Why and Where I Buy Mantra Beads
It is no secret that this life can be extremely stressful and anxiety producing at times. Four years ago, I hit my lowest point ever after my dad passed away on a cold November day; six weeks after that my grandfather passed away, and two months after that my tumultuous first marriage finally needed to come to an end because I couldn't allow myself to be treated the way I was being treated any longer. As a Christian person, I was taught to pray, and trust me, I did A LOT of praying through it all (and still do). AND, eventually I can say I did make it to the other side. BUT, it was NOT an easy road by any means. In the midst of my most horrible days, while dealing with the aftermath of my whole world being turned upside down, I needed to find other coping mechanisms to calm my anxieties and to keep reminding myself that I WAS (AND STILL AM) WORTH IT daily!
I grew up watching my grandfather sit with his Greek "worry beads" called komboloi (kombos means knots, logio means collection). In Greek, the name komboloi is short for the phrase "in every knot I say a prayer". I never understood why he would just continuously twirl and twirl the beads, until I became an adult with worries of my own. He would always look at me, while hanging onto his beads, and simply point and say in his broken English, "To rrrrrrrelax." I would just politely nod, not fully grasping what those beads represented to him, until I started to learn to meditate myself. There is something very cathartic in meditating and repeating a mantra as you go along the outline of beads. It calms and distracts your mind from your troubles and worries, if even just for a short time.
When I realized I wanted to learn to meditate by using my grandpa's "bead trick", I figured that I would need to have a set of beads with me at all times because I was anxious almost 24/7 at that point. So coming home to meditate for only 20 minutes a day with my Greek worry beads just wasn't going to cut it- AND I couldn't wear my grandpa's Greek komboloi beads around all day long because they are big and heavy and not meant to be worn. So one of my yoga teachers told me to try some mantra bead bracelets instead- that way I could always have the beads with me as a way of reminding myself to keep calm in all settings and in all situations. So I bought my first set of beads from the yoga studio where I practice, Yoga On The Lake.
I started with a traditional mala strand with 108 beads. The purpose of the 108 beads, kind of like a rosary bead set, is to help you keep track of your place in the meditation cycle. Some people use the beads for religious prayer and thought, but I simply used the beads for my meditation practice. I would sit and repeat a calming mantra (like "I Am Worth It" or "Be Gracious and Show Grace") 108 times during my most anxious moments, usually as I was trying to fall asleep at night. AND, every time I would touch my mala beads throughout the day too, it would give me that little surge of confidence that I COULD make it through the day-one minute, one hour at a time. I literally NEVER took those beads off, which is why the string holding them together eventually disintegrated!
So onward I went in search of a new set of beads, which led me to the Infinite Warrior collection. Check out their site, my friends, SERIOUSLY- their beads are absolutely amazing! I met the wonderful lady, Maria, who makes these beads at a street festival a couple of summers ago, and she was so amazing at explaining what each stone and material was able to target and help your body with. For example- in the picture of my beads below, you will see that the greenish strand I am wearing is made of amazonite, which is a stone that is supposed to help quiet the chatter in your mind. HELLO- this is exactly what I needed help with at the time, especially right before bed when all of my craziest thoughts crawled out of the wood work! The mixed brownish strand I am wearing is jasper, which is supposed to help promote self-care, and the light brown beads are natural wood beads that help promote strength and courage. AGAIN, I hit the bead jackpot!
A second place that I have ordered beads from, that I LOVE, is the Kinsley Armelle site. My sister was actually the first one to introduce this line of jewelry to me because she knows how much I am obsessed with finding great beads, so for Christmas this year she bought me some of their stackable sets. This bracelet line also has lots of different selections of stones and materials, from jasper to aqua marine, but all with a FUN little twist! Some of the strands have super cute agate stones, arrows, or fun metallic accents. I especially love to pair these beads with a watch and a bunch of other stackable "arm party" bracelets. AND, now that I am in a much more positive space in my life, I love that my mantra beads can have a more festive, fun look to them to kind of represent and match the happiness I feel on the inside.
Gals, I am just SO excited to share this post with you all, in hopes that you too will find some comfort in meditation and beads. YES, I am in a much better space in life right now with my new hubby, surrounded by the love of my family and friends- BUT, even so, I will NEVER take my mantra beads off because they are such a dynamic representation and reminder of how far I have come. These beads have been with me through my darkest days, and I want them to travel with me through some of my greatest days so I can continue to meditate in gratitude.