Mandalas have been an interest of mine for quite a while. I became very well acquainted with them and their potential therapeutic/self care possibilities as I researched for my thesis. In my thesis I explored the use of art-making as a tool for stress management, mainly anxiety decrease and overall relaxation increase. I used mandalas as a part of my research, finding that mandalas can be used as a stress management tool due to their ties to meditation. In my research I found that the act of coloring a mandala design can induce a meditative like state of mind, decreasing state levels of anxiety and increasing relaxation- making the task a great option as a simple stress management tool. The following are a few mandalas that I have colored myself as well as a mandala that I designed.           The Mandala represents the universe in Buddhist culture. So I created the mandala below to represent my universe. The cross is at the center as my faith is central to my life. On either side are the Roman numerals  II and XX, referring to Galatians 2:20 which means a lot to me. There are glyphs that represent various ideas that I value (these are explained below). I surrounded the central circle with a triangle for multiple reasons, it is a reference to the trinity as well as a reference to stability as the triangle is the most stable form in engineering as there will always be one plane connecting three points. This points to the idea of a firm/solid foundation. At each point of the central triangle is an infinity sign with the outer lines repeated and growing out. This attaches to a chain of interlocking circles, the chain is in reference to connection between loved ones. Many of my lines are pointing out referencing ideas of reaching out beyond oneself to others. There is a pattern of diamonds repeating and expanding, this is a tribal reference hinting at my families ties to Africa and my own fascination with and interest in the continent.  The Glyphs incorporated into my mandala design were all triangular based designs. I incorporated the glyphs for understand, protect, transform, express, explore, create, and transcend.


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