Creators and Collaborators

Meg-Welchman

Photo: Kate Nutt Photography

Meg Welchman (1972-2022)

Meg Welchman was a Psychologist with a background in relationship counselling and positive psychology living in Brisbane. At 37, Meg was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer just months after the birth of her second child. Having survived further devastating reoccurrences of cancer since then, Meg continued ongoing cancer treatment.

She wrote and self published her book, This Present Moment, as way to help others find the information they need when first facing a shocking diagnosis. This Present Moment is based on the themes of life that sustained Meg through the initial diagnosis and far beyond with living a connected, creative and courageous life with cancer.

The book is divided into twenty themes. Under each theme is a meditation, mandala, musing and an inspirational quote that sets the scene or reinforces the intention of the theme. Mandalas having been used in meditation for centuries as a way to focus inward.

Colouring in slows down our breathing and helps relax the heart rate, reducing our immediate stress reactions. There are also blank pages - places to reflect on your own observations - of the outer world and your own inner world.

The intention behind the book was to first be a gift to those that had helped me through the most difficult years of my life, and secondly to provide some guidance for others struggling to cope with their "new normal" to find a way to peaceful living. Every person diagnosed with secondary cancer needs a copy of This Present Moment.

Meg was a passionate supporter of Choices, who provide free ongoing support for people experiencing cancer. Meg facilitated a writing group for people with secondary cancer through Choices. A percentage of the sales of her yearly project: This Present Moment Calendar were donated to Choices each year. The calendars are filled with her original photography from the preceding year, capturing life's simple magical moments.

Meg was also a musician with the band The Double Happiness, playing with two good friends and her husband Simon. Listen to them here.

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Grace-cropped-wbGrace Cuell

Grace Cuell is an artist and musician living in Brisbane. She started drawing mandalas as a way of finding mindfulness after moving away from her close-knit community of Narrabri, NSW.

Why mandalas?

I have always been drawn to patterns, whether they be in nature or in man-crafted things…visual repetition has always caught my eye. Noticing the finer details in real life brings about a different sense of beauty to life."

Every mandala in this book is an original hand-drawn picture; hence the drawings are not 'perfect'. There are inconsistencies in size or shape or the darkness of the lines. This is intentional. Life is not perfect. Creativity should not come in a 'one-size fits all'.

"I start with a compass, a pencil and sometimes an eraser. The process flows on from there. I don’t start with a plan of how the mandala will look, I let it happen. It is a visual stream of consciousness and provides a deep sense of inner stillness. Once the pencil drawing is completed I ink it over… What I have found is that the process of creating mandalas has a flow on effect. When I draw more mandalas it opens me up to be more creative in other areas of life such as music.

It takes a lot of restraint not to colour the mandalas in! That has always been the most exciting part of the process – that’s when they really come to life..."

Grace has screen-printed our This Present Moment tote bags and her doodles can be found on the edges of this website!

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