There are miraculous ways that you can brighten the lives of children who are undergoing cancer treatment and therapy; and I’m here to say that mandala coloring is one of them. Coloring a mandala lifts the spirit of children with cancer because they are engaged in an entertaining and creative process that involves lots of color and fun tools like crayons, colored pencils, and markers.
Self-expression is also what makes mandala coloring an effective healing therapy for children with cancer. When you color a mandala, you’re able to express your deepest thoughts and emotions in a manner that feels safe and nurturing. Instead of using words to convey your feelings, you can simply pick up a crayon or a pen and start coloring. Or, if you just want to start feeling better, you can color a mandala that represents your healthy, vibrant self. By awakening your mandala with splashes of color and your intention, you’re also giving it energy and life—you’re helping to manifest your desire for wellness.
I know from personal experience and the experiences of others that this creative outlet can open the doors to self-healing at every level of your being. That’s why I believe coloring mandalas can be a tremendous source of comfort and healing for children with cancer, and for others who are experiencing major health challenges.
I think it’s because we connect with the sacred symbol of the circle on so many levels. You see, while the circle represents our universe on a macro level, it also represents the self on a micro level, down to the very cells in our bodies. So, when we focus our attention on the mandala coloring form, we’re also focusing on the sacredness of our being and on what we desire in our lives, like happiness, peacefulness, or boundless energy.
In the simplest of terms, the mandala is a circle—a basic geometric shape that forms a continuous loop. I love the shape of the mandala because it’s a round form without any hard edges. Its internal softness makes it appear as if it’s holding a well of sacred space for you— a well that’s ready to receive your thoughts and intentions.
All through time, the mandala has been respected as an ancient form associated with healing and manifestation. Many consider it a universal symbol of unity, perfection, completeness, and eternity. If you look at a mandala, you’ll see that it has a center point, a starting place from which unlimited potential can be realized and from which endless possibilities exist. So, it’s no surprise that the mandala is viewed as symbols of the self and of our universe, and of the potential and possibilities that exist within.
Please see also my other articles about mandala coloring to learn more about the mandala itself.
Mandala coloring can be a great source of entertainment for children with cancer, and it’s an activity that can be shared with members of the family, as well. That’s important because a children with cancer and their families need fun and supportive outlets to help them cope with the wide range of emotions they can experience from a child’s cancer diagnosis, to their treatment, and to their aftercare.
That’s what makes the mandala coloring meditation process so ideal for young cancer patients and their loved ones. Coloring mandalas is uplifting and entertaining and is an activity that you can do alone or as a group. If you need time by yourself just to feel like a kid with a coloring book and a box of crayons, then mandala coloring is the perfect solution. Or, if you want to share in a fun activity with those around you, then coloring mandalas in a group setting can make you feel more connected to those in the group. In fact, if you feel like talking about your completed mandala with others, they’re terrific conversation pieces!
Coloring mandalas is the way I keep my outlook sunny and my attitude positive, and that’s important for your well-being if you’re a child with cancer. In fact, the mandala is a healing tool I use regularly to simply make me feel good. If I’m feeling physically tired or down in the dumps, or if I’m feeling emotionally drained, I just create a mandala full of positivity. I call it my mandala pie of positive emotions, and I color it happy!
When a child with cancer is able to focus on simple, bright, and cheery activities like mandala coloring, rather than their cancer treatment, it’s incredibly healing and nurturing. Mandala coloring is like giving your child an emotional lift or a happiness boost through play and the vibrancy of color.
First, I think about how I’m feeling in the moment; and let’s just say I’m feeling down in the dumps. Then, I gather my mandala coloring meditation form and coloring tools around me, and I find a nice, quiet place to spread them out. I think about all of the positive ways I want to feel, like energized, peaceful, happy, silly, playful, and lighthearted. As I look at the circular form, I visualize all of these positive emotions as pieces that will go into my “mandala pie.” I picture what each positive emotion feels like in my body, and I picture what it looks like; and then I color that slice on my mandala pie. Before I know it, I’ve created my mandala pie of positive emotions.
Finally, I step back and take in all of the positive energy I’ve created, and I smile because I feel good inside. It’s because I’ve transferred all of that positive energy from my mandala pie to every cell of my being. Now, every time I look at my mandala pie, my body remembers what each positive emotion felt like when I created it, and it brings that energy instantly to me.
Just imagine how creating a mandala pie filled with positive emotions might help to energize and brighten the outlook of a child with cancer.
I consider mandala coloring a holistic approach to healing because it focuses on restoring balance among all components of the body—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In other words, it deals with the whole person and doesn’t just focus on the needs of the physical body, which is the primary focus of conventional healing therapies. For example, in treating a child with cancer, a traditional healing therapy might consider the use of surgery, medications, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.
