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What support can look like in the midst of a pandemic.

Today I wanna talk about support. support comes in many forms. From people you’ve known and loved for years, from a smile of a stranger in the grocery store who has no idea how much you needed that. And from people you’ve never met that shine a light on you every.single.day.  

For me, my mandala group is support from people I’ve never met (in person) that shine light on me every single day.  Before I talk about my mandala group, Let’s go back to mid March of this year. We were all on the same train of thought, around the world, potentially for the first time in eons. A pandemic. Our health.

I remember sitting on the dunes of Lake Michigan near south haven, Michigan with a friend. March 14. I had a staff meeting the day before and we decided to shut down the school that I teach at, for the time being.  I got to finish my last day of AP1(March 14) and as a reward, I went to the beach with a friend.

I remember sitting there, crying, and being held, and saying, “I feel like I’m about to go deep.  Like, deeper than I ever have before.”  

I didn’t know what was in store, none of us did.  I just all of a sudden had all the space in the entire world. No plans, no deadlines, no commitments.  I live alone, so It was time with myself through and through. I would wake up at 8am everyday and lay on my couch… waiting for 11am.

I happened upon mandala drawing on accident(purpose) one day and i knew, this is where I need to be.  Elle Luna was the host at this time. Everyday she woke up at 8am pacific time, usually went to her garden, got on IG, and watched as dreamers poured in to draw. To be in connection.  To have community.  To be held.  

Eventually, everyday was too much for Elle. So she offered shared leadership to the group. People jumped at the idea, including me.  Here we’re.(are) Everyday.  8am pacific 11am eastern drawing. Being. Showing up as we are.

What emerged from this practice is a knit group of artists, inspirers, lovers, dreamers. humans.  My people. Still everyday, since mid March.  8am pacific. 11am eastern.  We show up. 

Some days there’s 5 people live and many people catching the video later in the day. Other days there 15 people live and many people catching the video later in the day. Some days, I skip. Knowing very well, it’s okay. And my people are still there. Showing up. Holding me. Giving me space to be me.

And. I’ve never met these people in person. Different walks of life. Different ages. Mostly women.  All around the world.  All centered around creativity and the heart. 

We read, we breathe, we ground, we draw, we share. We send hearts, we laugh. We share energy. We cultivate being-ness. 

We plan to travel to Ireland as soon as we can safely travel in packs. Ireland is where Jenny lives.  I know these women as if they’re my sisters. That’s connection of the heart. That’s oneness. That’s how we..know.  

I’ve met one mandala sister In person, during my UP travels.  We talked as if we knew each other for decades. Spoke of buried memories and painful experiences.  Something you might only shared to your truest confident.  That’s how deep this connection dwells. 

We draw. We create. We feel our bodies.  And there’s a deeper, often unsaid, truth of our group.  We meet because we belong together.  We meet because sometimes the world is too much and we need a safe space for half and hour to…be.  To laugh, to cry, to ponder. To be held. 

To my mandala sisters.. this is how much you mean to me,

Eve, you live in New York City, New York. And you post photos of the beach, the ocean, everyday.  That alone, to me, shows who you are.  I see a lover of pigment. A lover of cleansing.  A lover of the vast unknown.  The way you bring nature into your work, literally. And blend colors is magic.  Your vision of the woman body is healing.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Molly, your quirkiness gives me life.  Your soft laughs and direct leadership keeps us afloat.  You show me a version of myself that I can be. That I keep working towards.  You help me keep going without comparison syndrome or judgement.  You surprise me.  In a good way.  The way you show up is consistent, nerdy, dark, light, and encouraging.  All of it. How it needs to be.  Through the heart. How it is.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up.

Laura, thank you for sharing pieces of yourself to me.  When we met in person it was like we’d known eachother already.  I Love that you took me to a place that’ “off the beaten path” in the UP.  Thanks for adventuring with me and knowing what I needed. When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Jenny, your laugh. We all know.  Your smile brights up my life.  Saturday mornings at 11am are a rare sight for me, and when they do happen I’m somehow always(usually) in a funk. Your laugh.. your sparkly eyes gets me silly again. Gets me saying.. “okay, it’s really all good. Even if it’s for just now.”  You read all comments we type and integrate it into your practice. To me, I see a person who makes sure everyone is being seen. Being heard.  And I love you for that.  When you show up, it gives me permission to show up. 

Elle, you’ve inspired me to shine my light ever since I saw your interview with Chase Jarvis.  Your look of humbleness, gratitude, and appreciation softens me.  The way your eyebrows pull up at the existence of humans being relaxes me.  How even with millions of people knowing your name, you take the time to learn my name.  My face.  Listen to my story.  Hear me.  It brings me hope.  Hope that I can be like that. That what I’m doing with my life will pay off, and is paying off.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

Andrea, wow.  Your enthusiasm. It gets me going.  You get so excited about the ethereal, spirit world, it shows me I can get excited for it as well.  I love watching your transformation in your platform, giving me permission to do the same.  Your hair, your eyes, your vitality.  It sparks passion in me to keep at it. To keep sharing what I love because people will listen. People are listening.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Michelina, your spunk lightens me up.  To put into perspective of where I’m at, I guess I’m about half your age, slightly less than half. And for me, watching you, gives me hope of transformation on any level.  And how you’re into music, in a band, into night life AND you still show up for spirit. For truth. For heart. For healing.  This brings me so much joy because it reminds me of my sides.  My side of music and trashing myself around and my side my calm centered ness that is essential to regain balance. You remind me that balance of all is reachable.  And that my people my true people will love all of me and walk with me on the journey.  The way you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Amy,  your softness reminds me of my softness.  Your integrations of nature remind me of the infinite beauty around us.  What you read to us, always gets me open to what is and what can be.  I love that I get to hear, listen and see some of the inner workings of your life. Like how you spend time to pick flowers and stew tea for yourself before practice.  How your cat can never seem to sit still and you still show gentleness towards him.  You see beauty in a way that invites presence. And you inspire me to culitvate beauty and presence in my life as well.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up.

Ivna, I’ve never seen your face, and I love you already.  It’s like a blind online relationship yet already heart centered.  Our circle is so pure, you being in it shows me that I know you.  Your endless hearts and exclamation points remind me of the heart.  How your culture cultivates intimacy.  That’s how it is.  For me, growing up in America, seeing your love shows me that it’s okay for me to show my love.  My smallness opens up in your big Love.  And my smallness grows in your presence.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

To all my other mandala sisters, Cherylnn, Sheryl, Skyle, Cathy, Ambrosia, Ms. M, Bri, Rosey, Karolina, Mindy, heidi, KJ, Virginia, and anyone whom I haven’t named.  Your as much a piece as anyone.  You bring life, perspective and Love to our circle.  I am forever grateful seeing you with me as I draw and reach deep into myself.  Knowing, I’m never alone.  We all have each other.  As a person with abandonment pain, having you all show up when you do, cultivates trust and healing within me.  It’s indescribable.  How you show up, gives me permission to show up. 

Hold your people close. Hold this Earth closer.  Hold yourself closest.  It’s all we got.  Keep going where you’re welcomed with deep Love.  Those are your people.  It’s alright to trust it.