In a conversation with my students one day, they asked me what my favorite gift was on Christmas morning as a child. I told them about the dollhouse my mom and dad made for me from scratch . . . right down to a little carpet for the bathroom, a wreath on the front door, and pillows on all the beds! And my red wagon. I remember the excitement when I saw that gem sitting under our tree! But then I told them how just about every single Christmas, I would receive a new box of 64 Crayola crayons and a coloring book. Oh my goodness the joy I felt when I saw that new box of crayons! Honestly, I think I would have been perfectly happy if every year that was the only gift I received. I loved coloring! As a babysitter, I often tried to coerce my rambunctious charge with some coloring. As an elementary school teacher, Friday afternoons were very often reading or coloring time. And I am not embarrassed to say that if my students asked me to color with them, I did!
So in October, when I started my second round of dialysis treatments, one of my students gifted me with a Mandala coloring book and a brand new set of markers. All those childhood memories came rushing back and I felt the same joy I used to feel every Christmas morning. I could not wait to sit down and start coloring!
These mandalas have made those long hours in a dialysis chair so much more bearable! They have become my therapy. My meditation. My time to relax and really gather my thoughts. They have made a pretty miserable situation quite enjoyable. I actually might dare to say that in a sense, they have made me look forward to my time in that chair.
These mandalas have brought me solutions to problems I thought were insurmountable. They have given me the opportunity to organize steps I need to take to resolve conflicts. They have afforded me the quiet and calm to redirect my thoughts and realize that situations I once thought were awful, really aren’t so bad. They have made me like myself better. They have made me happy!
For my birthday last month, a friend of mine gave me a mandala coloring book with affirmations accompanying each picture. So now those positive mantras flow through my mind as I sit and color. It’s cheap therapy and I highly recommend it to everyone! 🙂
What do you do to gather your thoughts and help yourself focus on what is necessary to resolve a conflict?