Advent Calendar Blog 2022 – Trying New Things…like Mala Beads.

When I am feeling stuck, or unmotivated, I often try doing or learning something new and it usually is just what I need to fire up my creativity and get the sparkle back. That’s because trying new things, especially things that I might have been afraid of trying, gets me out of comfort zone. Once outside the comfort zone, my ability to feel, see, and recognize opportunities is enhanced.

Trying new things introduces us to new opportunities, new people and maybe even new habits. You might discover a hidden skill which leads to a new passion that sets you on an entirely new path that would have stayed hidden from you, had you not ventured out to try something different.

My new thing this week was taking a workshop to learn more about Mala beads and how to integrate them into my meditation practice. It combined my new found curiosity with crystals with my ongoing exploration of meditation techniques.

A 108-bead hand-knotted Mala, with tassel and more elaborate “Guru” or “Summit” bead, for esthetic purposes.

Malas can be powerful tools of transformation for anyone who is either beginning a path of meditation or those who already have an established meditation routine. They are used to create a more focused and centered meditation practice and to calm the mind.

Shortened from the Sanskrit word japamala meaning garland, Mala beads are essentially a loop of prayer beads commonly used in East Indian cultures, for counting recitations of mantras or other sacred sounds. In this way, they are familiar to a rosary, in the world of Christianity.

The main body of a mala is usually 108 beads of roughly the same size and material as each other, but for the workshop, we created a smaller version with 27 beads. Mala beads have traditionally been made of a variety of materials such as wood, stone, seeds, bone and precious metals, strung with natural fibre such a cotton or silk thread.

A 27-bead hand-knotted Mala strand, with Guru bead.

I signed up for the private workshop with 6 friends, which automatically ensured I would at least spend 3 hours in the company of people that brought me joy. Having an open heart and mind in gratitude ensured I would have a positive and enriching experience. What more could I ask for?!

Because we were creating our Mala from gemstones, we also focused on chakras, and the association that certain crystals have to the 7 energy centres of the body. I chose to create my first Mala from Tiger Eye gemstone, connected to the Root Chakra, because it invites the wearer to embrace their inner-strength, personal willpower, and calls on the powers of protection. The other participants chose among amethysts, rose quartz, green aventurine or obsidian gemstones to make their first Mala.

The evening was an introduction to Malas and I now know the essential guidelines to creating my own mantra and using the beads to set and focus on my intentions. I spent time reconnecting with people I care for, and I made a new friend with the workshop leader, which may lead to new possibilities. Cumulatively, these were all good deposits into my happiness bank.

Trying something new helps us break the monotony of routine and changes our biorhythm by jolting and stimulating us intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Neurotransmitters that have become stagnant are shocked and put to use.

If we maintain a habit of trying new things, we progress and learn to be more open—open to change, new experiences, and to new possibilities.

Today’s Journal prompt: the last time I tried something new was…

Intention for today’s meditation: I am open to new experiences and transformation.

Published by Sylvie Rancourt

I am an intuitive and experienced leader and come naturally to coaching. I have spent the last 20 years helping individuals get unstuck, to achieve their goals and objectives. I enjoy interacting with new people and helping them to disengage from the minutiae of situations to see the bigger picture. These conversations inevitably lead to inspiration and it is quite a feeling to finally know what you want to achieve and see the path to get you there. Many individuals I have helped just needed a plan to stop wasting their energies and have more focus, while others needed a bit more time and we customized sessions suited to their needs. In all cases, we achieved positive change in either their professional or personal lives.

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