My Lokai bracelet review and giveaway

My Lokai Bracelet review
My Lokai Bracelet review

This year I lost my balance.

Thanks to hubbie for pointing out that balance has never been my strong point.

It’s true I’ve fallen off more things than I care to remember (including horses, bikes and cliffs) and am the sort of person who likes a bit of macaroni with her cheese rather than the other way around.

My Lokai Bracelet Review
Balance has never been my strong point (at Codale Tarn in the Lake District)

Yet I’m not talking about physical stability (there’s really no hope in that department after all). Instead it’s my emotional balance that I’ve begun to question over the past few months.

And it’s all because of blogging.

Getting the right work-life balance is hard. Especially when you have a full time job, a charity committee position and a travel blog to juggle. As a result, this year I’ve become so wrapped up in the online world that I’ve neglected reality. I’ve lost sight of why I’m doing all this in the first place. I may be writing about exploring the wide world yet I’m spending most of my time with my nose buried in a laptop.

Kinda ironic don’t you think.

The number of sweet treats (bribes!) I’ve been bringing home after work for hubbie has been increasing. I reckon he can’t get mad at me for ignoring him if food is involved! I feel guilty for not giving him enough attention, although he assures me he’s enjoying a more peaceful life!

Humph, what are the rules?!

Giant macaroon of Strasbourg, France
A bit of sweetness will get you far…

So this summer I decided to do something about the imbalance of my life.

Once I’d thought about it, the solution was relatively simple. Part time working at my day job (in outdoor education marketing) would give me more time to dedicate to travel, writing, and of course hubbie. Naturally, he is thrilled at getting to spend more time with me!

So I smiled sweetly and convinced the ‘powers that be’ they only need me 4 days a week, and voilà! Here I am, working part-time for the first time in my life!

Angle Tarn, Lake District, England
I’ve finally FOUND my balance!

Of course I have great plans for my extra day off. I’m sure once the novelty of sneaky lie ins and rubbish daytime TV has worn off I’ll settle down and be a regular writing machine every Friday! I’ll also have more time to explore the UK, which often gets overlooked in favour of cheap flights and a bit of sun.

I haven’t been this excited in a long time (although camping out in a church last month comes close!) and feel this really is the start of a new chapter.

My Lokai Bracelet review
When one door closes, another always opens…

The rollercoaster of life

So things are pretty good at the moment. Short of winning the lottery and buying that mansion, we’re exactly where we want to be. Yet I know we mustn’t become complacent, as just around the corner another low is surely on the way (yeah so I’m a pessimist, deal with it). In the wise words of Ronan Keating…

…life is a roller-coaster you’ve just got to ride it.

And no I’m not a closet Boyzone fan. (Any more).

At least if you’re experiencing a low you know the only way is up! I was bullied relentlessly in high school because I was a tiny bit posh, but a year later I was living in a castle and loving it. Ironic, but who cares. I was nearly chucked out of university (which I’ve never told my folks, sorry mum and dad!) for an assignment ‘oversight’ after the death of a family member. Yet the same year I got to play my double bass for royalty at Windsor Castle. Yep, another castle! My career has been a trail of destruction and I’ve walked out of 2 jobs whilst still having a mortgage to pay (sorry hubbie), but looking back I’m glad I did.

Otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Durham Castle Gatehouse
That time I lived in a castle…my gatehouse bedroom at Durham Castle

And for all the scepticism about my travel writing, it took just one word of admiration (possibly the first ever!) from my super-critical annoying little brother to cancel out all the negative comments. No doubt a momentary lapse of the unwritten brother-sister code of conduct, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

My Lokai Bracelet review
With ‘Annoying Little Brother’ at Grasmere, doing what we do best, ‘discussing’ things

There are highs, there are lows, and all the bits in between. I reckon life would be pretty dull if everything ran smoothly all the time, so it’s important for us to remember to remain humble, as well as hopeful along the way.

Enter the My Lokai bracelet.

