“When I get confused, when my mind is wrestling with what to do, I’ve learned to abandon my thought process completely. The best solution, I have discovered lies in asking my heart for direction. This requires that I stop my mental chatter, either by sitting in silence or by doing something completely different. In the quiet space, I often know what’s needed, with clarity that I never get from the laboring of my mind. And I now know, without a doubt, that when I am confused is never the time to act. I must wait for clarity. I’ve never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.”
Here’s a Question for YOU
How do you find clarity in your everyday? And, perhaps more importantly why do think it’s important to do so? Let’s talk about it. Post your thoughts on facebook, I’d love to hear what works for YOU and tell you why what I do works for me.
Try a ten minute guided relaxation to bring more clarity into your every day.
I love paying attention to my dreams. I record them. I reflect on them. One thing I am always dreaming of is turquoise water. That blue-green “sea glass” color that just feels so fresh and alive and soothing. Many mornings when I wake up and recall my previous night’s dream, turquoise water is involved in some way. Sometimes the beautiful water feels so silky and smooth as I glide around and admire the color, but sometimes the water feels too deep or is moving too fast and I feel afraid.
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
A recent summer’s adventure began in a little thatched roof surf shop nestled into powder white sand that looked out to the turquoise Caribbean sea. Jose, an American transplant from Fort Lauderdale, diving for 27 years and teaching for the past 10, assured me that if SCUBA diving was something I hadn’t tried, this experience was a bucket-list-must-do. This magical surf shop CEO told me the content was easy enough for a ten-year-old child to comprehend and he recently took an eighty-year-old woman on this discovery dive. I thought how hard can this be? He sold me lock, stock and barrel on the idea. I went back and had a pow-wow with the family and we agreed unanimously. We would spend the next two days in the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus experience, known as SCUBA diving.
My “vision” of our Mexican family vacation was to relax under a thatched umbrella on the beach, sip on a margarita, float in the beautiful water, do some yoga and spend time with my nearest and dearest. The last place I ever imagined coming face-to-face with a big fear was on a chill-out-holiday with the family. Thinking about it, as I reflected back upon my dreams of turquoise water, I realized perhaps I was about to experience this dive deep into the ocean water as a way to face my hidden fear.
Each of us had our individual pool time, and when my turn came to experience breathing under water through a tube connected to air tanks strapped to my back, I started to think again. All of my children and husband had taken to the equipment like a duck to water (and now contently lounging around the pool with a cerveza), cheered me on.
Sinking to the bottom of the pool (due to the weights strapped around my waist and maybe the lobster tacos I ate last night) I took that initial breath in and out under the water. This really freaked me out. Then somehow I turned all of my attention to only my breath, and my instincts naturally took over and led the way. I stopped thinking about the fact that I was breathing underwater through a regulator. I just allowed my breath to move in it’s own natural rhythm, relaxing into a long deep breath in and then another long deep breath out. Very yoga like. I felt at ease.
muster up the courage
The next morning we had one more practice in the pool and then off to experience the Mexican sea. Feeling jittery with lots of butterflies in my stomach I tried to remain calm and upbeat as we loaded onto the boat that took us out to the barrier reef. Jose (somehow now resembling the turtle from Finding Nemo) told us we would flow with the current alongside the coral wall, “Just relax and ride the wave.”
My kids and husband dropped back off the side of the boat into the water without any hesitation. For me, not so easy. Clutching onto my mask and regulator for dear life, I dropped off the boat’s side into the very deep blue water, I was doe-in-the-headlights afraid, face-to-face with ocean fear. What if’s (I lost my regulator, my guide, my family) surrounded me. Hanging onto the rope waiting my turn for Jose and his dive master partner to take us down to the ocean floor was one of the hardest parts. The waves were strong and my hands were tightly clenched onto the rope as my body swayed around in this great big ocean ten miles from the shore. Lots of unnerving thoughts and not a lot of time to turn things around. I had to muster up the courage to stay put and wait my turn.
