This is a powerful tool to foster clarity, order, and thriving harmony in one’s personal life. The personal mandala represents the personal life experience of a person in relation to all the people, situations, circumstances, blessings, challenges, and ingredients that make up the recipient’s personal universe.
The recipient is the one that applies this tool for him/herself, or who is accompanied by a friend or a coach who is applying this tool.
- The recipient sits in the center of the mandala. The mandala can be represented by a blanket to sit on, or by drawing a circle with a line or a cord around the center.
- The starting point can be a life question, a problem, a conflict, a need, a quest, an aspiration, …
- You bring all the relevant elements into the mandala. More elements can come in and some elements can be taken out as the exercise evolves. You regularly check in with the recipient how the coming and going of elements affects her/his well being.
- You apply interventions to the elements to which the recipient holds a certain charge or emotion. You test the interventions by checking in regularly with the recipient whether they make the life experience better, worse or neutral. Of course you undo every disparaging intervention and you keep every favorable intervention.
- You keep dealing with elements and interventions until you reach a culmination point of optimal life experience in the present moment of the recipient: peace, satisfaction, inspiration, harmony, enthusiasm, drive, vitality, clarity, … .
An intervention in the mandala consists of:
- adding relevant elements,
- leaving/taking out irrelevant elements,
- clarifying healthy boundaries, or
- moving the elements.
There are three types of movements one can apply to the elements:
- keeping them in their place
- moving them closer to the center
- moving them away from the center
Working with the proximity and distance of the elements in relation to the recipient in the center of the mandala is already a powerful factor in clarifying healthy boundaries. One can study the Boundary Paradox to have a sense of what healthy boundaries are. For the elements where there seems to be some boundary confusion (absence, too rigid, maladapted, conflictual, abusive, hostile) you do an intervention by drawing a line or a cord around the element to symbolize a specific boundary clarification.
There are 6 types of elements you can handle in the mandala.
- material objects, goods
- qualities : aspects of core essence = inner being
- covers ( obstacles that cover Essence qualities and appear as weaknesses, defenses, masks, lower self, negative beliefs, negative images, false needs, idealised images of self/others/world, inauthentique self-identifications, and illusions )
- life giving symbols, ideas, meaning, archetypes, and Truth
Some rules for interventions
Persons are to be placed in the right place (proximity / distance) with sometimes a boundary clarification.
Material goods: introduce/remove, increase/decrease, closer/further
Qualities: can be accentuated, named, invited, evoked, reminded, reinforced
Covers: are to be removed, dissipated, dissolved, burned, attenuated, exposed, brought to awareness, … to whatever degree that the recipient is able to handle in the present moment. Key here is to meet the recipient where he/she is in the moment. Trying to make too big steps generates more resistance than progress, which is simply a learning process. Making the steps too little leaves some beautiful potential untapped, which is equally a learning process. Experience in the Transformation Cycle enhances the art of proficiently measuring the steps for dissolving the covers. Every step frees up the Core qualities that emerge spontaneously more and more as the cover dissipates.
Symbols: introduce/remove, proximity/distance, check for relevancy
Support: to be added in right place and in right proportion/intensity
There are different possible settings to configure this exercise.
- You can apply it on yourself as a self-help tool, a problem solving kit, a self-discovery, a self analysis, a self contemplation, or a meditation.
- You can use it in a one-on-one session as a coach to accompany your client, as a friend who does a favor to another friend or two friends who take turns and do an exchange.
- If you are more than two, the power and scope of this tool can be significantly enhanced by a coaching cluster.
Anyone who applies this tool with understanding and sincerity of the heart, will have beneficial effects.