Wow, this was so much more than I was expecting. This book combines an understanding of emotions paired with ‘emotive mandalas’ and journal prompts. I am a Spiritual Counselor/healer and this was right up my alley, but I immediately thought that the author should create a version that allows for photocopying rights for use with clients/therapy clients, etc.
The book is divided as follows: an introduction by clinical psychologist Dr. Hamarova with spiritual insight, reflective ideas, a brief discussion about emotions, and about using mandalas as a healing tool. Dr. Hamarova came to the understanding of using these as a tool for emotions through a dream, and as a person who receives a lot of spiritual direction through dreams, this honest and vulnerable sharing to start the book was very much appreciated. This book also has a corresponding app that allows you to access constantly updated mandalas.
Dr. Hamarova writes, “All that we don’t want to have in our lives, all that we try to erase or ignore, doesn’t just disappear. It “hides” in the unconscious mind. And these unwanted negative qualities, emotions, and behaviors are called the “shadow.”” - Mandalive is seen as a tool to release these shadows and negative qualities. She believes it’s important to reflect upon and work with both negative and positive emotions and so each mandala in this book has a pair (happy/sad, success/failure, etc).
But it’s not just a mandala that you’re colouring in this workbook, you are also working through valuable and insightful questions that really tap into your spiritual psyche and have you reflect deeply on what your feeling. Each mandala also has an intention which is such an important addition to each one.
The only negatives I would say is that the same questions exist with each mandala and it can get repetitive. While I think the questions are important ones to ask, it can get boring if you’re not really “in the zone” for it. In addition, the mandalas were drawn by a friend of hers who is a Zen master so I may not know what I’m talking about here, but some were really unimpressive; all the mandalas looked like something I could have created through the Photoshop ‘Mirror’ option. Then again, if I’m feeling grief, I’m certainly not in the mood to colour something too complex and overwhelming. What I can say is that every shape seemed to ‘fit’ with the emotion; looking at it, you could guess the emotion it represented.
I wish I had this book when I was teaching Gifted teenagers, as I’m sure it would have been a valuable tool for managing many of their overwhelming emotions.
I am a lifelong writer and business owner. I am a content manager and a professional editor. I have a history working in education and am a graduate of a Masters in Library and Information Studies. I can be a harsh reviewer, but that's only because I'm passionate.