IT'S 'day after launch day!' Yesterday, I officially launched my Etsy store after months of preparation, work, prayer, meditation and excitement. If you read through to the bottom, you'll find an exclusive coupon code to use for a limited time in my Etsy store! This is my way of reaching more people with healing energy work than just through individual, one-on-one session work. I create custom, handmade, hand-knotted malas. What's a mala, you ask? Well, let me start by telling you about how I got interested in malas and then I will give you the traditional mala explanation.
When I do my session work, I always have a beaded cross necklace in my hand-it's one that I put together from some beads that I had and a wooden cross that I love. It's not anything fancy, but it keeps me grounded and reminds me to where I turn for my guidance and answers. I use it to help clear out the 'dust' in my mind at times when things get a little cloudy.
As I began my Yoga Teacher training last year, I really dove deep into the philosophy side of Yoga and discovered these beautiful and spiritual necklaces called 'malas.' Malas are traditionally used for meditation and prayer. It is typically made up of 108 beads with a 'guru' bead and a tassel at the bottom. Between each bead is a hand-tied knot. So, what do you do with a mala? Here's the beautiful thing, you decide what to do with it. In the Buddhist tradition, malas are used for mantra repetition-you touch each bead as you repeat your mantra and turn it either clockwise or counterclockwise as you move around your mala, skipping over the guru bead at the bottom. You can also use it for breath work-one breath per bead as you work your way around. Using it during prayer is also very powerful, it helps center and focus your prayers and keeps you in the present. Many people wear them around everyday, as well. It's just a matter of how you need your mala to work for you and it's a very personal decision for you to make.
The different materials used to construct a mala are very important. I could go on and on about this. I won't though, you would be reading all day. What I will say is this, you should be very picky about your mala. It should be one that really resonates with you and that you connect with. Every mala is made differently. It can be made up of wood, stone, crystal, plastic, glass-you name it! I love to use gemstones and wood for my malas. I'm very careful and considerate about where I get my materials from. The thing that I ran into when I was searching for my 'perfect' mala was that I was finding that the quality was not what I was needing. I bought three malas from the same company, and not one of them had the knots between the beads. The knots between the beads signifies to me that the person constructing it has put the energy and intention into the mala that it deserves and it is a very spiritual part of the mala necklace. Without the knots, the mala was worthless to me. That doesn't mean that the same mala wouldn't be priceless to someone else, but it was a point that was very important to me. Why couldn't I make my own? Not to sell, just for me. My first one was a pink zebra jasper, lava stone and clear quartz mala. I loved it! I started to get requests from clients to make malas for them! Then, I decided that I needed to go a step further and integrate it into my business as a way to reach out further.
The process I use to create a mala starts before any beads go on the string. I figure out which materials are going to be put together and why. The 'why' is so important. Each mala carries a certain energy for healing and intention. I use Reiki to make sure the materials (gemstones, wood, stringing cord, tassel, counterparts) are all clear and that they all mix well. Then, the stringing begins, each bead is loving strung and an intention placed with every hand-tied knot in between. The guru bead is picked to help balance out whatever beads are on the mala or as a spiritual guide. I like to say that the beads pick themselves, I intuitively know which ones go where. I do not lay out a pattern beforehand. I have tried this several times and it just doesn't work for me!
My favorite part of this entire process is that this is a way for me to spread energy healing without having to just do one-on-one sessions with clients. My intention has always been to help as many people as I can in as many ways possible. With the purchase of one of my malas, know that you are receiving not only a piece of jewelry, but one that is infused with energetic healing and love. If we could all find ways to spread love, compassion, kindness, empathy and understanding-I know this world would begin to heal from all of the darkness that threatens on a daily basis.
There you go! I hope that gives you some insight into my malas as well as to what they are exactly and why I make them. For a limited amount of time, I am offering a $10 discount off of any 108 bead mala purchase through my Etsy store! Grab the coupon while you can and enjoy browsing!
Enjoy 10OFF to receive $10 off every 108 bead mala ordered until Aug 31st, 2017!
Love and Light~
What is your imagination creating in 2017?
There's always a push at the beginning of a new year to do something drastic, to make a BIG change for the coming year. How often do you see people posting about a new fitness routine or making a resolution to go to the gym? Or change their eating habits? Or that they are going to lose "X" amount of pounds? There's nothing fundamentally wrong with these resolutions or 'goals.' The problem is that these great ideas and good intentions usually don't stick! There's a very good and very obvious reason for this. They are all focused on the outside, without addressing what is going on internally.
