Jumpstart 2010 with a “Conditions” Mandala

Heaven communicates with us so many ways. Synchronicity. Animal messengers. Signs and symbols. Dreams. Nudging. Knowing. Intuition. And deep soul writing, of course.

But have you noticed that when you are ready to hear something really important, something that may well be the next step in your soul’s great human adventure, it falls into your hands through a human voice? It might be something someone says, but often it comes through the pages of a book.

That’s what happened to me. As you know, I wrote about how to create a magical new year throughout December. I thought about it every day and shared my experiences with you in this newsletter and in my blog. I thought I had the process pretty well figured out.

Until New Year’s morning.

I spent the morning in deep dialogue with my divine Voice putting 2009 to bed and calling in a magical 2010. It’s a process I’ve followed for a decade and I know it works. But this year, I did something different. Before I said my prayers, before I picked up a pen, before I did anything, I picked up a library book. As I sipped my coffee, I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s slender new book, you are here.

Midway through I had to stop and catch my breath. Because everything in my understanding suddenly shifted 180 degrees.

Let me explain.

A week ago, I decided that the perfect name for 2010 is “My Breakthrough Year.” It’s perfect because it captures where I am. I’m in the fifth year of my writing career: In 2006, I called in my publisher. In 2007, I wrote Writing Down Your Soul. In 2008, I learned what happens after you turn in your manuscript: editing, book layout, cover design… In 2009, I learned what happens when your book comes out: how to speak, teach, travel, communicate through social media, work with a publicist, interview and be interviewed… Whew.

And so, in year five, I’m ready for the big breakthroughs. You know: the income, agent, multi-book contract, well-paid speaking invitations. I’m ready for my ships to come in.

And reading Thich Nhat Hanh, I discovered how to do that. Which is a really good thing, because I had something wrong, and I’m willing to bet you do, too.

Until I read You Are Here, I visualized my year as me breaking through barriers to reach what I want. But listen to what the Buddha has to say about creating: “This is, because that is.”

Not clear? Don’t worry. That’s why God gave us Thich Nhat Hanh, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Vietnamese Buddhist monk. To explain this profound teaching Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “This refers to the manifestation of phenomena on the basis of the law of interdependent origination. When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.” (p. 87) To illustrate, he points out that in winter you don’t see sunflowers, but that doesn’t mean sunflowers don’t exist. They are just waiting for the condition of sunshine to call them forth.

My eyes couldn’t leave the sentence, “When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.” I wrote it several times in my journal. I wrote it on my white board. I sat staring in space letting it seep into my cells.

“When conditions are sufficient, there is manifestation.”

I am still calling 2010 “My Breakthrough Year,” but I see now that my way to get that to happen is not to focus on me breaking through to what I want; it is to focus on creating the conditions that allow everything I want to break through to me.

Do you hear the difference? It’s huge. And it’s the miracle-maker that will create the year I want — and the year you want.

So how do you create those conditions? Well, my Voice and I had long, rich talks about how I can create the fertile field for my “sunflowers” to break through the soil and grow, grow, grow. Well, actually we talked about lilies. Ever since Michael said, “You are a lily,” in an angel reading with Margo Mastromarchi in 2007, I’ve had lilies on my altar. I love seeing myself as one of Spirit’s cared-for lilies.

Once I was clear on the conditions to allow all I want to manifest, I made a prayer mandala to imprint that image in my sub-conscious. I traced a dinner plate on a large sheet of paper. I drew a lily at the center of the circle. On each of her six petals I wrote something I do to create the perfect conditions for my year. Around the lily, I drew twelve small circles, each with a symbol of something I want to break through to me in 2010.

I finished with an angel reading, using Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle deck and pasted copies of the four cards to the corners. Delighted with the results, I pinned my 2010 mandala to the wall next to my desk where it will bless me for the next 365 days.


Can prayer be visual?

I love Sundays. But they are no longer days of rest. Thanks to the success of Writing Down Your Soul, I’m often booked as a guest speaker or workshop leader at a New Thought church somewhere in the country. Sunday, I’ve been rather surprised to discover, is a work day.

So when I wake on a Sunday knowing I don’t have to be anywhere, I am one happy girl. I make my glorious French Press coffee and curl up in my reading chair with the New York Times. I can — and do — sit there for hours.

Well, three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have one of those slow, lazy Sundays. But Rev Greg Barrette was speaking at First Unity in St Petersburg on soul development. I felt I needed to be there. But OH! the chair was calling and the coffee so good. But you know — and you know that you know — when you really must heed your guidance. And my guidance was quite clear and quite persistent that I better get in the car. So an hour later, I walked into Greg’s workshop. And I am so grateful, so very grateful.

In the course of his talk, Greg mentioned the term “visual prayer.” I stopped taking notes and stared at him. My gut told me that those two words mattered. Visual prayer. What a glorious idea. A thing, a drawing, a something that is a prayer. I am madly in love with words, but this idea of a picture of prayer, this really called to me.

A couple sentences later, I realized that Greg was talking about a vision board, something I’ve done for the last few years. But this year, I just did not feel the urge to make one. I didn’t know why, because I know they are powerful, but I just didn’t want those cut-out pictures in my office. Not this year. So here it is September, and I still have no visual image for my goals and dreams for this year.

I loved the workshop and I loved meeting Greg. As I drove home, the traffic came to a halt on Curlew Road in Palm Harbor. A traffic jam on a summer Sunday afternoon is a rare and strange thing in my neck of the woods. But I decided not to stress about it. When I was teaching my son to drive and we ran into a traffic jam, I’d tell him to relax. Consider the possibility, I’d say, that you are being protected and just sit patiently.

My own words came back to me. If it were true for him, it must be true for me. There’s a reason I’m not moving. What is it? I looked around. Slowly. Consciously. Fully. And there to my right was a house with an unusual address placque. The address numerals were surrounded by a large metal circle with 8 metal lines outside the circle. The instant my eyes fell on it, I knew, THIS was the perfect symbol for my visual prayer. I came home and wrote about it and drew a few samples. But I felt something was missing.

Today, a facebook friend, Wendi Brown, posted a link to this gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous video of a sacred geometry mandala created by Charles Gilchrist.

Have you ever wondered what the term “sacred geometry” meant? How about “visual prayer?” THIS is visual prayer. I’ve watched it five times and I’ll watch it five more. Then, I’m going to make my own mandala, my own visual prayer. I’m so in love with this idea of Visual Prayer. When I finish it, I’ll post it. But for now, what I’d love to know, is what kind of Visual Prayer do you “say?”