Ok, I freaking love my mala beads. No I am not a yogi, and no, I do not really know what they mean in the deeper spiritual and philosophical sense, and no, I do not care. I love them. In fact, I’ve started to feel a little lost when they aren’t around my wrist or my neck. I’m also totally that awkward too much information kid when someone says they like them – oh, that’s nice – let me know give you a five minute explanation on exactly what these colorful beads mean to me, and yes, I know you just wanted me to say thanks. Yep, it’s gotten a little weird. I think the craziest thing though, is how these beads have transformed on my wrist. They originally found their little energy creating home on my left arm when I was physically not feeling like a champ, and emotionally rocking the good ol’ trudge through life experience. As I have transformed so have they. Sure, they may appear to be merely devastatingly stylish beads, in that, I’m a hip yogi sort of way – granted you could grasp that image from this one here only if you stopped at the beads and didn’t move up my arm – but they have evolved into something greater, something more substantial as they have camped out on my wrist.
Here is a really quick, embarrassingly uniformed run-down on charkas and mala beads. There are seven energy centers in the body: chakras. These centers can get blocked – let’s go with you want to avoid the whole blockage thing, due to physical and emotional ramifications. Each chakra is associated with a stone or a color – or a colored stone: enter the mala beads. The stones connected with each chakra invite that type of energy into the body. So if you are weak or blocked in a chakra, you would want to wear beads of that chakra to bring more of that type of energy into your body. You can simply wear your malas for their energy (and style) principles, but they can also be also used in meditation. Think of a rosary, but not so much. When I went to get my chakas read I thought the woman would be like, “whoa, woman – I can’t believe you are walking around!” Instead, I was really surprised that I was strong in areas I thought I was hitting an energy (and life) concrete wall. For one, my root chakra was kicking butt. A chakra that involves being grounded in one’s life and body, as well as being a leader and being independent. Ummm – let’s just say that one was a shocker, as I was feeling very non-leadery and totally directionless at that point. I was a little weak in the heart and the crown – in relation to me, dealing most basically with letting go and thinking beyond the present. Yep. Those two definitely made sense.
My mala beads are a freaking rainbow. Seriously, they have a lot going on. Normally when constructing your mala beads, you want to choose stones that support your weak chakras, and you’d probably have two, maybe three colors. Well, I wanted it all. Or rather, I wanted beads that supported those blocked chakras as well as the one’s kicking butt. Essentially, I wanted a physical manifestation of my strengths (with the added bonus of some energy work on my areas of weakness) on my wrist at all times. I wanted the ability to look down when I was feeling weak or out of control and be reminded that I am in fact rooted. That I already have that strength inside myself that I am seeking. This was the beginning of my relationship with my malas. Side note: I’m such a bad mala wearer because I have serious case of mala envy: I want everyone else’s super cool malas – I sense this is not the reaction you are supposed to have in regards to beads seeped in deeper meaning…
It took me a long time to feel anything significant about my malas (which could explain the mala envy.) At first they were just beads, but the more I sought them out to remind me of my own strength, they more I started to sense their physicality. They no longer seemed inanimate, but instead developed a weightiness. Sure mockingly spirit finger me all you want, but I dig these beads. As they have attained a sense of physicality and as I have developed my own sense of being rooted, suddenly I have started to notice those other beads – the ones supporting my weaker chakras. And in doing so, I have realized the importance of not only wearing one’s strengths quite literally on one’s sleeve, but also one’s weaknesses. There is something extremely powerful about being openly vulnerable. About owning those areas of weakness, as in doing so they become yours and cannot be exploited. By purposefully exposing them, they are in your control, and no one else’s.
I have always been daunted by my own weaknesses. I usually feel as if they are something I need to cover up – to displace by my areas of strength. Maybe the stars just aligned last week, but there was something inexplicably powerful in looking down at my wrist and suddenly feeling as if my weaknesses were tangible. As if they were threads physically woven into my fabric – not in the sense that they were buried deep within that pattern that is myself and thus inaccessible, but that they were part of my foundation, part of what makes me stronger instead of what makes me weaker.
Shocker of the day: we all have weaknesses and insecurities. I was reminded of one of my winners this weekend when out at a bar – totally the lost kid on the playground – but when I went home later, ate my last piece of Paleo pumpkin pie and rocked this week’s episode of Glee I felt solid, in control. Somehow that un-bary tendency of mine felt like something I could take a hold of – not to instantaneously transform into one of my strengths by any means, but something that I could start to shift, to start to build upon and to change.
I find myself continuously seeking out my strengths to grab a hold of in order to feel anchored. My weaknesses I often try to let slip away – to be forgotten in place of my strengths. But now as I look down at my wrist, at all those beads, I see all of those pieces of myself bound together, creating one complete entity. We can’t be only our strengths. That isn’t the complete picture. We’re one whole strand of rainbow fun – a medley of strength and weakness. Don’t shy away from those areas that challenge or even threaten you – make them tangible. If we allow them to stay buried, they will continue to define us, to remain out of our control. Only when our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities have been made present can we hope to change them.