“When we create a mandala, we make a personal symbol that reveals who we are at that moment. The circle we draw contains -- even invites-- conflicting parts of our nature to appear. Yet even when the conflict surfaces, there is an undeniable release of tension when making a mandala.”
- Fincher, S. (1991). Creating mandalas for insight, healing, and self-expression. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
I was drawn to that portion of Fincher’s book as I completed the mini accordion book from the last post. Each of the 6 square pages depicts 1 mandala. These were completed as a visual response to a group of clients which were particularly disgruntled when I began this project in the middle of May. As they worked through their discord(s), I used the small mandalas as a means to process my feelings and thoughts. The rate of entries was 1-2 per week for the last 4 weeks.
Had I not had the mini book ready to go, would I still have responded visually?
A resounding YES. It may have taken a different turn as far as media choice and size, but using a visual response as a means to process distress seems as natural as breathing. It allows me to think about what has transpired in a different context and later return with more of a wise-mind on my shoulders.
There is no doubt in my mind that walking the walk highly influences my approach to how I present what I do with those I work with. Engaging in visual response certainly helps get through the rough patches when work feels like wading thru a bog. Those are the days when it is hardest to find the time to create, but those are the days when creating is most rewarding.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.” - Georgia O'Keeffe