There is a wonderful strangeness about meeting in a classic business boardroom for our Lunch and Learn series. A very large, stately, dark mahogany table fills the room. Two of the four walls are almost floor-to-ceiling glass. It is an elegant space that holds us well. This boardroom is transformed when we meet the first Wednesday of each month. Instead of left-brained corporate discussions, we hold council around right-brain, creative, soulful dialogs. We are explorers, healers of our interior worlds.
Circles of Tranquility and Peace
Each month, we gather for a little over an hour. It is supposed to be an hour long, but we always run over. No one wants to leave. Our community playfully investigates methods to engage our imaginations in the hope that our minds will quiet and the roar of worry and concern will lessen. We learn a different specific technique each month, and our creative practices are usually contained within a mandala.
If you are not familiar with the word mandala, it simply means “circle,” a shape without beginning or end. It is a symbol of wholeness, balance and renewal. Working within this shape allows us to intuitively resonate with feelings of calm, tranquility and peace. Our March post Calming Practice: Creating Mandalas explains a bit more about this process.
Beginning the Tranquility Practice
Studies suggest that taking part in a creative activity is good for your health. Imagination helps us loosen the hold on things that binds us – the well-worn, entrenched habits that keep us frozen and overwrought. The more worries we can identify and let go of, the stronger and healthier our immune system becomes. Tranquility is a by-product of all of Healing Icons’ practices.
No matter what is going on in your life, who doesn’t want to orchestrate their healing and move forward into a day that might just be better than yesterday? Who doesn’t want to revive their spirit and learn to live more frequently in a space of calm tranquility? We are here to tell you that anyone can do it. It just takes a bit of practice.
Our materials are simple – a blank index card, a pencil or a pen, and a scrap sheet of paper to record your feelings and associations on.
We begin by planting a seed in the center of the index card, encircling it and drawing radiating lines and shapes outward. It is as if we are creating an abstract map of our interior life. As the relaxing background music carries us deeper into ourselves, a quiet calm blankets the room.
From Art to Words
As we record the symbols and shapes we have used, our mandala’s map legend is coaxed into existence. Intuitively, we begin to freely and uninhibitedly make word associations with our core symbols and shapes. Then we link these words together with other adjectives, adverbs and verbs into a free-style form of writing in which there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, just whatever appears on the paper. We trust the process.
Just for today
She feels the beginning
Again and Again
Each Stroke, Each Breath.
Energy connecting the past, present, the future
The returning breath becomes
The beginning inhalation which becomes
The exhalation, flowing
The past flowing into the present
The present into the future
Into the beginning.
Just for today she feels
an aching hurt radiating off into a nothingness.
The waves of peacefulness
are extending to her soul,
binding off for a journey home.
Many ovals appear like fragile eggs
Aware of many dangers about
Questionable, fish-like, snake-like
Characters ready to devour or break me
Waves can be smoothing or frightening
I surround myself with sand
and water to feel safe.
From Conversation to Healing
After choosing our titles for our radiant mandalas, we unwrap our sandwiches, pair off, and the wild rumpus begins – hesitantly at first, but after a few seconds the room is filled with the healing voices of open, honest sharing.
We do not want our conversations to end, but as usual, we have run over our time allotment, and I want to get the titles recorded on our whiteboard. By sharing the titles of our radiant mandalas as a source for communal collaborative writing, we extend our personal healing into a shared space.
We gather in community not only for ourselves but for each other.
We create in community not only for ourselves but for each other.
The titles linked together created a powerful poem:
I Started Feeling Well Again
Beginning to be introspective
And trust my house of love and hope.
Fill me with energy, burst me open wide
I am ready for a peaceful journey
I will breathe into the chaos of emotions
Breathe into my awareness
Of the confusion around Life’s storm
Breathe into my circle of hope
Binding off into my journey of life
Consider trying your hand at this tranquility practice and see where it leads you.
We hope you will share your creative endeavors with us.