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| by KD Farris, Ph.D. |
Draw Your Way to Clarity, Health & Balance with a MESHE Chart
I was very excited to hear that the theme this month would be Personal Rituals. Not only have I been practicing a personal ritual for most of my adult life, but I have also been teaching it to others. It gives me great pleasure to share with you, MESHE Charts, my own personal ritual.
MESHE (mee-shee) is your "you" and being in MESHE means coming from that place that is "you," at all times. It means waking up in the moment that you live and being present within it.
It is easy to get side tracked in life and to think that the purpose is something outside of our heart and soul. Personal Rituals, such as MESHE Charts, meditation and yoga help us manage the daily work of retraining our minds by constantly returning us to the moment. But they do so by engaging us in a repeatable process, all the while teasing us with the outcome the process is supposed to deliver, when ultimately, the mastery of the process is actually the goal.
With MESHE Charts, the process is simple: Ask question, draw answer. The question we ask is related to the issue we want knowledge of; the answer we give decides what part of the Chart we will draw into; and the part of the Chart we draw into determines the path we will take to resolve our conflict or deepen our understanding of ourselves. What I love about MESHE Charting is that the process, once the question is answered and the drawing begins, is simply about play. The goal is to get lost in the play and allow the magic of life to replace old and unneeded patterns with newer more appropriate ones. And to do it with such smoothness and ease, that we donít rebel against the process.
I have written little about MISON (MY-SAHN), the avenue upon which this magic travels. Just as MESHE is our relationship with ourselves, MISON is our relationship to life itself. MISON requires us to trust. It conjures up knowing and acceptance, peacefulness and calm. It can be stimulating as all out, but centered around a deep stillness from which our excitement radiates. This centering that we hold in our body, mind, and spirit, is what generates the magic that is our birthright. MESHE Charting invokes basic and universal principles that ignite and multiply the effects of this magic in our cell tissue, our aura, and our nervous system. These three places are the growth areas for deep change, and any good regular spiritual practice activates change on all these levels of our being - most of the time without us even knowing it.
If you think of our Personal Rituals as a daily practice, the outcome of which is to become proficient in something we choose to do, then daily spiritual practice makes as much sense as daily piano practice would if playing concert piano were your desire.
For me, awareness is my game. I want to be aware of myself and awake in my life. Have you ever thought back to a situation after someone has brought a new element to your attention, and heard yourself saying something to the effect of, "Oh, yes, actually, now that I think of it, there was a big blue ball sitting in the middle of the room. I hadnít even noticed, until you mentioned it."
Our lives are like this and sometimes we are that big blue ball. We can be staring right at something, bumping into unconscious parts of ourselves all over the place, but until someone brings them to our attention, weíd have no idea that they hadnít made a single impression on our conscious mind.
I like to make MESHE Charts before there is a detectable problem, because I want to be able to bring myself to my attention (though you can certainly make them afterwards, too.) I want to wake up before the wake up call has to come get me. If I can awaken before my alarm goes off, I have a far more comfortable day than when the blaring beeps or bells stir my deep resting sleep. In fact, usually, if the alarm wakes me up, I turn it off, roll over and go back to sleep again anyway!
MESHE Charting is the inner prodding that awakens us before the alarm has to. And the regular practice of them is the monthly, weekly, or daily finger training we need to play the concerto of our soul.
MESHE Charts will prompt the conscious mind to deliver the unconscious mindís knowledge up and out for view. And we need to be viewing this information, as quickly and as clearly as we possibly can. Even western medicine is telling us that if we want optimal health we need to be happier, feel our feelings and express our hurts and disappointments. Imagine a personal ritual that would invite, gently and beautifully, this kind of release and gentle healing into our body, mind and soul.
The practice of MESHE Charting will help you find the imbalances in your life before they become problems, and help treat the the issues these problems can cause. Because along with the gentle coaxing is a built-in reminder message board that we can create for ourselves.
Before you start your regular MESHE Charting process, youíll need to make a quick trip to the store. Go to any drug or office supply store and pick up two large pieces of Poster Board, a roll of one-inch poster tape, two packages of scented magic markers, one thick and one fine tipped, a package of coloring pencils, and the largest sized unlined journal you can find there. If you have any hesitations about drawing, it might help to bring home a variety of stickers whose images have meaning for you. Stickers can spark creativity and help to get your mind thinking and your playful artist-self creating, again.
The materials Iíve listed above is my ideal list. Feel free to make whatever adjustments are necessary to fit your time and financial needs. Iíll be describing elements based on this list, so just adapt my instructions to whatever tools you have at the time.
MESHE Charts are a representation of your MESHE. The accounting of your "you." On a MESHE Chart, your MESHE is represented by the symbol of a flower. I call it a MESHE Flower and I break the MESHE Flower into Five Main Petals so that you will always remember these aspects of yourself.
