Choosing What You Let Into Your Circle

bamboozled-by-pool-mandala-5-29-16-jtSunday, May 29, was a pretty hot day in Key West. So we decided to do our exploring in the morning before it got too hot. We have only been to Key West one other time. And this was the first time we got to see the Key West lighthouse. Had we known it was right across the street from Hemingway’s house, we would have definitely gone before.

I’ve always loved lighthouses, and I believe this is the only one I’ve climbed aside from “Old Barney” Barnegat Lighthouse in Long Beach Island, NJ. It seemed pretty short for a lighthouse, at 90 feet. But it offered spectacular 360 degree views and great photo opportunities. They also let us tour the keepers’ quarters. And I was happy to learn that three women played a role in keeping the lighthouse alight in its early days when it required ongoing oversight.

We also visited the Southernmost point as a matter of course, and passed a mother hen and her baby chicks along the way. We merely nodded at the landmark, but took several photos of the chickens. That’s how we are, I guess. We saw a lot of baby chicks over the weekend. And Brad wondered aloud how they survive the predators.

For lunch, we sampled Sloppy Joe’s famous sandwich, which reminded me of my grandmother’s sloppy Joe roosters-rising-mandala-5-28-16-jtsandwich. As someone who has been without a grandmother for quite sometime, I can tell you that it’s a real treat when you get something in a restaurant that evokes grandmom’s cooking. An older gentleman was playing cheerful, retro tunes on the upright piano while we ate.

With the day heating up, we headed back to the pool. I had been eyeing a large Asian stone statue by the pool, and decided to work the pool environment into my mandala for the day. I started with the statue at the head of the pool as my center point, which seemed a really appropriate subject for a mandala. I am really drawn to Asian artwork and symbolism. There were lots of bamboo stalks around the statue and far end of the pool, which seemed like great natural elements to include. And real hibiscus and other flowers, too, which I also brought into the circle.

One of the things I like about mandalas is that you can choose what you allow into your circle. Which is a great reminder that we can do this in other areas of our life, too. Sometimes it seems more complicated when people are involved. But it really is up to us to decide who we let into our inner and other social circles.

This concept can also be applied to television, social media, and many other things. For example, I can’t watch shows with lots of violence. Even though I know it’s fiction, the images still disturb me and I have a hard time forgetting them. I also find I need to limit the amount of negative news programs I watch for similar reasons.

And I’ve learned to unfollow certain people on social media if I don’t want them to be part of my daily experience, for whatever reason. It’s perfectly okay, healthy even, to opt not interact with childhood friends on a daily basis. Or with people who bring me down.

We have control over what we allow into our lives. And can choose to focus on the people, places and things that make us happy. jt