This morning I woke up automatically at 5 am, which is very typical for me.
Also typical for me, when I wake up and have a lot of space before me in terms of time, I boiled some water for tea, and took myself outside to gratitude journal and consult my beautiful tarot and oracle cards from Doreen Virtue. I love the simplicity and beauty of her cards, and their empowering messages keep me going in the right direction, even if I’m not feeling like I’m going in the right direction.
This morning I decided to do a full-on Celtic cross formation with my cards. It’s a very in-depth reading with ten cards about a certain “issue” I have. It was my first time doing it, and it was so accurate it was thrilling and scary at the same time.
Since it is only the third day of the new year, I decided to ask what my year ahead looks like. Everything that came up in that reading was reflective of things I had been exactly thinking for the past few weeks, namely meditation and artwork.
Since I committed to meditating twice a day, I began doing meditation seminars at greenmonkeyyoga (where I teach power yoga) and also in the CrossFit gyms where my company, Red Cheetah Yoga, resides. I never thought I would end up teaching powerpoints on the science of meditation’s effectiveness, nor did I ever expect to teach people how to meditate. And I never expected I would enjoy it so much!
Last December, only one month ago, I decided to make my own malas. Of course, I can’t do just any mala, I had to make them REALLY special. Since unicorns have been such a theme this past year, the only logical thing I could do was make unicorn-themed malas.
Unicorns have shown up in all of my best frienships this year, and have been popping up in conversations everywhere in my life. I associate unicorns very closely with my childhood, where my dear sister Sarah loved them to the point she tattooed on onto her ankle in her adulthood. I have always associated them with her, dragons with my mom, Linda, and, of course, fairies and mermaids were always my thing, with fairies being the most associated.
My boyfriend and I were both unicorns for Halloween this year, and when he took me to New York City for the first time this past year, I insisted we trek to the Cloisters, an old monastery-turned-art museum, way out of our way to run in and see the unicorn tapestries, literally a page out of one of my childhood books that I loved in elementary school.
To really celebrate this past year, my so-called Year of the Unicorn, I made unicorn malas. I believe I have totaled 10 by now.
I skipped my own usual meditations to dedicate more time to these, and as I was trying to figure out how to best make them, I realized the best and most appropriate way to make them turn out the most beautiful and worthwhile was also going to be the longest way of making them: adding a single knot (sometimes double, depending on thread thickness and hole size in the beads, making the process longer sometimes) between each bead. It takes an entire day to make just one, and I never thought how much I would enjoy it, and didn’t anticipate how much other people would enjoy seeing them, handling them, and purchasing them so they can take the magic home with them.
One of the cards I pulled for myself this morning was a picture of a fairy making crystal flowers. It was my second time pulling it, and it amazed me to get it again this morning because the first time I pulled it was when I first started making the malas, and I was realizing how freeing making them was making me feel. The card basically said to follow my heart and intuition when it came to making artwork, to create freely the artwork I am meant to create by holding nothing back, and to trust the universe to financially provide what I am worth with the artwork I create. It was a “you can do it!” card that I really needed then and now, and a card that I really appreciated since I went to Art Basel for the first time ever this year and saw firsthand was inspiration looked and felt like.
The joy they bring me to plan a new one, take a custom order and create it specifically for the client, and then the process of making it bead by bead, and finishing it off with the creation of a handmade tassel, has been truly fulfilling for me. Every time I sell one, I feel a little bit of bittersweetness, and I put part of my soul into it, and knowing I will never make the same one twice it adds a little more depth to the experience of needing to let things though for the betterment of all.
When I was walking around Michaels craft store the other day, collecting supplies I needed for a red and black onyx piece that a client desired, I realized how much fun I was having tapping in to my creative side. It has been years since I allowed myself any space and time working on truly creative endeavors, and I realized a couple days ago how much more rich it has made my life. Such a simple thing, created beaded and knotted meditation necklaces, and it has reconnected me with the simple beauty that is life itself.
