Saturday, September 10, 2011

Calm your Anxiety Away - create a mandala

If you've followed my blog, you know I write a lot about the art of mandalas. The Sanskrit word that means simply "circle." Every culture uses some form of the circle as a tool to promote calm, healing, meditation, enlightenment and more. Carl Jung, the Swiss Analyst believed the mandala is the voice of the unconscious. In my workshops, the art of creating mandalas, you create freestyle mandalas that represent where you are in your life today. No one mandala will look the same. We use colored pencils, collage and crayons to create personal mandalas. It is fun, connecting, relaxing and  telling.

How do mandalas help with anxiety? First, the circle is a contained space that provides safety. Second, creating mandalas is a meditative process that allows you to become centered, focused and relaxed, especially when you can silence the critical voice within. It helps to train the active thinking brain to be in the here and now and be totally in the process rather than product. Even if you color an already pre-printed mandala, your focus is on the design and not the thoughts in your head.  You can download pre-printed mandalas off the internet and color away.  Allow yourself to let go and let the process happen  You do not have to be an artist or even consider yourself create to make a mandala.  Be aware of how the shapes, images and colors affect your mood. Ask your critical voice to step outside as you move around in your circle.  You can even draw a freestyle circle on a small piece of paper if are waiting for a test or exam to begin and watch how your anxiety and worry shift.

The next time you feel yourself feeling overwhelmed, create a circle and begin coloring!