Do you have a mala? In today’s trend toward mindfulness, they can be a wonderful addition to your daily yoga, mantra or whatever other practice you use to find presence and calm.
With roots back thousands of years ago in Hinduism and Buddhism, malas are part of my Indian heritage. Mala is legit Sanskrit for “meditation garland” and the strings of 108 beads were used to track the number of times a mantra was recited during a special kind of meditation.
I recently got a mala from Pam at Mountain Aura, based in Martensville, SK. Not only do I love my mala, I love Pam’s story.
How many of us get caught up in the business of the day and quickly forget to look after ourselves? Umm, hellooooo. We all do it. And so often we don’t acknowledge it until we start to see the overburden of this impact our health. For Pam, it was wedding planning that kind of set it all off.
A few years after her 30th birthday, as she was preparing for her wedding, Pam started to notice some strange health things. In an effort to figure it out, she started attending doctors visit after doctors visit to find the root cause. Months before her big day, she got an informal diagnosis of early onset menopause.
Even with that diagnosis, Pam continued to let her health slip off the radar, giving the drivers seat to work, life and wedding planning. She celebrated her wedding in 2015, surrounded by family and friends. It was an amazing time. They had a wonderful honeymoon on Haida Gwaii, visited family in Prince George and returned to regular life.
But those health issues lingered and progressed. Clumps of hair would fall out. She’d suffer from lower back nerve pain. It was stressful and the menopause diagnosis just didn’t seem to fit. And she was right. After being referred to a specialist, her diagnosis quickly escalated to cancer. She had cancer, advanced cervical cancer.
After being pumped with platinum and radiation through her rounds of treatment, Pam was off work, housebound and was unable to have children. Even though she eventually regained enough health to return to work, and was looking into surrogacy options, the mental, emotional and physical toll of well, everything, was difficult to bear.
Pam started playing with beads, something she had done during her treatment and began hand tying a mala. She found that during that creation process, she entered a meditative state. No thoughts racing, no worries, no stress. It was just her and her beads.
Her business, Mountain Aura, was created thanks to the encouragement of her husband and family to start selling her bracelets and malas. She enjoyed making them so much that she had amassed quite a collection of them!
For Pam, creating malas keep her grounded. It’s more than a hobby, it’s more than a business; its healing.
Pam sells her creations on Etsy: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/mountainaurayxe
You can also follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/mountainaura
When you purchase a mala from her, you’re not just getting a bracelet, or a set of meditation beads, you’re getting a piece of her soul. You’re not just supporting handmade, you’re supporting a woman who is healing through her art.
Today, Pam is healthy and is madly in love with her husband and fur babies. And I am honoured to wear my mala and bracelet created by such a strong woman.