Boom! Two Fridays in a row, guys! For someone with ADD, this is kind of a big deal.
And you know what else is a big deal!? I have teamed up with dear friend and talented designer, Jennifer Dunham, for a giveaway that is seriously dear to my heart! What kind of giveaway? One for mindfulness jewelry. What the heck is mindfulness jewelry? One of my very favorite things.
Last year, when I started taking my yoga seriously, I came across yoga malas. Simply put: yoga malas (japa malas as they are sometimes called) are traditionally strands of 108 beads, that you use to meditate. You hold the mala in your hand and slide down each bead with your fingers, repeating whatever mantra you need at that moment. For centuries yogis and Buddhists have used malas for meditation. They are a tangible sign of your intentions, goals, dedications, and self-care.
Do you have to be a yogi to use a mala? Of course not! It just happens to be a tradition in yogic practice, and we yogis LOVE malas.
I love them so much, that for the last few months I have been making them for friends as gifts, and as a way to save up some money for yoga teacher training- a distant goal, but one I still hope to achieve in the next year or two. I had enough interest that, when I decided I was going to get more serious about Balancing Imbalance, I decided to register for an etsy shop, too. The shop will be called Balancing Malas, and I can’t WAIT to get it up and running, and to share the benefits of malas with you! I will have more info on Balancing Malas very soon, and there is so much more I want to say about the benefit of a steady meditation practice as a part of managing chemical imbalance. But in the meantime, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce my readers not only to malas- but to mindfulness jewelry in general.
What is mindfulness jewelry? Well, it’s jewelry that encourages mindfulness. Meditation malas are probably the most recognizable pieces of mindfulness jewelry, but there are so many lovely choices these days! From mala necklaces and bracelets, to rings made with intentional stones and soothing materials- there are many ways to wear your self-care.
Jennifer Dunham’s collection Erosion, is one of my very favorite examples. For our giveaway, Jenn has graciously donated this ring, made from natural matte brass and hand cut obsidian. On her website, Jennifer says this about her collection:
Intended to encourage and empower you, this collection is classically pretty with a notably off-beat nature. Fluid and rugged textures are inspired by a pairing of rough elements and changing weather. The matte metal finish will fade with wear, revealing a natural shine. Unique shapes, dips and curves celebrate eccentricities and embrace both the shadow and light of our experience.
And in a personal email, she says this of obsidian- the stone in the ring she will be gifting to one of you lovely people!
“Obsidian became important to me when I started making jewelry. It supports transformation and grounding. It helps with feelings of loss and grief, is protective, and removes negativity.”
As you explore the world of mindfulness jewelry, you’ll notice that those of us who make it are pretty obsessed with healing stones. Full disclosure- I’m not a scientist. I don’t know if there are any properties in any stones that do anything in particular. But I do know that when I am wearing amethyst- a stone meant to calm your mind and spirit- I remind myself to find calm when I notice it. When I’m wearing rose quartz- the stone of love and motherhood- I feel and notice the love around me. It’s presence on my wrist reminds me to see it. And Moonstone! Oooooh, how I love rainbow moonstone. Rainbow moonstone is said to help balance women’s hormones- bringing them in line with the lunar cycle. And in the last month that I’ve been wearing it, my period has been at a regular time for the first time in 3 months. So, maybe it’s a placebo. But if it is, I don’t care- because I gain nothing but peace and comfort from wearing and trusting them. (Would I suggest a slice of pink agate for strep throat? No. But I would if you’re needing a boost of self-confidence! Or a reminder of your inherent worth!)
One last example, before I give you the deets on the giveaway, to give you one more idea of the variety of mindfulness jewelry- I’m currently waiting for a ring made from breast milk! I know- that might sound totally weird. But it is a ring in the shape of a lotus and will remind me, as lotus’ do, that in the muddiest of places, beauty can occur. I will wear it as a symbol of the severe depression I suffered with during my pregnancy with my daughter Lux, and of the healing and beautiful life that came after. It will remind me of the strength I have been capable of, and help me tap into that strength when I need it.
Now for the really good stuff! Our giveaway! There are two prizes for two winners- a ring from Jennifer Dunham, and a mala, hand-made by yours truly. One of the first from Balancing Malas!
There are two ways enter:
1. Comment below, and share this post with your friends!
2. Follow both @imbalanced_yogi AND @shopjenniferdunham on Instagram, and repost our giveaway flier with the hashtag #BalancingJewelryGiveaway! Please make sure your account is public, so we can see your entries.
That’s it! Easy peasy! We can’t wait to send one of our goodies your way!
Next week I’ll be posting more details on malas and meditation, and how you can use this practice in managing depression, anxiety, or even just the stress of daily life. And, as a bonus post- I’m currently writing down my thoughts on Netflix’s series 13 Reasons Why. (Spoiler alert- as someone with mental illness, it was very difficult to watch. That said, I think it may be the most important TV series of the last few years. As life and depression teach us, sometimes the most difficult things are the most important.)
Thanks so much for reading, lovelies! Good luck!