Affirmation Mala Anatomy
affirmations, Stones (Rocks - Minerals - Gemstones)

How do affirmation malas work?

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You provide the healing power

You are the one you’ve been waiting for; you have always been your healer. More often than not, it is ultimately doubt that gets in the way, making it difficult to trust in one’s ability to create positive change in one’s life. How do we build trust? With practice, determination, perseverance, and proof.

Affirmation malas provide the support

There are many ways and many tools to help us along our way as we dedicate ourselves to change, each unique and equally valuable. Working with an affirmation mala is only one way, but a comprehensive way at that, as it integrates the:

  • mind with repetitive thought and speech
  • emotions as drivers for meaningful intention and inspiration
  • body with physical holding and movement of the beads

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How we perceive the world is integral to our experience of it. It is powerful to learn we do not need to change circumstance to change our mind. And in consciously changing our mind, we intentionally direct our experience. What experience are you hoping to create in your life?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” style=”vc_box_shadow_circle” image=”1997″ img_link_large=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Welcome Experience

When you feel clear on what it is you are ready to welcome in your life, it becomes easier and easier to let go of what stands in the way. We broadcast our message to the world around us every time we declare our intention and allow ourselves to imagine the experience of what we are creating.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” style=”vc_box_shadow_circle” image=”1957″ img_link_large=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]


The benefit of using an affirmation mala is it allows people to dedicate time and energy to the practice of setting one’s intention. In spending time enough to run the rounds of one’s mala once to three times a day, one can fall into a groove, a kind of surrender to what one is creating.

Over time, what might have started out as just words becomes more intimate. We start to imagine, what does this really look like — my intention? How does it feel to imagine it as true? We can even start to refine our intention, changing our words slightly here and there to better reflect what is truly in our hearts. Most importantly, we start to feel our intentions.

This is the magnet — our emotions — when it comes to Law of Attraction; this is where we start to sing to the world, and hearing our song, the world sings back to us. The longer you stay with the sense experience of what you are intending to create and welcome in your life, the stronger your magnet.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” style=”vc_box_shadow_circle” image=”1958″ img_link_large=””][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]


When we run our fingers over the same mala time and time again, we leave an energetic imprint on the stones, just as they leave an imprint on us. They become a carrier for the energy we have summoned. The more we use our mala, the more energy it carries towards our intention.

For this reason, the mala can be used both during recitation for counting repetitions, and also as a tool for staying in touch with the energy behind your intention when worn around the neck or wrist.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to use your affirmation mala: Guru bead
Stones (Rocks - Minerals - Gemstones)

How to Use An Affirmation Mala

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You are your healer

Your affirmation mala is a tool, not a fix. You are your healer; you are the instigator of change in your life. Working with a mala is an act of self-love; it is an act of saying what you think and how you feel matters and is worth your energy, attention and time. When you commit to spending time with your mala, you are in effect committing to your ideal, to your ability to change. To this end, a mala can be used to:

  • help you dedicate time to your intention
  • count recitations of a chosen affirmation
  • cultivate positive emotion during breathing meditation

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About Affirmation Malas

A mala (/ˈmɑːlaː/) is a string of beads used to assist the counting of sacred prayers. They are also known as rosary or prayer beads. The term mala comes from the Sanskrit for “garland”: mālā.

An affirmation mala, as designed by Starfire Healing Works, is a string of beads used to assist the counting and cultivation of one’s sacred intentions. They are not religious objects; and you do not have to be religious to use them.

Starfire’s affirmation malas are comprised of 108 semi-precious stone beads used for recitation, plus an additional three spacer beads (including clasp if appropriate) and a guru bead. Spacer beads (which include the round magnetic clasp, if appropriate to your piece) are fixed every 27 beads. The guru bead comprises both the head and the tail of the mala.

You will notice Starfire’s affirmation beads are split, half of the counting beads one stone, the other half another. This split represents the give and take inherent to life, the ways in which we give to ourselves and give of ourselves. They are a reminder that all of life has both a yin aspect and yang aspect; they are inseparable, and go hand-in-hand.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

How to use your affirmation mala

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State your intention

You may hold your mala in either hand; and you might experiment seeing if the practice feels any different to you when you hold the mala in either your receiving (non-dominant) or giving (dominant) hand. Choosing a hand, drape the mala over your second or third finger, using the thumb to move the counting beads.

