Become the most passionate person you know, it will be contagious. Pretty much sums up my life. To share my passion for simply living a fulfilling and healthy life I sat down one day with a notebook last summer with my daughter at the coffee shop and said to her, let’s come up 108 affirmations. An affirmation being a positive “I am” statement and the number 108 because that is how many intentions are in a mala. A mala celebrates the eternal spiritual truth within each heart. Since ancient times, this has been symbolized by the number 108. There are 108 earthly desires, 108 human feelings, 108 delusions, 108 beads in the traditional meditation mala, and 108 affirmations in the Positive Energy mala that I created with help from designer and owner of Think Positive Apparel, Taylor Lapidus.
My notebook and my list were carried around with me for at least 10 months when I reminded myself of them and decided to create a special graphic using them for the 3-year anniversary of my fitness and wellness studio, The Energy Lab. Each affirmation is meaningful and represents things I have seen in myself and in so many others as they enter The Energy Lab. We live by a code called PMA at The Energy Lab. It means Positive Mental Attitude. While each of these affirmations does not have to signify perfection or that we have arrived, they do signify that we are in the process of arriving every day. Another code we live by is that “everyone has a story” and “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”~Plato.
As I worked through the design of the shirt with Taylor, the first few graphics he put together weren’t exactly what I was looking for because it was hard to read the words, even though he was being careful to use our logo of the burst. As we fine-tuned and came to what we have now, he said that we needed to come up with more words to fill up the space. My intention was not to fill up the space, but rather to read and reread the words. I asked him to let them continue to flow and be repeated. Keeping the integrity of the mala was very important to me. I grew up with the rosary. It is a connection I have to my faith, and I like to think, to my dad too. (I always think of him when I say the “Hail Mary”, I think because he loved to sing the song “Ave Maria”.) The sacred strand of 108 beads is the same as a rosary, in fact, mala is Sanskrit for rosary, and is used for daily meditation and prayer.
I am excited to share this graphic and the meaning of the mala with our Energy Lab community because it is the root of everything we do. The hard part is that I cannot tell people that. It is essentially our “get your mind right” mantra. But if I told them that to effectively move their body, they had to first know it and that can only be done in a state of mental clarity, do you know how many people I would lose? Even bringing up the word meditation sends people running. Why? Fear. If only they knew that they are only afraid of themselves and if they like themselves then there is nothing to be afraid of. So to simplify things, a mantra is something affirming we say to ourselves. I encourage my clients and members in classes to come up with their mantras and to repeat them often to themselves. A collection of 108 mantras is a mala.
“108 is a multiple of the essential numbers 2, 3, and 4 as well as a product of the powers 1, 2, and 3. Astrologically, the nine planets multiplied by the twelves signs of the sun of the zodiac is 108. The number also represents the relationship between our planetary home, the earth, and the everlasting sun. Hence, a collection of 108 mantras, affirmations, poems, etc is an expression of the ever-present supreme…. In contemplative reading of or listening to the repetition of the words or mantras, there arises an unending silence that tugs at the soul’s aspiration to wisdom, bringing an understanding of what is said between the lines. This can profoundly change our perspective forever…. Here our hearts glow with an intense brilliance. Our body, our mind, all of nature, and the entire universe sparkle with pure clarity…. The light that we could not see welcomes and enfolds us….and dissolves the bonds that hold us to our fears.
Our thinking mind is the obstacle to the truth. Our wish for you, the reader, is that the reading and rereading of the (affirmations) will invite an ever-deepening awareness of your true nature.” ~ Mala of the Heart edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt.
When you read the words in our mala, when you repeat them over and over, when they become who you are and when you can see between the lines, then you are on that path towards “get your mind right”. Some might call it mental clarity. In this place, another one of our codes, “you got this” can be applied. And, guess what? You do! Get your mind right! From here, relax into the movement and the changes in your health and your physical and mental self can be realized. Ta Da!