As y'all have seen me blow up social media recently, I have become slightly intoxicated (sounds better than obsessed right :)) with making mala necklaces. They have special meaning aside from the initial meaning behind a mala and I wanted to share it with y'all.
For those who aren't familiar with the story behind the mala. These beads are used in many spiritual practices to help with prayer or meditation. There are 108 beads that help you count while you are either repeating a mantra, a chant, or a prayer. I find malas very helpful to use while I meditate, to help me focus and stay in the moment, then I find wearing that mala through the day to be a reminder to breathe and remain present and positive. Often when I'm wearing a mala if I find myself stressed out, I instantly begin to count the beads which instantly grounds me and helps me shake off whatever stress was creeping in.
Now obviously depending on the religion there are different meanings behind the beads or seeds used. I have enjoyed learning about what particular value each different seed, rock, gem have to them and learning about there elements. It's been a nice way for me to go deeper with my meditation as I learn but also making the necklaces themselves make me happy. Often Steve wants me to sit with him and the malas are a great way for me to be able to be present with him but also be creating. I am a very stir crazy personality so these ground me.
My Hope Malas are all made with love and different intentions. I want them to be able to be used by anyone no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs to help you have the best most peaceful life possible. If you wear them because you think they are pretty & they make you feel good then great! If you want them to help with a meditation or a chant or a prayer great! I always encourage people to do what is right for them and what feels right for them, and my malas are no different.
So as of now 2 stores are selling them & I have some on Etsy. I don't like the feel of Etsy so I am currently working on a website, but if you want a mala email firstname.lastname@example.org or message me. :) I can either create you something that I'm feeling that day, a certain color for you, or even use certain seeds or beads depending on what you feel you need.
Thank y'all for constantly surrounding me with so much love & acceptance. <3
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I'm blessed with so many enlightened and intelligent people in my life, who inspire deep thought with every conversation. Recently I've had conversations with several people about feeling guilt when I am put off by someone and their energy.
See, my whole life I have opened myself up to everybody. Anyone want it, sure you can come in my circle. I even let them stay well past their time. Obviously I look at everyone who is in my life as a lesson, with one of the most important being, it's okay to not allow everyone in or make people leave my circle. It's okay if I trust my instincts telling me something about this person doesn't sit well with me. It's okay. You don't have to allow everyone in. Sigh. That feels good. :)
It's not like I am mean to these people; unless someone brings out the warrior, I tend to be nice to everyone. However, like the Nahko and Medicine For the People, song, Warrior People, ..."I will learn to be peaceful but keep my knife at my side, I will pray for compassion but if war comes to my door you know I'll be blasting warrior mentality"...but I digress. :) I will try my best to show these people love and light and keep my distant. So i'm human and obviously not perfect, so yes sometimes I judge the hell out of people & allow them to annoy me. I own it & am working on it. :)
Fall is the best time to shed what isn't serving us, like the trees there leaves. So remember it's your circle, make it your own.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I remember as a child being excited to visit my grandma's booth at the arts festival (or store). I thought she was the coolest woman alive. Turquoise wearing, festival working, sassy, craft making gem. I've always felt drawn towards creativity but tried to fit in the left brain mold. (I've talked about this before).
Recently since starting to make crafts, I feel a huge connection to my grandma. I find myself wanting to make things she used to make (some I didn't even remember), & I feel her smiling at me while I make them. When I started painting/making things it was just a creative way to deal with all the energy I have. It has now become a way to share my energy with others.
My grandmother's second husband passed away from ALS. So maybe I feel connected to her at this time because of that, or because I'm following my passions like she always wanted. Either way I'm glad to feel her energy. I recently started making necklaces, which is my current favorite thing to do. I was unaware my grandma made some very similar to mine. :)
Follow the pull because you never know who might be behind it.
Visit my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HopieHippie
In other news the DVDs are here. If you ordered one be on the look out. Please share your thoughts & take photos of you watching. We can't wait to hear what y'all think.
Still need to order: click here
Monday, September 15, 2014
Steve & I try to be open, while trying to remain positive in all things we put out there. It's not always easy because somedays ALS sucks, our attitudes sucks, or our stir crazy wanderlust ways itch at us & we get agitated at the situation. Some days we want to complain. We want to be authentic and transparent in our lives (not just for others but for us), and we do embrace our feelings of "stand still" but we still choose not to put a complaint into the universe. Complaining only left us feeling worse. We learned that we do better by accepting our feelings, and working on refocusing our energy to positive.
I have been working on "protecting my space" and learning not to allow other people's energy to influence me negatively; because for as long as I can remember, I found myself attaching to other peoples energy, and carrying it as my own. As I've been working on letting that go, I realized that also meant I had to accept people where they are, even if that means accepting their complaining.
It is not my energy that is being put out there in a complaint, so why am I attaching to it? If someone needs to complain to feel better, why do I need to even acknowledge it? I am responsible for myself and only myself. Other people's energy is theirs. It is a simple concept that has taken a lot of work for me to acknowledge, accept, and learn how to separate.
