The Lotus flower is an important symbol of human development and potential in eastern spirituality. Lotus flowers grow out of mud and stagnant water, emerging and opening to the sun entirely clean and unsoiled by their murky beginnings. The symbology behind an image of a lotus is associated with its stage of opening (open, closed, partially open) and its colour. White flowers represent mental and spiritual enlightenment, blue symbolizes the growth of the spirit and mind, representing knowledge, intelligence and wisdom with red and pink representing the heart and symbolizing universal love, compassion and empathy.
In January, thanks to a Versatile Blogger award nomination from Quirky Cats, I resolved to Yarnbomb each country that I visited in 2016 and I am delighted to report that I have actually abided by this plan. Cambodia is the fourth country on this years travel list preceded by Thailand, Malaysia and Laos, and of course this means that I strung something special together to celebrate this incredible country.
Cambodia is known as the Kingdom of Wonder and there is no more suitable title. Angkor, the main tourist attraction refers to a 400 square kilometre complex of temples (the equivilant of 305 football fields) that range in age from 800-1300 years old! Not only are these temples impressive in their scale, aesthetic and design, they are also incredibly detailed and let’s not forget, totally ancient.
With enough wandering through temples, your mind eventually shifts towards pure amazement and you start to wonder about their intention, the process required for their construction and of course, to attempt to understand the faith that was required to conceive them.
The latest addition to the Rock Vandals wellness catalogue is a blue lotus flower, which as you recall symbolizes the opening of the mind. The Flower of Your Mind lotus is significant as it is the very first Rock Vandal knit-design and pattern; yahoo for progress and yes, you can email me for deets on the pattern.
As with most Rock Vandal knits it also includes a call to action which is, for you dear reader, to consider the state of your own minds blossom. But before that, it is worth noting that blue lotus flowers are always depicted as either closed or partially open, never opened in full bloom- thus indicating that the opening of the mind is a lifelong pursuit for even the most intellectually enlightened among us.
An open mind is a worthy pursuit along the path towards well-being, as it provides opportunity for new expanding experiences, connection with others, both with those who are similiar and those who may be seen as different, and enables a deep and broad curiosity that will stoke the spirit for a lifetime. Amazingly, it doesn’t even seem that difficult to cultivate an open mind; the key to unlocking a closed mind is a sense of wonder. And this is great news as we each have the innate ability to wonder.
Allow yourself the opportunity to wonder. There is much to learn right where you are, and it’s even easier if you have strong wifi connection! The essential components to cultivating an open mind is active curiosity and consistently putting yourself in a ‘learners’ state of mind.
Here are a few fun ideas to help you increase your wonder and care for the flower of your mind:
* Challenge yourself to cook 4 new themed dishes this month. They could be Thai or Cambodian dishes but they can be anything you want. Ever tried cooking vegan or raw or macrobiotic? You could try your hand at Cambodias national dish, Fish Amok
* Think about ways you could minimize your waste production. You could start a vegetable garden, try composting, keep re-usable bags in your car trunk, commit to using a travel mug or experimenting with vegetarianism or Meat Free Monday’s, use Tupperware instead of take-away containers. Have conversations about how you and your family could be better to the earth
* Try something new and fun. What about a dance class, slacklining, cake design, drawing a caricature, laughter yoga, learning a language, starting (and finishing) an online course
* Ask someone to teach you about something they are passionate about
* Be interested and ask questions when presented with someone or something new
Do you have a practise for keeping an open mind? I’de love to hear your mind opening insights so comment below or holler at me on Twitter or Instagram to share how you cultivate an active curiosity and sense of wonder.