We are not separate beings, we are part of an integrated whole.
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 Connection.
Happy Earth Day!!
And just like that, Earth Day is 53 years old! Born out of one man's calling to raise awareness about the impact of our actions on Earth, when there was no EPA or Clean Air or Clean Water Acts. I can't help but wonder what Earth would be like without those people who had vision combined with activism.
On days like Earth Day, when I’m starkly reminded of both Earth’s beauty and the devastation she's facing, the famed wisdom of Mr. Rogers, comes to mind: “Look for the helpers.”
Today is an important day, a day set aside to celebrate and honor our beloved, magnificent home: Earth. This is an occasion to remember our spiritual connection with our deeper selves, nature and with all living beings, and the source of wholeness. With all that’s going on in the world, it’s helpful and renewing to pause to celebrate Earth and nature. This is the purpose of Earth Day. Regardless of our differences, we all live together on our one planet. When we pause to celebrate our beautiful planet, we uplift our spirit and increase our capacity to love and care for each other and Earth. We deepen our understanding of the grace of nature.
I believe there's a deep desire of nature to reconnect us — to reconnect with us. When we connect with nature as part of ourselves, observe nature’s beautiful expressions, and surrender to Her vastness we may regain faith, not only in survival, but in beauty, and the worthiness of life.
Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth.
We invite you to take a moment (or two or three or four) to send ripples of gratitude and healing to Earth, and to all of the species that walk, grow, swirl, and commune together on this breathtaking planet, as well as an opportunity to be more conscious of our impact on our environment and what actions we might take for healing ourselves, each other, and Earth.
Even doing something simple like picking up some litter, can give you a sense of connection and purpose, contributing to a larger cause outside of just yourself. Leaving an area you love and enjoy a little bit better for the next person can do wonders for your sense of well-being. By taking steps to add a bit more positivity into the world, you might experience that you're feeling more connected, accomplished and fulfilled.
We are of the earth. We are Earth beings.
We are alive because the earth is alive.
The earth gives us life and it’s through life that
we are interconnected both through other beings as well as to our fellow humanity.
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Each of us is a sacred individual, extending ourselves in the world. We are each a portal through which sacredness and blessing emerges. We need to remind each other of this because it’s easy to forget.
Our spiritual nature and the resources we have within ourselves are always there no matter what is happening in the world.
We are all extraordinary, all magicians of the soul, capable of amazing feats of transformation through our innate power to love.
We just need to be reminded of this fact.
Even still, we can't do it all alone.
Not too long ago, I was reading something by Thich Nhat Hanh. I was reading his words about the power of deep, active listening and about how that can be a gift in a relationship.
Right now in our noisy world, many people are screaming about politics, inflation, an impending recession, and impending doom. Instead of doing that, what about offering a safe space to those you care about? Offer them a quiet space—one in which they feel seen, heard, and safe. Offer them a space in which they can feel connected, one which will give them hope that no matter the waves of the world, they will always be visible in the eyes of those who love them.
Remember that the people closest to you don’t care what job you do or how many followers you have. They simply want to connect. They also want to know how they can help and if you need anything.
We're, after all, co-creators in this adventure of world transformation. Having meaningful connections with ourselves, each other, the natural world, and Source is one of the keys to living a fulfilling (and healthy) life.
We're all in a mutually interdependent, interconnected, and as Dr. Dan Siegel reminds us, intraConnected net of beings – in constant relationship with everything and everyone around us.
We're beings of love and we're hardwired to connect, to embrace, to build community.
In fact, science tells us that our need for meaningful connection is as fundamental as our need for food and water.
We're not separated from the world
by our own edges...
We're part of the sky,
and the rocks in your mother's garden,
and that old man who sleeps by the train station. We're all interconnected,
and when you see that
you see how beautiful life is.
The word “Namaste,” which accompanies bowing in yoga, actually translates as The divine spirit in me acknowledges the divine spirit in you. When we greet one another with this kind of awareness, we can’t help but be more conscious that we are deeply connected to one another, to everyone, and everything because this divine spirit resides in all of us.
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D tells us in A Pocketful of Miracles that there are essential blessings of deep connection that every human being needs to feel peaceful and whole:
*Connection to your essential self (inner connection)
*Connection to each other. (interconnection)
*Connection to the beauty and biorhythms of nature and to the web, the source of Wholeness, in all beings (intraConection)
Connection is what makes people feel
visible, seen, and heard.
It’s human to connect,
and it’s what we need more of.
So how can we strengthen the connections we already have with ourselves, each other, the natural world, and the source of Wholeness and foster new connections?
It bears repeating: We can't truly show up for others or the earth if we don't show up for ourselves first. There is an undeniable and intricate connection between our inner work and the outer world. Our personal example of showing up for ourselves can ignite and inspire others to do the same in their own lives.
