Sunday, April 11, 2010

My doodles are spiral-shaped... mostly...

The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line” ~Joanna Field aka Marion Milner

Have you ever noticed whether you're drawn to a particular shape or sign? There is meaning in everything if we just look and are open to the understanding it provides. 

For the past few years I've been drawn to the spiral... or spirally-shaped stuff... Last May I bought a book by Angeles Arrien (Signs of Life - The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them). In her research for this book she found that five basic shapes which appear in the art of all cultures and that similar meanings are given to these shapes. What are the shapes? The circle (wholeness), the square (stability), the triangle (goals and dreams), the cross (relationship) and the spiral (growth and change). The book also says that she found that the meaning attributed to each shape stands for a process of human growth, and that the shape carries this process within itself. Using the five shapes, the author developed a 'Preferential Shapes Test' to be used as a tool to determine a person's preference for a certain shapes and the same person's inner subjective states. The test then, can be used as a key to a person's current growth process. 

I did the test. The spiral shows up in Position 1 indicating that the process of growth is the one I believe to be the most important for me at this time. I guess growth is my lesson in this lifetime. Spirals symbolize the process of growth and evolution - of returning to the same point again and again, but at different levels so that everything is seen in a new light. I've observed that spirals appear in my life in all circumstances... it seems that there are situations I repeat over and over and each time I learn something new. It is said (I can't remember by whom...) that life will keep sending you the same situation repeatedly till you learn all the lessons you can from it... whether this is comforting or scary or both I can't be sure. 

This passage on the spiral resonates with me so I'm sharing:
"Those involved in the spiral process have a strong need for variety, novelty, and change. They dread routine and they are capable of doing multiple tasks well. Creative and ingenious, they are adept at initiating and following up on projects, although they may have some difficulty completing them. The challenge of this process is to grow and develop at different levels of awareness. During times of change, creativity is required to handles life's situations and challenges with integrity." Arrien (1998, pp 47)
Where is the spiral in your life? What shapes speak to you? What signs are there to give you guidance on your journey? Become aware... or just... be present.


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