Learning to live with what is, like the weave of the fabric this mandala is built on. It was hard to line things up, both horizontally and vertically. Between the warp and weft of the fabric, and the horsetail ferns, I had to reassemble pieces of it. It wouldn’t have mattered so much if it wasn’t for the horizontal lines of the horsetail fern. Next time I’ll start with the fabric, aligning the design with what is. My stubbornness kept me from starting over at the beginning. I have the time, where am I going anyway? We’re in lockdown again.

mandala using beads, leaves, horsetail fern and pineapple guavas
Amber and clay beads, willow twigs, strawflowers, cotoneaster leaves, pineapple guavas, horsetail fern, silk tassel tree buds, boxwood leaves

This is a good practice for living, accepting reality, and working from there, not from where I think it ought to be. Acceptance doesn’t mean liking how things might be, rather discerning what change I can affect, or not, and working with that. I don’t always achieve that, but when I align my actions with reality, life tends to go more smoothly. The Serenity Prayer is a good structure to think about this: “God, grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

It doesn’t seem to matter how strong my belief in God is. I think there is an animating spirit to the universe, and it’s way bigger than what I can conceive. It doesn’t matter how I define it. What matters is my willingness to accept reality, learning to live with what is. Working on it.

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