Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Years ago, while traveling in Greece, I picked up a pair of worry beads (Komboli). It didn’t take long to incorporate these beads into my daily meditation practice. But I renamed my worry beads gratitude beads.
First thing every morning, as I slide each bead, I say something in my life I’m grateful for: my health, the health of my family, my husband, my daughter, our home, my mother, my sisters, their families, my friends, my students, my clients, my guides—both physical and spiritual—my enthusiasm, my love of learning, my computer, my car, my writing practice, my connection to God, my life itself, and so on. I try to stay in the moment and think of new things I’m grateful for each day.
Yesterday in church, the Reverend said, “To a grateful heart, much is given. The Universe sees you as a satisfied customer and gives you more.” Then he asked, “Can you allow what’s good in you to change you?” I realized this is what I try to do each day with my gratitude beads. Thinking about the ways in which I feel blessed focuses me on what’s going well in my life. The more I do this, the better things get.
Lately I’ve been looking for ways to give myself treats. Since my Greek gratitude beads are plastic, I thought it might be nice to make a pair out of a gemstone, such as rose quartz or amethyst. Purple is my favorite color. It is the color of the crown chakra, which symbolizes our connection to the divine. Amethysts are associated with nobility, spiritual awareness, meditation, balance, psychic abilities, inner peace, healing, stress relief, and positive transformation. But rose quartz’s properties enhance all forms of love, self-care, kindness, nurturing, and tenderness.
I went to my local bead shop and held strings of rose quartz and amethyst stones in my hands: they both felt wonderful, but I selected the amethysts, and with the help of the women who worked there, created a new set of gratitude beads.
Modern Greek worry beads contain 19-23 beads. My plastic set contains 21. But I decided to make my new set with 22 beads. In Soul Lessons and Soul Purpose, Sonia Choquette sites several reasons why the number 22 is auspicious: In numerology, the study of the mathematical order of the Universe, 22 is a sacred number that reflects how the physical world is manifested; in western Kabbalah, this number is considered the foundation of all things; the first 22 numbers symbolize the cosmic principles; the Hebrew alphabet is composed of 22 letters, each corresponding to a number that represents spiritual law; there are 22 archetypes in the Major Arcana of the Tarot; and in many spiritual traditions, the number 22 is an important and sacred number. But for me, the clincher was that my daughter was born on 2/22.
The day I made my amethyst gratitude beads I visited a psychic for the first time in years, as part of my treat quest. When I showed her my beads, she said, “These are great, but you need another pair—in pink.” The rose quartz beads I’d been holding earlier flashed in my mind.
“How come?” I asked.
“You’re aura is radiating pink. There’s all this loving energy around you.”
Great, I’ll take that, I thought, thrilled for an excuse to return to the bead shop for the rose quartz I’d left behind. The bit of guilt I experienced over acquiring not one but two new sets of gratitude beads vanished when I held the completed rose quartz creation. This second set was more radiant than the first; when I held it in my hands I felt serene and happy.
I keep the rose quartz beads on my main home altar, the amethyst beads in my purse, and the original plastic set in my office, and I am grateful for them all.
While preparing to write this post I found a website that explains the history and use of worry and prayer beads, including Muslim worry beads (Tespih); Buddhist worry beads (Malas); and Christian rosaries. The site includes information about gemstone properties, and offers exquisite beads for sale. I’m eyeing several pair, but am holding off for now. I want to make sure my desire to express is greater than my desire to possess.
If beads aren’t your thing, you can use your fingers to count your blessings, or keep a gratitude journal, or just remind yourself daily how lucky you are to be alive. The simple act of expressing gratitude never fails to uplift me. Try it. Take five minutes. What are you grateful for?