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HOW TO CHOOSE A MANTRA FOR YOUR MALA BEADS

 

Finding the best mantra for meditation can be as tricky as choosing the perfect mala.

Much like finding the perfect stones, your mantra should reflect what you need most at that time. Maybe it’s more strength, a sense of calm, or even just the desire to relax into the present moment.

A mantra is a word or phrase that you would repeat while meditating that helps you stay focused. To start, concentrate on what you are asking from the universe and what you’d like your intentions to be.

The mantra you choose should be focused on helping you to reach your goals for the future, but it is also important that it leave you feeling peaceful and fulfilled right now. Motherhood is a whirlwind, and meditation is such a valuable tool to help you stay calm and present in even the roughest moments.

Choosing one word to focus on is a great place to start if you are new to mantra meditation. The continuous repetition helps you to fall into your meditation with ease, and let go of all the background thoughts in your head. You can choose to just repeat the word itself, or to give it a bit more power, add the words I AM before your chosen word. Silently say “I am” with each inhale, and your chosen word on each exhale. Let the words soak into every cell in your body.

Many mantras contain the “Om” sound. Om is said to be the sound of all creation, and is a wonderful way to settle into your body. Take a deep breath, let your belly relax completely and exhale the “Aaaauuuuummmmm”. You should feel the sound reverberating from your pelvic floor upward through the crown of the head, filling the body with pulsating energy that simultaneously empowers and radiates tranquility.

Sat Nam (I Am Truth)

So Hum (I Am That, represents the interconnectedness of all living things)

Om Sat Chit Ananda (Sanskrit for Bliss)

 

 

The Gayatri Mantra is one of the most revered and ancient mantras today. While it is a little longer, it is a very cathartic mantra. It encourages us to be lead by the universe, as it is most divine. (Follow the link to a chant on youtube.)

 Om bhur buvah svah

Tat savitur varemyam

Bhargo devasya dhimahi

Dhiyo yonah prachodyat

 

Malas are made up of 108 +1 beads since it is said that our bodies contain 108 major physical and subtle energy channels that reach the heart chakra. By meditating with your mala beads and chanting or listening to  a mantra 108 times the energy from the mantra permeates both the physical and energetic body. The 109th bead, also called the ‘guru’ bead, signifies the beginning and end of your meditation practice. The larger guru bead holds the intention of your mala. End the meditation at the guru bead by giving thanks to the teachers that have helped you along your path, and setting or reaffirming your intentions.

If your day starts to get off track, hold onto your Mama Mala to soak up its peaceful energy and remember your intentions.

 

 

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

Easy Ways To Celebrate the Summer Solstice as a Family

The Summer Solstice is the perfect time to reflect on your intentions for the summer and take some time to celebrate the beauty the season has to offer. We celebrate the beginning of summer, and the light and joyful energy it brings.  

It is a time of celebrating the fullness of life and of taking the time to raise our energy to regenerate abundance and manifest our dreams.

Below are a few of our favorite ways to celebrate this magical day as a family.

Celebrate the end of the longest day with a bonfire

Summer means light and warmth, so what better way to honor that than with a bonfire! Get the kids involved by having them help gather supplies, and create a beautiful mandala around the fire pit. Once lit, dance around the fire, sing songs, and tell stories.

If you don't have a fire pit at home, check out a local park that does, or light a couple candles instead!

Plant Something Wonderful

Plant some flowers! This is a wonderful activity that can continue throughout the summer for you and the kids to enjoy. Pick out some seeds of your favorite flowers (or just super bright and colorful ones) and get growing! As the summer progresses, watch their progression as a family.

 

Adorn Yourself with Nature

Flower crowns are a fun, beautiful and fairy-like way to celebrate the beauty nature provides. Use often overlooked dandelions to make a sun crown, or choose some of the leaves and flowers already blooming nearby. 

An alternative to flower crowns is using a bit of vaseline and a small makeup brush to create temporary floral tattoos. Just pick the petals off your favorite blooms, flatten them in a book, and apply with a tiny bit of vaseline to seal them on your skin.

 

Simply Get Outside

Spending time outdoors by going on walks, to the lake, or to the park is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. Enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair and the smell of the flowers in bloom.

 We would love to hear how your family celebrates! Tag us on Instagram with your photos.

Want to learn more about how to stay in tune with the cycles of intention and reflection within nature? Download your free New Moon Ceremony PDF and Guided Meditation to keep moving forward after your Summer Solstice Celebration.

