Monthly Archives: April 2012

Beading as Meditation

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by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
I’ve taken yoga and meditation classes for eons. I’ve even stayed at an ashram with a real live guru and participated in a silent 4-day noise fast to tackle my “monkey mind” (quite similar to Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love only she has better hair), and I gotta tell ya, after years of experimentation and dedication to these traditional methods of quieting the mind, my favorite meditation practice comes in little clear plastic tubes … seed beads.Studies have continuously proven time and time again that stress isn’t real; there’s no such thing. You can’t buy it, sell it, or even regift it; yet we all live with it to various degrees. We actually make it up. Yes, it can take a physical and/or mental toll on us but think about it … we … make … it … up! If ever there was a need to bead, this certainly tops the list! Feel free to discuss with your doctor before filling that anti-anxiety prescription …

Much less expensive than a trip to India for 4 days of no talking (don’t think for a moment THAT wasn’t a challenge for ol’ chatty Cathy here), those little teeny-weeny seed beads contain a wealth of endless possibilities within each miniscule orb. Just as each little acorn contains an entire acorn tree, each seed bead contains untapped color palette, projects, and masterpieces beyond our wildest dreams. And if you believe, as I do, in basic Quantum Physics; everything is energy and the thoughts you think contribute to your reality. So, what about beading? I tried a little experiment to start off and end each day beading with calm, meditative thoughts and see if my life changed. I mean if Oprah has her entire staff at OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) meditate twice a day, this stuff MUST work, right?!

I can hear your gasps across the cyber waves at the thought of taking time to do this every day, what, with the kids, and busy schedules, stressful jobs, etc. who can afford such a luxury? Those were my very thoughts as I pondered this new lifestyle; I had a stressful 55-60 hour workweek with a commute at the time and all the “perks” that go along with it (you know which ones, baskets full of dirty laundry by Sunday night, dirty dishes in the sink, unopened bills). In spite of this, I made the commitment to myself, plunged ahead and tried it for a month. By Jove, it worked like a charm! After 20 minutes of beading with my morning coffee, there was no road rage on the way to work, I went into the office with my head still in the “zone” instead of worrying about the list of to-do items that, well, let’s face it, will NEVER get done. I had some peaceful calming space in my head instead of re-playing yesterday’s disturbances such as my calorie count BEFORE the visit from Ben and Jerry at midnight; the totally insane request from my boss at 4:47 pm as I’m heading out the door; and the zillionth button-pushing phone conversation with my mother (how can that STILL happen????).

Many times in the evening, I’d feel much too tired to bead, but I did it anyway and found I slept great with thoughts of beady delights running through my mind instead of previously mentioned monkey-mind to-do list. One of my main conclusions is I actually did NOT get more accomplished in a day by worrying; bead-meditation gave me more focused clarity throughout the day instead of feeding the invisible stress monster. I had more patience and my decision making was quicker with increased clarity in my actions and a more acute sense of intuition. I’m still loving it over a year after my initial launch and invite you to try it! Remember, some is better than none, so even if you can do it a few times a week, it’s worth it. Here are some tips to get started!

  1. No cell phones allowed. Seriously, not even on vibrate! Leave them in another room on silent.
  2. Bead something you can do by heart or is the same pattern over and over again so you don’t have to think. The point is to remain in the “zen-zone” as long as possible; this is not a true “working” session and any interruptions by thinking or trying to follow a pattern will defeat the whole purpose of this meditation.
  3. Keep your project easily accessible and quick to pick up where you left off.
  4. Play quiet, soothing, instrumental music, preferably with no words. Lay off the rap for 20 minutes.
  5. Shut the door and put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when meditating. If the kids can post signs on their door and expect you to obey, so can you.
  6. The goal of this is to feel good and stay in the zone, not focus on how quickly you can finish up your project with a race against the clock; pondering if it’s better than your sister’s beading or wonder how much you can sell it for.
  7. Set a timer so you don’t have to keep looking at the clock.
  8. Try, as much as possible, to have happy, calm, loving thoughts during each 20 minute meditation. This is not the time to SHS (Should Have Said … you never put the toilet seat down, we never cuddle anymore, when was the last time YOU let the dog out).
  9. Bead first thing upon awakening, before you start on the treadmill.
  10. It’s OK to fall asleep face first in your bead pile (just be sure to send me a picture!).

Some of the best advice I’ve heard regarding making time for meditation: if you’re too busy to do 15-20 minutes a day, you need to double your time! You’re simply too too busy! Best of luck my beady buddies and let me know how it goes!