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My Best Self – Wrap-up of 2020

Posted: by Jo Monday, 23 November 2020 @ 13:31

This year has seen our My Best Self series continue, talking to different women about how a mantra helps them step up to be their best selves in life. For many of us, a mantra, or set of inspiring words, can work to remind us of our values and beliefs, helping us choose our actions and reinforcing those beliefs.

Over the year, we have spoken to Mantra customers, team members and friends, all of whom have a myMantra Necklace with their own personal mantra engraved. They shared stories about what the words mean them, and why they have them on their necklace.  

Looking back over the year, here is what I learned:

At the start of the year, I interviewed Claire Gradwell, a loyal Mantra customer who owns several pieces of Mantra Jewellery, and whom I first met at a wellbeing event.

I particularly enjoyed hearing Claire talk about reaching a really good place in her life, after quite a challenging couple of years. At that point, she wanted to find “a celebratory mantra to encapsulate the next phase of my life.”

She chose our Dreamcatcher myMantra Necklace, and wrote the mantra, ‘Strong in mind and body, heart wild and spirit free’. As Claire explained, “I was starting to live my dreams, take holidays, go on some adventures, and wanted to celebrate my independence.”

claire gradwell myMantra

She told me how she uses her mantras: “All my mantras acts as reminders – but even more so, they bring a sense of connection, of grounding, and of focus. Repeating the words can really pull the direction of a day around for me.”

Next, I interviewed Financial Advisor, Alex Pearce – a good friend and business colleague of mine. Alex was first bought a myMantra necklace as a gift from her husband and kids, engraved with the mantra, ‘Do more of what makes you happy’.

“They recognised in me at that time that I was quite stressed, I was working really hard, it was really all about work. It can be all-consuming when you run your own business. The mantra was to remind me of the important stuff, home and family, and to enjoy life.”

Alex felt that the mantra really worked for her, as it made her reconsider the balance of her life. The fact that the message came from her family made it even more powerful.  

This year, Alex decided it was time for a new mantra, for these more challenging times. She chose our Sparkling Lotus design, and had the words, ‘If the wind will not serve, take to the oars’, engraved.

Alex Pearce mymantra

“I love my new mantra. I’ve probably been touching my necklace all the way through this interview, as I always do. At the time, there was so much pressure on me in the business, and you’re worrying about what everyone else is doing – it reminds you that you need to be proactive, you need to make it happen yourself, pick up the phone.

The mantra serves to give me that little kick every now and again. During the day, I pick it up, I hold it, it’s very tactile. When I read it, it reinforces what I need to do.”

My next interview was with positivity coach, Holly Matthews, who is one of our Mantra collaborators.

We have worked with Holly to create two inspirational Mantra Necklaces, focused on giving people strength and resilience when they need it most. Holly’s Diamond Necklace represents the mantra, ‘Diamonds are made under pressure’ and her simple Bar Necklace with the word ‘Unbreakable’, symbolises ‘Life cannot break me, for I know how strong I am’.

holly matthews mantra necklaces

Holly herself has overcome tragedy, when her husband Ross died young with a brain tumour, leaving Holly to bring up their young girls, Brooke and Texas, on her own. When we met Holly, she chose one of our myMantra necklaces - the Ornate Lotus - and had it engraved with the mantra that she and Ross used, when he was first diagnosed: ‘Whatever it takes’.

holly matthews mymantra

When Ross was poorly, this was their promise to each other, and their commitment in times of difficulty - they would stay strong and face things together - and do whatever it took to move forwards.

In May, I chatted to long-standing Mantra team member, Anna Burkett, about what she has engraved on her myMantra necklace, and what those words mean to her.

Anna’s ‘Love Mandala’ necklace was a wedding gift from myself and the team, and we chose the engraving, knowing it was her favourite quote. I’ll let Anna explain:

“I have ‘One tree and not two’ engraved, which is from a powerful passage in the novel, ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’, about what real love is. It’s about you and the person you love being so entwined, so connected, that your roots have joined to become one tree and it is inconceivable that you would be apart. Sanjay and I have been together since school, and that is exactly how we feel - that we are completely entwined.”

mymantra anna burkett

The next month, I caught up with Sandra Garlick, a remarkable woman who runs the ‘Woman Who’ network, which encourages and supports women in business, and who was awarded an MBE last year for her work. We sponsor her ‘Woman Who’ awards, gifting her winners with an inspirational Mantra Necklace.  