 

 

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MY MOTHERHOOD: ANNE MARGOLIS

For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.

Today we are talking to Anne Margolis, a holistic nurse-midwife and creator of Home Sweet Homebirth, a wonderful site for pregnant, postpartum and many other services. She is also the creator of the Love Your Birth Course, which you can learn more about here.

She is a wife and mother of 4.

 What does your perfect day look like?

There are things I do only weekly or monthly, and my routine varies….and weekends I like to have fun doing a variety of things/outdoor activities  with like-minded others. My perfect average dream day when home, and not on vacation, workshop or retreat looks like this: I get up around 8 am to a beautiful sunny day, blue sky 75-80 degrees with a soft breeze, flowers blooming, lush greenery and a view of the Hudson River outside my window, 2 blocks down the hill. I love natural beauty and water and late spring through early fall outdoor living kind of weather. I get dressed in my fun yoga or dance pants and a top (depending on the day) something comfortable but flattering and lovely, and put on a tad of organic makeup and fun colorful crafted costume jewelry to match. I have my tall glass of Japanese twig tea, on the patio (weather permitting) before driving to my 2 dance classes back to back (Jazz/Hip Hop/Latin/Fusion and Lyrical/Modern) or doing my own home yoga and meditation practice for 75 - 90 minutes in the soothing basement room I converted to a studio - with a little incense and candles on the fireplace taking a class on YogaGlo from favorite teachers. When I drive, the windows are open and music is blasting or I catch up on phone calls. The rest of the day I love to work, helping others as a midwife - women who seek my midwifery services or guiding other midwives and birth professionals as a midwifery business consultant. I love to teach a small group class of prenatal yoga and infuse it with some tips for their journey.
I meet one or a few friends/like-minded sister/family members for lunch or dinner at a sweet outdoor cafe that serves yummy and beautifully made healthy foods and taking a brisk walk by the water - either towards the park or in town with little artsy boutiques and farmers market. I can not do this everyday but it is the ideal. On days I can not do this, I enjoy a whole food organic lunch at the local co-op and it is fun to run into and talk to people I know there. 
On an ideal perfect day, I am actually interacting and connecting with people or on Skype/Zoom and minimal work time on computer/iphone. I do enjoy posting to inspire, educate, help and support the online community and to create services for them.
The evening my dream is to eat a small lovely dinner that is prepared for me at home or a uniquely lovely restaurant (my daughter is a chef, spoiled us rotten and turned us all into whole foodies). It is a nice time to spend with my husband and good conversation. We watch some comedy or a real good movie with fresh popcorn I make. Sometimes it is a quiet evening ...I read one of my inspiring books, am on the computer planning a trip…I am on the phone connecting with a sister and practicing tools we learned in workshop. I like the summer outdoor concerts, watching a basketball game or to go musical theater on Broadway for example (but that is more of an occasional treat).
The main theme of my day no matter where I am or when it is, is to be doing what I love, as that is when I am magnetic, a ball of light to myself and others.            
                                                                                                                

Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?

My morning yoga and dance classes or yoga and meditation are must do's. I am so busy, but I safeguard my practices. If I dance I make time to sit in stillness and focus on breath and the inner gaze between my eyes for at least 10 minutes. i do bring in grounding or uplifting visualizations as I am inspired or need to do so. I love my night ritual. It starts with candles and dancing to my favorite music (R&B, hip hop, soul, lyrical, African, Tribal...anything that I can get into to move my emotions through my body and move sensually. I really get into the music and let it touch me deeply. I turn it on and up and get it out. I have taken workshops and retreats- Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts and Breathwork- so I incorporate various things I have learned that help me. I dance as I take my supplements, brush my teeth, undress. I soak in a bath of milk and honey (like Cleopatra) and lavish in the luxurious feelings, the calm, the softness it makes my skin feel. At this point the music may be a classical Baroque, or soothing music for a massage or yoga class. Then the music changes depending on my mood as I do the next activity by my alter, adorned by candles, dried flowers, shells from the ocean, inspirations. I have about 8-10 smooth rocks around a large candle on a plate. I hole each one to my heart and I brag to myself on what I accomplished that day as I place it down on the plate. I do the same for the things I am grateful for, and then what I desire and pray for.  I rub my body in coconut oil and dab on a natural, delicious fragrance, doing a self love and appreciation practice. I end it off by reading an inspirational or healing affirmation card. I dress into my lovely lingerie and watch a sitcom or read some inspiration in bed before sleep.

