Meditation & Intention For Girls on the Go
I don't know about you but every time I complain about being frazzled or anxious or just uncentered in general, the advice I invariably hear is that I should try meditation. And that sounds like a really nice idea... I guess. However, I have a pretty difficult time carving out quiet time for myself. Actually, it's damned near impossible. I need ear plugs approximately 100% of the time at my house. I consider myself lucky on days when I get to be all by myself in the bathroom. In other words, I have no quiet time. No privacy. No time in general for sitting in quiet meditation. I have two toddlers and they're always ON...
'Why don't you just get up 20 minutes earlier' they tell me because surely a mom of two toddlers gets plenty of rest and doesn't already get up at an ungodly hour. 'Set aside 20 minutes before bed' they say because I don't fall into bed at 1am every night after hours of going through emails, bills, and inventory. 'Sneak a few minutes during Arial's morning nap while Isia is having his quiet time'... forfeit my shower, in other words. Long story short...these options don't really work for me. And anyway, if I did happen to have that extra 20 minutes a day I'm not entirely certain I'd want to spend it all in one place doing absolutely nothing but trying to shut out my inner dialogue. Which is nearly impossible. Trust.
But a few weeks ago I picked up this idea of choosing a word of intent and implementing it into your daily routine. Not necessarily as a 20 minute, indian-style meditation but just as a one word reminder of your goal for the way you want to live your life. Your daily intent for your daily grind. And, actually, I have found this idea to be very helpful. I simply resort to my word of intent whenever I can throughout my day. Especially in the more difficult moments...
For my word, I chose JOY.
I love the idea of having joy- I'm sure everyone does- but also the idea of choosing joy, finding joy, and when necessary, creating joy. Joy is something we're all capable of obtaining, sharing, embodying. But to consciously choose to respond with joy every day and live with the intent to be joyful in those mundane moments when you might be tempted to be frustrated, short tempered, or angry. When your kids are fighting and your husband needs help finding something again and why the hell does the Amazon delivery guy ring the doorbell and run every damn time like your package is a prank caller... in those moments when you feel your temperature rising to the boiling point, your intent pops up (ideally, anyway) and suddenly you have the power to choose joy instead and that is a game-changer. Maybe a life changer. And, in my experience, it works really really fast. And what a beautiful thing to bring into your household and share with your children. To live and operate with intent.
So in the spirit of being zen and in an effort to successfully implement this method of short-hand meditation, I did some research and it turns out that I'm very interested in wearing my intent (in the form of an accessory, of course). I also have found that a constant, physical reminder is a powerful tool in aiding me forward in my pursuit of a life filled with intent. And, consequently, JOY.
Mala (Sanskrit for garland) beads or prayer beads allow you to do just that. While some people seem to prefer to sit with their intentions and meditate on each of the 108 beads, you may also just wear your mala beads either as a necklace or a bracelet or possibly some other creative way if you're so inclined- and keep them handy as your physical reminder of your daily intent. Plus the beads themselves have spiritual properties of their own so you can choose your mala based on the properties held by the individual stones and ideally you will gain some additional insight and assistance as you move through your day filled with the intent that's most important to you.
Kelli Davis of Kelli Davis Designs agrees that ultimately, the mala becomes what the wearer wants it to be. “You engage the energy of the pearls and gemstones, with your prayers, your hopes, and dreams.” Kelli's stone of choice is the pearl.
“Pearls are a great symbol for the grace we create, for the oyster creates its greatest work of art from an irritant. The decision to love even though it is sure to break our hearts, to meet challenge with our compassion is the yoga practice of life and makes it worth living,” she explains on www.yogajournal.com.
For my own initial voyeur into this idea, I have chosen amazonite for my stone, which is known for encouraging the powers of clairvoyance. Amazonite stimulates the artistic and creative side of thinking and promotes tolerance and patience. I would definitely love to have more patience in my day to day life. In this new instant gratification based world, patience is becoming more and more of a virtue. Amazonite is also said to have a calming effect, corrects mood swings, and promotes confidence, vitality and joy of life. Check. Check. Double check.
Another interesting fact I discovered about mala beads is that they always have 108 beads because the number is considered sacred by many spiritual practices. Specifically, Hinduism, in which the 1 stands for God, the universe or your own highest truth; 0 stands for emptiness and humility in spiritual practice; and 8 stands for infinity and timelessness. I don't consider myself an exceptionally spiritual person but I can appreciate the significance of numerology within so many belief systems and these seem like pretty important numbers to incorporate into whatever personal belief system of your own that you hold true.
So on that note- if you happen to be interested in implementing an intent in your daily life and wardrobe, you can check out the mala beads we picked up for The 9's Top Picks this week and see if something resonates with you.
If you happen to be interested in trying meditation with your new mala beads, here's a quick beginner's guide.
I hope you find this idea of intent as useful as I did. It's deceptively simple but it really does work! It's always interesting to know what inspires other people so if you do decide to give it a try, I'd love it if you would share your word of intent in the comments below!