In this chapter, Dr. Jeffers gives us a powerful mantra: take responsibility for your life. Most of the time we think we do this when in fact we usually take on the victim role by playing the blame game and/or finding ourselves stuck in one or more aspects of our lives. When we do this we give our power away which means we let other people and circumstances take responsibility for our lives instead of us taking charge.
We see this play out when, for example, something we planned for fails to play out the way we want it to. We play victim, complaining and bemoaning our fate, with the “poor me” mantra. Taking responsibility, on the other hand, means assessing the situation, determining our options, and then taking some action.
We often stay in the victim mode because we fail to recognize the payoffs for staying stuck as victims. Recently I realized that by being stuck in the “being broke” (victim) mode gave me an excellent excuse for passing on trying out for higher-end art shows. It takes money to apply for most art shows and even more to pay for booth fees. Without money how can I apply? The payoff for passing on these? I receive fewer rejection letters. The downside? I stay stuck where I am, wondering why I’m a “starving artist”.
Dr. Jeffers offers this exercise to help us work through payoffs that keep us stuck.
“List all the payoffs you get from staying stuck in some aspect of your life. What don’t you have to face? What don’t you have to do? What comfort do you get? …When you are aware of what you are doing, you will automatically discard a lot of your robotlike behaviors. You will lead yourself instead of being led.
My mantra for this month (and beyond): I take responsibility for my life. Let’s use this month to explore our stuck-ness and our payoffs on our journey through the mandala of the year.
Coloring Tip #4
Many people become frustrated with figuring out what colors to use which often stops them from coloring because they fear ruining what they want to color.
- Take the time to quickly learn about color theory. The “Color Matters” web site offers an easy-to-read page on basic color theory. Once you understand primary, secondary and complementary colors, determining what colors to use becomes much easier.
- Practice…practice…practice. Before you commit to coloring/painting, practice on another piece of paper or scrap canvas. With regards to the Mandala of the Year. Print out multiple copies and test out colors in advance. When I color, I usually keep scrap paper by my side to test out colors in advance. Once I find the color combination I like, then I proceed with coloring on the “official” piece.
- Unless you’re working on a one-of-a-kind piece or materials, what’s the worse that can happen? What if you did “ruin” it? For me? Depending on the materials I’m using, I’ll usually paint over what I did. Worse case scenario? I toss it out or use the canvas/paper as scrap for another project. And then I start again. For those rare one-of-kind situations? I always practice first and then move forward, remembering to breathe as I do.
Be sure to download/color the April 2012 Mandala of the Month.
Maureen, The Mandala Lady