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Where’s the Love?

I am hearing more stories these days of people reacting harshly to others, speaking unkindly, and of course, if you are in the habit of watching the news, there is no shortage of evidence that all manner of horrendous behavior is being exhibited.

As I check my interior world, I find anxiety almost constantly running at a low to moderate level, spiking quickly at the slightest provocation.  In addition, I am noticing a lot of self-judgment and scolding.  I’m feeling raw, vulnerable and unsettled.  My snow globe has been shaken once again and everything feels off-balance.

As often happens when distress levels rise, I will not have had (or made) much time to paint, prioritizing instead the demands of the outer world, otherwise known as “real life”.  Retreating to the safety of the studio, I began a little piece to sort things through.  I thought it was to be a more conventional mandala, but the gift of higher wisdom and inspiration made its way through my walls of fear and resistance, and “Where’s the Love” began to take shape.  I was totally confused at first, as arrows were pointing every which way and I felt the now familiar grip of terror when I don’t know what to do, the indicator of my deepest fear, a descent into dementia, which I witnessed for both my mom and dad.

Persistence brought the blessing of the (also familiar) reassurance that once I relax into the creative energy, the magic unfolds before me, in spite of my fear, and gratitude rushes in as I behold a creation that I could not have birthed on my own.

“Where’s the Love” features a heart which is made up of color, black and white checkerboard, and spirals. One of the arrows points to an “X” marking a healing wound on the heart.  The words are actually written out and as I wrote, the arrow on the bottom right was already providing the “v” shape for the word “Love”.

This processes for me what I am witnessing both inside myself and in the world today.  The fear has reached epidemic proportions.  It is imperative that I begin a new relationship with my fear.  Acknowledge it, feel it, honor it and then challenge it. Is it true?  How can I know it’s true?  It is more likely that fear is rising up from deep inside, from a place that has not been given credit for keeping me safe at some point in the past.

I will be doing my best to honor my fear, with the knowledge that as I do, I can open to more love, for myself and in so doing, be the change I hope to see in the world.wheres-the-love-color-web

Filed under: Creative Living, Dementia Tolerance, Ebb and Flow, Healing Art, Mandalas, Vulnerability

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.

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