After almost two decades of traveling on my own spiritual journey, I have arrived at this moment--the present moment--and am grateful for it. I felt throughout the years that my soul, my authentic self, was inside of me, unable to express itself, stuck in anti-productive thoughts--thanks to my ego--of who I should be, what I should have, what I should be doing, whom I should be doing it with and why.
The struggle with one’s ego is one of the most difficult to overcome, especially living in our consumer-driven, material, insecure and entitled culture. The ego is defined as the self; the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.
Along my journey, I experienced, as we all do, some emotionally challenging times. I looked within to find answers. Having been raised Catholic, I turned to faith and prayer to help me get through the difficulties. My faith got me through a lot, which I am truly grateful for, but my prayers were missing something, though I wasn’t sure what that was.
About 13 years ago, I became very interested in Eastern philosophy, specifically Buddhism and Zen. I was drawn to the simplicity of their teachings, messages and design. I was inspired to create something that would spread the word about a zen way of living. At the time, I was operating another business while also working full time in the garment industry. I didn’t have the time to commit to this new project, so I put in on the back burner.
Fast forward to January 2013. After two years of going through some emotional letdowns and minor health issues, I got back on the path to finding my authentic self and an inner peace that would be long lasting, not just temporary. I wrestled with a lot of different ideas for my next creative venture. I wanted it to be meaningful, first and foremost, a business that would support and serve others while making a difference in this world in my lifetime.
I tossed several ideas around for a new fashion apparel and accessories line, a fashion collective retail website, a fashion event-based collective, a fashion wholesale showroom, a fashion jewelry line and a fashion retail franchise concept, to name just a few. I spent several months driving my husband and personal coach crazy with my inability to make a decision. I couldn’t commit. I couldn’t make up my mind. I wanted to do it all, but none of it at the same time. I wanted it to embody me, my lifestyle, my taste, my external idea of who I should be. Something didn’t feel right; I couldn’t move forward.
Ah ha … lightbulb! Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t working. I was focused on creating an external representation of what I felt I ‘should’ appear to be versus who I really am. It was a fight between my ego and my soul. So I got back on track, dug deep within, returned to my meditation practice and challenged myself to find the answer. After spending some quality time in my meditation room with my mala beads, it came to me: I will use my energy to create beautifully handcrafted fashion accessories and apparel inspired by Buddhist mala beads and mantras. I will consciously create mantras that are positive affirmations to help people, like myself, find their inner soul.
Mala and Mantra was born in Spring 2013. Concept to creation, it has been an enlightening process of excavating my soul to create a new brand.
Designed with intention. Consciously created. Fair, sustainable fashion. Nurturing the soul. Mala and Mantra transports the mysteries and magic of the monasteries to your present-moment meditation. I hope its stylish prayer beads and mantras help create your own self transformation and draw you closer to your soul.