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Mandalas and Colors and Art, oh my!

So it’s time for a second installment of things Alana does when the pain, either mental, emotional or physical is overwhelming and I need to take a step back and breathe (again, I would like to reiterate that I am no professional and while these measures might help you, if you find they do more harm than good just no I am not endorsing them from a scientifically proven standpoint). Last time I talked about how much I loved walking, which has not changed at all, but this time I’m gonna discuss a method that requires much less movement: drawing. A few years ago while at camp my friend introduced me to mandalas, which are a ritual and symbolic figure in Buddhism and Hinduism but has grown to become a generic term for any symbol representing the cosmos. In art, mandalas are complex abstract designs which you can color in, to your liking. I was instantly hooked. Similar to the familiar rhythm of feet and limbs walking, drawing provides familiarity with every stroke of the hand and brush of the pencil. It allows me to channel my nervous energy into something creative, something wherein I can produce beauty and art. By worrying more about which shade of blue works best with orange, my mind wanders off from the sadness and fear that had been consuming it before. Drawing is an escape, but without the actual movement necessary for escaping.

Over the years, I have done dozens of mandalas, each unique in its shape, color, patterns etc. I have a folder in my room that is dedicated to my mandalas, it’s pretty full at this point but I keep piling them in there. Now, because of the nature of this blog I feel it is my duty to somehow connect the drawing of mandalas to body positivity, so I apologize for the cliche analogy I’m about to give but know that without it I would feel that this post be incomplete. Every mandala i’ve ever done is different, but I find them each beautiful in their own way. Just like our bodies, no two people on this planet have identical bodies- none. Even identical twins differ in some aspects but that doesn’t mean that only one type of body can appear beautiful. We view lots of bodies as beautiful and all for different reasons and there is nothing wrong with embracing the part of yourself which makes you stand out, which makes you beautiful.

I know that drawing is not for everyone but if you want to try coloring mandalas here’s a link to a website where you can print a template out for free:

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