A pulsing of energy in a world all it’s own
The descent down was easy (I just kept pinching my nose to clear the pressure) and soon I joined the rest of my family forty feet beneath the Caribbean turquoise sea. Words are hard to find. Life feels very different. A pulsing of energy in a world all it’s own. A new definition to the words peaceful and calm. There is no talking, no texting. Only hand signal communication. A whole new world. I was swimming in an ocean-size aquarium. I was in new territory, somewhere I have never gone before and the feeling was amazing. I became awh-struck, a humble guest in this world beneath the sea. Honoring the ocean’s amazing peace, and yet deeply respectful of it’s enormous power. My fear subsided because I was so taken with this new time and space (and maybe also because Jose held my hand almost the whole dive).
Gucci and Prada
The tropical fish– neon yellow, bright orange, florescent blue, striped and patterned rivaled high fashion design. Gucci and Prada in an underwater fashion show. The fish just swimming along in their own time, not paying any attention to a few tourist SCUBA divers. We floated with the current and took in the sights. Carpets of live coral, schools of fish swimming in formation, we were the fortunate observers of this under-the-sea community in motion.
super hero power awaken
The forty-minute dive felt much less than that as we formed our circle to begin our ascent, (even though I felt a sigh of relief when I reached the surface) I knew that my previous dreams of turquoise water where being lived out in reality. I had faced a suppressed fear that had been lurking deeper than the depths of this dive in my subconscious for a long time. I came face-to-face with an unknown fear and moving thorough it, I felt a super hero kind of power awaken. Recalling my dreams, I now feel at peace as I glide through this vision of a new underwater world, respectful but not afraid that the turquoise sea feels too deep or moves too fast.
What are Serenity Beads
While leading a workshop, I would often wear a simple sandalwood prayer mala that my swami had given me as a graduation present from my yoga education. Many people would say to me, where can I buy one of these necklaces?
It’s funny because I never really thought of the beads as necklaces. I created the serenity beads more as a talisman. Something tangible to bring comfort and keep me grounded while simultaneously connecting me to my higher self through out the day.
How are Serenity Beads made?
The serenity beads have evolved over the past couple of years, and I know they will continue to evolve. The basic design is hand-knotting 108 beads on a silk cord. Divisions of nine cross cultures for spiritual significance, the rosary is 54 beads for example. I have a local Houston artisan who creates the hand-cast medals (that hold spiritual significance for me) to complete the piece. Everything is hand-made in Houston, Texas.
Do you have to use these beads for meditation?
Just by wearing the serenity beads, they do their “work”. Gals have called them the “Eat, Pray, Love” necklaces. I like to touch mine through out my day, or use them to help me count my breath or repeated word or prayer in meditation.
To be honest, I use a variety of different gemstones more for the feeling they bring then the beauty. I search for semi-precious stones that “call me”. I am a picky shopper and look for stones that pull me in. I then take the gems home and clean them and let them soak in the sun for an afternoon before they get beaded onto the silk.
How can one wear a Serenity Bead?
I want serenity beads to be multi-functional because that is how I like to wear them. Some days I like to wear them long or doubled as a necklace, and other days I might wrap it around my wrist as a bracelet– designed to bring comfort and connection through out the day no matter how it’s worn.
What do the different gemstones mean, and how to choose the stone?
I always suggest to choose the stone that calls you. Don’t get hung up on the significance. When our intuition chooses the stone, these are the energetic qualities that will benefit you the most. Each stone is a “mini-geode” from the Earth vibrating to a certain frequency to help us feel qualities such as: love, balance, creativity, energy, or peace for example.
What’s your favorite stone?
For me personally, aquamarine. However, I do not wear this calming stone every day. I let my intuition guide me, and I choose the stone that appeals to me that day. I look at my collection of stones and ask, “who wants to come out with me today?” Luckily, my outfits usually fall into place once I know what stone is calling my name. Each day is unique and every stone has it’s special place in helping me get balanced or grounded or inspired, etc.
Speaking of Inspired? Yes, something new is brewing. Stay tuned.
About a month ago I was doing a trunk show at the beautiful store Kul-Linscomb in Houston. It was late afternoon and I was beginning to feel tired as the busy day was catching up with me. I noticed an older woman walk through the door. A lady in her late 60′s who at first glance appeared frail. After getting a closer look she seemed to have an inner strength that radiated out through her piercing, beautiful blue eyes. Even though I had been chatting with people all day, I knew she was someone I wanted to meet.