Most of us who are failing in personal relationships, are failing to maintain our MESHE in one or more of these areas. We give up, or give in, too much, on too many of these essential parts of ourselves. Building MESHE requires us to fine tune our Five Main Petals, not abandon them.
The Five Main Petals are: What you Like & Love; Physical Body & Environment; Creativity & Expression; Intuition & Inner Voice; and Authority & Personal Truthz.
The process of making a MESHE Chart is very simple. Lay your two sheets of Poster Board horizontally on a table or suitable working surface. With a pencil, draw into the center of the first sheet a circle about the size of a tea cup. Around this circle, draw five evenly sized Petals to make up the MESHE Flower. Next, draw a vertical row of circles (tea cup size) down the left hand side of the page. Then, returning to the MESHE Flower, add a second, third and fourth row of Petals. When you are done, you will have a MESHE Flower in the center with endlessly unfolding Petals, and a row of Circles down the left hand side.
Take the second piece of Poster Board and cut it into four squares. Fill the quarter pages with rows of Circles - again, about the size of a tea cup, and then set them aside. We wonít be using them until the end.
Into the Journal, take the first several pages and trace the rim of a drinking glass to create rows of Circles here, too. Thatís it! Thatís the basic outline for a MESHE Chart.
The Process - Ask Question, Draw Answer.
Grab your coloring pencils and magic markers and letís run through the Five Main Petals of MESHE. Your job is to think honestly about each category or prompt, and come up with as many detailed answers as you can, putting each one of them through a simple question, the answer to which will determine where it goes on your Chart.
The question is: Am I in MESHE with this? Remember, being in MESHE means coming from that place within, that is you. If the answer is Yes, then youíll draw a picture to represent the answer into one of the Petals on the MESHE Flower, starting from the center and working your way out. If the answer is, No, then youíll write it inside the first of many Circles you drew in your Journal. Later, youíll select from all the written out answers in your Journal Circles, a few choice ones, and draw them onto to your Chart.
For example: Take the computer you are reading this article from right now. Are you in MESHE with this computer? Is the screen a comfortable distance from your eyes? Is the keyboard ergonomically placed? Does the disk fan run loudly and for too long for you? Is there harmony between yourself and this computer? If the answer is yes, you can draw a picture of it and place it onto your MESHE Flower, if the answer is no, youíll write into one of the Journal Circles the aspect of the computer that is dissatisfying to you.
To get you warmed up, draw a face into the center of your MESHE Flower to represent you on this MESHE Chart. Take your time, get into the details, though, and play, play, play....
Once you decide to do this work, and set the time aside for it, youíll find hours passing by without a thought or notice of them. Itís really quite lovely....
Now itís time to go through the Five Main Petals. Remember, for each area that you are in MESHE with, you will create a beautiful MESHE Petal. For everything that you detect that you are not in MESHE with, you will write into the Journal Circles something that will remind you of it. You canít make a mistake, just play and have fun and watch yourself as your awareness raises with little to no effort at all.... Here goes!
Likes & Loves
The first of the Five Main Petals is an easy one. Itís what you like and love. You might think that everyone is in MESHE with what they like and love, but not everyone, and not all the time.
A few years ago, I became disconnected from one of my Loves, tropical islands. In just a few years of a too-busy life, I had forgotten my passion for the balmy green waters and deliciously warm evenings. I had gotten so far away from the memories and connection that I had forgotten the love that I had for them, and in small subtle ways, my MESHE suffered as a result.
Take your time, and think about your Likes & Loves. Make one Petal for each item you come up with and draw into each Flower Petal with as much thought and detail as you can muster up. If you find some that you are not in MESHE with, write them into your Journal Circles.
The first principle of MESHE is to create for the sake of creating and not the outcome, so take your time. Let your feelings appear in your drawings and donít think about them looking good, or anyone seeing them, even. Enjoy the process of it. Be in MESHE with making your MESHE Chart!
When you are finished with each Petal, outline it. Then go on to the next. Do not work more than one Petal at a time. This is a process of clarity, and not a quantity gathering exercise. Donít be in a hurry!
Physical Body & Environment
Physical Body & Environment covers everything about our physical body and surroundings. Included, is our relationship with our diet, sleep, and exercise. Our home - the entire thing, every detail of it. Each room, the furniture, the bathroom, the utensil stand in the kitchen, the floors, the carpet, the lights, the bedding, the beds themselves. Our car, our work space, our hair, our clothing, our teeth.
Go through each element and ask the question, "Am I in MESHE with this?" Because there is so much material here for exploration, if the answer is a BIG Yes, put it on your MESHE Flower, and if the answer is a BIG No, put it into the Circles in your Journal. Once youíve gone through the BIG layers of your physical world, you can work into the medium and small ones.
For those of us comfortable with this physical life, this is a luscious area to explore. For those of us less interested in the physical world, this method of exploring physical space can bring balance and depth to our lives by bringing our attention to, and making room for, that which we might otherwise have simply skipped on by.