How do you make time for the different faucets of your life?

The daily rituals I wrote about above are non-negotiable like eating, drinking and sleeping, unless there is something unusually urgent (like a birth, then I do what I can). They are easier for me now that my 4 kids are grown. Even when they were little I guarded my self care, even if it was one class. My husband took over during that one class, or whatever that 'me time' entailed.

The more life has become online, the more I must guard my time unplugged and off the computer, for living and being IN my life fully. My weekend retreats became a week, then a month or two away each year. I am drawn to yoga, healing and growth workshops in the tropics, sea with mountains, and exploring and connecting with like-minded people around the world. I love Costa Rica, but I cannot deny my love for Italy!

Do you have any special family rituals?

My kids are grown and don't live at home anymore...my youngest son left for college two years ago, 2 are married, and 1 has moved overseas. The married ones live close and visit regularly. I must see my 2 grandbabies at least once a week! Friday night and Saturday family meals for connection (no cell phones or work) and on holidays and a week summer vacation by the sea were givens when they were at home, but now they come when they can. But my husband and I still do them. My family is into the rituals of the holidays. I am the free spirit yogi of the family, and am more drawn to getting together, connecting and playing with them, and connecting to my spiritual life in other ways some of which I wrote above. I made my husband in charge of making sure we take an hour walk each day and watch some comedy, and I arrange the special outings.

What is the best advice you've ever received or given about motherhood?

Play with your kids. Get off the phone and connect with them. Laugh with them. Be there for them. Let them express and be themselves fully, and build their self love and confidence. Let them fly but give them roots. Time flies so fast, and before you know it, they are grown.  Build a community or connect to one, so you have your sister tribe and are not alone and isolated. It does take a village to raise kids and mamas. Guard your self care fiercely. Listen to your body, heart and gut...and trust your inner knowing. Know what you want and like and what you don't want, and communicate clearly in a high positive vibration. Feel all your emotions, and move them through and out, express them when appropriate to a wise confident/mentor - but don’t take your negative emotional charge out on your family. Do what you love and desire, then you are happy and that is contagious. Happy mama makes a happy family.  What is your favorite part about motherhood? Creating a family, my tribe forever. I loved to play and laugh and be real silly with my kids. And still do. It's not easy, there were challenges along the way, but it was and still is so worth it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

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Six Stones to Help You Stay Present In Motherhood

 

Whenever I start to design a new line, I find there are a few stones that almost always find a way into the designs.

These stones inherent properties are so helpful for the needs of motherhood that I keep being drawn to them again and again.

Some channel strength, others presence, and many help strengthen your intuition. Below are my five favorite stones when designing mala beads and gemstone bracelets for mothers.

 


Rose Quartz:

There is so much to love about Rose Quartz, the stone of unconditional love.  Rose Quartz opens the heart to unconditional love and peace while awakening a sense of joy. It dissipates negative energy and helps you to focus on the best part of motherhood when things get tough...the love.

 

Amazonite:

Amazonite gives you the freedom to express your grandest, deepest desires while encouraging you to communicate about your needs without fear of judgment or confrontation. Since I think that one of the biggest factors in creating an experience of motherhood that you adore and aligns with your intuition is the ability to voice your opinions, it’s no surprise that Amazonite makes its way into so many of our designs.

 

 Amethyst:

 One of the most important traits that mothers can cultivate is her intuition. It will never lead you astray. Which is why Amethyst is a stone I turn to again and again when designing for the joys and challenges unique to mothers. Amethyst is known for enhancing intuition by connecting you to your third-eye chakra. As an added bonus for mothers, Amethyst is said to help ease anxiety and pregnancy related memory loss.

 

 Clear Quartz:

I think of Clear Quartz as a very “mothering” stone. Just like you nurture your children's dreams and ambitions, Clear Quartz holds onto the energy of your intentions and amplifies them into the universe. Known as the ultimate manifesting stone, Clear Quartz not only stores the energy of your intentions, but it also amplifies the wonderful qualities of the stones that surround it.

 

 

Lepidolite:

Since motherhood could be called a never ending series of change, it’s no wonder that I’m so drawn to Lepidolite, the “stone of transition” when I’m designing new mala beads or gemstone bracelets.

