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Jo’s Journal – January 2022

Posted: by Jo Tuesday, 28 December 2021 @ 12:02

Happy New Year to everyone!

By the time you read this, we will know if we managed to have a relatively ‘normal’ Christmas, seeing family and friends, and enjoying a festive break – or whether the Omicron variant scuppered those plans! As I write this now - just a couple of days before Christmas - I am still planning to spend it up in the Lake District, sharing it with family and having a peaceful time. But who knows what is going to happen over the next few days?

We have had a busy December at Mantra, with a flurry of last-minute orders keeping us busy right up until the days before Christmas. It feels like everyone left their buying late this year – maybe because uncertainty about how we are allowed to spend Christmas once again encouraged people to keep their plans fluid, until the last minute.

For me, this Christmas will be different again, as it is the first one without my father-in-law. This makes it very hard for my mother-in-law, who will be with us, but on her own, for the first time; and for my husband. So – a new set of traditions, with a stay in the Lake District, long Winter walks and Winter picnics.

Jo Stroud and Luci for Mantra Jewellery

And my New Year’s Eve is also planned to be a quiet but celebratory one – with dinner at home; FaceTime calls with a few friends - like Luci, above; and – hopefully – a midnight firepit outside to see in the New Year. I’ll let you know if that’s what happens!

Happy New Year from Jo Stroud

Before we break for Christmas at Mantra, we have been busy getting new designs and collaborations ready for the New Year.

One of the projects I am most excited by is our work around sobriety and recovery, in support of Dry January, but also in support of people quitting drinking altogether. Over the year, we had started to see a number of customers ordering necklaces with mantras around staying strong, taking each day at a time, making new choices. Many of these came with a message written on the card, celebrating a year or more of sobriety.

We know that a Mantra Necklace is often purchased at a time of stress or difficulty in life. Its uplifting and ultimately reassuring mantra is designed to change your mood and mindset, in that moment when you need it the most. From relationships ending, to bereavement, to job loss, the gift of a Mantra Necklace has helped many people to cope.

So, we realised that we could be even more helpful to people starting out on a journey of sobriety and recovery, or cutting down for Dry January or beyond. We could write a mantra that would help in that moment of decision, when the choice could go either way; and when repeating motivating words could make a real difference to behaviour.

The mantra we wrote is, 'Today, I make a better choice’, to remind you to be your best self in that moment, and make the better decision.

Serenity Necklace

You can read all about our new Lotus Serenity Necklace here, as well as the myMantra necklace we also designed, for when you are further on your journey. This one is our beautiful Sun Rising Over Water ‘myMantra’ Necklace, which we have pre-engraved with these words from the Serenity Prayer: ‘Grant me serenity, acceptance, courage, wisdom’.

myMantra Sobriety necklace

Read more here about these two necklaces, created for Dry January, or a sobriety or recovery journey.

Blog - Mantras for Dry January

Another new design that I am very excited by is our brand new All-Seeing Eye ‘myMantra’ necklace, due in early February. Here is a sneak peak of it in wax.

Mantra All Seeing Eye Wax

As a team, we all get very excited by myMantra, as it is our largest pendant, enabling you to have your own personal mantra of up to 4 lines engraved on the back. Perfect for the start of a new year, as we think about what our hopes and intentions are for the next 12 months.

I have written before that September often seems to me to be the best time for a new start, as the academic terms are engrained within me from childhood; and it is the month of my birthday, which focuses my mind on another year passing. But there is still something irresistible about a new calendar year starting, with the actual change of year marking a new opportunity.

I long ago stopped hoping that a new calendar year would bring a happier year – as we all know that life doesn’t work like that! Any year will have its ups and its downs, so expecting a whole year to be happier or better than the year before is unrealistic. But I do believe that we ourselves can be much better placed to deal with the more challenging events of a year, and that can make a year feel completely different.

A couple of years ago, I chose the mantra, ‘A peaceful, easy feeling’, to carry me through my year in business. It’s the title of an Eagles’ song that I love, and captured exactly the way I wanted to feel in business: to be at ease, working with people we want to work with; to have peace of mind; to be ‘in flow’ with what we are doing.

It certainly worked for me: no matter what happened in the year, I felt at peace, at ease, in flow. It may not have changed the events of the year, but it certainly changed my mindset and attitude towards them.  

What will you choose, as your mantra for 2022? I haven’t yet settled on mine, but I’ll let you know when I do.  

As Christmas approaches, I am hoping for a peaceful, festive and family-oriented one. Along with everyone else, I realise that things may change as the virus takes hold once again, but I remain optimistic that we will all have a more social and happy Christmas.

I am also hoping to have some time for reading, over the festive period. Those of you who know me well, know that I have three or four books on the go at any one time – usually, a physical book, an e-book and an audio book! I have asked Santa for a few books this year – art, nature, biography – so am hoping he brings me one or two. I’ll let you know if I managed any reading time!

And in the meantime – have a very Merry Christmas, and sending lots of love and hope for a peaceful and happy 2022.

Jo xxx


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