My Lokai Bracelet review
The day I decided to change my work-life balance, out walking in the Kentmere Valley, Lake District

The My Lokai bracelet name comes from the Hawaiian word Lokahi which means ‘creating unity by blending opposites’. A black bead containing Dead Sea mud and a white bead containing Mount Everest water represent emotional as well as geographical opposites.

The lowest and highest points on earth, and also in life.

The clear beads in between apparently symbolise our own unique journey between the highs and the lows. Now what would be cool is to be able to fill these beads with our own personal mementos. Perhaps a fragment of seaweed, a few grains of sand, or a splinter of rock. I could go into the ethics of removing the planet’s resources from their natural environments, but that would probably be a little hypocritical since there may be a small jar of Saharan sand sitting on our mantel piece at home.

I’m sure the camels don’t miss it.

My Lokai Bracelet review
Kentmere Valley, Lake District

I would never make a good hippie.

For me, the symbolism behind My Lokai is merely a great gimmick and the bracelet just a bit of cheap silicone. Yet there is simply nothing cooler than wearing beads containing a tiny piece of the lowest and highest points on earth. Besides, it will be the closest I’ll ever get to either Everest or the Dead Sea, since I don’t want to add to the commercialism ruining our most famous mountain.

And I hate mud with a passion!

My Lokai Bracelet review
My Lokai bracelet goes everywhere with me – it’s even been mask painting in Venice

Even without the ‘meaning’ behind it, I’m still a fan of the My Lokai bracelet! We’ve all heard of the overused quote:

It’s the journey not the destination

Well this is what the My Lokai bracelet is all about. It reminds us that life isn’t perfect, and that’s ok.

My Lokai Bracelet review
Soaring at new heights with my Lokai bracelet up the Lamberti Tower in Verona

I guess what it all comes down to is being happy!

My Lokai Bracelet giveaway

Being the caring person that I am, I want to share the love and have a classic My Lokai bracelet to give away to one lucky reader!

To Enter

It couldn’t be simpler.

It couldn’t be simpler.

Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will ask the winner what size they prefer at the end (choice of small, medium, large).

Open to a WORLDWIDE audience! 

Terms and conditions

No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The item is a classic My Lokai bracelet. The bracelet is not refundable or exchangeable for cash. This competition is open to a worldwide audience. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks and end on Monday 16th November 2015. The winner will be determined on or around the 16th November 2015 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries.

GOOD LUCK!

TIPS

The bracelet is eco friendly silicone, and whilst I was a little disappointed the beads weren’t hard and more substantial, it’s very comfortable and you can wear it in the shower and at the beach!

You can buy your very own My Lokai bracelet here. 10% of profits go to charity, which always makes us feel good about ourselves doesn’t it.

The My Lokai sizes range from small to extra large. I have pretty tiny wrists but was glad I opted for the medium. The small is more suited to children.

So how do we know it is genuine? Some reviewers couldn’t contain their curiosity and have sliced into their My Lokai beads to check. Lo and behold the black bead did contain mud, but the white one was empty. The water is ‘infused’ into the silicone and any residue will have evaporated. So I guess you have the ‘spirit’ of Everest rather than the actual ‘essence’.


Finally, to the cynics I say this…

You could look at it two ways. Either you have a band of silicone with a bit of mud in it, or you have something that symbolises your personal journey, makes you part of a community and reminds you that there is always sunshine just around the corner.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius
I’ve finally found my balance! In Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius
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  1. says: Madi

    I have seen these around here and there and everytime I see it I think to myself – I need to get me one! They are so beautiful but I love the meaning behind them more 🙂

  2. says: Kirsti Peters

    I need some balance in my life. I am an ME and Fibromyalgia sufferer and I have just about exhausted conventional medicine, so I am trying various natural and herbal treatments and I feel that the Lokai bracelet may well have a part to play in this quest for good health both physically and mentally.

  3. says: Kim Styles

    I am open to all interpretations and symbolism, If there is a chance that it goes towards helping me in my journey through life bring it on. I would love to give it a whirl If it acts as a scale between my highs and lows it will be welcome

  4. says: Victoria Prince

    I think we could all do with a reminder that life isn’t perfect and that’s ok 🙂 My life is a bit out of balance at the moment too, so that’s why I would like to win!