Lepidolite provides a stabilizing and strengthening influence that helps you to release the past so you can enjoy the present moment with clarity and freedom. Lepidolite is also said to dissipate negative energy and be useful in protecting against the baby blues.

 


Moonstone:

Rainbow, Grey or Pink, I love it all! Moonstone is one of my favorite stones to add to our designs because of their beautiful shimmer and their wonderful properties for motherhood. Not only incredibly beautiful, Moonstone helps stabilize and ground your emotions.

Like the moon, it represents that everything is in a cycle of reflection and growth, which encourages you to go with the flow and stay rooted in the present moment while appreciating the phase you are currently in.

 

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HOW TO CLEANSE YOUR MALA BEADS

Just as mala beads and crystals hold onto the energy of your intentions, they also hold onto negative energy as well.

Often after some time your mala beads will start to feel heavy or “off”. This tends to happen much more frequently when people have been touching your mala, or you have been in a negative situation or are using your mala beads or crystals to move forward from a negative or traumatic experience. When you cleanse your mala beads you reset their energetic qualities. Think of it as hitting the reset button on all of the wonderful qualities the stones possess.

Our favorite ways to cleanse healing stones and mala beads is with the earth, the moon, sage or intention.

 

Earth: To cleanse and realign the energy of your crystals and mala beads with the Earth, wrap them carefully in a piece of fabric or a scarf and bury them gently into the soil. Leave them for a few hours to a day to reset and cleanse.


Moonlight: A new moon is the perfect time to set out your mala beads to be cleansed. Leave your healing crystals or mala beads in a windowsill that will receive moonlight, or place them outside if you know it will be dry overnight. Leaving your mala beads and crystals out in a full moon will recharge them, and renew all of the healing properties that drew you to them in the first place. As with cleansing, just leave them in a moonlit windowsill or outside, and return in the morning to your re energized stones.


Sage or Palo Santo: Light your sage or palo santo and place the smouldering stick onto a shell or fireproof plate. Use your hands to gently waft the smoke over your mala beads and stones to release any negative energy they may be holding onto.


Intention: Sit with your healing stones or mala beads and close your eyes. Imagine a bright, cleansing light enveloping your crystals and releasing any negative energy they may be holding onto.


Cleansing your mala beads and crystals is an easy way to shift the energy of your intentions and continue with a renewed sense of intention and purpose.

After cleansing and recharging your mala beads and crystals, be sure to spend a few moments filling them with your intentions.

 

 

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MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE-GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE MOTHERS

It isn't always an easy task to find the perfect Mother's Day gift. This year we've compiled a list of very unique and beautiful gifts any woman in your life will love.

 

1. Moon Mama Tank

This super soft and cozy tank is a must have for the upcoming summer.

Reminding you that like the moon, everything is in a cycle of change. The Moon Mama Tank is a reminder to live with the cycles of nature and take time to set and reflect on your intentions. Comes in choice of black or cream.

 

2. Crystal Bar Soap - Moon Child

Not only is this soap beautiful, but it provides psychic protection, clearing the mind and senses and aids in lucid dreaming and calm sleep. And all mamas need that! Filled with a blend of ylang ylang, sage, patchouli, lime and sweet orange essential oils to connect you with your feminine energy, and make you feel beautiful and wholesome.

 

3. Sacred Legacy Arts- Classic Drop Ring in Sterling Silver

This ring is truly unique, as each stone is crafted from your very own inclusions and cured into a meaningful setting to display your most sacred legacies. You can include breast milk, loved ones ashes, and even umbilical. So you can always carry around a sacred keepsake with you. A handmade gift that is truly special to only you.

    

4.Wildbird Ring Slings - Rose Finch Chambray

Baby wearing is comfortable and stylish with this ring wrap! Leaving your hands free, and baby snug and happy it's the perfect way to transport baby, or just hang out at home. Comes in a beautiful light pink with nude cross threads, and your choice of black, rose gold, or silver ring.

 

5. Iron Wood and Wool - Fibre Art Hanging

The beauty and care that goes into creating these hoop and wool pieces is amazing, and any mama would be so lucky to receive one. They are gorgeous works of art, reminiscent of a dreamcatcher, and just as dreamy. Each piece is handmade in L.A, and smugded before leaving.

 

6. Enchanted Nature Mama Mala

The Enchanted Nature Mama Mala connects you to the cycles of nature, grounding you to the earth and encouraging you to look to the wilderness for renewal. Crafted with love and intention, Mama Malas are a beautiful, thoughtful gift for any mama in your life!

