I recently wanted to reward myself with a "little something" for a job well done. And so, you might ask: What does a yoga teacher buy herself as a gift? Well, spiritual jewelry, of course!
The Chopard diamond-encrusted OM pendant was out (WAY too blingy). But the red thread Me&Ro bracelet I found, with the tiny silver slider inscribed with “metta” (lovingkindness) fit the bill nicely. Ah yes, a constant reminder to be kind, gentle, compassionate. The perfect spiritual piece of jewelry.
Until, that is, I happened to be in a meeting with a gentleman who is not "into yoga." He noticed my metta bracelet and asked what it was. When I explained, he asked, “How much did you pay for that?” “$90." He laughed and exclaimed, "So you bought a piece of thread with a tiny silver button and a tiny silver doo-dad on it, for $90 bucks?”
That gave me pause. Spiritual jewelry. Hmmm.
I learned something valuable from that exchange: that sometimes, even I, a yoga teacher supposedly inured to such silliness, can fall prey to the marketing of spirituality.
I don't need a wildly overpriced bracelet to remind me to be spiritual. There are myriad opportunities for bringing spirituality into daily life: being a good listener; offering a free yoga class; cultivating gratitude; getting involved in social action for a better world.
No, I don't need a bracelet to remind me to do these things. I do them gladly.
But this little lesson did teach me one thing: to keep things in perspective. And to recognize that spirituality doesn't hinge on a little red string. It resides, quietly and patiently, in our hearts. And we can tap into it anywhere, anytime, for free. No strings attached.