Flower Mandalas

Flower Mandalas

‘Cultivating Creativity’ Group Revisited

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‘Cultivating Creativity’ Group logo
Below are reports from two members of the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ group documenting their experiences as “miracle partners” in the group, and beyond.
Chrysalis’s story
The cultivating creativity group came along for me a couple of months after I’d crashed and burned with stress work. It left me depressed, exhausted and unable to cope with life. Initially I saw the group as a way to bring some healing creativity back into my life, but once I started the process, I realised it was an opportunity to create a new life entirely, and that’s what I’m doing!
I took time to choose a partner I felt I could relate to. Eva is a therapist with young people in the school and I was a therapist, but more recently have been teaching young asylum seekers. As time has progressed, we’ve established a good connection and often parallel each other when dealing with changes etc. Knowing we are going through a similar process, means we can and do share things with each other beyond what gets on the Cultivating Creativity board. We’ve become our own little support system.
The changes for me, have been huge. I’ve basically turned my life around. I’m setting up a business and going back to my spiritual work, I’m more focused and enjoying life again. I’ve gone from virtually nothing to meditating, journaling and exercising every morning and now split my week between teaching and getting creative, designing my website and writing. I’ve just begun to play the guitar again and started to pick up my art, a huge shift from where I was when I started the group. I’ve even created a Beliefnet group, Living Life Authentically, where I and others share our path’s, which has brought me community and new friendships that I wanted.
It has been good to see and comment on other’s miracles, fantastic to see them manifest. Having a partner is excellent! There’s nothing quite like sharing a process with someone dealing with similar ‘stuff’. I think Eva and I will remain firm friends, albeit across the pond!
I’ve taken my miracle a whole lot further than my original post. Once I got started and began to work towards what I see is my life purpose, things began to flow and opportunities etc are flowing with it. In the future, I see a balance between my spiritual work and my creative work, with some travel thrown in for good measure!
I would say to anyone considering joining Cultivating Creativity, just go for it! You have nothing to lose. I’d recommend doing it with a partner if you can, as you’re both in it together and can appreciate each other’s excitements and support each other’s bumps along the way. I also think that you need to be motivated or that your partner can help to motivate you or you could lose momentum.
The cultivating creativity group is a fantastic opportunity to make some positive changes in your life. Thanks to David for setting up the group and to Eva for her support, I’ve made a massive change happen in a few months. Isn’t it at least worth a try?
Eva’s story
Hello! My name is Eva. I was drawn to the Cultivating Creativity group because I noticed some of David’s pictures in his Flower Mandalas blog. I was looking at some of the flower mandalas and felt that I could actually see their life force. I imagined that it was their chi being picked up in the photos; they seemed to be illuminated from within. I thought that was kinda cool, and I resonated with that. I’m a fan of Georgia O’Keefe and the photos reminded me of her work. I then noticed that David had a group. I was drawn to it because I wanted to encourage the spurt of personal writing I was doing at that time.
I joined Cultivating Creativity and I believe I was discussing my profession and the teens I work with when I met Chrysalis. We have a lot in common. We are both therapists and seem to be interested in similar things spiritually, creatively and professionally. I also liked the idea that she was from England! We also seem to share a sense of humor and a similar communication style and we linked up!
Oh, lots have changed for me since I joined Cultivating Creativity. There have been quite a few shifts and changes for me. The one thing that has remained steady is that I have been able to maintain a positive focus amidst all the chaos. It feels like all the things that are not working are in the process of falling away so that I now have more freedom to have success and a more creative lifestyle for myself. That’s what miracles are about; it certainly has been a challenge! It continues to be an invigorating challenge.
What I like about the Cultivating Creativity group process is that it keeps me mindful and accountable regarding the footwork needed to stay in the miracle moment. I enjoy bouncing around new ideas with Chrysalis and it keeps me stimulated to work on my creative process instead of letting it get buried in the mundane. I like the feedback and the structure of group process and it helps to move forward a bit with suggested questions and comments. It stinks to be stuck creatively and working in a group sometimes helps to move you forward. I think it may also help keep you creative if all becomes chaos. Check out some of the video downloads at the end of this blog!
I consider Chrysalis a friend and I hope we can continue to move forward together in continuing to create. One of the many goals I have is to continue my personal writing and to give that some more time.
I think that either trying a group on your own or in tandem with someone else is an excellent idea, and I believe that whatever we decide to pay loving attention to in our lives flourishes. It helps me to bounce ideas around with someone on the same path. Thoughts and suggestions with other people stimulate my creative process. Thank you for the opportunity, Chrysalis and David!
Related video links from Eva:
Breathing Meditation with Thich Nhat Hanh
Pema Chodron on Bill Moyers Faith and Reason
GOD -An excerpt from the Upanishads
Om Namah Shivaya (Shiva Sahasranama Mantra)
Jesus Is Speaking from A Course In Miracles
Inspirational Quotes for Success
I’m Alive!
Cultivating Creativity group
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group
Request a flower mandala screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas
Image © 2008, David J. Bookbinder