Start reciting your affirmation or prayer by counting off from either bead adjacent to the guru bead. For each recitation, slide one bead under your finger until you reach a fixed bead.

As you slowly work your way around the garland, allow yourself to be affected by what you’re declaring:

  • Is it what you really mean?
  • How do you feel when you say it?
  • Do you need to adjust your choice of words?

Find the words that feel just right– words that leave you feeling empowered, open, loved and loving. Feel free to adjust as you work your way around the mala.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Reflect on your practice

When you come to a fixed marker (i.e. spacer) bead on the garland, pause your recitation and allow it to be a wake-up call or reminder:

  • Are you still practicing?
  • Has your mind drifted?
  • How are you feeling?

Sometimes it can be easy to let our mind go on auto-pilot as we repeat an intention outloud. The uncounted spacer bead reminds you: The power is not in the words; but in what they symbolize for you. Are you allowing yourself to be affected by your practice?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_single_image border_color=”mulled_wine” img_link_target=”_self” image=”1956″ img_size=”medium” img_link_large=”” style=”vc_box_shadow_circle”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”1959″ style=”vc_box_shadow_circle” img_link_large=”” img_size=”medium”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Allow yourself to dream

After streamlining your intention over 108 counting beads, and cultivating positive emotion thrice along the markers, you come back to the guru bead upon completing one full round of the mala. This symbolic bead, also known as the mother bead, represents your creation and all of possibility. When you reach this fixed bead, pause or stop your affirmation recitation. Allow yourself to flex the faculty of your imagination:

  • What experience is it that you really value?
  • Can you imagine that experience as realized in your life?
  • What would that look like? Feel like? Sound like?
  • How would you feel and act living that possibility?
  • As you imagine your intention realized, is there anything you can do or change to make it any more beautiful, any more real?

Should you choose to continue recitations after reaching the mother bead, turn or flip the mala around to proceed counting in the opposite direction. This symbolic act of not ‘stepping over’ the guru bead stands to remind you the value of your inner work.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Benefit from practice

Ideally, you would go around your mala three times a day, for a total of 324 recitations. For some, that can feel daunting; but try it once and you’ll see what internal shifts can happen when you dedicate that much time concentrating on your intention. If you are crunched for time, you can complete one round of the mala, or simply count off to one of the marker beads.

The more you use your mala, the more your intention wears off on the beads, and the more the energy of the beads wears off on you. For this reason, you may choose to wear your mala on your wrist or around your neck after recitation as an added benefit of practice (remove before bathing). As a carrier of the energy you have been building, your mala is both a physical and energetic reminder of your important and powerful inner work.

When out of use, stow your affirmation mala in a safe and respected place, such as in a pouch or on an altar.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”1958″ style=”vc_box_shadow_circle” img_link_large=”” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

How to use your affirmation mala

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A practice of give and take

Starfire’s affirmation malas were designed to be yin-yang balanced. That means, like all things, there is a give and a take:

  • What quality would you like more of in your life?
  • What would you like to express in your words and actions?

Holding the mala in both your hands, or alternatively, wearing it around the neck, you have one gemstone supporting the receiving side (non-dominant hand) and another supporting the giving side (dominant hand). You may choose which gemstone property you would like to support which aspect: That which you give yourself, or that which you give of yourself.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” block_with_background=”” add_default_margin=””][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Breathing In

Become the magnet

As you breathe in, imagine you draw in the qualities of the stone and/or your intention through your non-dominant side. You might imagine yourself like a magnet, with the whole side of your body drawing this quality in. As you draw it in, you may imagine it flowing into the area of your mala’s focus, e.g. root chakra in the case of the adjacent black obsidian and moonstone mala.

State your intention

Add a statement appropriate to your intention with the breath if you would like. For example, if I draped black obsidian over my non-dominant side, as with the above moonstone and black obsidian affirmation mala, I could say “I breathe in spaciousness,” as I simultaneously imagine my root filling out into and being held within this boundless and protective space.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text block_with_background=””]

Breathing Out

Become the vessel

As you breathe out, imagine drawing in and channeling the quality of your intention or appropriate gemstone through and out your dominant side. How would you like to meet the world? What would you like to give, to express, or to become in effect? Can you allow yourself to imagine that quality naturally flowing through you?

