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“Free to Be Me”

"Free to Be Me"

“Free to Be Me”

This year has been a roller coaster, in part due to my expectation of certain outcomes, (such as my grief subsiding after the one year anniversary of my Dad’s passing).  Instead, I felt plunged into even deeper abysses, (see “Surrender”).

Those wiser about grief know that putting time limits and restrictions on the process is foolhardy.  I have simply become impatient with what I perceive as dysfunction and I’m anxious to move forward.  This limited perspective overlooks the gifts that can be found in the depths, as the grace that waits within and beyond the grief is sweet indeed.

“Free to Be Me” is one of those gifts that came forward as I trudged through the creative block I feel with the “Guidance Mandala”, (ironic, huh?)  Mid-February brought the idea, but nothing had presented visually  in March when I entered the studio to begin, on the date of my Dad’s passing (March 7th).  His bible is in my studio and I reached for it for solace.  Opening it at random, I was astonished to see the passages he had underlined so many years ago, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” and “Do not fear, only believe”Dad's bible 3-7-15.

Perfect words coming to me at the most opportune time.  But almost two more months pass before images take shape on the paper and I “hear” the following guidance…”Stop trying to make your new life fit within the same framework as your old life.  Your old life is gone, let it go and stop telling the story of it.  Let the new life begin…be, as it is, a new creation.”

Whoa!

Exciting and terrifying at the same time.  I do not know what the new life will hold.  “Free to Be Me” begins with a path in the center, leading to the mountain tops.  There is a guiding star (yes folks, you HAVE seen that before), and figures (nine total, symbolizing completion) celebrating all around, waving the banners, flying the flags of freedom.

Meanwhile, I wait (impatiently) for direction.

"Guidance Mandala" in progress

“Guidance Mandala” in progress

Filed under: Healing Art, Loss, Mandalas

About the Author

Posted by

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 Comment so far

  1. Thanks for sharing this with me today. When I read the part about your guidance.., “stop trying to make your new life fit…”, I couldn’t help but think about your conversation with BOB today… It sounds like you’re getting consistent guidance and confirmation! As we discussed.., I can really relate to much of the shifting process you are in, even if mine does not begin with a loss, such as you have experienced! Thanks for sharing your writing, it speaks to me!

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