If I find myself carrying someone else's energy I acknowledging it, and then that's when I take space to do yoga, mediate, go stand bare food on the earth, smudge, read, write, paint, craft, etc. I'm so blessed to have a husband who accepts me and encourages me to be the best version of me, who shares the same values, and who understands when I need to do meditation work. I'm also so thankful to have such amazing, supportive, & understanding people in my life who accept me for all my quirks and shine so much love on me! I'm thankful for the continued lessons I'm presented with and for all the teachers that pop up along the way.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Today Steve & I had the honor to attend North Point Church (we usually watch online) & hear them use Steve's story in their message.
The message was so powerful it inspired some deep reflection. Andy Stanely is in the middle of a series called In the meantime, talking about, "What you do, when you are faced with a situation that you cannot change." They used Steve's shining attitude and spirit while facing ALS as inspiration to help others be able to have the same faith and courage facing their own trials. Andy is so well spoken and the message is very powerful I highly encourage y'all to watch it.
It made me think a lot about the idea of contentment and how it can be confused with complacence.
I am one that always wants to do more, see more, learn more, experience more, love more, live more, more, more, more, more... However, I am very content with my life. In fact more than content, I am grateful. The bible verses that Andy used in his message really hit home, Philippians 4:12 says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." I have known what it was like to be hungry and at that time I did struggle with being content in life, and it's not because I didn't have the money, it was because I was so complacent. I didn't even think about bettering my life. I learned through this battle with Steve how being content with your life no matter what is thrown at you is the only way to accomplish inner peace. It's a choice to be content and one that takes learning. It's a lesson some may never learn, and I'm forever grateful I have. My hope is that people don't have to go through something life altering to learn it.
I want to stress one thing, being content with life does not mean being complacent. It is important to always strive to be the best version of yourself as you can. It's something I truly believe that needs to be worked on daily. Even if it's as simple as, "I'm going to remember to be more thankful today," or as far as "I'm going to show up to life today and live as full of a life as possible, and do my best to do that every single day."
Knowing how to truly be content no matter what life throws your way, while striving to continue to be your best is, in my mind, the key to a peaceful & fulfilled life.
I end with one thought, "
Friday, August 22, 2014
I can't think of anything to write about other than ALS right now and currently it's in a good way. Because Steve & I are over the moon happy with all this awareness I decided to blog on ALS. Because remember we want to keep it trendy. I have learned so much from all of the ALS patents in my life but obviously the most of this is from Steve himself. So here are 10 things YOU can learn from an ALS patient. There are hundreds but I know people stop paying attention after 10 usually so there's that. :) (Guilty!)
1. Don't complain. I get it complaining is supposed to help you "let it go" (blog coming on this tomorrow) because it doesn't actually. When you realize that complaining actually doesn't help you at all, in fact it makes a crummy situation feel even crummier. You have too much to be thankful for to ever complain. All of you do & yes that includes Steve & ALS patients.
2. When given a crappy situation make it an awesome situations. All of us are given situations and it's always our choices how to handle it. If an ALS patient can be given a TERMINAL illness and still make sure they stay happy and live full lives so can ALL OF YOU. You can, you just have to do it.
3. When someone tells you, "There's no solution," you make your own. ALS patients are faced with so many days and things that most find unsolvable, hence the no cure or treatment thing. However, every ALS patient I have come across finds their own solution. They find tricks to be able to communicate after they loose their voice, they find ways to get comfortable even when they are slowly loosing muscle control, having constant spasms, and excruciating pain, & they still find ways to fight despite their bodies giving up on them.
4. If someone tells you, "You are going to die & this is the sequence it is going to happen in," do NOT listen to them. Part of why Steve is still alive is that he is determined to live until he is done, not the way ALS says it will. He has outlived a lot of doctors expectations & constantly amazes people with his determination and fight. I can say the same for lots of other pALS out there.
5. Be nice. Seriously JUST BE NICE. You never know when your words could be the last things someone hears. I was lecturing Steve, the night before he coded the first time. They told me he probably wasn't going to make it. The thought that my last words to him were, "Gosh stop being so damn stubborn and do what we ask you to," devastated me. I was thankfully given another chance to tell steve how damn proud I am of him, and that I always want the best for him so sometimes I may have to be hard on him, but that it is only because I love him. The nice way to say what you have to say.
6. Be with your loved ones. Make the effort to see the ones you love, schedule visits, call, text, write a letter, Facebook; whatever way you reach out---talk to your loved ones, tell them you love them, & spend time with them. As much as you can. You never know when it could be their last day.
7. Take care of your head. Obviously not all ALS cases are trauma induced, but Steve's we believe is. Looking at athletes that obtained numerous head injuries and the high presence of motor neuron diseases, just seriously take care of your head.
8. Take care of yourself. Your health is much too valuable to take for granted. If you can avoid a health problem with a lifestyle choice---do it. There are some not given that choice. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
9. Do a lot of awesome shit. Sorry no other way to say it. Go on adventures, go live your dreams, see the world, meet new people, go to that show, paint that painting, have that glass of wine with your girlfriends and have baggy eyes the next day. Live your life & live it full.
10. Your mind is a powerful tool. ALS patients can always let the grim facts of ALS get them down, but I can say I have spent time with a lot of pALS & I am impressed at their ability to just choose to be happy. I'm amazed at even when I see an ALS patient have a discouraged moment, it doesn't last long. They have the amazing ability to control their mind & it's a gift I think everyone needs to learn.
Basically to quote Steve Gleason, "Awesome ain't easy."
Basically to quote Steve Gleason, "Awesome ain't easy."