07/05/17: Mandala Making Workshop

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Beautiful day. Beautiful space. Beautiful people. Beautiful artwork. Beautiful lessons.

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Here’s me setting up everything, one pen at a time. And check out my wobbly left shoulder holding on to its dear life. 🌷

I had such a wonderful time teaching the Mandala Making Workshop last weekend. Somehow, those two hours made me feel more alive than anything else has in more than half a year now. The most beautiful thing about the experience was the very fact that it brought people from different walks of life together, for one shared purpose: to give a break to their busy minds and let their creativity run wild.

We had a retiree who was looking for ways to keep her mind active, a yoga teacher exploring ways for self-expression, a mandarin language teacher who had forgotten that she can create, a computer engineer who needed her calculating brain to quieten for once… none of them had ANY background in mandalas or pattern-making, hadn’t done much research and yet they were there because it seemed right…I mean, isn’t this just WOW?!

Even though it is not uncommon, I am still so amazed at how the whole process shifted something for some of the participants. For me, being there and seeing that in itself was such a deeply moving experience. To be honest, I’m still letting it all sink in. Everything from the place, to people and to the tea we had seemed right. I don’t think I could  have asked to be anywhere else on that Sunday morning but there, teaching, sharing and learning. I’m fatigued out of my mind and yet so full in my heart. Let’s see how long it takes for me to recover from all of it physically but I know I’ll be okay and I’ll do this again when it’s time. My body needs rest now. Conducting a workshop after half a year of being 90% bedridden is a big step ahead for me. And it didn’t just happen overnight… this big step comprised of many, many small steps over the last so many months and years…

One day at a time

One step at a time.

🌷🌿🙏🏼✨


I enjoy making my mandalas as free-hand as possible. Unless I’m making it for someone or teaching a class, I don’t quite bother with guidelines too much. Once you get a hang of it, you intuitively know what to do next. Each one of us knows it and we get better with practice (honestly, I don’t think practice needs to make perfect. If practice makes better, that’s perfect in its own way). There’s barely any “planning” required if really just go with the flow. The best part about making mistakes (if that’s what you want to call them in the first place) while creating patterns is realising that you have the ability to fix them without having to go back. Without erasing or undoing. You adapt, you figure out ways to enhance what you have and work with it.

To be here 


And today I realized,

I’m quite at peace with where I’m at. 

Of course, there will always be things to work on and move towards,

and every once in a while I will get  overwhelmed with everything that’s going wrong and experience a  meltdown for a while – it’s part of the healing process too.

But to be here,

present in this very moment,

with a fragile body that hurts twenty-four-seven,

and still feel alright deep down

is nothing short of an achievement.

The way things were going,

I didn’t think it was ever possible – this ability to be okay with a disability and exist without too much dependence on someone. 

Nature always does something to me. It gets me thinking (in a good way) and in some ways, brings out the real me in me. 

As I sat there by the water today, looking at the magnificent colours around me,

I knew it was all okay. And going to be okay. 

I was there with my knees swollen but my heart was full of love and gratitude. 

All that I need in this phase of life, I already have. 

A big thank you to all those who are a part of my journey. 

Love,
Manasi

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And just as you think you’ve got it all under control, everything changes. It turns into a complete mess. Everything falls apart. Your control doesn’t count for anything. Nothing at all. You find yourself standing on an unstable foundation. Uncertainty takes over. You find fear building up inside of you. One bit at a time, every aspect of your life begins to alter. You are forced to evolve and grow. Your story changes. Your goals and aspirations look different. Your priorities are reshuffled. Your relationships are affected. Your truth starts to unfold. You realize you don’t seem to fit in anymore or that you never did. Your plans were just a dream. Your present becomes your reality. Your reality creates more opportunities. You realize that stepping forward requires stepping inwards first. A new set of doors suddenly open for you. You look back and see that some doors remain closed, some people belong in your past and some plans you thought your life depended on, just don’t matter as much anymore. Nothing looks like what you expected it to one day but you know it was meant to happen. Even if you don’t fully understand where it leaves you at, you know it was all for good.
Life continues to take place; every moment, every breath. Stay true, stay present. Stay grateful for what you have now because chances are, life won’t always look the way you thought it would.
❤︎

An Extra Mile. 

 
You see, if you’re dealing with an invisible illness, a chronic or rare illness or some sort which doesn’t always show, you tend to get a lot of this:

“But you don’t LOOK sick!”

A funny meme that I found on invisible illness had a response to the above going somewhat like this, “Please tell me, what does sick look like? I’ll make sure to harder next time.”

Yes, there are times I feel frustrated and would want to give a similar reply but I rarely ever do. Because I understand it’s only normal to expect a “sick” person to LOOK sick. You’d usually expect a handicapped person to be on a wheelchair, right?

The truth is, a lot of us choose to not look sick. All you have to do is turn our bodies inside out and you may see it for yourself. It’s a conscious choice. One of those daily choices we make; one of those which may not even come across as something anyone else might need to stop and think about.

I know, life is all about making choices for all of us. Whether you’re sick or not.

But making a choice out of limited options, creating possibilities out of painful hurdles, turning physical weaknesses into mental and emotional strength, using all the brain power to keep you up and going, and having to consider bodily consequences for every little action, every move, through the day, is simply not the same.

We love to talk about strength; about how strong our body is, how toned or attractive we are, and that’s brilliant! But I’ve learnt over time, through personal experience, there is no strength like the strength that comes from within. From deep within. It’s the kind of strength that sometimes lies underneath the most nasty emotions but it’s still right there, to keep you motivated and to help you up each time you fall (literally and metaphorically).

That’s why I like to think, a lot of us may be physically fragile, but we’re mentally unbreakable. We might lose our balance, but we come right back and we’re stronger each time. We spend so much time and effort on our body and its needs that nothing else is as important anymore. What can be more of value than your own health? I can say this today, barely anything. In fact, I’d like to say nothing. Nothing comes close to health in terms of priority.

On days like today, I have to go an extra mile – to look less like a patient and be more patient with my body. It has come a long way and it has a long way to go.

Love,

Manasi Dalvi

#ODAAT

Hi Everyone! It’s finally time for me to share with you what I’ve been working on for a while now, other than looking after my health needs. I am so excited to share this idea with everyone and I’m looking forward to developing it further.

So here it goes!
I’m designing a personal journal meant to compliment our effort of creating and chasing bigger life goals, by keeping us more present and mindful of what we have today. It is a lifestyle journal to remind us to slow down, to accept who we are and love ourselves, and to be grateful for all that we have in the present moment.

ODAAT is a personal system to aid a change of perspective, to understand our thoughts and emotions at a deeper level, and live a more inspired life. It contains various practical tools from Positive Psychology and encourages creativity, compassion towards self and others and most importantly, helps us direct our energy into today instead of tomorrow. This journal helps us gain a stronger understanding of ourselves before we reach out to those around us. It also contains fun tasks specifically designed to open our heart and mind to the love around us.

One Day At A Time has been my ✨Manntra for a quite sometime now. My intention is to share this Manntra with those who are in a similar situation as I have been in, or with anyone who feels the need to live life differently. These are tools that I’ve been practicing and using in order to deal with the insane twists and turns my life has taken over the past few years.
That’s all for now! I’ll keep everyone updated as I continue to work on this :) 💕

Lots of love,
MD