Activating your Wholeness is everything:
Honor the chains that bind you.
Let go of constriction.
and listen to the voice of
your inner wisdom.
Welcome to our Co-Creative Mandalas blog! We're delighted you found us!
Each month, we share insights, inspiration, and all the ways the cycles of the Great Mandala uplift and support you. We draw upon the metaphors and messages of each season to explore and celebrate our individual and collective personal growth journeys.
The seasonal cycles play a significant role in our daily lives, influencing our moods, energy levels, and overall well-being. The annual and monthly Co-Creative Mandalas have a vibration that anchors, activates specific qualities, and represents something about the natural world and the energy in the universe at a particular time. The mandalas support aligning ourselves with the natural rhythms of the Great Mandala and enhance our sense of connection--within, with each other, and the world.
This time of year marks the opportunity for envisioning the future and for opening to how we want to feel throughout 2024--whatever our goals and intentions are.
This year's mandala is Wholeness.
Happy 2024: The Year of the Artichoke--Activating Your Wholeness
Well, actually, 2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon...which I'll leave elaboration to those who know about the beauty and wisdom of Chinese astrology.
As co-creators with the Universe (Source, Higher Power, Spirit, Buddha nature--whatever name you prefer for that cosmic quality), each new year offers us an opportunity for personal growth, expansion, and possibilities--and for envisioning our intentions for how we want to feel throughout the year ahead. We start with a blank canvas on which we draw our lives as a work of art in the coming year. This awareness highlights how important this time is - when everything is fresh and new. This journey towards Activating Wholeness starts by recognizing that we already have all the pieces within us—nothing is missing. We are already whole. To live authentically from Wholeness, it takes accessing the inner knowing that you're already whole and complete just as you are in this moment.
When you forget that you're already whole and complete, it's so easy to believe that unless you do more, have more, or be more – there's something missing, you're not enough. This belief can feel like a hole in your heart, that something, or someone must fill. This belief takes you away from your authentic connection to your own source of Love and awareness of your Wholeness.
As we envision our next trip around the Great Mandala, acknowledging how nature and the seasons mirror our journey, we will share the blessings that each Co-Creative Mandala offers. Mandalas are symbols that reflect a specific purpose and frequency, which are aligned with an intention. Each monthly mandala has a Wholeness activating, energetic quality to help you remember and nurture your Wholeness. It's our hope that embracing the mandalas and their energetic qualities will support your journey and you'll find meaningful inspiration for your intentions, vision board, and whatever you envision for yourself in 2024.
So, back to the artichoke...
I don't characterize myself as a "foodie", but there are certain culinary delights that stand out. I discovered many years ago one of my favorite vegetables is the artichoke--an ancient plant from the Mediterranean that has healing and medicinal properties along with being quite yummy. I also discovered that getting to the juicy heart can be a challenging process that entails several, sometimes challenging, steps: Washing and rinsing: Cutting: Steaming: Peeling away the soft outer layers and the more prickly, tougher, hard to get a grip on, inner layers: Clearing away the fuzzy "stuff"--the choke. In all honesty, as much as I enjoy fresh artichokes, there have been times when I said...f**k it and I just bought a can or jar of artichoke hearts--but what's the fun in that? You have to REALLY want the tasty experience of finally enjoying the delicious delicacy--dipped in melted butter or a creamy sauce. YUM!
So, Friend, have you figured out or are you wondering how The Year of the Artichoke relates to activating your Wholeness? Well, read on!
A while back, I worked with a coach who described personal growth as a lot like eating an artichoke. We also discussed peeling an onion as a metaphor, and agreed it wasn't quite as satisfying. But I digress. Peeling an artichoke mirrors our personal growth journey. At their core artichokes have a very tender heart which is protected by strong, prickly outer layers and a complex structure. That's also true for all the ways our tender heart, true nature, is hidden and protected. If we want to live our most expansive life, it's going to take a bit (sometimes, a lot) of work.
At the beginning of our journey, our "artichoke" stands tall, its formidable outer leaves guarding our, tender precious center. Those outer layers represent the barriers to Love's presence--the burdens we carry and the challenges we face in living the human condition. We've discovered that those barriers can be acknowledged and honored with self-compassion as our guide and by activating Wholeness. It's not an easy task. Just like peeling an artichoke, the journey towards self-discovery can be challenging and filled with uncertainties.
Of course, it's not a linear journey. It could be described as an upward, spiraling adventure.
The barriers to remembering our wholeness keep us safe, they protect our tender heart. These barriers can seem to intrude on our progress. In order to get to the heart, we can't bypass those "intrusions".
Each one of those layers deserves our attention, deserves to be seen and honored. Wholeness includes all of our emotions and our experiences, our vulnerability--including the prickly parts. That's the very definition of Wholeness.
As you gently peel away the layers, you gradually reveal the core of your being, the essence of who you truly are. With each layer removed, you uncover hidden strengths, qualities, and untapped potential. You discover a profound sense of self, clarity, and purpose. It's in this process of activating Wholeness, shedding what no longer serves your most expansive self, and embracing vulnerability that you remember and embody Wholeness.
When you activate your wholeness, affirm your truth, and love and accept the rejected parts of you, you claim your magnificence.
In the end, embarking on a path of personal growth reminds us that although it may be a challenging and sometimes thorny process, the rewards that lie within make it all worthwhile.
Dr. Jean Houston, psychologist, pioneer of the human potential movement, early researcher into expanded states of consciousness, scholar, philosopher and teacher has beautifully woven the artichoke's culinary delights with the wisdom of remembering our wholeness:
An artichoke is a mirror of yourself. Like Life, the artichoke gains richness and savor by being combined by many flavors of sweetness, salt, pungent, bitter, and spice. After it is braised, the stuffed artichoke becomes a hologram, each part containing the whole. It symbolizes how each aspect of life has the potential for a full relation to the totality…
from A Mythic Life: Learning to Live our Greater Story
As you embark on your transformative journey in 2024, you're beginning a new and exciting chapter. Remembering your Wholeness requires self-acceptance, self-love, and self-compassion as your guiding forces. As you patiently and steadily peel away the outer, protective layers you emerge knowing your truest, most vibrant, magnificent self, ready to face the world with renewed purpose and joy and radiate the love that has been inside you all along and the world has been waiting for.
Each month 2024, in support of activating Wholeness, we'll offer a Co-Creative Mandala that represents the different Wholeness activating, energetic qualities along with short Wholeness activation exercise.
We hope you'll join us!
The Co-Creative Mandala, "Wholeness" from a photograph of a blooming artichoke (symbolizes hope and success) is associated with all chakras. It reminds you that you already have all the pieces within you—nothing is missing. When you activate Wholeness you move toward self-love. The time you invest and the space you give for honoring all parts of yourself increases intuition and sensitivity to energetic patterns, the foundation of possibilities and potential.
I live from my Wholeness. Wholeness is my nature and the truth of my being. The truth of who I am is already present – I just need to remember it, accept it, embrace it, and ultimately embody it.