Meg Welchman is 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 continues ongoing cancer treatment.
This book, This Present Moment, is based on the themes of life that have sustained Meg through the initial shock and ultimate acceptance of living with a life-threatening illness.
“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.
There are also blank pages - places to reflect on your own observations - of the outer world and your own inner world.”
Meg is an ambassador for the Icon Cancer Foundation. She continues to have treatment for her secondary breast cancer at the Wesley hospital in Brisbane. It was through the Wesley that she found Choices, a wonderful support service for people experiencing cancer. She has attended the monthly art class for the past eight years and is keen to let others know that this free service is available to anyone in Qld.
“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 around how to both cope with the inevitable difficulties of being alive and to find a way to peaceful living.”
Grace Cuell is a Fine Arts Student living in Brisbane. She started drawing mandalas as a way of finding mindfulness after moving away from her close-knit community of Narrabri, NSW.
“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..."