On the last day of each year, I usually choose to let go of something that I believe is preventing me from being my best, as I move forward into a new year. With this intention, I created a mandala, and then ceremoniously burn it. On New Year’s Eve 2017, I chose to let go of EXPECTATIONS. I felt that expectations create conditions in my relationships with myself and others, and get in the way of loving unconditionally.
When I had a stroke on my birthday the end of August last year, the effect was that I lost my balance. As part of my strategy for recovery, besides intensive physical therapy, I created 21 self-healing mandalas. Each one was intended to help me develop whatever I felt I needed to heal at any given time. Since it was my left side that was affected, (I'm left handed) I used my left hand to create them. That’s a whole other story, so I’ll save that for another blog post.
What’s relevant to this blog is that while I held a specific intention for the physical quality I needed to heal and move forward in my life, I did this without holding expectations. The point I make here is that intentions and expectations are two very different things that we often tend to get mixed up. (Okay...that'll be the subject of another blog... stay tuned! )
On New Years Eve I was on my 21st mandala. Since it was a letting go mandala, and I burned it, on New Years Day, I made a Moving Forward Mandala with the intention of practicing unconditional love for myself and others. That's the mandala you see above.
Looking back on the past 4 months, I can say, in all honesty, it wasn’t always easy to let go of expectations or to practice unconditional love. I had to make a conscious choice to make this happen. Most challenging was to let go of the expectations I had of myself, and the people I’m closest to – especially Nimi, my husband. When I found myself getting down on myself or him for not living up to my expectations, I had to catch myself in the act. I then had to take a deep breath in, and consciously exhale the expectation out. With the next breath in, I remembered what I was grateful for about myself or him. Yes...it has gotten easier with time and practice.
Interestingly, I have noticed a difference not only in myself, but in him too. and how we relate to each other. Apparently, the mirror neurons (Ask Google if you don't know what these are.) seem to be doing their thing, and I’m deeply grateful. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the peace you wish to see in the world.”
Read more: Mandala Meditative Healing Art
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Suchinta Abhayaratna. Th.D.
I have practiced and taught holistic self-care for over 20 years. Through these blog posts my intention is to share what I have experienced and learned on my healing journey over the years. I invite you to post your comments, and share the blogs widely.