Conversation piece

This bracelet is drawing new friends.

It’s been a couple weeks since I purchased a magnesite sideways cross bracelet from Jennifer Lynn Loper, jewelry designer, mixed media artist, Reiki master, and proprietor of Zen Living Arts, a mindful accessories business.

Loper’s work is creating accessories that assist the wearer to be more intentional, focused, and present. We met at the Seaside Farmer’s Market, which happens this summer every Wednesday through September 25 at the Broadway Middle School from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Among Loper’s collection of handcrafted wares are wire-wrapped necklaces, Mala beads, and beaded bracelets. She loves working with crystals and gemstones, not just because they are beautiful, but because of their powerful effects.

“Their energy resonates with yours and your vibration changes,” Loper said. Depending on which stone or crystal you choose, you can feel more grounded, or protected or, if you’re so inclined, invite abundance.

Mala beads are mostly used for setting intention. They are the latest fashion trend with the yoga set, and their origins can be traced back to the birthplace of yoga, which is to say the foothills of the Himalayas along the sacred Ganges.

Loper is a full time vendor not just at the Seaside Farmer’s Market, but the Astoria Sunday Market as well.

“This is my second year in Seaside and I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” she said. “I’ve connected with so many beautiful souls, forged so many new friendships, and discovered so much about myself. Angi Wildt and the other vendors have been so generous with their help and advice, and made a newbie feel very welcome.”

I am a certified Reiki Master myself, trained in the Usui method. This might be a good time for me to say that ever since I started wearing the magnesite sideways cross bracelet, I’ve had some striking conversations. It’s an old joke in my household how I will talk to anybody and that anybody will talk to me, but ever since I started wearing this bracelet, my experiences have shot to a whole new level. These are not just random conversations. Don’t ask me how or why, but within moments, things get … deep.

“My business isn’t just about making things, it’s about making a difference,” Loper said. “The essence of Zen living is making the most of your life: noticing it, appreciating it, understanding it, and even becoming a master in the art of living fully.”

Because of the nature of the conversations apparently inspired by my bracelet, I did a little research into the meaning of the sideways (or horizontal) cross.

Ross Simons, one of the largest online jewelry retailers, says the sideways cross is a modern take on the traditional symbol of faith. For many, it’s simply a fashion statement. Poking around on line, I discovered a fair amount of documentation the sideways cross been embraced by evangelicals. My personal feeling about the matter falls somewhere in between; in any case, I love how well the bracelet looks added to my existing stack.

Next time you’re at the Seaside Farmer’s Market, check out Zen Living Arts. Jen Loper is happy to help you find a meaningful accessory that might just change your life. Or visit her store online at www.zenlivingarts.com.

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