State your intention

As you breathe out, you may couple this body experience with words, such as “I breathe out calm,” when moonstone is draped over the dominant side for example. Allow yourself to be affected by your imagination of this quality. How would it feel to resonate with calm, for instance? Can you find that quality in your body, mind, or memory, in order to draw it to the forefront of your experience?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

affirmations, energy work, Uncategorized

Affirmations: “How a password changed my life” (Article, Medium)

The Power of Affirmations (Positive words collage for optimists (CC))


Say what you mean

Our words carry an intention, a vibration. Our speech and our actions are often preceded by a thought. In this way our thoughts are constantly striking us like tuning forks, causing our bodies to resonate with the sound of their intention. “I love you, no matter what.” Just saying and hearing those words can be transformative as they deliver the message of acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. “You should [fill in the blank].” Immediately, before we even get to the ‘what’ of that sentence, the vibration can come in strong sending the message of rejection, shame and insufficiency. Our choice of words can have a big impact! With this all in mind (no pun intended!) I loved an article I read relatively recently: How a password changed my life.

Change your life

In the article, author Estrella writes about the bane that is constantly changing password requirements. His frustration, I think, is known by all at this point — ‘this site requires 7 letters, this one 8, this one a special character, this one only these special characters, an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, a new one every 30 days — that’s different from your last 5.’ The list of requirements go on and on and on! I loved the simplicity of his new approach: Turn this aggravation into an opportunity to change your life. Let your password be your affirmation.

Intention is direction

I tell my Reiki students one of the most important things you can do is be mindful of the path — don’t let fear tactics distract you from your intention to walk the path of love. I tell them it’s like riding a bicycle or driving a car: As soon as you start rubbernecking, you’ve already started to drive off the road. So reminding yourself of what’s true for you, what’s important for you, and/or simply what you wish the world would say to you, this is one of the most important and helpful things you can do for yourself. Author Estrella used his passwords to direct his attention and intention towards forgiveness, quitting smoking, a trip to Thailand, and more. Every time he used the password, he affirmed his intention to do just that:

  • “Forgive@h3r”
  • “Quit@smoking4ever”
  • “Save4trip@thailand”

It’s such a simple technique for such powerful outcome! (If you’re wondering, yes, he successfully did all those things and more!)

Your practice

What’s something you wish the world would say to you more often? Put it in a password and let yourself hear it over and over and over again until it sinks in!

Have a success story you’d like to share? Put it in the comments!

Definitions, Uncategorized

What is the Human Energy Field?

The human energy field

The human energy field
So far, I’ve mentioned energy work is that which works on the human energy field (HEF). The aura is an aspect of the HEF, often depicted as rings around a person, as in the center image above. Each ring relates to a different aspect of the human experience and is identified differently in name and number, depending on the system of energy work  referenced. It would be easy to think the rings around a person are the field, like layers of an onion (see left image above); however, the layers are not separate; they do not sit atop one another. They diffuse down into one another.

The subtle bodies

ice cube party
I suggest you think of the human energy field as consciousness in different states, the aura like water. We recognize “water” when we see ice, a river or fog; while we also recognize that water in each of these states will act differently. Similarly, the ‘layers’ of the human energy field are not separate entities from one another, but rather different states of the same element: The human experience. These layers are often referred to as the subtle bodies.

The subtle bodies comprise the entirety of human experience – from how we experience ourself in the world as a separate ‘self’ in physical form to the possibility of what we are beyond a perceived ‘self.’ I suggest you think of this range of experience as the difference between ice and steam respectively. It’s important to remember that while ice holds its form and appears solid/fixed, it has the potential to be shaped into anything at all, under the right circumstances. As we create and recreate our sense of self, the layers of our human energy field, or subtle bodies, communicate down and affect changes in the form of our expression– spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The neat thing is, they can also communicate up.

