Spinning plates

Round and round spin the plates of my life
It’s easy to feel pale and washed out
Pace yourself to keep vibrant and bright
The loudest voice isn’t the most urgent

It’s easy to feel pale and washed out
The ‘God and me’ plate is most important
The loudest voice isn’t the most urgent
The ‘God and me’ plate powers the others

The ‘God and me’ plate is most important
Pace yourself to keep vibrant and bright
The ‘God and me’ plate powers the others
Round and round spin the plates of my life

This was created from a piece of mindful art that I did on Monday. I had been inspired by watching the video from the free Mindful Art Journalling Course at https://www.workshopmuse.com. This past week I have set aside time as part of my evening prayer time to engage in mindful/prayerful art and journalling. This is not something I will always share – unlike the Sunday readings based journalling – as it is more personal and therefore private. However I thought this one would be appreciated by anyone who has several plates spinning in their lives, and especially my clergy colleagues and friends.

My technique for this is to have a time of silent prayer with a lit candle inviting the Holy Spirit to guide me. I then do the Examen which is an Ignatian way of prayerfully looking back at the day. See the image below.

From this I go into the mindful art as explained on the video. On Monday, I chose to do the mindful art with the intention of exploring why I was tired. As you can see, what arose for me is the way that I have many roles and things to do. After 20 minutes of mindfully making marks on the paper with colours, the suggestion is that you then spend 10 minutes writing down what the images ‘say’ to you. You then underline 3-5 phrases that seem important. Looking back on this on Friday I decided to turn some of the phrases into six lines to make a Pantoum poem – which is what is at the top of this blog.

The phrases underlined on Monday were:
He who shouts loudest isn’t necessarily the most important voice demanding my attention.
One little circle needs time on its own – ‘me time’ – touching, on the edge of, the others but independent.
It is easy to feel pale and washed out like the water-colours but you want to feel vibrant and bright and so you can if you pace yourself and take care of the underlying, foundational practices of mediation, prayer and physical exercise.
Remember that the most important plate to keep spinning is your relationship with god. When that one’s good, the rest is empowered by it.

The verses from this week’s bible reading from 1 Corinthians 2 seem to underline the value of mindful practices, combined with prayer.

“For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor 2:11

I hope you have found this blog helpful and I do commend to you the website I linked. The video course is free. And now, I am going to spend some ‘me’ time and go and do my evening prayer, which will include some mindful art.

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