It amazes me to think that these beautiful and artistic pieces I never knew I was capable of creating all came about because I decided to meditate consistently and get clear on the possibilities within my life. And to see the joy on my friends and clients’ faces when they receive their own one-of-a-kind mala is truly something that makes me want to keep moving forward with this project.
Thomas Edison once said, “If we did everything we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Through meditation and listening to the creative calling of my soul, I have realized one thing about answering the calls of our inner selves: it takes a lot of bravery. I definitely had internal questions and struggles when I started my first unicorn piece: What if people don’t like them? What if people make fun of them? What if they turn out ugly? What if they constantly break? What if I start them and never finish them? What if no one buys them? What if people think the unicorn idea is dumb and childish? What if I’m labeled as a quack/yogi/hippie/crazy/etc? What if…
And the internal questions went on.
But I decided to make them anyway.
I decided to make them anyway because they lined up with everything else I was doing with RCY and Cheetah Grounds. Since it was the holidays, I had tons of extra time on my hands with little to no yoga classes, and barely any coffee orders (CG is still young; 2016 is going to see a very different, very new, and steady increase in pace for our coffee company!), and not used to being idle in any way, I decided to get to work making these magical instruments of meditation.
It’s amazing how even while I was beginning the work of making the unicorn malas, these questions still persisted in my mind. “Would people like them? Will they make fun of them? I don’t know until I try.”
I knew I had at least one sold before I began: one to my dear friend, coworker, and superstar, Lizzy Chiappy. She bought the first one: a stunning, glowing opalite piece that was one of my favorite, and I have since gotten many new commissions for that piece. Well, one similar to it, because I never make identical pieces.
I pressed ahead and made them anyway, despite what my doubtful inner voice was saying in trying to deter me from creation, and I am so glad I did.
Having the space and ability to exercise the creative side of my brain has tuned me in more to me. It was given me a new arena to exercise creativity, that doesn’t involve physical fitness. Since creating these malas, I have forged closer friendships with people, people from my past have reached out to me inquiring about them, and met new people who I never would have met before. The yoga classes I have been teaching have been more grounded in creative (my perception of them, anyway), and, of course, I am grateful for the extra income they have garnered since my personal training sessions dipped dangerously low last month and felt like I couldn’t catch up to my expenses. The unicorn malas helped me really tune in to the magic of what life really is about: believing that things work out, and believing in your own ability to make things happen for yourself with just a little bit of elbow grease and self-compassion. The materials for the malas already existed in my home when I realized that my usual reliance on private personal training for income wasn’t happening, and it gave me a chance to see what I could really accomplish and really create when I focused on what I truly wanted to do with my time. To make something for others that makes a difference in their lives is what I do with my life now, and the fact that I have the opportunity to create that as a business is a real and true blessing for me.
What the unicorn malas help us all realize is this: we all live magical and amazing lives. We all have the ability to create EVERYTHING we want in our lives with focus and commitment and, most importantly, ACTION.
Unicorns remind me of this, which is why I had to make this collection of malas with them hanging by the guru bead. Meditation in and of itself is magical, and we all have the ability to meditate. Especially with the hundreds of styles of meditation that exists, and I am sure the hundreds of types of meditation that has yet to be created, we all possess the ability to change our life with just the tap of our own figurative unicorn-horns: our own personal horns of trust, intuition, commitment to passion, dedication to action, and paying attention to what moves and drives us.
The most simple things in life are the most magical things in life, and it’s the people who we meet and interact with daily who make life so wonderful and great.
Once you get clear, through meditation and exercise and committing to your goals, you will see how innately creative you really are, and you will see how creativity is what connects you to being truly human and divine.
Look at all you have created, and tune in to all that you can create. Silence your inner nay-sayer, and move forward with delight in your heart and soul and you create what your inner five-year-old really wants you to create.
Then you will experience the greatest success of your life: being true to yourself.