"Mandala A Day May.... Mandala A Day May... Mandala A Day May..."
I heard it ticking around half-past 2015, smack bang in the middle of the gap year that ultimately landed me here. I didn't exactly know where I was going to end up (though I saw a flash of it all when I was 8 years old - more on that later), but that's the point of a sabbatical - to take a break from the routine, to refresh, to renew. Luckily, the company I work for was kind enough to give me paid leave, in complete support of my ventures into the unknown. And by company, I mean Me.
Something I learned during my what-is-life year is that I LOVE TO BE SURPRISED. So in true predictable style, even though I had been drawing mandalas routinely for an entire year, let alone ever since I was a kid, I conveniently forgot about my idea for May until April 28th 2016 when I woke up in the middle of the night with "Mandala A Day May" slapping about my head. Conveniently forgot so it would be a surprise that I would need to scramble something together at the last minute... I mean, I only had 8 months notice since the shout out from my intuition (how predictably unsurprising).
So it was 2 days out from May and it didn't seem like a big deal to commit to a month of drawing mandalas at all, I mean, they're just patterns on paper right? (I absolutely knew this was about to alter my life, but the voice that drowns out any fear by simply speaking of the top of it was winning out). I had just moved into a new house with 2 gorgeous new housemates and we were all still in the 'hello', 'nice to see you', 'top-o-the-mornin-to-ya' phase, well before any of us unpacked our this-is-who-I-really-am bags.
"I'm going to draw a Mandala every day for all of May" I announced at breakfast
"What's a Mandala?" asked Anna. And just like that, I opened the big suitcase. Little did these poor girls know what it's like to live with an artist...
On May 1st 2016, I set off on an adventure called Mandala A Day May, that on the surface (instagram) appeared to be me just drawing a bunch of lines, dots and patterns that made up pictures... I had no idea it would test my boundaries, push my ideas of commitment, unfold a memory bank that stretched back to my childhood, change my beliefs about the nature of time, reignite my wildspark, reveal doors I didn't know existed, build an incredible bridge of patience, unlock my darkest caves and give me the keys to escape the castle I had been locked up in for years.
Drawing these Mandalas unlocked it all, and set me free. And I found myself at the backstage door for the greatest show on Earth...