Though absolutely acceptable to wear them for non-meditative and non-yoga reasons, I didn't want it to be a fashion statement or trend. I wanted to deserve my own significance, symbolism, and meaning. I wanted to find my mala.
When I came upon the Mala Collective website, I knew that I had found a special company, a special family. I find an incredible amount of respect for companies that give back, practice fair trade, and treat their employees like family. This alone compelled me to investigate their malas.
With my own practice being so young, I did not feel that I yet deserved a full 108 bead mala necklace. I wanted something smaller to represent the infancy of my practice. A bracelet would be ideal and sufficient visual representation of my intent. But what was my intent? What was I seeking in my practice?
I admired the beauty of the malas, studied the significance of the gemstones and rudraksha beads, and ultimately became confused. Was my intention LOVE? Was my intention STRENGTH & CLARITY? Was my intention to ALIGN MY CHAKRAS? Was my intention to find COMFORT, BALANCE & HARMONY? Was my intention to find INSPIRATION & CREATIVITY? Was my intention to FOLLOW DREAMS? Was my intention to find INNER PEACE?
I found myself at a crossroads.
Days went by and I continued to pour over my options when, almost perfectly, a little curve ball was thrown my way in life. I felt gutted for a few days and asked the introspective "Why?". I told myself to get back up, keep going, put on a smile, fake it until you make it, and deal with it. And then I remembered what I'd read about one of the bracelets and the word "RESILIENCY" echoed in my head.
I found my mala. More like, my mala found me. Its intent had quietly and subtly found its way to my mind and heart without me knowing it and I knew it was meant for me.
Before leaving the island of Bali, my mala bracelet was blessed. "I am resilient. I am fearless in following my dreams -- listening to my heart and intuition. And when the universe provides an ebb and flow in my rhythm, I know that they are not barriers but merely guides. So I bounce back with grace and continue on my journey."
My beautiful matte black onyx mala hardly leaves my wrist and I look to it both visually and meditatively when those ebbs and flows mess with my rhythm. I've since learned that onyx is associated with resistance and persistence and helps the wearer manage and complete tasks with focus, willpower, strength, confidence and discipline. Representing the Earth element, it's also known for balancing male and female polarity and increasing hormonal balance. The black stone is said to help with objectivity and making intelligent decisions. It's recommended during times of pain and sorrow and, additionally, is believed to help strengthen one's bones.
I am resilient, with or without my mala, but I love the constant reminder that it gives me to weather storms and continue persevering. I look forward to my next mala and I finding each other.