Mado’s Mandala

Here's a brief description of the parts that make up my mandala. During a one-week self-guided retreat in December 2013, I created a visual mandala, finding images in magazines to represent each part.

Wise Woman. I know things without always knowing how I do. I am grounded. I am reassuring. I am welcoming. I follow earth's natural rhythms and go with the flow, in harmony with the cosmos. Mother Earth is my guide.

Independent.  I am extremely independent. Often to a fault. I'll barge ahead and do something on my own  rather than ask for help. On the other hand, I've always been self-sufficient and am happy being my own boss. I went out on my own at age 35 and have never looked back.

Observer/Listener.  I have always loved to people watch. As a teenager, I would sit in Central Station in Montreal just to observe the people as they came and went. I also like to engage people and listen to their stories. Humans fascinate me!

Nurturer/Facilitator.  I am a great nurturer and am known for my Mado hugs! The Nurturer is a presence in my work. I stay in touch, I write emails and inspirational postcards. I care about how people are doing. My Observer-Listener provides useful data to the Nurturer. I am also a good simplifier and facilitator. I want each participant to get the most out of the intensive, workshop or experience.

Partner/Lover.   I love life, people, ideas, nature, culture, among many other things. I have a strong partner. I believe in commitment and will do whatever it takes to make a relationship work. I do have a strong survivor, however. If push comes to shove, I will choose me.

Organizer/Manager.  A strong part of me. I organize things, spaces, words, and documents. She has served me well in business, not always so well in relationship. I often duked it out with my former husband on the management floor. We each felt we knew what was best for any given situation!

Wild Woman.  My Wild Woman loves the wilderness and could spend her life out there. By contrast, she has a Tina Turner side to her. She loves to shine and be recognized. It is often a push-pull energy. She loves to laugh and tease. She’s a quick wit.

Five year-old.  She is very shy. She loves to hang with the Hermit and the Reader and could play for hours in the sand. She’s naive and extremely sensitive. She’s also a fish. She would gladly spend all her time at the beach and in the water. Make that a wilderness beach and Wild Woman laughs in glee. She utterly delights in life.

Artist.  My Artist manifests in photography, collage, little boxes and myriad other projects that pop up in my head — some get translated into actual things, while others remain to be made! She loves architecture, contemporary art, and interior design. She also loves to cook.

Walker.  While I have no real athletic abilities to speak of, I am a natural walker. In a city, unless the distance is really long, I would rather walk than take the bus or drive. My Walker and Explorer love to hang out. It’s a great way to see the world.

Intuitive/Seeker.  I am intuitive. I have learned to trust the Seeker’s energy over the years as I have opened up to her natural ways. I seek to know. I do not believe in religion but am deeply spiritual. My intuition guides me on my path. The Reader feeds me a lot of material.

Reader.  She manifested the minute I learned to string letters together to form words. I was five. The kindergarten was on the second floor of the Y, right across the street from the Westmount Library. Over the years, I must have read three quarters of the books in the children’s section. I love fiction and losing myself in a good book. I am also addicted to magazines.

Judge.  He is not always welcome. He’s a Jesuit priest in full black robe. Austere, arrogant, pedantic, sarcastic, cutting. And highly intelligent. His critical eye is sharp and he is a great help in editing.

Traveler.  I love to travel, particularly by train and car. My Traveler took me on a three-day trip across Australia by train once upon a time and I loved every minute of it. Give me a car and AAA books and I’m in heaven.

Explorer.  I know a little about a multitude of things. My Explorer is eclectic. I explore just to explore. I am curious about what makes people and things tick.

Survivor.  I most often land on my two feet. While I am tenacious and determined, I will not stick around to watch you sink the ship. I also think the Survivor gets a little help from her guardian angel.

Communicator.  I am good with words. This has served me well and has been a boon in earning a living. I am visual and am known as the post-it lady. The wall is one of my favorite modes of communication. The Communicator and the Artist are the ones who came up with the idea of the magnetic mini-mandala.

Hermit.  I have always liked my own company. While my Partner is a strong component, my Hermit is too. I spent my forties minus a partner and missed not a thing. Well, with the exception of sex... My Hermit gets in cahoots with the Reader and we can check out in the middle of a busy room!