The Mosaic of Life

Published: January 4, 2023
Category: Mental HealthMind/Body Well-Being


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I adore mosaic artwork. The dazzling array of colors, the shimmering surface of tiny smashed, fragments of tiles artfully arranged to create a beautiful design. When the New York City subway stations were renovated, I was thrilled when the West 86th Street station on my block was decorated with beautiful mosaics celebrating my neighborhood and Central Park.

Lisa with the mosaic at the subway station near her home in New York City.


The art of mosaics is believed to have dated back to the third millennium in Mesopotamian culture. Mosaics are found in various forms all over the world, such as those by Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi was a world-renowned architect and artist who lived in Barcelona during the late 1800s to early 1900s. Many people in his profession yearned to have a distinctive, unique style. When Gaudi started festooning mosaics on many of the buildings throughout Barcelona, he created an urban masterpiece that has never been replicated.

Photo courtesy of Mosaics Lab.


Think about your life as if it were an art installation or exhibition. What are some of the predominant themes that run throughout your story? Spend some time journaling about this in order to more fully appreciate the distinctive colors and episodes that have occurred throughout your life. Now, think about times when something happened that felt like a disruption to the way things were going. Think of this as if you were a mosaic tile designer smashing a little chip off a larger piece of tile. Write down a bunch of these experiences and see if any theme or through-line emerges from these seemingly disparate, individual episodes. Now, take a short walk or listen to your favorite music, or just let your imagination roam free. Like a master mosaic artist or someone who is really talented in fitting puzzle pieces into their proper places, see how you can assemble these broken bits of rupture into the larger mosaic that is your life.

When you take a step back and explore how these disruptions might have generated profound insight, appreciation, and growth you might gain some useful insight. And then you can move forward with confidence as your radical self acceptance quiets those inner voices that tell you you’re not good enough, or that you’re a victim, or that you are not strong enough. As the impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh said: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then, by all means, paint. And that voice will be silenced.”

I’m sending you strength and love. 

Soaringwords is the power to heal.


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