Here is an excerpt from The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are. A favorite practice of mine. For the graphic of the Mandala that accompanies this practice please email me a request and I will send you one. Or find it in The Zero Point Agreement.
The Wish-Fulfilling Mandala
The wish-fulfilling mandala is a simple tool that allows you to manifest your intention, as you release a pain story. You will experience immediate results through the use of this mandala. It’s a simple practice to transform negative mind-sets and experiences to allow for direct spiritual and creative experience. It facilitates the transformation of pain stories, difficulties, and resistances into a way of living that is inspired by intention. It’s a wish-fulfilling tool.
Begin with the center circle. In this circle identify a strong assumption or pain story you hold that you know influences your inner and outer landscape. Identify something that you are struggling with. This could be about how you view yourself or the world around you. Consider it as a title to a pain story. Examples are: “I am never enough,” “No one can be trusted,” “I am not appreciated at work,” “I can’t finish what I start.” Typically these will have a history (a historic pain story), which results in them seeming unchangeable. These pain stories prevent you from having direct experience with your true nature and creative intentions. They are at the center of the mandala because they hold a position of authority. They are also the point of transformation. When we name these, when we bring what holds us back out into the open, transformation begins. If you keep the pain story under the radar of your consciousness, you are not likely to transform it. In this case you are doing and thinking things on a daily basis that sustain it. You may want to journal around or review from previous chapters what holds you back or where you feel stuck. We start with a pain story that keeps us from our creative and spiritual realizations and move out from there.
•The second thin circle is for coloring. Choose a color that you consider uplifting, transformative; a color that symbolically represents the transformation of pain. This color communicates to your brain and mind that movement is taking place around this hindrance. The psychology of color and its influence on us is vast. Color signals action, influences our emotions, and elicits a physiological response.
•The third circle is made up of agreements that sustain the pain story; that support and endorse the particular assumption about yourself or the world. First write in your journal a list of cognitive and behavioral agreements that you have around this pain story. Cognitive agreements could include beliefs and assumptions. The difference is that there is an added energy around them—agreements are beliefs and assumptions that we invest in. They are like contracts that we have made with ourselves. So for example with the pain story of “I’m never appreciated,” what are some agreements that sustain this core assumption? They might include: “I compare myself to others,” “I don’t believe in myself,” “I think others are always judging me,” “I expect the worst,” “I don’t believe others when they do compliment me.” Notice how these sustain the pain story of “I’m never appreciated.” Now write out some behavioral agreements that sustain your core pain story. For the same example these might include: “I don’t risk signing up for new things,” “I say no to most social invitations,” “I isolate myself at home,” “I get defensive at work a lot,” “I complain to my spouse,” “I take an antidepressant.” After you have written down several agreements that sustain the pain story, write them out in the third circle. Notice how these keep your pain story, a core assumption you hold, active.
• For the fourth circle, choose two agreements from the third circle, one cognitive one and one behavioral one, and write it out like this: “I no longer agree to . . .” (fill in with the cognitive agreement); “I no longer agree to . . .” (fill in with the behavioral agreement). To continue the above example: “I no longer agree to assume people are judging me” (cognitive); “I no longer agree to complain to my spouse” (behavioral). Choose only two because this keeps it simple and you will soon discover that these two are connected with the others. Success with breaking these agreements helps you break all the agreements that sustain the pain story. Just focus and commit to breaking your agreement with these two.
Now you have made room for what wants in and for the more creative self to emerge as well as for more possibilities. This dismantling of what holds your authentic and creative self hostage results in room for your intention. This is another reason to start with the pain story and its sustaining agreements—dismantling them makes room for you to fulfill your intentions.
•In the fifth circle, write in your creative intention. This could easily be the one you already came up with in the “Create an Intention to Live By” exercise (remember, simple is good), or if you like, you could come up with another one. Then write your creative intention out in a favorite color. It may be something like: “I live an active and creative life.” Or, to go with the example above, it may be: “I take an open heart into all situations.”
•Now, the final outer circle is made up of the two sustaining agreements of your intention. First identify in your journal up to five cognitive and five behavioral agreements that will reinforce your intention. Then choose two of the agreements from the journal entry, one cognitive one and one behavioral one, and write it out like this: “I agree to . . .” (fill in with the cognitive agreement); “I agree to . . .” (fill in with the behavioral agreement). To continue the above example: “I agree to assume more positively of others” (cognitive); “I agree to say yes to invitations to join others” (behavioral). Choose only two here to keep it simple. Again you will be creating the internal and external environment for your intention. As soon as you make this mandala and use it, you will have direct experiences with your intention— guaranteed.
Taken from, The Zero Point Agreement: How to Be Who You Already Are., Julie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSW
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I live in Mount Horeb WI where I walk my 2 dogs through Stewart Park, garden my corner lot, wear a mask in public (and a cape at night), where I wait for spring 9 months of the year. My recent book The Zero Point Agreement is my latest of ten. I do love to write! My up coming book: Clue of the Red Thread: Discovering Fearlessness & Compassion in difficult times comes out this fall, 2020 through Shanti Arts, Nine Rivers Imprint.