One morning, not long ago, I pulled my sweatshirt over my head, caught my mala bracelet in the sleeve, snapped the elastic, and watched the beads shoot into the air, shower down onto the hardwood floor, and scatter beneath the bed, radiator, and dresser. A mala bracelet, as you may know, is a talisman of sorts. The word “mala” translates to mean prayer, so they’re prayer beads, in effect. Similar to a rosary, only, admittedly, more en vogue.
When mine broke, leaving me to crawl under the bed, helplessly collecting all the beads I could find (those suckers caught some serious air!), I immediately wondered whether it was a good sign or a terrible one. Auspicious or ominous? Was it an indication that my prayers had been answered or God was surely smiting me? So, I settled this spiritual quandary in the most practical way that any om gal could fathom. I sent a text message to my pal, Chanel. Given that I purchased the bracelet at last month’s Global Mala event, which she organized, I thought she might be able to help.
“Eek, my global mala bracelet broke! Good luck or God smiting me??” I rapid-fire texted, adding multiple question marks to punctuate the seriousness of my situation.
Fortunately, Chanel, being the come-through-in-the-clutch friend that she is (she once broke into my apartment for me, after I locked myself out), promptly responded, “LOL. Good sign. When the mala breaks, it means its medicine has done its job.”
Well, thank heavens! I was bracing myself for seven years of bad luck and the need to stock up on lots of sea salt, to throw over my left shoulder (or is it the right?) in any moment that warranted it.
TIME OUT: As I finished typing that sentence a LADY BUG just landed on the floor next to me! Talk about auspicious. People, I can’t make this stuff up.
OK, where was I? Oh yes, broken bracelets . . . Here’s the crux of what I’m trying to say: sometimes broken things are positive. Granted, our initial reaction is always to scurry around on all fours, trying to recover the pieces, but what if we surveyed and respected the wreckage, instead? Isn’t life a constant dance between destruction and creation anyway? And, what better lesson than to understand that when something shatters, like a relationship or the economy, for example, it might not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, it just might be a sign of positive things to come- the universe’s way of assuring us that certain baubles, ideals, or life paths no longer serve us.
However, if you insist on scurrying under the bed, perhaps you’ll at least consider grabbing a flashlight when venturing into that dim territory.