Week 22: Wiggle Room

“Wiggle Room”

Wiggle Room Mandala

For this mandala design, I created one full-color version using color pencils:

Wiggle Room Mandala
Wiggle Room Mandala  (4in diameter; 5.5 sq in overall)

The Wiggle Room mandala is one of a series of 21 asymmetry mandalas created over a 3-week period in autumn 2007. It consists of seven vertical wavy lines and twelve horizontal straight lines. My asymmetry mandalas come about by drawing in-the-moment inspired doodles.

This mandala received its name after I finished coloring it. It reminds me of watching movies or TV programs where the scene goes to wavy shapes depicting either the going back or forth in time, or a scene morphing into another scene…the screen appears to wiggle as it goes in and out of focus.

The Message

Wiggle Room represents the gap between thought and form…that space where the thought or idea has already come to mind and now it’s waiting to be acted upon or brought into form. Sometimes that gap is mere moments in time, most times the gap expands into a lost-in-time limbo.

How many thoughts or ideas do we receive and toss aside or just add to a list that seems to always be ignored for one reason or another? What excuses do we use to pass over them?

  • it’s too overwhelming
  • need more information
  • it’s a crazy idea
  • who would want it
  • lack the ____ to make it happen (skills, funds, time, expertise, space, etc)

Wiggle Room reminds us that fear underlies most of our excuses; be it fear of failure, fear of success, fear of ridicule, fear of being vulnerable, etc. We could also be making excuses because in our heart of hearts, we really would rather do something else.

To help our ideas move along, we first need to look at all of our ideas to determine if they really need to be done…Here’s a little exercise to help us:

  1. make a list of all the ideas that we want to make happen (regardless of excuses). For the creative types out there, feel free to substitute doing mind mapping instead of lists. UPDATED 12/13/2013: timely blog post about mind mapping by ArtBiz Coach, Alyson Stanfield.
  2. for each idea, connect with it at the heart level to find out 1) if we really want to do it, 2) if we want to do it now, or 3) if we want to do it some time in the future.
  3. for each idea that we want to pass on, cross it off the list…if it’s something we want to do in the future, put it on a “future” list.
  4. for each remaining idea, determine why we want to do it…is it coming from the ego (we care more about us being the ones to do it) or your heart (we care more about the idea and want to do whatever we can to make it happen).
  5. for each idea that seems to come from the ego, cross it off the list

At this point, the list should be considerably shorter and maybe even empty. If it is empty, this now frees us up to receive new ideas which we can immediately apply these 5 steps to…making it something we can do right now or totally pass on completely.

For each item left on the list, note what is keeping us from moving forward with it. What excuses do we have?

Explore these examples of how to work through some of the excuses:

  • for time-related excuses: break the idea down into micro tasks that could be easily done in 5-15 minutes. Then do 1 micro task a day. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished in a very short period of time.
  • for space-related excuses: depending on the idea, break the idea down into micro components that can easily be stored in easy-to-manage boxes or containers. Only pull out the box/container that has the current component being worked on so that when finished for the day, it can be easily placed back into the container and put away.
  • for financially-related excuses: break down the idea into two categories: tasks that really require money and tasks that can be done for free. Until funding can be found, do all the “free” tasks first. Then for the “needing funds” list, research the possibility of alternative ways the task could be done without funds…or, look into crowdfunding web sites like kickstarter to put out requests for funding.
  • for lack-of-skills-related excuses: break down the idea into two categories: tasks we really want to do and tasks we could have other people do. Here we’re being asked to explore the idea of how best to use our time and effort. Does it really serve us to learn the skill required to do the task or would we be better served having someone else do it?
  • for psychological-related excuses: use creative activities to either explore the source of these excuses or to explore how best to work our way through them. This blog post “Change your whole life” can be of help; as can the books  Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, PhD and The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Dr. Brené Brown.

Wiggle Room tells us that the time has come to bring our thoughts and ideas into focus, into fruition, and into form. By letting go of those ideas that are best left for others to do, we actually free ourselves up to accomplish what best serves us to do…giving us, and those around us, peace and joy in the process.

How much better would the world be if we all were to focus on that which we are really meant to do, that which people are eagerly awaiting for us to do?

Make it so, Number One! *



joyfully, Maureen The Mandala Lady

* Star Trek: TNG



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