Affecting change

The easiest starting place when it comes to practicing energy work is starting with the most common elements of human experience: form, emotion, and thought. You can think of our physical form is more like ice in its fixed-ness, and our thoughts more like steam. If we concentrate our thoughts on something, as if trapping steam in a  pot by using a lid, eventually it condenses back to liquid (and back to ice if we chill it). This would be like the use of mental affirmations. By repeating the same thoughts over and over again, they eventually start condensing down into our emotions and our actions. Likewise, someone with low self-esteem and a lacking sense of autonomy could benefit from doing crunches and plank poses–physically strengthening the physical form to send the message up to the emotions and to the thoughts, “I am strong! I am resilient! I am healthy!”

Your practice this week

Reflect on what you might be telling yourself on a habitual basis that no longer serves your highest good in your life. Do you feel ready to let this thought go? (Yes, no, and maybe are all important and useful answers to that question!)

Definitions, energy work, Uncategorized

What Are Energy Work Practices?

Author and inventor Dr. Lin Yutang wrote in his 1937 bestseller, The Importance of Living, “…[A]ll human happiness is sensuous happiness”(125).  He goes on to explain our capacity for enjoying the “positive joys of life” is inextricably tied to increased sensibility of our senses, and our full use of them.

To illustrate his point, Dr. Lin lists Chin’s Thirty-Three Happy Moments, suggesting that “the truly happy moments of human life [are those] moments in which the spirit is inextricably tied up with the senses”(130). You’re probably not surprised that I agree! (Why else would I start my post with this?)

Energy Work is Mundane Work

People often confuse energy work with something ‘beyond’ the ordinary, human experience. Or people think it’s something to ‘attain,’ or something mystical. Most often people think energy is separate from the body; and therefore consider the physical simply crude, unnecessary material they’re just waiting to shed to get back to the ‘good stuff.’

But, while energy permeates and animates physical matter, the physical experiences Spirit’s sublime nature. The physical interprets energy, and affects the world with energy. That’s potent stuff! Without the ability to sense, energy could not know itself. For this reason, while we are in the world, knowing we are not of it affords us a unique opportunity to care for and appreciate our vessel (the physical body), while experiencing Spirit in action.

Can Energywork Be Bodywork? (And Vice Versa?)

When we talk about types of energy work, some practices might fit under the category of bodywork, while others might be considered emotional release techniques, mental concentration practices, or in some cases spiritual or religious practice. At first glance someone with no background in energy work might think, “Hold on a minute, this can’t be right! Isn’t energy work stuff just ‘woo woo,’ waving hands in the air?” (I’m reminded of Christopher Walken’s trivial psychic skit….) No, it’s not. Remember, I defined energy work as any practice that works with our body’s energy; and if you understand that our spirit is inextricably tied to our body sense-experience, you’ll understand energy work in practice may involve the body, mind, and/or emotions.

A Short List of Energy Work Practices

What Are Some Energy Work Practices

There are countless practices that involve energy work I could name in this post today. Nonetheless, I’d like to introduce you to a short list so you can start to see that you’ve likely already been introduced to energy work, and perhaps have even been practicing it already. What makes the energy work a stronger aspect to physical, emotional or mental practice? Intention.

You’ll notice I slipped intention work and affirmations under perceiving energy. (Pretty much all the things on this mind map can be swapped from one side to the other.) I did this intentionally (ha!) as a reminder that sometimes we can learn things about what we really think or feel deep down when we try on a new, positive affirmation or intention. Resistance can crop up saying, “Yea, right! I don’t deserve that!” etc.

My today’s short list includes:

  • Acupuncture
  • Bowenwork
  • Dream work (including interpretation and lucid dreaming)
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • ESP (including clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairgustance, clairsentience, claircognizance, and “medical intuition”)
  • Feng Shui
  • Homeopathy (including flower, gem and environmental essences)
  • Intention work (including affirmations)
  • Journeying (including to the Akashic records, Lower World, Middle World, Upper World)
  • Meditation
  • Pranic healing
  • Psychic awareness (including psychometry)
  • Qigong
  • Reiki
  • Rosen Method
  • Shamanism (including soul retrieval)
  • Yoga

Your practice this week:

Reflect on a time in your life when you felt most alive, connected and ‘in the flow.’ How did you feel in your body? How was the state of your mind; and what were the circumstances under which you had this experience?

Has an energy work practice greatly impacted your life or growth? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!