It was an emotionally dark night. As I do many evenings, after my nightly meditation, I turned to drawing. Lately, I have been challenging myself to create mandalas guided by a single word. Silence, stillness, nurture, comfort, and shattered have been among them (more on that in later posts).
This time, rage showed up as my challenge word in my sea of dark emotions. It’s an emotion present on some level in many of us, but yet one that all too often we shy away from owning or taking responsibility for. Instead, we shove it deep under the surface and hope it will disappear on its own.
Flames with jagged sharp edges is the image that came to mind. As is traditional with mandalas, I started drawing in the center. I tried several different ways to translate rage onto the paper. But no matter what I did, the mandala felt peaceful. So, I sat with the idea more, listening for other aspects of rage that might guide my drawing further. Off-centered showed up. And so I started over, drawing from the bottom up rather than from the center out.
This landed better. But the jagged points combined together to create smooth edges. And then a small star appeared in the center. The pointed shapes wrapped around it, but significantly did not obliterate it – as if the star had a protective force field around it. And the spiky points pointing toward it felt more protective and nurturing than they feel like they are lashing out in anger or frustration. The star was small, but steady and present, even in the midst of the chaos that surrounds it – an eternal light in the center of each of us even in the midst of rage.
Our first challenge is to remember the star is always there no matter what. The next challenge is to learn to access and nurture the star even when it is surrounded by flames and dense, tangled undergrowth. We are both Sleeping Beauty (the star) and the Knight in Shining Armor (the one who fights off dragons and evil vines to reach the inner sanctum of the castle where Sleeping Beauty lies).
Breathing In I see through rage’s flames and strangling vines.
Breathing Out I cradle the eternal light in my heart.
This mandala will be available soon as a card and limited edition print on our Etsy shop.