On her own myMantra necklace, Sandra has the words, ‘Be Inspired and Inspire Others’ engraved. As she explains:  

mymantra sandra garlick

“I love my myMantra necklace! I find myself gently holding onto it unconsciously when I’m reflecting. The words ‘Be Inspired and Inspire Others’ run through everything that I do, and subconsciously they are with me when I wear my necklace. I feel that it’s a part of me when I’m delivering my events and beyond… it’s a constant reminder of my purpose.”

Next, I sat down with another Mantra team member, Sinade Davis, who was worked with me for many years.

On Sinade’s ‘Moon and Sun’ myMantra necklace, she has a lovely Van Gogh quote about the stars. I asked her to tell me more about why that phrase means so much to her.

“I have always loved looking up at the stars in the night sky. We used to go camping when I was a child, and I always remember walking back to the tent and looking up at the night sky, with no light pollution.  

When I got married in 2017, we went to Tenerife for our mini-moon, and did a Stargazing trip up Mount Teide. It was amazing being so high up, seeing the stars so incredibly bright and vivid.

Then last year, I went to the Van Gogh exhibition at the Tate, with my youngest brother, who is a big fan. On the walls at the Tate was the famous quote by Van Gogh, ‘The sight of the stars makes me dream’. That quote instantly resonated with me, as that is exactly how I feel about stars. They connect me to magic and wonder and dreams.”

mymantra sinade davis

I asked Sinade to tell me how she uses this quote as a mantra for her life.

“I almost see it as a description of my approach to life. I always want to stay connected to a sense of wonder and dreams, and I want to bring my son, Teddy, up with that same outlook. Looking up at the night sky is a great reminder, and the necklace works as a way of connecting me to the words whenever I wear it.”

In August, I asked Surlender Pendress to be my interviewee - a truly inspiring woman who is the founder of Love Writing Co, a brilliant company which creates age-appropriate pencils and other writing materials, to make it easy, fast and enjoyable for children to learn to write.  Surlender has ‘Everything I need is within me’ engraved on her myMantra necklace. I asked her about that phrase, and how it links to her business success.

mymantra surlender

“I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve made excuses NOT to do things, and then wondered why my life was stuck in a rut.  It is only when I started to simply believe in myself, did my world change and the clouds in my head cleared, to create a life that reflected my values and satisfied my soul.  

I realised it was me who needed to change and accept that everything I needed was within me to live a fulfilled life. Hence the mantra, ‘Everything I Need Is Within Me’, is so special to me and makes me feel empowered!”

My next interviewee was accountant Elinor Perry, whom I first met 15 years ago, when I set up my Fabulous Jewellery business, before Mantra. Elinor became my business accountant, and has been a huge supporter of both me and my business over all those years. 

Elinor has been through various challenges in her life, but always brings a positive and can-do approach to every situation. I value her positivity and her focus on solutions, not problems. I always associate the words, ‘Anything is possible’, with Elinor, which I told her when we talked.

mymantra elinor perry

“It is a core belief of mine, and is what I have engraved on my ‘myMantra’ necklace. Many things have happened in my life that I wasn’t expecting, or that didn’t go to plan, and I have always found myself looking for a way around them. I think self-belief is really important, as it gives you the confidence to move forwards in life to look for opportunities and solutions.”

Lastly, I spoke with another of our Mantra team members, Pallavi Prasad, our eCommerce Manager. Pallavi has two young children, Swara and Dhvani, with her husband, Kiran.

Pallavi has used positive affirmations, since reading The Secret as a student. She is a firm believer in visualisation and manifestation. One of her favourite mantras is - ‘Miracles happen to those who believe’.

On her myMantra necklace, Pallavi has ‘Only love is real’ engraved. She explained to me what this phrase means to her:

mymantra pallavi prasad

“It acts as a reminder, every day, that love is the single most important thing in life, and that you must do everything with love.

For example, I can talk to my children when they come home from school – or I can talk to them with love. I can really listen, and take the time to connect, and show them my love in the way that I talk to them, the way that I touch them, the way that I interact with them. We sometimes need a reminder to stop and put all the problems of the day behind us – so that when we are with our loved ones, we really communicate with love.”

Talking with all these different women – some of whom I know well, and others I have met through our Mantra brand – about their mantras and what the words mean to them, has been absolutely fascinating, and very humbling.

Some of us use mantras to boost our self-confidence; some, to remind us of our strength and resilience; others, to trigger our imagination and inspire ourselves.  

In all cases, to know that these inspiring women have their words engraved on one of our myMantra necklaces makes me very proud of the brand we have created, as it delivers on its mission of making a positive impact on the way that you feel.

Browse our myMantra necklaces here, to have your own personal mantra engraved.  

Read all the stories in our My Best Self campaign here.






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