Coloring mandalas is an artistic form of self-expression that is unique to each person. In other words, whenever you color a mandala, you’re creating a unique piece of art! It has your personal signature, it’s imbued with your special energy, and it tells your unique story. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful and therapeutic mandala coloring can be when you want to express your innermost feelings without using words. And, when you have an outlet to express your inner feelings, you’re healing yourself in the process. Plus, mandala coloring is a form of play; and, for a child, there’s nothing better than play.
The meditative aspects of mandala coloring can help children with cancer by providing welcome relief from stress, discomfort, or pain. Meditation relaxes the body and the mind; and, in that stillness, a child can focus inward and open to their own self-healing. One of the benefits of mandala coloring is that you don’t even know you’re meditating. It just seems to naturally and effortlessly bring you to that tranquil place where you can receive positive energy and release any negative energy you’re holding in.
Here are just a few of the many ways young cancer patients can benefit from mandala coloring therapy:
• It’s a fun, entertaining form of play.
• It’s a reflective process that promotes self-expression and self-understanding.
• Its built-in meditative qualities can instantly calm and relax the body and mind.
• As a creative tool, it’s a great way to focus and stimulate the mind.
• It can help to lessen your pain, discomfort, fear, and/or anxiety.
• It promotes healing and balance on all levels of the self.
• It allows you to journey inward and to release any negative thoughts or emotions you’re holding in.
• It’s a self-learning process that promotes personal growth.
• It surrounds and infuses you with loving, healing energy and positive emotions like happiness and joy.
To color a mandala, all you need is a blank piece of paper with a circle on it and some coloring tools. The rest is up to you and your imagination. It’s that simple. There are no rules to follow and no time constraints that you have to worry about.
But, if your child has never colored a mandala before, here are a few simple tips to make sure it’s a totally relaxing and enjoyable coloring experience:
• Create a nurturing environment. Make sure your child has plenty of time to color at their leisure. They shouldn’t feel rushed or pressured to complete their mandala. This is particularly important for children with cancer because they need the therapeutic benefits of a stress-free environment. Mandala coloring is an easy flowing process that’s meant to relax you and to stimulate your creativity. Additionally, make sure your child has plenty of space to create and color. There’s nothing worse than feeling cramped when you’re trying to engage your creative spirit.
• Color from your heart and soul. Let your child know that this coloring process has no rules or guidelines. They’re free to color their heart’s desire, whatever that might be. If they want to color a purple sky or a plaid elephant, so be it! Or, if they want to just dribble watercolors over the form, it’s okay. Or, if a child with leukemia wants to color their mandala with images of healthy blood cells, then that’s their personal form of expression. Just let them know that this special mandala is theirs to draw, design, and/or color in any way they choose.
• Create an intention for your color project. Although mandala coloring can be a spontaneously creative event, it also can be approached with purpose and intent. Coloring with intention can be particularly useful for teens who are dealing with cancer. When you color with intention, it simply means that you’re allowing color to help you focus on something that you wish to accomplish. It may be to simply feel happiness or joy, or it may be to release pent-up emotions like frustration. Whatever it is your child wants to focus on, know that they can infuse their mandala with that intent when they color. And, when we direct our intention to something we desire, we give it added momentum and energy.
When I color my mandala, it always brings me great joy and peace of mind. It’s hard to explain, but mandala coloring simply fills my entire field of existence with happiness and peace. That’s why I believe that mandala coloring can help children with cancer. You see, if a child with cancer can experience that level of peace, contentment, or happiness through mandala coloring, even for a moment, then mandala coloring has brought about healing within them. And, from there, anything’s possible!
If you want more information on mandala coloring, just search this blog or read one of my other mandala articles. This website contains everything you need to know about mandala coloring. It offers free printable mandala coloring pages for children as well as a complete mandala coloring kit and meditation music, all free! Visit my website today and start experiencing the joys of mandala coloring.
Steven Vrancken – Artist
Helping to color your way to happiness!
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to increase your awareness about mandala coloring as a creative therapy and complementary tool for healing. This article does not dispense medical advice or advocate replacing any traditional healing methods (e.g., surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medication) that have been prescribed by a licensed health care professional. Because working with mandala coloring is an individual experience, there is no guarantee that your child’s experience will reflect those discussed in this article. Any uncertainty about using mandala coloring as an art therapy or a complementary healing therapy for a child with cancer should be discussed with the patient’s own physician. The creator of this article assumes no liability or responsibility for any actions taken as a result of this article.