I made this flower petal mandala in early February while doing wild woman woo woo stuff, with my wild woman woo woo friends…as you do.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this little creation would come to symbolize so much more for me over these past few weeks than I realized in the moment.
A mandala is a spiritual and ritual meditation symbol originating from Asian cultures, that generally represents the complexities of the spiritual journey…and how things eventually come together perfectly, as a bigger whole.
They are created as a tangible expression of the journey and transformation of suffering…into one of joy.
Symbolic of pulling all of the dead, discarded, useless, forgotten, torn and damaged elements together…to make something new and beautiful.
Isn’t that the magic of springtime?
Moving from the death of the cold, dark winter into the fresh warmth, light and newness of spring?
Like so many this year, I feel like I’ve been drudging through my own heavy winter.
Literally and figuratively.
Hiking lost through the unknown, waving my furious fists up at the storms that seem to keep following me (almost taunting me) as I’ve foraged for my faith.
Searching for shelter from the whipping winds of my own ego and stubborn limiting beliefs.
Staring down the familiar wolves and demons that have forever lurked within the corners of my mind.
Circling around me as I audaciously meet their gaze.
STRAIT. IN. THE. FUCKING. EYES.
Pulling out all of the dried up and useless elements piled up in my heart that have died off, and fallen from the branches.
I imagine myself kneeling down to gather it all up, to try and build something meaningful at the roots.
Something that would make it all worth it.
I close my eyes and imagine my little flower petal mandala has become a humble fire.
A small comfort in the cold.
A moment of rest.
An instant of peace and quiet.
I hold my hands out above the heat as my fire picks up momentum, and exhale deeply what I didn’t realize I was holding.
Now, my blaze is snapping and roaring.
Fueled by the pure combustion of my own breath finally speaking truths out loud…and the rage that I’ve worked so hard to subdue.
So I decide to add the gnarled logs of all of the things that no longer serve me.
I squat down to lift and hurl my deepest regrets and disappointments.
All of the obligations and expectations.
The betrayals and lies that I was expected to take in stride.
Vices I’ve tried to hide.
All of the times I’ve humiliated myself sharing the truths of my vulnerable heart with those who only ever left me feeling wildly misunderstood.
Resentments I’ve been afraid to release.
Apologies I deserve that I’ll never receive.
Missed opportunities and fumbled possibilities…that play shamefully on repeat.
The dying dreams of who I was “supposed to be”.
Burning away all that has weighed me down and held me back.
Laying down my Sherpa pack.
No longer willing to carry everyone and their baggage to their celebrated summits.
LET. IT. ALL. BURN.
Let every false identity plummet.
I open my eyes to see all of my little flower petals arranged in such a sweet way.
I know things are changing for me.
And, I know I will need to somehow continue to choose faith (which was my dumb word, that I chose for my dumb New Years ritual, for dumb 2023) and trust that somehow…all of these senseless bits will somehow come together to make miraculous sense.
Perfectly…as a bigger whole.
I clear my throat and pull out my camera to take this picture.
Because it’s still friggin winter here (and possibly in my heart) for gawd knows how long…and I know that what I’ve created here will soon be forgotten and blow away.
But, at least this will serve as a tiny reminder that spring is on its way.
And proof (even if just in the smallest way) that beauty WILL always be found in the ashes.