 

7. Kantha Bae - Wrap Carrier

These one of a kind stunning and colorful wraps are perfect for the wild at heart mama that loves bright, bold patterns. Using the beautiful Kantha fabrics (Kantha is a type of embroidery, especially popular in India), these unique, handmade wraps are also helping women in need around the world.

 

8. The Rose Gold Rebel - The Adventure Awaits Mug

We can't all live in the mountains, but this awesome mug sure helps the time in between! Whether your next adventure will be in the mountains, the cabin, or the park, remember you always need coffee (or tea) to fuel up first.

 

9. Moonrise Creek - Wildflower Aromatherapy Roll On

If there is going to be one perfume you get any mama this year, let it be this one.  Imagine yourself walking through a meadow full of wildflowers in bloom, the sun kissing your skin, the breeze gracing your every movement, pure nourishment to all your senses. Wildflower will bring forth ones innermost wild & free spirit. Made with healing essential oils, this is toxin, chemical and preservative free.

 

10. The Living Mantra

What better way to spend quiet, alone time than with a book? The Living Mantra is a collection of 108 mantras that can be used, chanted or repeated to ourselves to change our days. This phrases offer affirmation, inspiration and clarity. Randomly open the book and let it chose a mantra for you, or search for one that resonates with you. It allows these words to help you practice living your yoga.

 

11. Tofino Soap Co. Bohemian Crystal Candle - Chakra 7

Relaxing bath time or winding down with a book deserves a good candle. The tranquil blend of  vanilla, sandalwood & patchouli  create beautiful aroma perfect for your sacred space. It also contains a genuine Quartz crystal hidden inside! Quartz crystal is a powerful crown chakra stone known as the "Master Healer" bringing tranquility, Clarity & Insight. Handmade and natural.

 

12. The Conscious Mama Mala

You are attuned to your surroundings and aligned with the universe. Setting an intention of unity and connection the Conscious Mama Mala allows you to see the power you have in making the world a better place for yourself and your family.                           With every mala sold, we provide a clean delivery kit to a woman in need.

 

 

MOTHERHOOD SHOULD FLOW

Nothing drives me more crazy than ads that portray motherhood as a frazzled, miserable existence.

There is this expectation that Motherhood is a thankless, hard job that causes you to completely lose your identity for the sake of your kids and become a secretly depressed, resentful, wine obsessed perfectionist. It is the punchline of many sitcoms and commercials.

I can see how easy it can be to fall into this trap. As soon as you find out you are pregnant, advice starts flying at you, and you can easily feel pressured to buy certain objects and start noticing what is “acceptable” as a mother. There is a pressure to fit a certain “mom mold” and give up certain hobbies or passions that don’t fit into this preconceived notion of what a mother should be.

Once your children arrive earth side, they start to take up almost all of you time, as babies tend to do, making it easy to fall into a single focus life. The unfortunate by-product of this singular focus is that it can start making what you are focused on, motherhood, unenjoyable. When my first son was born, I started falling into that trap. I found myself zoning out on social media, and never being fully present with my son, even though he was the most important thing in my life. I was doing what I thought I should be doing, and I was avoiding taking care of myself and my passions. I was burnt out and disconnected. I could see the stereo-typical “mom life” in my future, and I didn’t want it.

Once I started taking care of myself properly, and intentionally started creating the experience of motherhood I wanted, I found that Motherhood didn’t rob me of my identity, it was the opposite. It brought me into the woman I was meant to be. I needed to be the most intentional and honest version of myself to be the best mom I could be. Motherhood made me realize that life passes by so quickly, and that if I didn’t start living in the moment and making choices based on my intuition that I would miss the beauty of all of it.

By taking the time everyday to sit in meditation and connect with my breath, choosing to light a candle and put on music every morning instead of turning on a TV, and by regularly checking in with my intentions I started crafting a life that worked for us. I started to find ways to weave mindfulness into our days, and started slowing down and finding time for the things that brought me joy.

Motherhood connected me to myself more than I ever thought possible.

By choosing to make my self care a priority and being intentional with how I spent our time, money and energy I found a lightness, flow and beauty in Motherhood that I’m afraid I would have otherwise missed, stuck behind a screen and ignoring the present moment.  These small changes also made me a much more patient, calm and attentive mother, which I am forever grateful for, and makes me so thankful for the wonderful responsibility of raising kind, compassionate little humans.

 

 

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