I didn’t know I could use paint to express my feelings. Nevermind painting an image from my dreams, having a massive emotional impact on me and other people. Plus it actually looks good! Mandala out the inside therapy what it actually means?
About 5 years ago my hair and make-up career came to an end and I felt quite lost. I became a mum and I invested my time raising my beautiful little boy. My dedication to motherhood (a natural instinct that happens to us all), can bring lots of emotional struggle. I felt a huge need for personal fulfilment and creative expression, I really missed my job.
Paul (my partner), encouraged me to take up painting. I now know, all the colours I painted were an emotional expression of my trapped feelings and needs. It was such fun to cover blank paper with colour energy. I felt good when taking time out in the day to paint with my son.
Sadly, Paul passed away extremely suddenly which brought an emotional level of pain I never knew existed. Creative use of colours, Yoga Breathing and Aroma helped me immensely throughout my grieving process, to find peace and inner strength. So much so, I am now a qualified Yoga Breathing teacher!
I began to dig deeper into Art therapy, colours, shapes and more. I had to engage my brain with something to survive this strange time and be a good Mum. Nothing felt better than painting, using colours, creating Mandalas and practising Yoga Breathing with Aroma to help me through grief and isolation. My inspiration came on the hardest days emotionally. I found myself completely open to this new experience, letting go of old approaches and expectations. I found a meaning to life again.
“Art therapy is used to cultivate self-esteem and awareness, improve cognitive and motor abilities, resolve conflicts or stress, and inspire resilience. It invites sensory, kinesthetic, perceptual, and sensory symbolization to address issues that verbal psychotherapy cannot reach.”
A free drawn mandala is the ultimate tool for exploring the unconscious. Each mandala is completely subjective, meaning that shapes and colours have a powerful impact on you as painter and admirer. This relaxes the body and mind, cultivates feelings of happiness, inner peace and general well-being. Free-drawing and painting mandalas ease stress, anxiety, worry, overwork, fear and depression. You improve your focus, enhance your self-esteem and self-acceptance. You feel connected with yourself, others and improve your sleep pattern. And… most of all it’s fun! So you can now begin to see how they can work for you…
What are Mandalas?
Sanskrit for “circle” or “discoid object – A Mandala is a geometric design and holds a lot of symbolism in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Mandalas are thought to represent different aspects of the universe and are used as instruments of meditation and symbols of prayer around the world – most notably in China, Japan, and Tibet.
The basic form of the mandala is a circle contained within a square and arranged into sections, organized around a central point. They’re usually produced on paper, cloth, drawn on a surface and finished with gold or made from bronze and stone. They are both beautiful and extraordinary as a work of art but they also hold symbolic and meditative meaning.
Mandalas can be understood as: externally as a visual representation of the universe or internally as a guide for several practices that take place in these Asian traditions. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the belief is that by entering the mandala and proceeding towards its centre, you are guided through the cosmic process of transforming the universe from one of suffering into one of joy and happiness. Mandala out the inside therapy. It is an inside portrait of trapped emotions.
A Brief History…
Siddhartha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism) born in Nepal around 560 B.C. left his birthplace after becoming aware of human suffering and sought to attain enlightenment through meditation and thoughtful action. He preached his philosophy across parts of India, where he gained devout followers and eventually established the first Buddhist community of monks (Sangha). These monks travelled the Silk Road sharing their Buddist beliefs with other countries. They carried mandalas with them and brought the practice of painting these spiritual compositions to other parts of Asia, appearing in regions such as Tibet, China, and Japan by the 4th century. Mandalas soon became present in Hinduism and other religious practices.
There are three different types of Mandala:
Teaching Mandalas are symbolic, each shape, line and color represents a different aspect of a philosophical or religious system. When studying the religion, you create your own mandala based on principles of design and construction, projecting a visual symbolization of everything you have learned. Teaching mandalas become your colourful, mental maps.
Healing Mandalas – are more intuitive than teaching mandalas and made for meditation. Healing mandalas are to deliver wisdom, evoke feelings of calm, channel focus and concentration. They help you when meditating to visualise and achieve your perfect self.
Sand Mandalas – Buddhist monks and Navajos use sand mandalas as a traditional, religious element. These intricate designs use a variety of symbols made from colored sand and represent the impermanence of human life. They take weeks to create and shortly after completion are destroyed – nothing is permanent – as per the Budhist religion.
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