With the world becoming seemingly more and more chaotic, I needed something to slow me down. As many of you know, I practice mindfulness and meditation regularly and wanted my DIY this week to reflect something that will help my mindfulness journey, a Mala. A Mala is a necklace of beads that you can use to count mantras or breaths during meditation. They come in four different lengths 18, 27, 54, or 108. I figure I need all the mantras possible so I went with a 108 bead Mala.
So, I headed down to The Bead Shop in Laguna to find the perfect beads for my meditation needs. Ha that rhymed! Also, I totally recommend that you go to an actual bead shop, don’t just order online. There’s something so mindful about touching everything and getting a feel for what you’re buying. Anyway, I bought 108 counting beads made of Earth Jasper also known as the “Supreme Nurturer” it reminds us to help one another and brings tranquility into our lives. Then I grabbed 3 marker beads made from Agate which is a protective stone. Your marker beads should be a different size so you will know when you’ve passed a particular number of beads. Then I bought one large Agate guru bead. The guru bead is the large bead at the apex of the Mala where the tassel hangs. I also added a pretty little tassel and Ohm symbol.
The spacing can get a little confusing, to keep everything simple I placed a large marker bead every 27 counting beads and the guru at the bottom. It all came together to form 4 sections of 27 beads.
Happy meditating my friends!
Sometimes a girl just wants something pretty and sometimes there’s more to the art of making something beautiful. In honor of May being Mental Health Month I want to talk about how crafting can help your mental state. You’re probably thinking “what!?!” “How does crafting help me mentally?” Well, engaging in an activity that you enjoy and find yourself lost in helps you reach a state of alpha brain activity called, Flow. This researcher named Mihaly Csikszentminalyi-try saying that 3 times fast-found that we experience less depression and more joy when we engage in activities that require focus and attention. This does wonders for brain neuroconnectivity which can have an impact on our general outlook on life. So, Dr Ally is writing you a script for one craft this week. Let’s get to it!
What will you need?
A piece of marble (mine was a little thick and heavy, I’d recommend something a little lighter).
2 drawer pulls
Clear round bumpers
Metallic spray paint (mine was rose gold)
Spray your drawer pulls. I used about 3 layers of paint.
Stick your round bumpers to the underside of your marble. These will keep your tray from sitting directly on a surface.
Measure how far you want your handles to go from the edge. Can you believe I’ve been using a centimeter ruler all these years and wasn’t even paying attention. Yes metric!!!
Add a drop of glue. This stuff is serious and goes a long way. You may also ways a mask, the fumes are pretty intense.
Wipe away any excess.
And there’s your stunning marble tray! Happy crafting!!!
It’s a pretty well known fact that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything, and according to the expert research abilities of Malcolm Gladwell it takes about 10 years to achieve this many hours. Well, there probably aren’t many of us that have spent 10,000 focused hours doing anything but I started thinking we probably have. Let me take a step back for a moment to focused on that great pile of grey and white between your ears. Our brains consists of millions upon millions of connections like roads that are built and destroyed moment by moment. There are lightning fast changes being made all the time based on the things we think, the experiences we have, the food and substances we ingest, and any myriad of genetic predispositions we may have. This random bit of knowledge got me thinking about how many hours we spend doing things that strengthen connections we don’t want or that don’t serve us. 10,000 hours strengthening connections for complaining, bragging, making excuses, watching tv, beating ourselves up, etc… This then got me thinking about the best way to change all of this. After all, I don’t think most of us intend to be experts in putting ourselves down, it just seems to happen.
Change is never easy, at times it seem antithetical to the human experience. Millions of years of evolution proved to us that when change arises many of us don’t make the cut, only the strong survive. So, in order to create this change in our own lives and not feel like a finch with the wrong beak length (Darwin in the Galapagos joke) we need to find ways to adapt. First, let’s find out what specific thing you want to master by setting some goals. You business majors may remember SMART goals, the gold standard for goal setting. SMART stands for Specific (what do you want, spell it out), Measurable (how will you know you are getting close to your goal, create a metric), Achievable (make sure this is doable but just challenging enough to leave you feeling accomplished), Realistic (does it make sense for your life), and Time limited (when can you accomplish this).
Next, we may want to raise our awareness to the problems and solutions. In order to raise your awareness you need to look into mindfulness. The more you can exist in the hear and now the more likely you are to change and shape your future. That may seem a little strange but you create your future every moment. If you aren’t fully in that moment your future won’t fully be what you want. Then finally, tenacity, this is huge. We will always fall and make mistakes in our journey toward 10,000 but remember practice makes permanent. The more you practice the way you want things to be done the easier it will be to do just that. On your wonderful journey always remember to keep going.
Thanks for the picture inkstained on we heart it, it was just perfect.
We all know that life can be utterly out of control, and us humans love to think we can change the unchangeable and move the immoveable, but alas we cannot. This morning Deepak Chopra, via a quote app, reminded me of how holding on to things we cannot change is a suffocating force. He said, “Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go and it will be yours forever.” Isn’t he just amazing. This reminds me to take perspective on the little immovable objects in my path, to take a deep breath as I look at my view, and to love those around me with flexibility.
Set your intensions daily and live them!
When we live in the past we keep ourselves from experiencing the present; and how can we ever create the future we want if we are unable to notice the now?
Today allow yourself the kindness of being active in the present moment. Accept each experience for what it is neither pushing away or holding on. This, the preset, is where you find happiness. In all things be mindful.
Enjoy my spiritual tip of the week, mindfulness. If you want to know more check out this video with Thich Nhat Hanh, the mindfulness master.
I’ve been traveling and interviewing for what seems like a month now. Of course it’s been stressful and I can find every reason to have a bad time but while on a trip to the beach with my childhood bestie and his 3 year old I was able to gain some perspective. As moments pass they fade into memory, immortalized in pictures and ether, enjoy every last moment. I love my family, friends, and readers. Have a wonderful stress free day!
What is happiness? Can we find it in the perfect job, most exquisite pair of shoes, the right boyfriend, or at the bottom of a tub of rocky road? Happiness is this illusive creature of equal parts legend and desire. Every moment in our life is all consumed with our striving for it; from diet choices, to education, shopping, and interpersonal interactions. However; one of my favorite psychologists Viktor Frankl most eloquently posited…
Don’t aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For sucess, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensure…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Happiness sits waiting for us in the everyday and mundane. It’s less about finding and more about noticing. True happiness is about shifting our minds and turning them toward noticing happy moments. As I sit waiting on my beloved Cigars, I simply notice my happiness and decide to share the moment, hopefully inspiring happiness in others.