Flower Mandala: Opening

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Pink Dahlia I

  1. The act or an instance of becoming open or being made to open.
  2. An open space serving as a passage or gap.
  3. A breach or aperture.
  4. A clearing in the woods.
  5. The first part or stage, as of a book.
  6. The first performance: the opening of a play.
  7. A formal commencement of operation: attended the opening of the new museum.
  8. Games. A specific pattern or series of beginning moves in certain games, especially chess.
  9. An opportunity affording a chance of success. See synonyms at opportunity.
  10. An unfilled job or position; a vacancy.

Image © 2008, David J. Bookbinder


Pale Pink Tulip II
Among my other activities, I run a writing group for people with addiction issues, past or present. I call it “Memoirs of Addiction and Recovery.” We usually begin with a freewriting exercise, and either I or one of the group members supplies a prompt. A couple of weeks ago, the prompt was: “I know I can trust someone when ___________________.”
I typically write along with the group. What I came up with in response to this prompt surprised me, and I wanted to share it here.
I know I can trust someone when I’ve been to the mat with him or her and we’ve helped each other to rise. When I look into his/her eyes and I see the person looking at me looking into me as I look into him or her. When there is not just “me” and “you” but a tangible “us” that both “I” and “thou” want to ensure not only survives, but thrives. When there is either the absence of betrayal for long enough to know that betrayal is no longer an option, or there has been betrayal and the healing from it has been complete, and has cost us both so much pain, and so much pain about the other’s pain, that we can never, ever do that again. When there is not only love, but also empathy, and not only empathy but understanding, so that we each understand that to betray the trust would violate the love, and we both know what that would feel like, and we never want either of us, ever, to have to feel that way or, if we already have and have already healed, to feel that way again.
This, it turns out, is trust, for me. I’m interested in hearing how you, out there in cyberspace, would fill in that blank and would like to hear your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences, either here or as comments in the Art, Healing, and Transformation group.
More anon,
- David
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group
Cultivating Creativity group
Request a flower mandala screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas
© 2008, David J. Bookbinder

For Boston-area readers: Two-Person Show and Talk

Flower Mandalas at the Griffin Museum of Photography
Boston-area readers interested in seeing my work in person are invited to go to the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. I will be part of a two-person show held in conjunction with the museum’s 14th Annual Juried Show. A short film about me and my “healing images” will be part of the show, and I will also be giving an informal gallery talk before the show’s opening.
Here’s the announcement:

Two-Person Show and Gallery Talk at the Griffin Museum of Photography
David Bookbinder, Flower Mandalas
Laurie Lambrecht, Lake Trees
Among the artists in the 14th Juried Exhibition, David Bookbinder and Laurie Lambrecht were chosen to present a joint show in the Atelier Gallery. Bookbinder exhibits Flower Mandalas, patterns of color and light that are digitally manipulated to create healing images. Lambrecht shows Lake Trees, a series of photographs of trees that reflects the ever-changing language of landscape.
Before the opening of the exhibits, museum members can enjoy a gallery talk with David Bookbinder.
Opening reception: June 5, 7-8:30PM
Gallery talk: June 5, 6:15-7PM
Show runs through August 31, 2008

Hope to see some of you there!
More anon,
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group
Cultivating Creativity group
Request a flower mandala screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas
Images © 2004-2008, David J. Bookbinder

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