I grew up in rural North Carolina where winding roads cut through farms and pastures and woodlands. Every few miles a steeple broke through the skyline and a little country church stood on a hill, an architectural design that inspired everyone to lift their eyes to the heavens above. It was quite common to see people wearing symbols of this Christian faith in the form of crosses around their necks, or doves on banners, or outlines of fish on the backs of their cars. On more progressive cars those fish had feet, and those WWJD stickers stood for "Who Wants Jelly Donuts".
My point is simply that people wear symbols to publicly proclaim their beliefs and also to remind themselves of what's important to them. That's nothing new; the hamsa (that three-fingered hand with an eyeball on the palm) can be traced through Islam and Judaism back to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) as an emblem to ward off evil. More recently it's been used to represent peace. Worn as jewelry these sorts of icons are called amulets, or when carried they're talismans. The cross is simply one of the most prominent ones in the southern United States (followed closely by the ubiquitous class ring).
Worn reminders are a great tool. I remember hearing about folks who tied a string to their finger to remind them of something, or who put a rubber band around their wrist to snap when they needed a wake-up call. In graduate school, my professor Dianne Connelly often roamed the halls with a red pen tucked behind her ear. She said the pen itself was nothing special, however it did serve her as a reminder to remain in practice. Every time she reached for it she remembered a promise she had made to herself, and through her to the world at large. She designed a whole course to help people learn how to identify and hone that kind of purpose statement.
We called it a "Promise in Being", a promise to ourselves and others of how we would show up in life. Mine has evolved quite a bit in the years since I've taken the course, but the sentiment is the same throughout: a promise that no matter what, wherever I am, that in my presence, through me, life will be an invitation to join in the rhythm of the "One." As a drummer, the "one" is a very special place in time, and as a philosopher "in rhythm" is a very special way of synchronizing and harmonizing with the world around us.
It's not always easy to maintain that "higher vibration" and it's a good idea to enroll others to help remind you when you've strayed from your promise. This particular way that you show up is your calling, and your promise is your commitment to honor it to the best of your ability. That's why we called the class "Calling & Commitment". I loved it so much that I continue to share those teachings in a workshop every chance I get.
Knowing that it's sometimes tough to maintain that tranquil and harmonious approach to life, I designed my own piece of jewelry as a reminder. It's a simple bracelet made from real drum rope used on real drums of the sort that I use in teaching people ancient wisdom traditions through music. It's a simple cord looped around itself and secured with a bead. The loop represents the cycles of nature and rhythm. The knot represents the entanglement of all that is, and the bead represents the nodes in the "bejeweled web" where we all connect.
I wear one every day to remind me to stay connected to life in rhythm, and to you. You see, we're all in this together, and we're all from the same source, and ultimately we all want basically the same things: peaceful lives of purpose and abundance. I think those are great things to be mindful of as we move through each and every day.
If you'd like a Life in Rhythm reminder, too, check out these bracelets in the D4C store.