I love getting mail. Not bills, obviously, but good mail. Occasion cards, postcards (my favourite!), or something I’ve ordered. The mail redirect from the recent move is working so that’s a bonus. I also like sending mail. As my friends and family know, I am an avid postcard sender. Mail, for me, is something simple, yet tangible and personal in a time where we mostly “LOL” electronically instead sharing that belly laugh in person.
My favourite piece of mail in 2014, aside from a letter from Pemberley(!), was a mala bead bracelet from Mala Collective. A small Christmas present to myself to help me start 2015 on the right foot.
(What are mala beads? In short, mala beads are prayer beads. They are widely associated with yoga and meditation; a great description can be found here.)
My choice of bracelet took a while – I am a Libra after all – mostly because I had to read all the descriptions of the gemstones the beads are made of on the Mala Collective website. Which gemstone and its healing properties could best represent what I needed and how I was feeling – and help me with my meditation? All of them. Ha.
In the end, I chose the Prana (breath) bracelet with green aventurine. A gemstone “known to protect, activate and clear the heart chakra… stone of comfort and balance.” SOLD. Having been reminded in August at my Kundalini teacher training in Greece that I am currently very firmly in said heart chakra, and for a few other reasons, this was my bracelet.
When I opened the parcel and put the bracelet on, did the world change? Did my chakras balance out and did the angels sing? No. But wouldn’t that have been nifty?
I have practiced yoga for a long time. But only in recent years has my practice evolved into being more than about having good muscle tone with a nice yoga bum and the lovely feeling of peace after coming out of savasana. A feeling which, of course, lasts only as long as you let it. (Surprise!) Like many out there, I have a hard time with quieting my mind: sifting through the junk and finding that elusive ‘zen’ place.
Meditation is difficult for me in the best of head spaces. (It is a good thing that I am a deep sleeper, because I think that sleep is the only time my mind is ever in neutral. If I dream, I have no recollection.) But I have come to appreciate and look forward to the eleven minutes a day where I show up for myself. And those occasional and really lovely juicy ‘nothing’ moments that come – and then go because I’ve realized that I’ve gotten to that place and am so pleased with myself.
In my ongoing journey of yoga teacher training education, I have had to, so far, do two 40-day meditation challenges as graduation requirements. Eleven minutes a day of the given mantra, for 40 days. The catch? If you miss a day, you have to start again! I’m fairly Type A, so this was a big deal for me, both times. I am that person who would not be great with having to start again. It just wasn’t going to happen when I had something to prove to myself, never mind completing the 40 days for graduation. Needless to say, I didn’t miss a day.
But now, if I miss a day – it happens – I just start again. And that is a lesson in patience and not being hard on myself. I’m still showing up; and that is 90% of the work. I wear my bracelet every day and while it’s not a cure or anything like that, the cool feeling of the beads on my wrist reminds me to stay in the moment appreciate the the simple things like the aroma of tomato bisque while it simmers or sending and receiving mail.
Every once in a while, someone will mail me a single popcorn kernel that didn’t pop. I’ll get out a fresh kernel, tape it to a piece of paper and mail it back to them.
~ Orville Redenbacher