The Comfort of my Mala


“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.” 
L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

It’s been a harrowing ten days for me. Lots of family drama involving multiple family members, illness, tests, surgery, hospitals, worry and responsibility.

Things are finally settling down, and so it is only now that I can feel into how exhausted I am. Physically and emotionally it has been extremely tough. And so this morning at 4am, when I woke ready to meditate, nothing would come.

Nothing would come but I could feel how deep my need was for connection and solace.

In the dark my hands reached for my bag beside the bed. I felt for my Mala beads and gently lifted them up into my lap, and then my fingers found their way to the guru bead and my start position, and as easily as breathing I began to calm, my fingers working the beads, my worries and exhaustion falling away.

I have used Mala beads in meditation now for nearly forty years. Still they teach me. Still they open new places inside me, and in my awareness and knowledge.

Even holding or wearing my Mala brings me peace.

Soon I will teach my next retreat, showing each student how to craft their own Mala. Showing their own fingers how to seek out and hold each bead. Showing them how to connect with and use their Mala for prayer, for meditation, for manifestation, for connection to self and soul and all that is.

The idea of that sharing filled my weary heart this morning, bringing me comfort and inner expansion. I finished my meditation with a deep calm and a renewed energy.

Praying the Mala is one of the most restorative practices I know, and I’m so grateful to have this in my toolkit.

I said a prayer for you all this morning too, that you connect with your dreams and inner wisdom this week, and that your creative projects and life direction make themselves known to you. It’s a magical week for that kind of energy.

Biggest love and hugs to you, Nicole  xx

Mala Beads – How To Be Calm Anywhere!

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
~ Pema Chödrön



Sometimes I find myself in stressful situations or noisy places where I want to calm myself, soothe anxiety or practice mindfulness, and where my normal meditation techniques aren’t effective or appropriate.

Take travel for example. Travel can mean crowded airports, uncertain schedules, crazy traffic, and jet lag to name a few common stressors. It’s not always possible to find a quiet corner, or to sit down, close my eyes and zone out.

When I travel I always wear a mala beads around my neck, or as a bracelet. It looks like fashion, but it is very functional fashion. I can discretely slip my mala off and then work the beads between my fingers.

This technique has worked miracles for me as I have sat stuck in an airport with a flight delay, or in an airplane during heavy turbulence, or in a hotel room where I can’t sleep.

As I roll each mala bead between my thumb and first finger I have a few simple options for my meditation. Here are my top four:

  1. For each bead I can consciously breathe in and then out, after which I move to the next bead and repeat. This is brilliant as a sleep aid. Sometimes I breathe in light and exhale grey – and I see the grey as fatigue, illness or worry leaving my body. Gradually the light fills me up and I come back to calm again. If you suffer from panic attacks this is great for you!
  2. For each bead I can pray for someone like this; ‘Imogen, I pray for you. I intend for you flow, health, grace, love and miracles. (or I might hold an intention for a specific healing outcome, which I name by saying ‘I intend for you ________’) Bless you.’ Then I hold their face in my mind’s eye as I breathe in and out, consciously sending love and energy to them.
  3. For each bead I can repeat a simple affirmation. One of my favourites, and the one that has been the most transformative for me over time is: ‘I love and approve of myself.’ If I am super anxious I affirm: ‘I am watched over and cradled in love. I am safe and all l is well.’
  4. For each bead I hold the face of a loved one, friend or client in my mind. Silently I say ‘I love you. I wish you well. Bless you.’ And then I move onto the next bead, choose a person and repeat the process.

I finish every round of my mala (from the marker bead or tassel, around the mala and back to the beginning) by saying ‘And it is so. Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Many of you may already have a mala that you wear as a decorative item. Some of them are so pretty! But I promise you, the real value is in using them as a focus tool for a pathway to calm in even the most stressful situations.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole <3 xoxo


Here’s a little video of my silently praying my mala yesterday while I waited for my shuttle ride to take me to the airport: