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!
Maybe you haven’t noticed but pink is kinda my favorite color. Actually, pink is a serious obsession of mine. Things like this always get me thinking. Why do we favor colors? There have actually been quite a few studies about this and it is referred to as the ecological valence theory. Nerd alert 🤓!!! I won’t get too deep but basically we’ve evolved to use color for survival then we feel all the feels when we see our favorite colors. The more feels we feel the more we favor our favorite color. That’s the evolution/socialization debate in like two sentences. Where’s my Pulitzer?
Ultimately, I think Aerosmith said it right …
“Pink it’s my new obsession
Pink it’s not even a question,
Pink on the lips of your lover, ’cause
Pink is the love you discover”
“Pink it was love at first sight, and
Pink when I turn out the light
Pink gets me high as a kite
And I think everything is going to be all right
No matter what we do tonight.”
As some of you know I have been deeply entrenched in a Ph.D. program for the past 8 years. Wow, they never included that in the brochure. Well, last Sunday, I graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loma Linda University. Now, I am Dr. Cupcakes to you, Dr. Powell-Hicks to the rest of the world. Here comes the real challenge, what do I do with his nice little piece of paper? How do I change the world? Do I strengthen my consulting firm, do I find a post doc fellowship at a local hospital, research, head to Europe on “sabbatical?” These are questions we all ask ourselves from the perspective of our own experiences and training. How do I use my skills and talents to impact the world around me? The achievement isn’t in the asking but in the doing, so you should all soon see some doing from your dear Cupcakes.
One major take away from this past weekend-other than, I need to change the world-was that no one is an island. We all became who we are because of the collective support of others. I thank all of those who helped form my character for their dedication, love, and support.
I found myself meditating in my office just a moment ago. Yes, officially meditating. Sitting lotus position with my hand on my knees and all, and I was struck with a thought, “accept where you are, but acknowledge where you want to be.” This is truly the dialectical of life. We are here to accept the present moment but remain in constant motion toward our future goals. My pseudo-Deepak moment is over, you may now return to your lives.
I’ve been under considerable stress and needed a change of scenery. So a dear friend, the fabulous Sasha, made sure I had a relaxing day at the beach. This fun girl’s outing mirrors a simple psychological technique for behavioral activation, “with opposite action”. Basically, when you are feeling low and down don’t allow that mood state to take over do something that will bring your spirits up. It works every time. So next time you are feeling down or stressed do something with the opposite intention and note how your mood changes.
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!
In rebuttal to my wonderful Cigar’s “Cure your Anxiety.” If you really want to “cure” anxiety work on a skill called mindfulness. Anxiety is basically a persistent worry about the future and how horrible it will be. Mindfulness is a practice that keeps you tethered to the current moment. Many people will argue, “But all of these things could happen, I’m just being realistic and prepared.” Mindfulness doesn’t ask you to neglect planning for the future, but it requires that you plan for the future in the calm of the present moment. There is a chance that you will get in a car accident in the future but not a large chance, worrying about it also won’t make it any less likely to happen. So, stay in the current moment, after all, we reach the future every passing moment. I will post future blogs about some specific mindfulness techniques. Stay Posted!!!!!
Having a space that you love can decrease depression and anxiety. So if you are feeling a little down redecorate. Paint your walls a warm color, get some new lights, buy a new comforter, just create a wonderful space. Wouldn’t we all love to get a remodel as a prescription from our doctors.