As I am sure you have seen all over the internet, a lot of people are using the pandemic and the need to stay home as an opportunity to tackle all sorts of projects. My big project has been turning my junk room/craft room into a fully realized office/craft room (more on that in a later post) and one of the spaces I want to create in that space is a meditation nook/altar space.
I don’t really like getting into my personal beliefs these days as there are so many people giving religion a bad name, but I grew up in a Pentecostal church. It was loud and demonstrative, and the sense of community was incredible. I loved it, and I was very involved. Then I went to college and realized that I didn’t necessarily agree with all of the things the church taught. Love, forgiveness, generosity? 100%. Homophobia, condemnation, and belief in one “right” way to live? Hard pass. I bounced around to a few different more inclusive churches/denominations over the years, but then 2016 happened, and Andy and I decided that I was done with trying to find a “good” church and I was going to pursue ways to honor my beliefs in a way that felt meaningful to me. I still pray everyday, but I also enjoy my affirmation tarot deck, honoring nature and the elements and meditation to feel more connected to the universe. It’s a little mystical hippy woo woo, but it works for me.
As I was working on ideas for my altar/meditation space, I came across this article on How to Make a Mala Necklace That’ll Supercharge Your Meditation Practice. I have a friend who is a yoga instructor so I’d seen/heard about them before, but I’d never given them much thought. Mala necklaces are made up of 108 beads (like the Catholic rosary), and similar to a Catholic rosary, they are used to pray or recite mantras, one for each bead until a complete circuit has been made and you find yourself back at the beginning or guru bead. Traditionally malas were bestowed by one’s spiritual leader, but today they are widely available and no more than a mouse click and free two day shipping away.
If you want something a little more personal however, you can easily make your own mala necklace. Your mala can be made up of colors or gemstones that are meaningful to you on a spiritual level or even simply something you find visually appealing. I’ve always been interested in the metaphysical properties that have been attributed to different stones over the years so I picked my materials based on that. After a bit of research I landed on Flourite, a translucent purple and green stone that were supposed to promote things that I felt would be beneficial to my mental health and over all spiritual well-being:
Flourite – Enhances mental order and clarity and reduces instability. Helps bring about a wiser, more balanced view of life and improves decision making.
To round things out, I used all natural cotton cord and made a matching tassel and added a few silver touches for a little something extra. All in all, I was pretty pleased with the results.
Since I am not a yogi, I won’t be using my mala necklace for the traditional chants or prayers, but I will be using it for daily meditations, affirmations, or to pull my mind away from the frantic pointless panic that our current situation seems to be fostering in so many of us. I have visions of siting in my quiet space, breathing, re-centering, and calming myself while deepening my awareness of my own body and self and finding a way to move forward with understanding and grace. A tall order to be sure, but a girl can dream right?