At some point last year, I started a new series on this blog called Spirit of Creation. My intention for it was to talk a bit more about the different types of products I offer, to let you know what brought me to start crafting them in the first place, my process to do so, my history with them, and so on. Things have been getting in the way though, and I’ve experienced a serious creative hiatus, lacking inspiration to write anything worth reading. So I started this series but ended up only publishing one post so far, about the Wooden Pendulums I make.
Admittedly, a single post doesn’t make a series so now that I’m finally back on the Creative Path, I thought I’d tackle this next one just because it was so long overdue! So as you already know from reading the title, today’s story is going to be all about Meditation Beads, a beloved spiritual tool that made its way back to the shop a few weeks ago with the release of the North Wind collection.
When I think about my meditation practice, I’m pretty happy about where I am now, but it’s been a bit of a bumpy journey to successfully integrate it into my daily life. Unfortunately I don’t recall the exact point in my life where I started to learn how to meditate but I’m pretty sure it was relatively early in my witchy career (so I’m talking 15 to 20 years ago). It’s the kid of things that you would read on every website and in every beginner’s book at that time: Real. Witches. Meditate. All right then, I shall meditate. No questions asked.
Meditation did sound simple enough but I encountered my first obstacle very quickly. I was a restless teenager and if I were to engage in a new activity, I wanted to see immediate results. That, of course, didn’t happen for a long, long time. Surprise, surprise, learning how to meditate properly takes times, just like learning any new skill for that matter, and I didn’t have any patience for this one. In the beginning, I couldn’t see the benefits of regular meditation, it just seemed like time wasted doing nothing. Sounds familiar?
Over time though, experience proved me wrong and I found many reasons why including meditation in my toolkit was a great idea. Just thinking of one that’s become very apparent to me recently, I am now fully aware that when I go a long time without taking the time to sit my butt down and meditate, my mental health takes a hit and everything becomes slightly (and unnecessary) harder to manage.
The second element that kinda went wrong was figuring out what type of practice to try and engage with. I mean, there’s just so many different kinds of meditation! It’s easy, especially in the beginning, to get completely overwhelmed by the insane amount of information you can get around this topic and find an opportunity (or excuse, really) to give up. I did it, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
Two things solved this issue for me. First I encountered and decided to focus almost exclusively on Mindfulness Meditation, a simple yet complex enough form of daily routine that I actually enjoyed doing and learning. I kept going back to it and progress became more and more apparent over time.
But then there’s also something I read in The Spell of the Sensuous. In this book, David Abram explores a topic that was already familiar to me but somehow had failed to click when it comes to meditation.
I would have to dedicate an entire post to really get to the depth of it but in a nutshell, it is the idea that what we call the mind is not a human characteristic, but something belonging to the encompassing world, something connecting humans to every other beings. And this thing, the mind, the awareness we all have and share, can be attributed to the Air that circulates within and around every living creature on Earth. In our Living World, the Air is Spirit, or divine consciousness, or whatever you want to call it.
This particular idea, which aligned perfectly with my already existing animistic beliefs, completely changed my views regarding the breath work involved in my mindfulness practice. Suddenly meditation took a huge place within my own spiritual beliefs and became a cornerstone habit to cultivate and rely on, a way to connect to something greater than myself.
Last but not least – and this obstacle may seem like a silly one, but to me it was definitely the most difficult to overcome and I wish it didn’t took me so long to figure it out – I can’t keep still. Or more precisely, I can’t keep my hands still. That’s right, I can’t watch a movie without the need to play with my hair or the rings on my fingers, or in worse cases, picking at my skin. So sitting down in silence and having these two little buggers doing absolutely nothing? Yeah, no, that was never going to happen.
Enters the savior: [insert drum rolls] the mighty row of beads! One day I remembered the rosary I had tucked inside my jewelry box when I was a child and it just struck me. I had to have a similar sort of tool in my witchy toolkit. And since I wanted to try something a little bit different, I grabbed a handful of gemstones and wooden beads, reached for my Wood Burner and proceeded to draw the Elder Futhark Runes on them. A few moments later, I was experimenting with a mix of meditation, devotion, magical work and chanting.
It worked. It worked so well! The beads turned out to be a great way to ground myself in my daily ritual of meditation, without creating any distraction to the practice itself. Having them dance between my fingers, focusing on them, one by one… I don’t know, it feels like I have a trail to follow, a guiding line that takes me through the journey. When I started using Meditation Beads, my mind didn’t wander as much and as far as before. And perhaps most importantly, my hands were not idle anymore, they had something to do, to touch, to manipulate. And that little detail changed everything.
In the end, Meditation Beads do have other benefits as well: they are usually lightweight and are so easy to carry that I could basically meditate anywhere. And they are so versatile! It actually led me down a rabbit hole that turned into a bit of an obsession, and I quickly started to collecting and crafting beads for many different purposes and occasions. But that will be the topic of a future Blog Post, getting you acquainted with my favorite and most used meditation beads.