Bowing Stuffed Crane at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park
I was doing hot yoga last night, not too hard, but still intense enough that sweat dripped off my face, and I realized something like a light was going on in my head.
It's about love. I love my mala customers. Each and every one of them. They've given me such a gift, the gift of trust that I could make something that would be special and meaningful for them.
I started this mala-making gig in February of 2008, right when there were whispers about the economy. I just needed to put something out there, and looking at my skills, mala-making was the one that floated to the top. I tried other things but nothing clicked. I listed a few malas on "Compassionmalas" on Etsy and forgot about them, selling a few off of a tumblr blog at first. (Thank you, Roy and Lynn for being my first customers!) I went away on a retreat, came back and sold a mala in the Etsy store, then another. Strangers found me. It was the most amazing thing.
Through that Fall, the malas slowly took flight around the world and I expanded my shop. Gradually it became what it is now, a very serious yet fun business.
The thing is, I remember so much about so many of my customers. Some of them I've had the chance to really correspond with a bit and become friends with. And let me tell you, people who are looking for malas online are very special people. It's such a specific thing to want, such a soul-touching thing. I learn so much from each of them. I'm renewed and inspired by you all!
Even if I haven't "talked" much with a customer, I'll often remember their name when they return.
So it's been a perfect job...matching my need to create meditation materials with people who pray, meditate, or just want touchstones. I can't say how grateful I am. Yet I will: I am so grateful.
And that's what the bird in the photo is, a grateful bird, bowing its (stuffed) head in love and gratitude.
Thank you so much.
Next up for me is a Fall collection of malas made with aquamarine, sardonyx, green aventurine, and other yummy stones. And I'm taking actual jewelry-making classes where I heat and bend metal (copper right now), saw, flatten, and insert stones into settings. I've discovered how to cover my fingers with protection when I use the diamond saw (that was learned the hard way, by slicing into a finger.) There's something amazingly satisfying about forming metal...I think I'm coming out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age. I'm not sure when my jewelry will be ready for others, but I'm having a blast learning to make it.
Lots of love, stay well. Be creative!