I’ve come through the darkest of winters and have met spring with a searing gratitude for new life.
Welcome back to our Co-Creative Mandalas blog!
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 journeys toward Freedom.
The Co-Creative Mandalas have a name that represents something about the natural world and the energy in the universe at this current time.
This month's mandala is Emergence.
Happy Spring Equinox!
Finally! Spring has arrived…the beginning of the inner and outer growing season and with it comes emergence, renewal, expansion, and growth.
Even though it may have been a long, cold, lonely winter…here comes the sun (to borrow from George Harrison)!
Spring is a joyful time, with themes of awakening, rebirth, and new life. Nature is waking up after her long winter's rest. Everything is coming alive; the natural world is being reborn.
This same thing is happening within you – in your life and in your spirit.
Let’s welcome back the long days of sunshine and celebrate our tender connections with our essential self… with nature… with the present moment …and with the Wholeness of infinite spirit.
March equinox marks a moment of pause, when the planet isn't tilted away from or toward the sun. This means that the sun's rays fall in a horizontal line along the earth's equator. At the time of the spring and fall equinoxes, day and night, light and dark are balanced and of approximately equal duration all over the planet. Just like the Yin and Yang symbol, light and dark meet in the middle. In the Northern Hemisphere we invite balance and the emergence of new growth, of blossoming, and expansion of light.
As it's happening in nature, the seasonal biorhythms shift our energy. Have you noticed more energy as the daylight hours lengthen? Do you feel delight that comes with spring? The dormancy and darkness of winter is giving way to the emergence of budding trees and flowers. I notice that I'm more energetic and feel the urge to increase physical movement, and connect with the land, water, and life.
The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?
In late fall, I planted bulbs and scattered seeds, envisioning lovely spring blossoms. All throughout winter, above ground, I waited, trusting all the incredible things were happening beneath the surface. Without all of this invisible work in the darkness of winter, we wouldn't have the abundance of spring.
The seed's job is to know what it is. The soil's job is to hold the seed and nurture it, bringing it what it needs to enable its identity to unfold and flourish. In this relationship, the seed doesn't struggle to bring forth its nature. It opens to the soil to empower it to do what it needs to be to unfold itself.
The spring equinox is a a time of pure potential on the wheel of the Great Mandala. Anything is possible in the months ahead! Co-creating with the universe, with the seasonal energy, we empower ourselves to shine our unique light, fully and freely.
Use this powerful seasonal energy to check in with yourself and align more deeply with your purpose, with the all that you envisioned at the fall equinox and at the beginning of the year.
What inner seeds did you plant? What do you want to see grow in your life in the months ahead? How do you want to grow? What long-held dream are you nourishing? Imagine what it would feel like to realize your dream.
What inklings, inner promptings are stirring within? As you would take care of the seeds you plant in a garden, nurture your vision, the dream seeds you planted. Show them care and they will come to light, too. If you continue to take care of your fondest desires and dreams, like plants in a garden, they will grow and blossom -- sometimes in small ways and sometimes big ways.
Being aware of infinite possibilities gives space for your mind to wander and opens your heart. What allows us to grow during this seasonal cycle happens as we enter the flow of life. This process of growth will bring out a more powerful version of you. The intentions you set are amplified by these spring energies.
In the words of the famous philosopher Laozi, Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
In nature, emergence happens slowly. I didn't wake up this morning to find fields of bright yellow, blooming daffodils and trees alive with pink and white blossoms. The same is true for our personal growth, for our Emergence.
The term “spiritual emergence” was coined by Dr. Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof, two leaders in the field of transpersonal theory. It is, as the Grofs describe it:
...the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos.
Grof and Grof 1990, p. 34
Lukoff, Lu, and Turner (1998) say that “In spiritual emergence there is a gradual unfoldment of spiritual potential with minimal disruption in psychological, social, and occupational functioning". Spiritual emergence is generally experienced as pleasant and typically occurs at a slow enough pace to be properly assimilated into our consciousness.
As a gardener of the soil and the soul, I know that perfect conditions need to be present for the flowers to emerge, for trees to bud. So, during the winter months, I waited (sometimes patiently, sometimes--not so much) for the cold, darkness of winter to give way to warm sunshine, for the frozen soil to loosen, and the late snow storms and early rain to nourish and moisten the earth below. I trusted that, eventually, spring would sproing. Now, I'm beginning to see the first signs of new growth in my garden and on my walks.
Just like the trees, bulbs, and seeds need the right conditions to emerge in the spring, our spiritual emergence needs conditions that support our personal growth.
So, I encourage you to be kind to yourself. It's important to prioritize self-care, your daily practices and rituals, that support remembering the things that reconnect you to who and what matters most, to nature, and to your community.
Emergence isn't a goal or destination, it's a constant invitation to embrace yourself exactly as you are, in all your glorious imperfection. Here are some conditions and pointers that support creating your container for emergence, transformation, and growth.
Acceptance: For self and others
Surrender: Befriend uncertainty
Trust: Yourself and the process
Welcome Challenges: See them as opportunities
Be Here Now: Fully present, mindful of all your experiences
Honor discomfort: Welcome and breathe into pain
(Adapted from: The Stormy Search for the Self By Christina and Stanislav Grof)
I ran across this song, "May I Walk" by Karen Drucker, a while back. When I heard it I was reminded of how important it is to find music and songs that inspire me and remind me to remember my Wholeness. I often play it as part of my spring equinox celebration.
The Co-Creative Mandala below, "Emergence", is from a photograph of hyacinth (symbolizes joy) and daffodil (symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings). It is associated with the solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras. It reminds us to trust our intuition and to allow transformation and growth. Remember, we are already who we want to become--we are Wholeness.
We are always emerging.
Never perfect. Never finished.