Berenice Couturier November 18, 2019 Mandala Coloring Pages
There is simply something freeing about coloring mandalas. Their symmetry provides a certain amount of comfortable rhythm and predictability, and yet no two people will color them exactly the same way. Even if you don’t quite know why mandala designs appeal to you or what you hope to gain while coloring them, get your colored pencils, crayons or markers ready and dive in. Before you know it, something inside you will shift, and you will have discovered another tool for enhancing your life.
Mandala designs are easy to see in flowers. Petals surrounding a central core form the most natural designs. Imagine a sunflower, with its face full of sunflower seeds, surrounded by large, bright yellow petals. It’s a mandala guaranteed to make you smile. And something equally as cheerful - a daisy. Or perhaps a rose or a begonia for a mandala with overlapping petals.
I discovered this secret after years of playing with these "art meditations." It was a natural progression, one that could happen with anyone. Once I figured out how to make nice mandalas, I spent a lot of time looking at them. I was admiring them, of course (a special treat because I am not artistically gifted). But in time I noticed something interesting. I loved each and every mandala...the day I created it. Well, maybe not as briefly as one single day, but there was a definite time-frame, it seems, for each mandala. By the time I felt called to draw a new one, I would now love it the best, and the old ones didn’t seem as wonderful as they had in the beginning. They had faded into mere acceptability, their sparkle gone.
It didn’t have anything to do with my skill level or the objective beauty of the mandala, because in hindsight I could see that some were more visually pleasing than others, and not always the most recent were the best. But that didn’t matter when they were new. Every new mandala drawing seemed the most wonderful creation yet. It didn’t have anything to do with the "artistic process" either. I had wondered whether it’s normal to love something you make, at first, but this certainly isn’t true for other things I do, like writing. Nor do my artist friends experience this "love at first sight" with their work.
You could think of coloring as letting your inner child come out and have a fun time, or you could think of this activity as a form of meditation. Choosing colors and the gentle, repetitive motion of your hand as you bring color to paper helps quiet your mind--bringing your usual rapid-fire thoughts down to a much slower pace.
Just like guided meditation, coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and worries and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. It can be particularly effective for people who aren’t comfortable with more creatively expressive forms of art, like painting or writing. The participants who are more guarded find a lot of tranquility in coloring images. It feels safer for them and it creates containment around the coloring process.