It's great to want to eat healthier, to exercise more, to lose a little weight-if it's for the right reasons. If the focus is only on the outcome to be a superficial goal, most likely that goal won't be met. If you shift your focus to becoming healthier (whole body) in the process, to building a stronger body to support your energy levels or to feel better in your current clothes-that's going to take you much further to reach that 'goal.' Only focusing on what you are looking at in the mirror everyday, or deciding each day is 'good' or 'bad' dependent on whether or not you think you look good, isn't going to be a good basis for putting that resolution into creation.
What is your imagination creating for this year?? What does this year look like for you? THIS is what I want you to focus on. Paint a picture of what this year is going to look like-your intentions for your career, family, self, household, etc. Write it down in a journal, cut out photos of how you want your house to look, pick up books that encourage you to deepen your relationship with your loved ones, sign-up for a course that helps you to better your skills at your current job. Notice I didn't just say, "write it down and put your attention on those things." You have to put action behind your dreams & imagination to actually see it created!
Imagine it, describe it, write it, and then create it! Whatever action you take is what will lead to whether or not you manifest your dream. Get our of your own way! Often times, we are our own worst roadblock. What we tell ourselves on a daily basis can either be very inspiring for creating our dreams, or responsible for bringing them crashing down around us. This is not about having a Pollyanna attitude, it's about believing in yourself to make sure that you stay on the path of action to achieve your dream that you have imagined. Creation comes from action. Action takes dedication. Dedication to spending the time on you. Get rid of the junk so that nothing will keep you from believing in yourself and your dream.
If you want to learn how to visualize what your ideal 2017 looks like, and learn how to start to take the action steps to get there, sign-up HERE for our free 5-day Learn to FLY online workshop. It's chock-full of tips & tricks to get you focused on imagining, creating and working towards your best year yet! You'll receive an e-mail in your inbox each of the 5 days with a new practice to do each day and tips to help you visualize your ideal year. All you need is to have an open mind and a willingness to spend some time on you each of those 5 days! You'll be doing a little writing, so having a journal on hand is good, or if you like to keep things electronic an app like Evernote (which is free) or Day One ($4.99) is recommended. I've just been introduced to Day One and it looks really intriguing! You can find either app in the App Store.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me before signing up! This is going to be an exciting journey and I will be there with you every step of the way.
Love and Light~
Looking for the sign-up form for the 5-day online workshop? Just click HERE. Watch your inbox after you sign-up through the form, you will have to confirm your subscription as well.
The breath, the breath, the breath. We hear it so often when we are needing something to 'calm' us down or to unwind-"Just breathe!" It can get a little frustrating, and annoying-to be honest. "You expect me to focus on my breath when I'm ready to explode on _________ because they(he/she) _________ to me?!" Fill in the blanks.
One, we always take it personally. Everything is personal. Even that person driving in front of you on the highway who is going too slow or not letting you pass-surely they are purposefully keeping you from getting ahead?! They absolutely are not in their own little world focusing on where they need to be and not paying a lick of attention to you. Now, imagine if you did take a minute to breathe through those thoughts and emotions instead of just acting out? Maybe, just maybe you would realize in that minute that it really is not something to take personally. That those people are not out to get you. This is where taking the time to breathe through it can really, really help you out.
Once you understand the energy flow of the breath and why it is so important to utilize the right type of breathing, it is a game changer. Our survival is dependent on breath. We can survive (possibly) for weeks without food, days without water, but really only seconds without air. Breath is vital to our existence. It also cleanses our cells, calms our nerves and helps circulate our energy properly.
So, what do I mean by the 'right type of breathing?" I am going to keep this as simple as possible. From a Yogic perspective, practicing Pranayama (breath control) is crucial to any Yoga practice. When we start out in life, we breath deep in our bellies. Just watch an infant sleep and you will see what I mean. You can see the rise and fall of their abdomen as they breathe. As we get older we shift to more rapid and shallow chest breathing. Think about your day-to-day activities; how often do you feel your abdomen move when you breathe? Try this:
Just sit for a minute. Breathe how you normally breathe, don't change anything at this point. Now, put a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest. Take a big, deep breath in. Which hand moved more? Really, both hands should move, but the hand on your abdomen should move more than the one on your chest. Your breath should fill out your abdomen first and then gently rise up to your chest. It should feel like a small balloon inflating. When you release your breath, it should be slow and gentle, not fast. Try it a few times. Breath in, filling up your abdomen with the breath and feeling a gentle rise on your chest as the breath expands upward. Slowly release your breath. You can release it through your nose or your mouth, whichever way feels better to you right now. Does that make sense? The more you pay attention to how you are breathing, the more you actually begin to utilize breathing for it's therapeutic benefits.
