your link to what every woman should know about the finer points in life, love and expressing yourself with jewelry

August 13, 2010

Lifting the Spirits

ME & RO 18K Gold Medium Ritual Bell Pendant with Indian Diamond. Its sound is said to drive away evil spirits. In the form of a lotus flower, each petal is engraved with one of the symbols of the eight goddess offerings.

The opening of the film Eat, Pray, Love, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book (which I am going to see tonight and which I read when it first came out) started me thinking about my own journey with various cultures and my attempt at being more centered and spiritual, when I realized I was continually trying to ward off bad luck instead of trying to attract good fortune.

There was the time I went for a chakra facial–primarily because there were gems involved, and as an added bonus, one of the seven chakras is your heart, where the facialist placed a rose quartz, which I hoped would help open me up to a new and– shall we say– more balanced romance in my life. While unsure if the stones worked, I definitely felt more relaxed, peaceful and content.  But, realizing I was running late for an appointment, I begin to rush… face first into the spa’s plate-glass door.

“Quite lucky you didn’t break it,” the doctor said the next day about my nose, which had swelled up to three times the size and turned various shades of black, blue and green. On the way out of his office, I became enlightened to the fact that I needed to slow down.

I’ve tried in the past to incorporate methods from various Eastern cultures into my life. But none seemed to take.

First came meditation.  For two months, while the rest of the group was discovering the mind/body relationship and realizing certain goals through a higher consciousness, I fell asleep.  It seemed, the instructor informed me, that I only knew two states of being, “stressed out or conked out.”

Years later it was Feng Shui.  My friend had just done his apartment and wanted to give mine a try.  But after we’d changed to position of mirrors, sharp-edged tables, added plants and colors to specific areas, he told me that my bathroom was in the worst place it could be and if there was any hope for my love life, I’d have to move.  Determined to hold onto my large one bedroom New York City apartment, I decided to take my chances.

But chance is not a word I rely on when it comes to my superstitions.   A frequent but fearful flier, I was (still am?) convinced that my last twenty some odd trips to Europe have been safely guided, not by control towers and careful pilots, but by wearing a thick silver chain dangling with weighty silver amulets.  This hefty rosary is a concoction of charms that my friends and family gave to me over the years.  The heavy metal makes the security beepers go off and my neck begins to feel like it should be in traction by the time I’m on the ground. But, the plane (knock on wood) has always landed.

When I’m not walking into plate glass doors or avoiding the possibility of plane crashes, my personal jewelry style supersedes superstition.  Authentic period or antique inspired styles are on the top of my list. As far as contemporary jewelry, I prefer delicate pieces that I can layer and stack, mine and rose cut diamonds and rubies.   I also wear huge men’s vintage watches and cuff links.

However, a couple of years back, after having my tarot cards read at a party, it occurred to me that I have been indulging my irrational beliefs and negative thoughts, “what if-ing” too much, and instead I decided, to try once again, to be more spiritual and do things that invited positive energy into my life.

Giving up my aerobics of Latin Grooves or sculpt classes at the gym for chanting and meditative yoga was just not a sacrifice I was willing to make after working out for years to get my abs and gluts in shape.

But purchasing and wearing spiritual and well-designed talisman jewelry was definitely something I could manage.

Off went my diamonds and platinum and on went high carat gold delicate medallions in varying length chains.

The first piece I chose was a small 18K gold Me &Ro medallion with a lotus leaf in the center for renewal, transformations and new beginnings. (Translation: forget commitment phobic ex boyfriend and find new one.)

Next I layered a rough-cut aquamarine for courage and a better understanding of others and myself. (Maybe this summer I will manage a week vacation with my family without wanting to strangle a sister-in-law.)

At 18 inches, I clasped on a Ganesha etched pendant, the God of strength and fortitude, which promotes success by removing obstacles.  (I would stop stubbing my toe on the magazines pile that doubles as an end table in my apartment.  A more organized living space would eventually lead to an uncluttered mind. )

Dangling at 22” was a flat cut diamond set Tree of Life by Coomi that evokes deeper grounding and faith. This is obviously something I need more of in all aspects of my life.

