Since October, I've been spending three days a month working through a yoga teacher training program, and the hard work and subtle changes that I've been making in my daily life are definitely noticeable. But imagine my surprise when this last workshop day resulted in some beaded necklace ideas using some of my gemstone beads!
Our workshop day for January was all about meditation -- an important part of any yoga practice -- and a kirtan performance by a local musician. (In case you're not familiar with it, kirtan is a call-and-response chanting form of bhakti, or devotional, yoga.) Each of us yoga teacher trainees had to prepare a ten-minute guided meditation for the rest of the group. So when my friend and fellow trainee set out a cloth and presented us with a selection of gemstones from which to chose for her guided meditation, my hand immediately went to the large carnelian nearest to me.
I've always loved carnelian, ever since I started learning how to make beaded necklaces with gemstones. There's always been something about the deep, rich colors and the banding of that gemstone that has appealed to me. During the meditation, I enjoyed the heavy weight of the stone as it rested in my palms. Afterwards, we found out which gemstone we had chosen, and a couple of interesting things about them.
My carnelian gemstone spoke to me because it is a strong stone for healing the lower chakras, or energy centers, in the body. When used in meditation, a deep red-orange carnelian will help enhance grounding, stability, security, creativity, emotion and intuition, and enhance one's sense of personal power. And when you're doing energy work, like through yoga and meditation, it's important to make sure that you have strong energy in your lower chakras (which deal with your basic needs and basic survival) before moving on to the more spiritual or higher chakras.
During the meditation, I also had a picture in my mind of a particular strand of carnelian beads that I've had in my bead stash for far too long. It only seemed appropriate now that while I was still feeling all the good energy from the gemstone meditation that I should use them to make myself a very special beaded necklace!
So this morning after breakfast, while my son chomped down on his oatmeal, I searched through my necklace making findings for the perfect clasp. I chose a magnetic clasp by Kim Fox of Handfast Designs, and to accent the carnelian gemstones in this beaded necklace, I used a random assortment of wood, ceramic, and vintage glass beads. The finished beaded necklace is simple, earthy, and wearable with just about anything I have in my closet.
Want to try a simple meditation to see what kinds of beaded necklace ideas come to you? Here's a simple guided meditation you can use to get started!
1. Make sure you're wearing loose or comfortable clothing.
2. Use your intuition to select a gemstone from your bead stash, or any gemstone that you feel drawn to on this particular day.
3. Sit down in a comfortable, supported position. You can sit on the floor with a cushion supporting your lower back, or in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure you can sit up straight for about ten minutes. Place the gemstone in your palm, with your hands resting in your lap.
4. Close your eyes, and just become aware of your breathing. Watch your breath flow in and out for about thirty seconds.
5. Feel the weight of the gemstone you selected resting in your hand. Imagine a golden tube flowing up and down your spine with energy coming up from the Earth.
6. Next, imagine the tube extending just a bit out of the crown of your head. Imagine a light coming down from the sky, from the universe, and as you take a deep breath, feel that energy flowing into your body. Imagine how it mixes with the energy coming up from the Earth.
7. With the gemstone still in your hand, imagine a soft light starting to come from that gemstone. It can be any color you want, but imagine it flowing into your body and mixing with the other two lights already present. Be aware of any feelings, thoughts, or images that come to you.
8. Finally, release the energy back into the ground, back into the sky, and back into the gemstone. With a final deep breath, gently open your eyes and jot down any thoughts, ideas, or feelings you noticed during your meditation.
Try this every day for a week, using different gemstones, and see what kinds of necklace making ideas pop up!