She came up to the table and I began to tell her about the jewelry project and explain about the different types of jewelry and the stories that went with each piece. I told her about the Twenty7 collection, I explained how divisions of nine cross cultures for spiritual significance and that is why I created a bracelet with twenty seven beads. She shook her head in disbelief as her blue eyes became wider and misty with tears. Then her face became calm as she giggled to herself. She went on to tell me her story.
She said twenty seven was her number. Her birthday was on the 27th. Sadly, she lost a son when he was 27 years old. She went on to to tell me she was diagnosed with lung cancer and still recovering from the operation that removed the cancer from her lungs. While she was in the hospital she was on the 27th floor, and the operating suite’s number was 27! She felt the number 27 appearing in her life was her son’s way of communicating to her. The number 27 appearing was a way of letting her know that he is with her and watching over her.
She said since I created a bracelet called Twenty7 made with 27 beads, she would like to buy one. I agreed that it seemed like a match made in heaven. After her bracelet was rung up at the register the receipt was brought over to me and believe it or not- her receipt number was 27. This kind of sign was just what this beautiful blue-eyed woman and I needed to confirm– angels (and sons) watch over us.
There are numerous other stories like this one to share ( and I hope to share more soon) as they all guide me on this unexpected journey with the Jewelry Project.
For me, each morning holds the new and fresh opportunity to begin again and fully experience magical moments throughout the day. Granted some days feel less magical than others and experiencing enchantment I feel, is truly a life-long practice.
This morning happened to be one of those times when nature’s magic just showed up without too much effort for my noticing.
Walking outdoors with my coffee and journal in hand excited for the peaceful space to sit and write, I settled in to my lounge chair and slipped off my flip-flops so I could feel my toes move in the soft grass. As I glanced down next to my foot I noticed the most enchanting find. I felt a little like Alice in Wonderland peering through the looking glass as I became transfixed on a single most magical looking mushroom. This sturdy little white stem had sprouted a beautiful miniature umbrella in my garden overnight. This mighty and yet equally delicate creation stood proud and innocent in it’s morning glory.
I quickly abandoned the idea of writing and hurried back inside to grab my camera. On this ordinary summer’s day, I lay down on the morning grass and adjusted my camera’s lens to capture what feels (to me) like a moment of every day magic. Wishing you all a summer full of enchantment.
Today, is the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. For us living in the Northern Hemisphere that means we will see an average of 14-16 hours of sunlight.
In Houston we’ve seen lots of sunshine and very hot temperatures. Whether it’s staying cool with a cucumber water or a swim in the lake, for me summertime is about slowing down the pace in relationship to the season of summer.
The Jewelry Project has a life all of it’s own. When the idea of creating “jewelry with meaning” began, in all honesty I half-heartedly started the project. I wasn’t too sure about getting into the commerce industry as my intention held a “non-profit- kind-of-higher-calling” to empower and inspire others.
My businessman husband Ron said to me one evening, “Beth, you can’t create a lasting foundation of education without a source to feed the well. To create a viable sustainable foundation takes capital.” He encouraged me to think in this way and go for it.
Almost three years later, the Jewelry Project is thriving. We have seven retail locations and offer a selection of jewelry for online purchase. The sales generated are beginning to create a cushion to give back and I am having fun doing it. The success and growth of the Jewelry Project is just one part of it’s journey. Perhaps more importantly to me, the people and the stories of how the jewelry has touched their life is the real gem. I endeavor to keep track of all of the beautiful faces and stories the jewelry has created. I feel so grateful to be able to taste how sweet this project feels.
Feel the freedom of child-like innocence and relax into stillness in this mandala coloring workshop for mothers and daughters. We will color mandalas as we become calm and still. Then, with gentle prompts, we will journal and draw about our experience. No artistic skill is necessary, and all participants will receive a copy of A Mandala Meditation Journal.
Join us on Saturday April 27th. Come with your mother, daughter, grandmother or friend!
For more information and to sign up
Family is just the river where the soul flows.