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“Choose Peace”

This past week the care of my Dad (who has dementia) took an even greater toll on me.  Awakened by a midnight call that he had fallen (again) two weeks ago has put me on high alert.  Observing his decline over the course of the last three years, interspersed with periods of remarkable improvement has left me depleted and confused.  Yesterday alone, I witnessed him in seizures three times, watching my brilliant, charming father lose all control of his body, mind and consciousness,  mouth gaping, unseeing eyes open heavenward, chest barely rising with breath.  It is imprinted in my DNAImage to want to help, make it better, it is excruciating to be so helpless.  I always experience such relief when he returns to consciousness and smiles again, color returning to his eyes and face, but also knowing the reprieve is only temporary.

The pertinent question here really is not what I can do for him at this point (very little) but rather how I can navigate these rough seas.  The struggle to change the situation is really what erodes my energy, drains my life force.  The mandala I began (on his birthday this year, May 19th) holds the key to survival for me, “Choose Peace”.

As I wrote in the text, “there is a Divine Perfection in each moment of life, whether exquisitely joyful or unbearably painful, this we forget from our human perspective, but can remember as we take time to reconnect with our God Source, our non-physical, higher perspective selves”.

My salvation is found in choosing peace, the awareness that it is not mine to change the moment but to embrace it fully.

Filed under: Dementia Tolerance, Healing Art

About the Author

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As a Phoenix native, Vikki Reed's vibrant watercolors of desert botanicals evolved from her love and appreciation of the desert's ability to produce tender beauty in the midst of harsh conditions. The mandala series which began in 2004 resurrects a childhood knowledge that mandalas are a primordial tool for centering and healing. Vikki studied in the 1980s with watercolor greats Irving Shapiro and Paul Kuo, and began exhibiting at the outdoor shows in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico after Paul's encouragement. This led to gallery representation with the Wickenburg Gallery and Work of Artist's Gallery. Vikki also exhibited at the Celebration of Fine Art for eight years. Before taking sabbatical to act as caregiver for her father in 2010, Vikki was featured in a one woman show at the Northern Trust Bank in January 2008 and was selected to create an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree that same year. Vikki's current focus, the Mandala Series, combines ancient symbolism and the healing power of color.


  1. solarbeez

    I hope you could ‘lose yourself’ in this mandala when you painted it…forget about everything else except the canvas in front of you. I could lose myself in looking at it, for days, and still not see everything. Well done!

  2. Dee

    Love you Vikki and thank you for this beautiful piece, I will cherish it forever and it’s even more special because you are my friend. So blessed to have this work of art in my home. God bless you and your dad.

  3. Pingback: Let It Bee | Magical Mandalas

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