— all mandalas (c) Cat Charissage, 2016
Hello dear Friend,
I’ve been finding that I need silence more than ever these days. I feel anxious and frazzled, and in mourning for the sufferings in the world. I’m dismayed at the new level of permission granted in our culture for persons to be insulting and hateful, especially in the media, but also apparent on the streets and in stores. While I’m mostly shielded from it due to privilege of my birth, race, and location as well as by my primarily home-based life, my heart just aches at the incivility of our civilisation.
Besides becoming and living the change I wish to see in the world, I’m always discerning what it is that I can do, or not do, to mend the world within my reach. And right now, it’s to not do. I sit, settle, meditate, and find the calm center out of which I wish to live.
Drawing and coloring mandalas facilitates finding that calm center. I almost always start at the center and move outwards — the way I want to live my life.
I find that it almost doesn’t matter how I arrange the different motifs or symbols; as long as it remains balanced it ends up being beautiful in its own way. Just like my days.
While black and white ones jotted in my “to-do and maybe-do” notebook are simpler and quicker to create than the larger colored ones, they too are worth doing. Just like the simple actions of being calm in my interactions, or smiling at the clerks and secretaries in my rounds of errands —- worth doing.
Sometimes the day, and the mandala, calls for planning and careful attention to exactness and detail.
Other days, and mandalas, are filled with whatever life gifts — or challenges — me with.
Have you ever played with mandalas? Do you color in the new coloring books for grown-ups? How do you find centeredness in your life in this world, now?
May this darkest time of the year (in my northern hemisphere) remind us that darkness can be either frightening or mysterious, dangerous or fertile. May we discern well, and may we respond to it all with centeredness and compassion. And always, to bring what beauty we can into the world. Happy Solstice to you all, dear ones.
With much love,
Cat, many thanks for your gift of mandalas. On this solstice they bring much warmth and light as do you in your reflections and encouragement. The truth of my own mandala is that it seems to be dynamic, fluid, open to change, to become more comprehensive. One time I add more, another day I edit but always there will be space for mentors, fellow journey women and connection to others in new ways. Winter Solstice is ‘ on the cusp of renewal ‘ a fertile regrouping time, a time of promise of things to come. Can I be patient enough to wait and see? Shall I let excitement and trust be the ones to hold my hand? On this frosty day I wish us all well. Kerry
Oh what a wonderful response, Kerry! Thank you for your own reflections — and excitement!
I like to draw and color my own drawings but I also like to exchange my drawings with others and color those of others. Rather than buying coloring books, me and two other women have a little creative activity that we like to do from time to time. We make a drawing inspired by a theme that one of us will have chosen. Then we exchange our drawings between us to color them. It’s fun, surprising, and more.
Your mandalas are beautiful! Thank you Cat, for your posts that I love to read.
This darkest time of the year have been mysterious and very fertile for me so far 🙂
Warmth to you
What a good idea, Melina, exchanging the drawings to color! Here’s to even more fertile darkness! Thank you for commenting.
Lovely–the circles one turned out really beautifully! Thank you for this, Cat.
Thank you m’dear for your comment!
Cat ~ Your post and mandalas are beautiful! Blessings
Thanks Cathy. Blessings of the season to you, as well.