Beliefnet
Flower Mandalas

Spoon Chrysanthemum I.jpg
Spoon Chrysanthemum
I’ve become relatively inactive in Beliefnet this past few months, absorbed in the other aspects of my life, but I’d like to start the New Year with a report on my personal progress on working toward the “miracle question” and its way of envisioning change.
I’m probably a 7 on the progress in my inner life (where 1 is as far as I ever was from my personal miracle, and 10 is I am there every day). Progress this past year is largely due to taking another Focusing training and finding a Focusing partner, with whom I’m starting to explore, and hopefully to release, a part of myself that has been hidden since early childhood. This is the “little boy” side, the side with much of my creativity and joy, who 20 years ago I imagined to be contained in a titanium capsule six inches thick, but who now is a very real, if still timid, presense in my life.
On the counseling business side, I’m probably also a 7. I have finished up working at the community mental health clinic I’d been working at for 3 1/2 years and am now fully in private practice in Danvers, MA. Until September, the financial side of this was going surprisingly well — I was getting perhaps a call a week from various sources, and most of them resulted in clients coming to work with me — but this has dropped off since the financial crash, and I need to figure out ways to generate more referrals. I’m working on it.
On the art-making and art-marketing side, I’m probably a 6. I’m still working on finding a market for the flower mandalas (and am happy to hear suggestions / make connections through this forum), but I haven’t created any new mandala work in a long time, nor have I made a lot of headway in finding someone to represent me. I’m continuing work on my Independence Park project (a study of the sea, the sky, and time) and am beginning to broaden the concept in ways I find myself thinking about when I’m doing other things — always a good sign. And I’m starting to appreciate my growing skills as a photographer. I feel that a move to a new level is afoot, though where that will take me I don’t know.
On the spiritual side, I have found a group of people and a teacher who, as I’ve written earlier here, is combining his study of the major world’s religions into a practice that draws on several traditions in an integrated way. It seems well-adapted to our times and the migration of practices from west to east and east to west. I’m not 100% sure this is the way I want to go, so I’m also planning to reconnect with the Thich Nhat Hanh sanga of which I was briefly a member several years ago. Here, too, moving to a new level is afoot.
On the personal plain, where I’ve been about a 3 most of the past year, I’m now about a 7.5 and moving up the scale rather quickly, having found a partner quite different from prior partners. I feel seen and connected in a new way, and I find I’m also able to process, both within myself and with her, old baggage, and I’m starting to let it go. In part, this process is due to who each of us is, but it is also helped by my work as a counselor. I seem consistently to be taking insights from my personal work into my practice and vice-versa, so that each enriches the other.
Overall, I’d say I’m a 7, and on the threshhold of a major move up, as the various threads of myself and my life that I’ve been working on integrating since my near-death experience seem, finally, to be coming together. As Tom Petty said in “Learning to Fly,” the future is wide open….
More anon,
– David
Discussion:
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group
Cultivating Creativity group
Request the 15 Flower Mandalas screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas
© 2009, David J. Bookbinder

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