A few more of "My Favorite Things," gifts of meaning and delight ...
All cultures from time immemorial have valued decorating one's self. Doing so is considered a way to connect with the Sacred, particularly through special apparel (or costumes), body decoration, jewelry—even hair styles and make-up. We see this most prominently with indigenous peoples.
By adorning ourselves, we lift ourselves out of chronos time and merge into "kairos time" or sacred time.** We wear certain items to enter into a holy encounter or ceremony. Even I, an American Lutheran girl raised in the 1950s, was encouraged (no, expected) to put on my "Sunday best" when I went to church, which included white gloves, anklets, polished shoes, and a dress. The idea of doing so set the day apart from all others. I loved this "dressing up" as it made me aware of how important this time of Sunday worship was with my family. I put on my "best" as I brought myself to an experience with my Higher Power.
I am one of the few people I know who still likes to "dress up" for special occasions. (In the U.S., we have become so casual about everything!) Jewelry, for me, is an important part of self-decorating—even on a daily basis. I also like to give jewelry-of-meaning to others. Here are two of my favorite jewelry artists whose work I love and admire. Wearing the pieces they create always helps me remember my spiritual connection.
** Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment).
(Please know that I receive no renumeration for promoting these. I just happen to love them and their creators ... )
Native-Inspired Jewelry by Linda Deremo of "Spirit Ponies"
Linda Deremo was trained by a traditional Santo Domingo Pueblo silversmith and has been a passionate student of Native American culture and life-ways for nearly twenty years. She exhibits and sells her uniquely original work at pow-wows, art fairs and select stores throughout the southwest U.S. She has strong ties and is deeply respected by the Native American community for her work, as well as her understanding and reverence for Native traditions, the earth, and the natural materials she works with. Her pieces are made prayerfully and blessed for the receiver. Her home base is Encinitas, CA.
Image # 1: The story teller pendant is handcrafted using a six-step silverwork process, stamped with the Native American symbols that represent the Universe. As the Lakota proverb says: "The Universe is Everywhere." The sun representing our 'life giver', the moon for guidance and prospective, and the stars, our 'ancestors' who have traveled before us and watch over us. Complete with a delicate turquoise charm and sterling bead. A unique, representation of our spiritual path with nature. It comes with a lovely symbolism card of its own interpretation. Other symbols are created too like horses, hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies.
Images #2 and 3: This beautiful bracelet and pair of earrings are unique because the stones are hand ground and natural crafted by Pueblo artists from New Mexico. These items feature traditional stones used in Native artistry, including turquoise, coral and spiny oyster. They carry not only the the beauty of traditional jewelry from the past hat still has ceremonial use, but are combined with contemporary design techniques. I love turquoise and it is rare to find this quality turquoise. It is becoming one of Mother Nature's vanishing treasures. And of course, turquoise is healing and helps with stress and detoxifying."
For more information or to purchase items for holiday gift giving, Linda may be contacted through her Facebook page. You can view more photos of her work there. She also creates custom pieces.
I am deeply honored that Linda is my sister by birth and heart.
"Heart of Compassion Malas" by Laura Brittain
Laura Brittain makes authentic Buddhist mala prayer beads, mala necklaces, wrist malas, and custom malas.
I am blessed to have a number of these lovely mala bracelets, one extraordinary 108-bead jade mala, and another prayer bead piece made by this gifted artisan. The stones she uses are all natural and exquisite, of the highest quality; the pieces exude powerful energy. Every time I wear or use one, I feel my sacred connection strengthened. Laura is a long-term practicing Buddhist and you can feel her love and dedication to wise, compassionate living expressed in her work. View first hand how she makes these beautiful malas and mala bracelets here on her Etsy site. It is quite the process and prayerful!
In Laura's words: "Malas, or Buddhist rosaries, are traditional meditation tools in Hinduism and Buddhism. Wonderful to wear as beautiful and meaningful jewelry, you can hold them while focusing, say prayers, or use for mantra meditation. Especially nice to wear during gentle yoga practice. The stones you chose can remind you of healing principles."
I am deeply honored to call Laura my "spiritual friend."
Visit Laura's Etsy site to see the full range of what she offers and can create for you:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/compassionmalas Laura resides in Encinitas, CA and can ship items worldwide.
Full-length malas come with a letter about the materials and mala care.
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are: beings of unshakeable peace, boundless compassion, and deep joy.
A one-of-a-kind collection of original blessings, poems, affirmations and reflective essays to help you hold onto your grateful heart—even when times are difficult.