Creativity & Expression
Creativity deals with what we create, and Expression, with how we reveal ourselves in the world through that creation.
The two extremes I most often see in this area are those of us who create all the time, but are not revealing ourselves - that is to say we are doing, but not drawing from the place within that will challenge and develop our spirit. And, at the other end, those of us who think we have no creativity, or that we have no time for creativity, and thus, do not use the channel much at all. Most of us lie somewhere in the middle.
We can affect our karmic path by reaching into the creative powers of our magical spirits and bringing our vision, truth and imagination to bear on the world that we live in. There is little more rewarding than to know that we have personally brought something unique to the planet and tended to it with love and soulful care.
Creativity & Expression also includes how we move in the world; using our imagination; finding new ways to solve old problems; bringing into physical form our ideas; being physically active; dance; art; music; photography; sewing; sports; building; the use of our voice, through singing and speaking our truth; and the rainbow of feelings we all experience including joy, sadness, and anger. Issues of sexuality and finances are also found with this area.
Intuition & Inner Voice
Intuition is our innate guidepost for what is correct or amiss, at any given time. We are always, in hindsight, able to detect an inner knowing that was trying to alert us to something that eventually came to pass. To be in MESHE with our Intuition & Inner Voice is to raise the stakes on the power and potential that this inner knowing can have in our lives.
By committing to our intuition, if we misjudge, we may risk mistaking an inner nudge for a thought or wish we might have had, but we gain the ability to learn its language, and to take its communication to the level of mastery necessary for us truly to trust and abandon ourselves to an inner path.
One trait of the intuition is its slow and steady process. Inner nudges are simple clear messages that repeat themselves. Over time they may get louder, but their message is consistent - stop, Stop, STOP!
When creating MESHE Petals for Intuition, look for events when your knowing spoke to you, and represent those on your MESHE Flower. In this area, especially, it is important to be specific. If you think of a time that you heard the Inner Voice, but ignored it, record onto your MESHE Flower, the fact that you did hear. At the same time, separately, on a Circle, you can also note your inability to act on it.
Authority & Personal Truthz
This is probably my most favored area, for it is in the knowledge that we have of our world (Authority) and the knowledge that we have of ourselves (Personal Truthz) that our personal power is most active.
If there is a single place I had to name where we most easily fall out of MESHE, it is in the area of Authority & Personal Truthz. We women, especially, are tempted to quiet down what we know to be true, and feel guilty or overpowering when we stand in the clarity of our own knowledge.
Authority includes where we are confident, our knowledge, talent, spiritual gifts, skills, and education. Personal Truthz includes the list of information we have been collecting about ourselves over the years, but do not always want to admit or perhaps do not always remember. What we know about ourselves, may not necessarily be a limitation if it is not owned, but it could become a permanent fixture if we cannot admit it.
I had to accept that I was a perfectionist in order to learn to live healthily with it. If we know something is true about ourselves, and we embrace it - transformation may be the next hug around the Personal Truthz corner!
You have been filling in your MESHE Chart with MESHE Petals, while filling up your Journal with MESHE Circles. Now, it is time to focus on a few of those Circles, and commit to getting into MESHE with a them.
The blank Circles on the MESHE Chart are the built-in reminder message board that you need to help you develop your MESHE. Read through the Circles you have made in your Journal and look for the ones youíd find the easiest to change. Pick out three of them and create Circles for each on your Poster Board quarter. Just as you have with your MESHE Petals, beautify them with symbols and images that will help to spur you on in this quest, then, cut them out and stick them onto your MESHE Chart with poster tape.
Next, look through them and ask yourself which are the most difficult, or which would affect the most change in you. Sometimes they are the same. Choose the one that would affect the most change, and put it up onto your Chart, just as you have the first three.
That should be plenty of MESHE reminder for the next week or so. As the Circles become conscious parts of your life, you can move them onto your MESHE Flower and choose another to replace it, and so on, and so on.
When you are in MESHE, your likes and dislikes, your physical body and surroundings, your creative activity and expressive nature, all reflect the integrity of your own being. Your response to inner knowing and inner nudges is a BIG Yes. Inner voices are welcomed, for you know they come from the center of your "you." You stand in your knowledge and grab hold of your courage, embracing your power, your skills, and your experience. With this confidence, you allow yourself to really relax and play in your life - you are exploring your "you." You are living with love and attention - for what is in front of you, is what is of you.
When you have a strong MESHE, your "you" is your life path, and the map of your "you" is found in the regular making of MESHE Charts.
My May 2001 article entitled "Gentle Conscious Living" follows a woman through three of the Five Main Petals of MESHE. The "journal-like process" referred to in the article is a MESHE Chart.
© Copyright 2001 KD Farris, Ph.D..
Read KD's Past Columns:
June 2001 - "Tending to the Negative Mind"
May 2001 - "Gentle Conscious Living"
April 2001 - "MISON and The Moment"
March 2001 - "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com