truth about my own life.

This  self-coaching process is far from being  an easy quick fix  and at time, it can even feel awkward, confusing and hard because it might make us face situations that needs healing. I see  any coaching process as a healing process, because I believe that if we feel that we need to change something in our life it is because something in our life is not in harmony with our deeper self needs and values. On the surface, it might look like that we “simply” feel stuck, mildly dissatisfied or demotivated at work or in our personal life but these feelings very often are the symptoms that something deeper is not ok for us and needs to be brought out in the light and healed.

During the last weeks I have been working on my values along with the beliefs that are holding me back from living the life I desire, investigating what is missing from my life, what I need, what I want and what I desire and especially the false desires, wants and wishes that do not really belong to me but to convictions and ideas I inherited and made mine but only on the surface from my family, my education, the society. I started questioning the nature of the subtle fear that clouds and have clouded many of my choices and prevented me from taking the risk to live the life I desire. This investigation is not a one time reflection, I sat several times reflecting on all this, but more importantly I left my heart and mind open to reflect on this anytime that something inspired me some further, deeper reflections. I sat for sometime with all the questions that emerged as a result of these reflections without even trying to answer them for a while, but simply making them to myself and let them lead my thoughts to possible new avenues that I had not even know before. It is a long process and it is far from being completed, I will continue for a little while longer to work on this investigation before I proceed to the next phase of this journey, but during this period, I realised some important things for me:

– That there is no magic or simple solution for me in the near future, but I don’t need to despair because it is ok to take the time I need, because nothing of what I’ve been learning and did in the past is either wasted or useless but it is what has brought me here to this point of my life and even if some of the practice I’m doing might feel ineffective or confuse me, everything will become clear eventually, when the time is correct.

– That this is a life journey, that happiness needs our constant presence and awareness about who we are, where we are going and what we want so that  we are ready for the changes that happens all the time in life;

– That I need to take the time to re-learn about my priorities, what is really important for me and the reasons behind my choices and even challenge some perceptions I have about myself and my level of unhappiness;

– That even though the big solution is not possible in the next months there are actions and projects I can put in place that not only can bring me closer to my big goal but can also make the present life happier and more fulfilling, because while being able to have project for the future is fundamental, living our best possible present with what we have right now is as fundamental and might be the only thing we have.;

– That is ok to take it slow and enjoy the life and the world around me while I move forward, that I don’t need to rush anywhere or into anything because in reality nothing counts more than this moment I’m living now so I need to trust that whatever the next moment will bring while I cannot control it I can manage it as I did in the past;

– That if I before doing something I ask myself the question “what would I do in this situation if others’ opinion did not exist”, I can in those moments maybe behave differently and more freely from what I did in the past, letting the fear of others’ opinion cloud my ability to choose the best path for myself and stopping me from enjoying simple pleasures.

So my next step is to continue to work on the big picture, keeping my mind and heart open to the inspiration that can emerge from my life and the practices that are now part of my life:

– Meditating and journaling almost daily to manage my feelings and thoughts

– Drawing mandalas and continue to publish one drawing and a post at least once a week,

– Have a weekly virtual meeting with myself to assess my progress and define possible action to continue to move forward.

– Have another self-coaching session in a month time.

While this might look like a big list, in reality it requires approximately less than one hour a day for the daily task and possibly another hour a day to complete the other weekly tasks and  that is a realistic commitment for the next month.