I wore four other charms/pendant that hung at varying lengths with symbolic meanings and motifs.

Reluctant about the rules regarding weakening the power of my new necklaces by taking them off to shower and sleep, I decided not to risk it and woke up every morning to untangling seven chains.  Add to that, nothing seemed to change or be happening.

Not known for my patience, I was about to retire my “good luck” charms to the recesses of my jewelry box when I notice they made for an extremely fashionable look.  Worst case, if they didn’t work, at least I’d be draped in the latest trends of yellow gold, layering, rough cut stones, medallions and charms.

The trend continued in popularity and I change them up for a variety of talisman and meaningful pieces, I’ve collected over the years. I’ve also learned fly without my silver amulets, almost got the hang of rhythmic breathing in my new yoga class, try and believe in the good, let go of a little control and have some faith.  And, as a diamond and platinum girl by nature, I’ve also mastered a few creative combinations of mixing spirituality with a bit of bling.

Dogeared's gold dipped engraved lotus pendant, representing new beginnings.

Dogeared's gold dipped engraved lotus pendant, representing new beginnings

Here are some designers I recommend who have some beautifully crafted symbolic pieces. Designers working primarily in gemstones: geodes, minerals rough and raw cuts: Jamie Joseph, Melissa Joy Manning, Kimberly McDonald and Lena Skadegard jewelry For motif driven styles: ME & RO, whose designer Robin Renzi’s vision jump started the trend for spiritual jewelry that is also fashionable. Her pieces, which have featured in many films and TV shows, are worn by longtime fan Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray Love. (Roberts also wore Renzi’s jewelry in The Mexican and Notting Hill as well). Other designers working in this medium who create alluring pieces Mauri Pioppo, Sofia Kaman for Kamofie and Dogeared, whose founder, Marcia Maizel-Clarke has always offered a host of contemporary versions of spiritual and message collections  and has now partnered with Sony Pictures for the license for Eat Pray Love by Dogeared jewelry.

Mauri Pioppo's pendant representing an Avatar in its celestial grace resonates with us to live in our highest potential. With Rainbow Moonstone in 14K gold and diamonds

Jamie Joseph's Twin rock crystal and rose gold pendant with oxidized silver chain. Rock crystal has various meanings including enlightenment

Sofia for Kamofie Designs Tree of Life Locket in 18K gold symbolizing grounding and faith

©2010B-Jeweled. Beth Bernstein. All Rights Reserved.

10 Responses

  1. coomi bhasin says:

    This is one of the most fun blogs to read. So witty and informative.

  2. I love this entry! I can totally relate to so much of this… I’m at the point where whenever I purchase a gem to wear personally I have to know it’s “properties”. I’m constantly checking THE BEST reference on the spiritual properties of gems and stones “Love is in the Earth”. There are some really great pieces here – loving the Mauri Pioppo pendant – but then, I’m a sucker for moonstone…

  3. elizabeth says:

    I can’t leave my house in the morning without my Satya Hamsa Pendant Necklace! It provides with the feeling of safety and protection anywhere i go! It’s so true that everyone seems to be jumping on the ‘spiritual’ jewelry bandwagon. it’s good to know there are some designers out there that are really known for it and not just following the trend.

  4. KC says:

    Great piece, Beth! You just increased my spirituality quotient. If only my chakras could earn their keep and contribute to my jewelry fund…that would be my prayer.

  5. rachel says:

    you’ve got such a charming voice! i love the way you write. and your jewelry suggestions are unique and a little off the beaten path–which is very cool.

  6. Emily Keifer says:

    Beth, I’m with you when it comes to flying! When I was younger, I wouldn’t leave the ground without a new outfit to travel in. Now the most important thing for me to wear is my mother’s teeny tiny 14kt gold wisp of a baby cross she was given for her baptism. Somehow, in my mind, when the turbulence starts, I am semi-comforted that her little piece of jewelry is protecting me!

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