An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Churning Mechanics Of Life

I am amazed that it has been so long since I did my last Mandala, which also appears to have coincided with my last blog entry. Time has been whirling by very quickly for me lately. The last few weeks of December and the first week of the new year are always busy, but this year I had an additional element to juggle. I started a new job as a social worker with Hospice. I am still juggling these new duties, and learning the ins and outs of the job, and it is going into the second week of this new year. I know that I will soon get a handle on things and life will balance back out, that is one of the advantages of age...I have had enough upsets and imbalances in my life due to short-term changes to know that there is another more "sane" side to come. In the meantime, as I reflected upon this new year, I definitely found myself thinking of the abundant gratitude that I feel for my ability to have found employment and to have been be gifted with such a wonderful opportunity to work with families and their loved ones during a very significant and intimate time in their lives. I feel extremely honored that my journey has taken me to this place at this time.

Feeling The Need To Create
As I sat in a lonely hotel outside of Detroit (where I was for 2 days and 2 nights for new employee orientation), this past Thursday night, I felt a very strong need to create and to center myself. I needed something to take me away from all the new material, forms, phone lists, phone training, new faces and names and the whirlwind of information overload that new jobs can create in our heads. I am glad that I had decided to throw my Mandala supplies in my suitcase at the last minute, just in case I had some down time. I drew my outside circle and slowly began...never having a preconceived notion of the outcome or even the colors that I would choose. It always works. It always comes. Ah, resting in the relaxation of those moments. My head could finally stop the cascading waterfall of names, dates, times, rules, regulations, do's and don'ts, that make up an intense orientation schedule. I was amazed to note when I had finished my Mandala that an hour and a half had flown by while I found solitude once again within my design and the colors that flowed onto my paper.

A Cog In The Wheel Of Life
As I always do when I have finished a Mandala for my Circles Of Time Mandala Series...I looked intently at what I had just created and waited to see if any free association words came to me from within. I wrote these words around this new piece for my series "The Mechanisms of LIFE tick and turn and CRANK...winding and CHURNING, up we go, and down the other side." fitting.
I guess I have been feeling like I am a cog or a gear in life's big engine the last few weeks, turning, moving, going through the motions that I needed to take to do what I had to do, but I have realized that I am tired. BUT, I am also rejuvenated each time I allow myself to explore art as a way of processing my life's changes. I also workout regularly, eat as healthy as I can, and try to get enough sleeping time (though it has been difficult these last few weeks). All of these coping skills will help me get to the other side, a side when I will feel balanced again and hopefully, proficient at my new job.

Blessings and Love,


  1. It's beautiful! You've inspired me. I have a staff retreat this week and I think I need to bring along some art supplies and maybe try out a mandala while I'm there!

  2. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for your compliment on my Mandala. I am so excited that you were inspired by it to do your own. I like doing these particular Mandalas in this series because they don't require a lot of supplies. Most of them are colored markers, a circle template, and occasionally a simple 8 color watercolor set and/or colored pencils, but mostly they are just markers. I like the simple "easy-to-tote-with-you" aspect of this kind of work. Maybe it fits into my lifestyle right now without requiring me to prepare, plan, and to have a lot of space or time. Have fun if you do work on one, and feel free to share if you are willing. Drop me a link if you post it somewhere.

  3. Hi Diane,
    Your art is such a reflection of where you are along your journey. I love that when we sit and honor ourselves by doing the artwork we connect with the aspects of ourselves that needs attending to. I hope you can share this gift of centering and allowing with the families your work with.
    All the best!

  4. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for coming over for a visit. It is fun to sit and work with these spontaneous works, they always amaze me, no matter how many times I do them. You are right, things that need to be "tended to" or need to be "worked with a bit" always come up if we are open to them. It sounds like you are finding your own inner voice with your Mandala work of late. I do hope that I am able to incorporate some of this work into my Hospice role at some point. My employer does seem interested...but for now I am a social worker and I am doing other outside workshops with art and healing. I am hoping that there might be interest in my doing my last Art Therapy internship with them, but we shall see.

  5. thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. great to stay connected with you. love to be a witness of the journey you are on!

  6. Great to keep up with you Shannon. I am doing a better job of that lately than posting on my blog! This weekend for sure, I have several mandalas to comment on..

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