LITTLE RITUALS: MALAS, MOON WATER AND MEDITATION
A big part of my creative practice involves daily rituals. Little things that mark beginnings and endings. I light a candle to start the day. I meditate or pull a card or journal. I pause for a moment in this stillness to reconnect and ground. And then I begin.
When I finish my work, when I take a break or shift away from one creative project to another, I blow out the candle. I intentionally give myself a sense of closure.
I treat my time as sacred. It’s so easy to get distracted and give your time an energy away to issues that will never return your energy to you. Only drain you. So these little rituals remind me of where I am. Who I am. If the little flame is dancing in my candle, then I should be burning creatively too. This is what this time is for. It reminds that I’ve made a commitment to the task…and to myself.
I use other rituals in my creative life to mark bigger changes as well. I put out moon water under each full moon, then used that water to paint my watercolors with. I bake lavender lemon cookies on the summer solstice and make mulled wine on the winter solstice. I journal on the new and full moon. I brew a spicy, warming tea and have a piece of dark chocolate every afternoon. And I am constantly adding to my array of rituals based on what feels right to me. Including using a mala not just for meditation, but also while using my Flow Tarot cards.
CONNECTING TO THE SACRED WITH MALAS
When I began meditating, someone suggested wearing a mala to help me feel more grounded in the practice. A mala is a strand of beads, usually 108, used to keep count during meditation. Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning “garland” or necklace.
to help you focus your awareness and concentration during your spiritual practice. You can wear them on your neck or wrist, hold them and say a mantra as you count
I liked the idea but never really connected with the first mala I had chosen. I decided to make my own out of a strand of amazonite beads I had bought for no other reason than that I really liked the feel of the matte beads in my fingers and the colors reminded me of being near the ocean. Listening to my feelings, I decided to pair it with a highly textural pumice stone as my largest “guru” bead, and three pieces of seaglass I had collected. This one felt right.
Slipping it over my head, I instantly felt the sense of calm wash over me. This was my center. I looked forward to getting up every morning and sitting on my meditation pillow, with a light scent in the air, listening to a daily meditation. Slipping on my mala became the beginning and ending of that daily ritual. When I had it on, I felt like I was so much more deeply connected to that moment. And I found at the end of meditating, I didn’t want to take it off.
So I began wearing it to keep that feeling of sacred with me. Not all the time, but sometimes, when I really wanted to stay in that sense of calm for a little longer. Like when I was beginning to paint or journal, or if I pulled out my Flow Tarot deck. The connection to water for me was so strong, the two practices became inseparable.
When I reach for the Flow Tarot deck, the mala is right there beside it. I slip the mala on, and welcome the same sense of calmness I feel when I meditate, but this time I am opening myself up to a what messages might be meant for me. I feel the cool weight of the stones draping over the back of my neck, and I know that I am holding space for myself and my intuition. This is my center. And my mala helps me move into that space. And if I need extra care, an extra feel of the sacred still wrapped around me, I keep the mala on. I stay in that place of centering, for the rest of my day.