Here's an exercise to try:
It doesn't matter where you are, just take a moment to stop and breathe. Begin by breathing deep into your belly and exhaling slowly. Just focus on that for a couple of breaths. Think about what emotions you are experiencing at the moment. Are you anxious? Frustrated? Tired? Breathe in for a count of 3, hold your breath for a 2 count, and release your breath for a count of 5. Now, imagine breathing in the opposite emotion of what you are feeling. If you are anxious, imagine calm coming in on your in-breath. Let it circulate when you hold your breath. Then, imagine anxiety leaving with the out-breath. You can actually do visualizations by imagining the actual words of the emotions moving in and out of you while you breathe. Try taking 3 breaths like this and then just sit and see how you feel afterward. Take stock of your entire body. Are you more relaxed? Do you feel lighter?
How does this help you in the real world and in the midst of a frustrating moment? Try it sometime. Just stop and breathe. It doesn't have to be the exact exercise from above. Just stop and take a deep belly breath in and blow out whatever frustrations you are experiencing in that moment. Is it magic? No. Does it help? Yes. I encourage you to try to incorporate this type of breathing into your everyday. I think you will find that it does really make a difference! If you are already mindful of your breathing practices, I would love to hear from you about how it has made a difference for you!
If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.
If you would like to receive more meditations, breathing exercises and other good stuff in your inbox for FREE, sign-up for the Monthly Newsletter HERE.
What's on my nightstand...
Books! I struggled with what to write about for my first blog entry on here. I thought about everything that I want to share with my clients, and there are just too many things. So, I am starting with something that I am absolutely passionate about-reading. I usually have no less than 3-4 books going at one time. Books help us escape, experience situations that we may never get to experience in real life, help us in our time of need, make us laugh, make us cry (sometimes even ugly cry), make us forget, make us remember, and so on and so on.
I really wanted to share the books that I am currently reading right now so you can get a better idea of who I am. I read ALL kinds of books. There is not just one category that I like better than another. Here is a little more info on the books pictured above:
1. The Complete Yoga Book by James Hewitt- Very thorough discussion of Yoga. He has a section each for breathing, postures and meditation. There are illustrations for most of the postures and each is explained in detail. It took me a little while to get through this book, but I keep going back to it as a reference! It is highlighted and marked up to the nines on the inside.
2. Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell- the subtitle "A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman Within" is a great description. This is a beautiful book that calls on women to get back to the sanctuary of Sisterhood and remember that we are all here to support one another. From the back cover-"It is a manual for healing the insecurities, the fears and the limiting inherited patterns that stop women from trusting their innate power and wisdom, and being the person they came here to be."
3. The Bible- I love exploring the Bible. One of my favorite things to do is just open it up and see where I land. There is always something to learn. It's fascinating and inspiring.
4. Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, Ph. D.- If you are at all interested in learning about chakras, what they mean and why they are important-this is the book to learn from. I started out with this on audiobook and decided that I had to have the hard copy. It is something that I will constantly refer back to. Again, not a light, easy read, but definitely worth your time.
5. Energy Medicine by Donna Eden- This book is awesome! A detailed explanation of how energy moves in our bodies, how meridians and chakras work, exercises to do to work with the energy, and so much more. This is another one that I had on audio first and had to own a hard copy of. I felt like I understood the energetic properties of our bodies until I read this book. Good stuff!
6. Click Magazine~For the Modern Photograp(her)- Okay, this one isn't really a book, but it's always close by and I love when it comes every-other-month, so I had to include it. It is full of gorgeous photos and well-written articles that are geared toward photographers that are women. Although, I do think that any photographer would appreciate it, female or male. I always find really cool new products in there too!
So, that's my nightstand round-up! What books are you reading right now? Have you read any of the ones above and if you have, what did you think?
If you would like to receive FREE monthly tips, mediations and other good stuff in your inbox, sign-up for the Monthly Newsletter HERE.
I am a wife, mom, photographer, avid reader, Yoga enthusiast, nature lover, traveler, adventurer, and child of God, who loves to learn about anything and everything and is just trying to help others see the beautiful beings that they are! Welcome to the blog for my website. Here you will find articles about many, various items of interest. I am a Reiki Practitioner, Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, Energy Healer, Astrologer, custom Mala Creator and your go-to for the support that you have been looking for. Thank you for stopping in!