Absolutely Mama discovers Silatha, a gorgeous jewellery line with a spiritual twist
Words by Katy Gillett
Crystal healing, sage smudging, transcendental meditation – all those things that may have, in the past, been scoffed at are gaining solid ground as more and more research shows these self-care techniques come with a lot of benefits. So, when we came across spiritual jewellery brand, Silatha, which comes with its own meditation app, we wanted to know more. Here, we speak to founder Veroniek Vermeulen about dorjes, leaving her corporate career, and why meditation is key.
For the sceptics, please explain how jewellery is supposed to help you feel more grounded.
Research proves that when we give meaning to something, it has powerful results. You make goals and set intentions, which you then associate with your gemstone. So the jewellery, in combination with the meditation app, works to remind us to stay grounded and calm throughout the day. Of course it doesn’t happen immediately, but the more you meditate and practise the easier you’ll find it to tap into this place.
How did you come up with the idea?
I was leading a very busy life and had pretty much everything to be happy, though I never felt fulfilled. I went on a quest to find this fulfilment and realised meditation can bring this – by being in the present moment and increasing awareness in daily life. But I still struggled to make it a daily routine. When doing research on habits, I learned it helps to have a cue. A “dorje” [an ancient symbol used in meditation] stands for your true nature; the you before the constructions of the ego. I thought this was a beautiful symbol to carry with me and desired it in the form of a jewel, so that it would remind me. And so it all started.
This path started for you in 2011, when you took time out from your corporate career to do a meditation retreat in Nepal. How did you feel about meditation and spirituality before then?
I wasn’t really aware of its existence. I was an engineer and had lived my life up until then from the head. I had heard of meditation, but didn’t know exactly what it was.
Leaving a senior position in a corporate career to pursue a more spiritual path is becoming increasingly more common. Why do you think that is?
I believe that especially when you have a very good income, you realise that money doesn’t buy you happiness. When you know that, it’s much easier to let go of the desire to earn more and follow your heart to what brings you most purpose.
Also, with young millennials you see an increasing desire for them to find something they’re passionate about. Most people, who stared their careers ten years ago or longer, were raised to work hard and fit into a picture that society would call “successful”. I believe it’s a great trend that this picture is fading and that people are more encouraged to follow their heart instead.
What are a few tips you can offer our readers (busy mamas who barely have a moment to spare for themselves!) to start on their own meditation journey?
To realise you can take much better of care of another, if you first take care of yourself.
Meditation will give you space and time, but it’s an investment. Although, when you invest in yourself, you’ll find that you become much clearer in your head and other activities will go much smoother and quicker.
When you really can’t find 15 minutes a day to free up, use any free moment there is. For example, while waiting in front of school while picking your kids up, instead of chatting with other parents, take a moment to close your eyes and follow your breathing. Or maybe simply look around and embrace it all – the smell, the temperature, the sun or the rain. What sounds do you hear? How does it sound to you? Use all of your senses to just mindfully be there.
Or even when waiting in line at the supermarket. Take three deep breaths – in through the nose and strongly out through the mouth. With your exhale, let go of any tension in the body.
Why is being more mindful so important today?
In a world where everything is possible, we can choose practically anything. This freedom of choice comes with a lot of responsibility. We live in a time of freedom. I’m talking about the modern western world. When you have most of your needs met, you start to realise all the constraints are in your mind. People desire to be free and no longer want to be a prisoner of their own thoughts. Meditation is the answer to that and many have experienced the benefits. With the rise of meditation apps, it also becomes much easier to find more inner peace and be calm in the comfortable environment of your home.