I wear beaded bracelets most of the time. I particularly love ones made of natural beads, there is something tangible for me of connecting to the elements that comes with bracelets made of lava rock or rose quartz. I first fell in love with these bracelets when I would visit temples in Japan. I lived there for close to 15 years and visited many temples in my travels.
When I began to study Yoga, too, I found that I was attracted to beads, malas, and bracelets for the purpose of meditation. I could quietly roll the beads between my fingers when I wanted to bring my thoughts back to centre. When I felt uncomfortable with my environment, I could think back to my feelings of calm and peace by tapping into the various beads on my bracelet.
I learned, during a workshop on mindfulness, that you can make a practice of positive self-talk by using a bracelet.
This is how it goes:
- Place a bracelet on your wrist.
- When you hear your inner voice using negative self-talk, when you hear yourself berating a mistake you have made, you move the bracelet to a different hand.
- Each time you have a thought that is harming to yourself, you move the bracelet becoming aware of the thought that brought you to move the item.
- The first few days, you just let it naturally happen, and mentally take note of the number of times you have to change hands.
- Once you are in the habit of this, you make a conscious effort to change the inner language that you use so that you are changing the bracelet fewer and fewer times a day.
- Your goal, of course, is to eventually leave the bracelet alone as you learn to speak positively with yourself.
At first, I could literally change wrists a few times in the space of 5 or 10 minutes. I didn’t realize how often I would tell myself, internally, that I was just not enough…not good enough….not smart enough….not fast enough at this task or that….how absent-minded I was…and really let myself feel disappointed in myself. I had always been such a positive person!
What I realized was that I was very positive speaking, but I was not authentically positive thinking! I had a dear friend and mentor ask me one time: “if you are judging yourself so harshly, do you not think you are looking to others to live to those ideals too? We learn to judge the world around us the way we judge ourselves. If you expect perfection then others may feel that nothing but perfection from you is enough”.
Wow! I had never thought of this before.
As I practiced my bracelet meditation, I began to change my language with myself to be more neutral and non-judgemental. My ‘Oh, I can’t believe you forgot that!’ became ‘Oh, I forgot. I’ll remember next time’. This started to have implications on the outside too. I could learn to grow in compassion for others as I allowed myself to have compassion for myself. My expectations for myself were allowed to relax and become more gentle and caring…and realistic! I was really learning to have my words and encouragement of others, start from my inner dialogue which became positive and caring to myself.
I still wear my meditation bracelet every day. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of my expectations and to speak kindly to myself. I often roll the beads between my fingers when I am nervous and now it also serves to bring breath, calm, and peace, as a symbol that I need to be gentle with my words to myself and others. A few times a year, I choose to repeat my mindfulness steps in an effort to remind myself to care for me. It serves as a great reminder that I always need to work on myself first!
Love Ingrid x
#loveiseverywhere #loveisenough #csfleak #enough #mindfulness