Mindfulness jewelry is a big trend in yoga circles and has found its place in fashion, too. The Oxford dictionary describes mindfulness as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. Another simple word to describe this idea is awareness. Symbolic beads and charms remind us to take a mindful moment to focus our attention. The stylish projects in the Fast & Fabulous Spiritual & Inspirational Pattern Pack are more than meets the eye.
ABOVE: Black Sea Bracelets by Kristina Hahn-Eleniak; Prayer beads from Getty images
Most people (myself included!) are so busy rushing around most of the time that these kinds of meaningful adornments are more important than ever. Something as simple as a necklace with a significant pendant can be a powerful reminder to stay in touch with what’s important. You can literally touch your pendant throughout the day for a moment of mindfulness, or it could be a meaningful gift for a friend.
Symbols of Mindfulness: Jewelry with Meaning
People have historically worn jewelry as protection or a symbol of faith, and it’s become popular again to wear jewelry with symbolic meaning. Projects in the Fast & Fabulous Spiritual & Inspirational Pattern Pack draw from a wide variety of traditions and feature the lotus, lava beads, Kokopelli, and more. Here are some descriptions of the symbols you’ll find in this pattern pack:
The lotus is one of the most recognizable symbols of enlightenment. The lotus encourages us to dwell in the possibility of beauty, like the lovely flower that grows from muddy water. There’s a famous mantra associated with the lotus that says, “The jewel is in the heart of the lotus.” This is interpreted in many different ways, but one simple meaning is to look deeper, because the most important part of us, or the situation, lies beneath layers and layers.
Lava beads are calming stones that are believed to have grounding qualities. Lave beads are porous, with small indentations all over the surface. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the beads in mindfulness jewelry for aromatherapy effects. Lavender and clary sage are often used for relaxation benefits. Lava beads are often used for prayer malas. When you’re stringing lava beads, use a bead reamer to remove any rough burrs inside the holes.
The mischievous Kokopelli is common throughout the American Southwest and symbolizes luck, passion, and fertility, among other things. When you wear a necklace with Kokopelli at the center, it might remind you to embrace your creativity or lighten up a little. Or, it might be a reminder to take a break from your everyday life and visit the Southwest. For more Native American inspiration, read “Infuse Your Beadwork with Native American Symbolism.”
The shape of the mandrake plant’s roots often resemble a human figure, and throughout history the plant has been associated with many ancient myths, legends, rituals, and superstitious practices. It was worn for protection during Biblical times and by the Ancient Greeks during surgery. In the Middle Ages, it was believed to increase fertility.
There are many, many interpretations for the symbolism of feathers. Some people believe that finding a feather means your guardian angel is nearby or that dreaming of feathers symbolizes travel. When you’re making jewelry with a feather charm or pendant, you can choose which concept is most meaningful to you. I like the idea that a single feather represents hope.
Mindfulness Jewelry with Gemstones
Ancient Egyptians used healing stones such as amethyst and quartz — and those stones are still popular today. Use them to add extra meaning to your beaded jewelry. There are several projects that use quartz in this Fast & Fabulous Rough Gemstones pattern pack collection, which should come as no surprise. In addition to being very trendy, quartz is considered by some to be a good all-purpose healing stone and it’s available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You’ll also find projects using chalcedony, turquoise, citrine, dravite, amethyst, and other rough gemstones in this pattern pack.
My favorite thing about the beading designs in Fast & Fabulous: Rough Gemstones is that they’re stylish and meaningful. Making them can be a meditative practice in itself. Plus, the stones are believed to have different qualities that can contribute to your well-being. And, if none of that is really your bag, then you still have nine gorgeous necklace ideas to kick your accessory wardrobe up a notch.
Read “Mindfulness and Healing with Gemstones and Natural Materials” to learn the healing properties that are associated with different types of stones.
Malas for Meditation
Malas are strings of beads used for prayer and meditation by Hindus and Buddhists. They’re also very popular in the yoga space. Beadwork Presents Malas: A How-to Guide for Making and Using Malas is your guide to creating your own mala. It contains tips for choosing materials along with information about the healing attributes of natural stones. Learn how to draw inspiration from nature and how to use your handmade mala for meditation and setting your own intention in this eBook. Read Tammy Honaman’s article “Bead Weaving, Meditation, Mandalas and Malas” for information about this spiritual side of beading.
Get Your Calm On
Deepak Chopra says, “We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul.” Beading can be a meditative act, and it’s doubly rewarding when you make jewelry with spiritual or inspirational qualities. Enjoy the sense of calm you get from making beautiful, meaningful jewelry and absorb the benefits of wearing it or sharing it.
Katie Hacker, Interim Managing Editor of Beadwork