I saw the wisdom in her eyes. She’d lived nearly 70 years on this earth and had walked with grace through a lot of pain and growth and self-discovery. As her coach, I wasn’t sure what I could offer her. I often wonder that when I see the wisdom in the eyes of my clients, and yet I show up and ask the questions, and somehow they always end up taking a step even deeper into their True Selves. It’s a beautiful thing to serve as witness, storycatcher, and guide.
She had just shared the story of a middle-of-the-night breakthrough in which she’d realized that she was still carrying a burden of anger with her. She was seeking clarity about what the anger was about. Was she still angry at her husband who’d died a few years earlier? God? Herself? She wasn’t sure.
At the end of the session, in which her own storytelling helped her find some of the clarity she was seeking, she looked over at the mandala journals beside me. “What are those?” she asked. “These are my mandala journals,” I said. “When clients are interested, I offer them some mandala-journaling processes that help them work through some of the questions sitting on their hearts.”
Her eyes lit up. “Tell me about them.” And so I did. I found the ones that I thought might help her peel back the layers of the question she was sitting with, and walked her through the simple instructions. “Sometimes,” I said, “when we’re stuck inside something so deep that we don’t have words to help us unpack it, a mandala can help us find a path through.”
“When we simply use words in our journals, we can get stuck in left-brain thinking. We try to use logic and reason to work our way through our questions. The deeper soul questions don’t respond well to logic and reason. They need to be invited into a different space – a deeper space in the heart where intuition, creativity, and spirituality rest.”
“A mandala is such a space. In invites you deeper into your intuitive heart. It serves as an invitation for those questions so deep and shapeless you don’t have words to define them.”
When I looked at her again, I saw something new in her eyes – softening, understanding, and gratitude. Something had shifted. Something in her heart had opened up. “Thank you,” she said softly. “Thank you for giving me this tool. I think you’ve just gifted me with exactly what I need.”
A week later, a mutual acquaintance emailed me to say she’d seen my client in the neighbourhood. “She looked lighter than I’ve seen her look in years. Something has been lifted off of her shoulders.”
I didn’t take that woman’s weight off her shoulders. She found the path through her own anger to a place of lightness. I simply asked the questions and gave her some tools to help her on the journey.
That look in her eyes, however, served as a catalyst for me. (It’s almost always the case that I gain as much from my coaching clients as they gain from me.) I’d almost forgotten the value of mandala journaling, until she reminded me what a powerful tool it can be. I’d let it slip in my priorities, under the other work I was doing, but suddenly I knew that I had to bring it back into my primary work. I needed to make it available to other people seeking paths through their pain, anger, inertia, grief, fear, stuckness, growth, etc.
I dove back into it, and before long, I’d created the foundation for Mandala Discovery: 30 Days of Mandala Journaling.
If you’re looking for a new tool that will help you entertain the questions in your heart, perhaps Mandala Journaling is for you.
This is not about art-making or technique (there are lots of other art journaling courses out there for that purpose). It’s about providing you with a simple tool for deeper self-discovery.
For only $45, you’ll get an introductory booklet about mandalas, a pdf that lists what kind of tools you might want to have on hand, one mandala journaling prompt every day for 30 days, and access to a private Facebook group where you can share your mandala journaling questions and insights.
Your soul questions are calling you. Why don’t you create a space where they can feel safe?