Earthing is one simple practice. This practice connects your body to Earth and realigns your energy so that you absorb the supportive care of our planet.
Also known as grounding, it's based on the discovery that making bare skin contact with Earth's natural energy is the foundation of health and well-being. You can walk barefoot in the dew covered grass or on the beach, soak your feet in a stream, the ocean, or lake, sink your hands into the soil, or lean against or hug a tree with your bare arms. The hippie tree huggers are right! These simple actions alter the way we think about our self, each other, the environment, the Earth, our relationship with the cosmos, and our connectedness with Nature.
I spend as much time as I can barefoot on the land around my house and in the garden. This simple practice makes me feel deeply connected to the earth in subtle and yet powerful ways. This direct connection makes me aware, that the profound beauty of connection is something I can choose everyday.
Breath work is also a simple practice for connecting with my inner self, that supports being calm and relaxed, helps me focus my mind, maintain an open heart, stay curious, and see the larger scope of life.
Whenever I feel anxious or wake up in the night, I automatically start repeating the HamSa Mantra. It’s an anchor to calm the mind and soothe the soul. That comfort, that stillness reminds me of my essential, true nature--the heart of love.
The Co-Creative Mandala below, "Connection", is from a photograph of tulips (symbolizes grace). It is associated with the root, sacral, solar plexus, and crown chakras. It reminds us to open our heart and mind to all beings. And to remember to encircle Earth with wholehearted love and compassion.
The perfect circular form of the Great Mandala represents the unity and cyclical nature of all relationships, with ourselves, each other, the natural world, and Source. Each season and its inherent healing blessings contribute a vital part to the wholeness of all life. The Great Mandala revolves eternally, offering opportunity for personal evolution throughout all the seasons of our lives.
in the connection between
the personal and universal self.
Earth Day invites you to honor all your Connections--inner, interconnections, and intraConnections.
One of the greatest ways we can celebrate our planet is to make a heartfelt commitment to take more responsibility for our own energies – our thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions. It’s especially important to remember to find balance within yourself. As more of us give priority to our inner balance, it can facilitate balance in our relationships and in Earth’s ecosystems as well. Living in balance and harmony with each other raises our vibration and is the highest gift we can give to Earth as it can help magnetize higher vibrational solutions to humanity’s and Earth’s challenges.
The real power of the practice is the intention you place behind it. Start your day with gratitude and by setting the intention that you are dedicating time for self-care, to allowing Connection and awakening to Freedom. This exercise is a simple way of helping you ground and expand as you access Connection in all its forms.
Allow yourself plenty of time to complete this exercise. You can use this exercise throughout the day and the weeks and months ahead. Remember, as you co-create this exercise, be gentle with yourself as you discover what nurtures and sustains you.
Before you begin the exercise:
There are two parts to this exercise. (You'll need something to write with, paper or a journal, colored pencils, markers, etc.)
Part 1: Invest time toward moving into stillness.
Light a candle. Create an altar that contains items that remind you of spring, of the earth. Take a few deep breaths to ground & center.
When you are ready, invite any subtle colleagues, allies, your guides and helpers to join you in your sacred space. Wait a moment for that connection and alliance to form.
Next, invest some time for reflecting on the Connection mandala.
You may choose to listen to this lovely song by Karen Drucker.
As you listen to the music, let you gaze fall softly on the mandala. Use one or all of the following prompts for connecting your energy to the energy of the mandala:
What message does it have for you? How will you surrender to Connection? How will honoring Connection support your journey toward Freedom? How will you nurture the mandala of your life? How will you practice self-care and self-compassion and welcome Connection into your awareness?
Part 2: Opening to Connection*
1. Center in the heart and breathe love and appreciation for a minute or two for nature or for someone or something close to your heart. This warms your heart and increases the effectiveness of your Care Focus.
2. Now, connect with the hearts of people throughout the world from all cultures who are celebrating our Earth.
3. Visualize humanity and our planet as you would want them to be – experiencing peace, harmony and heart-based connections between all living systems. See humanity awakening to the realization that our feelings, attitudes and behavior patterns affect Earth systems and our happiness.
4. Let’s envision an increasing momentum of people opening their hearts and putting love, compassion and heartfelt connection into caring action.
5. Now, let’s send our collective heart energy to animals, trees, coral reefs and other Earth systems suffering from the impact of human activity and climate change.
6. Let’s close by sending our compassionate care to all who are experiencing war, disease, social injustices, and other areas of stress as your heart guides you.
When you feel complete, invest a few minutes toward journaling, creating art or music, that expresses your experiences during this exercise.
*Care Focus: Celebrating Our Earth (adapted from HeartMath Institute exercise)
May all humans recognize the Earth inside.
And in that recognition,
pour vulnerable and precious
love of life through
and into the center of existence.