Develop contentment with whatever you have—the present moment, the silence, the breath.
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 Unity.
The Co-Creative Mandalas have a name that represents something about the natural world and the energy of the current time.
This month's mandala is Contentment.
We are in the deepest, darkest days of the year, but it's also a time that reminds us of the light around and within us. And it is from darkness that our light comes forth. This is the season of welcoming and honoring light. Ancient traditions and celebrations of light include Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. These holidays occur at the end of the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.
In nature, it's also the end of the year that began with winter solstice in December of 2021 and officially begins again with winter solstice today at 2:47 pm MST. The cycle
of the earth around the sun this time of year spiritually symbolizes light and darkness, life and death.
From nature we learn this is a time of rest. We see reflected all around us--in the trees that have lost their leaves are resting before new buds form in the spring. The animals are resting and conserving energy (I see very few critters on my wintry walks). When spring arrives, all of nature has been preparing for bringing forth and nurturing new life. I can't help but feel wonder when I think about the ease with which all of nature persists each winter and is reborn in the spring.
This pattern of changing seasons reminds me that life is continual and never-ending rest, reflection, and renewal. The winter solstice offers a natural pull inwards for contemplation and inner listening.
The winter solstice also brings our attention to how we find our way through the darkness toward the birth of inner and outer light.
As we honor the year that’s ending, we celebrate the new spark of light being ignited within us, the tiniest spark of new fire burning deep within. It's a time of hope for everything that will grow in a new cycle of life.
This is the time to invite contentment into your life. By staying in touch with your inner stillness, you allow contentment to flourish.
We are all capable of producing magic and blessings in our lives. We can also choose contentment with our thoughts and with how we interact with one another.
Yesterday I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin because I had some hard stuff coming up for healing. So, I took a walk off the beaten path to move some energy. My destination? Nowhere in particular.
It was a windy day (this month has seemed particularly blustery), the tree branches were swaying wildly, but the scene on the horizon was serene.
Nature moves me. It grounds me, it settles me, and it helps me get above the inner chatter and noise so that I can reach that special place inside where thoughts just pass
through, and then there is nothing--and there is everything. That place of contentment.
It's magical to walk in nature, feel the blessings of the season all around me, and see and feel things I've never experienced before. I love to listen to the sound of birds (even yesterday I heard, then saw, a robin) and the sound of the water flowing in nearby Poudre River. I noticed the trees, pine and blue spruce, and the stark, bare maple tree branches against the bright blue sky. I saw my breath. I noticed the purple, orange, and pink sunset colors.
When I’m out walking, I notice how many paths there are for each of us to travel down. Each path leads us somewhere different, and it’s up to us to choose where our
journey will take us. It's up to us to choose our thoughts, our focus, our way of being in the world and looking at the world. It's up to us to choose contentment.
Is it time for you change the story you have been telling yourself?
This winter, I'm going to remember to bundle up and walk both when I am in a state of joy and when I am going through a difficult time. In the "wintering" phases of your
life, when restlessness is calling you toward deep healing (paraphrased from the book Wintering by Katherine May), what are the things you can count on to help you stay
present to what is up, to allow yourself to be transformed by the challenges, and to land in a place where your soul knows contentment?
For some, this is the season of joy and good tidings. For others it’s the season of depression and gloom, or a tumultuous, emotional roller coaster ride.
If you find yourself stuck or confused or overwhelmed, I suggest you take a walk.
So, in this season of gift-giving, it's worth remembering that the greatest gift of all is your presence, your magic, your blessings, your contentment.
The Co-Creative Mandala--"Contentment" from a photograph of juniper, pine, and ice crystals. It reminds us to pause and appreciate the completion of the grace-filled cycle of the Great Mandala. It's been an upward spiraling journey toward Unity within, with others, and the natural world.
Embrace the blessings of contentment
and share you gifts with others.