One technique I use to help you look at your life involves drawing mandalas. “Mandala” means something with a boundary and a centre, there are some examples on this page. They are used to focus the mind in Buddhism and Hinduism, you may also be familiar with them as rose windows in mediaeval cathedrals, or more simply in the forms of flowers. As I use them in my coaching work they are simply drawings done intuitively within a circle. If you want to try working in this way, you can spend most of one of your sessions with me drawing a mandala. I will show you how and help you if you get stuck. You will probably find yourself drawing in a playful and relaxed way without being concerned with the result, and you need no art training or experience to be able to do this.
When you have finished your drawing I will help you to understand it, looking at both the form and the colours you have used. Mandalas can reveal a startling amount both about how you are feeling at the moment and where you are going. We all live our lives in recurring cycles: there are times of ending and letting go, and times of renewal and increasing energy and activity. Your mandala will show you the kind of cycle you are in. It is no good starting a new business, for example, if you are in a phase of dormancy and rest! Just like nature around us human beings have their own seasons which our increasingly speedy culture pushes us to ignore, with the result that we can become depressed, exhausted or burned out. Mandala drawing is a way of interacting with your unconscious mind, like working with dreams. Like dreams, mandalas have their own language which can be deciphered with practice. Drawing them regularly will help you to stay in harmony with your deeper self.
I also offer Mandala Workshops for groups or individuals and have run workshops for Touchstone, Art and Minds, and Lotus Ladies groups in Leeds. I start by showing beautiful examples of different types of historical and contemporary mandalas, as well as those in nature, and then I teach the simple process of creating your own. People can then work on their own drawings, listening to relaxing and meditative music. When everyone has finished, each person can talk about their own mandala if they wish. This is always very interesting and illuminating. I will then talk about the symbolism either of colour or form in mandalas, with handouts which people can take home to refer to afterwards. I provide all art materials for the workshop.
If you would like to work with mandalas, either as part of life coaching or as an experience in itself, please contact me. Likewise, if you run a group or are part of one and would like me to run a Mandala Workshop for you in Leeds or nearby, please get in touch. I charge £50 per hour for running workshops.