  5. says: Eileen Tingle

    My life is busy, sometimes hardly a minute to spare so a pretty bracelet like this would give something else to focus on now and then.

  6. says: Rachael O'Mara

    I’ve had a tough year and this could be a nice inspiring pick me up when I glanced at it and to remind me the ups are coming!

  7. says: Stacey C

    I have been on a bit of a personal journey this past year to become a better me. I’ve lost sixty pounds and have started exercising more and trying to have a healthier lifestyle for my family. I’ve been on the lookout this year for items that can serve as tangible physical reminders of the progress I’ve made so far and the journey I still have in front of me. This time a year ago, I was in the lowest, darkest place I think I’ve ever been and today I feel a thousand time happier. This bracelet seems like a perfect reminder of the balance I’ve been striving for. It is a great giveaway! Your pictures are amazing. You look like you are having so much fun. I’m a bit jealous!

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Wow, you go girl, that’s amazing!! The bracelet may be a symbol of all our struggles and how we can overcome them, but at the end of the day it’s only ourselves who can change things, sounds like you’ve got that covered!

  8. says: MiMi B

    it’s beautiful i really want it, i need it bc everyone needs some balance in his life.
    life is not perfect, it’s messy, most of the time everything turn out really bad so this bracelet is a little light in the darkness of our lifes

  9. says: Mary Hood

    I need My Lokai bracelet because I am an off-kilter mess right now. Balance has never been my strong suit, and I need all the help I can get! It’s been 5 months since I started my travel blog and I am already noticing a slight obsession with it and neglect for the “real world”. Help! 😛

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Oh dear, that’s not good! Half the battle is realising there is a problem though, so you’re almost there 🙂 Good luck!

  10. says: evankristine

    I love all the ironic points you wrote about your life in this post. Playing bass for the royals? Wow! We sure all have our own ups and downs in life, or should I say low and high as you mentioned. I enjoyed reading your personal views in life and it is only oozing with positivity! Congrats on taking a step down and taking it easy at work – it is not an easy decision and I salute you for that, it takes one to realize and analyze ones life in order to come up with this decision. The bracelet sure does gives more meaning to you and I like the balance it represents.

    P.S
    I hope those who commented ‘cute bracelet’ read the whole article. This was a very educational read!

  11. says: Alexis

    The work life balance is such a difficult one…I’m still working on mine. Seems like instead of balance it just swings wildly from one extreme to the other!

  12. says: Marjorie

    I’m still dreaming about that day when I can just work part time and the rest I will spend on the road traveling. So I’m so envious of you. The bracelet is cute, but you didn’t say though if this raffle is available worldwide. I am from the Philippines.

  13. says: Nic from Roaming Renegades

    Love how this is about so much more than a bracelet and yet that bracelet came to symbolise all that. I know what you mean, sometimes I feel like there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything, sometimes it feels great when you balance it all, but then the day after it all comes falling back down!

  14. says: Frank

    Spanky needs a lokai bracelet because she has no balance – yesterday we’re up on Signal Hill here in Cape Town and she falls off a step, lands heavily, and ends up rolling down 5 steps before I catch her near the bottom. Luckily no major damage, just a couple big bruises on the legs but imagine being here and breaking a nose or teeth.
    Anyway, she literally has no balance and this is nothing new, she’s always falling. So you think this lokai bracelet thing will help her and do you personally guarantee she will no longer be falling, slipping or otherwise end up on the ground by any other means? 🙂
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Ha ha, sounds like she needs a whole BUNCH of bracelets, some on each wrist! I would love to be able to give you a personal guarantee, the alas the only guarantee is that all the best people fall on their arses on occasion (speaking from experience of course)!! Hope the bruises don’t last too long 🙂

  15. says: Natasha

    First of all – I love the photo of you finding your balance. I totally agree that you can find certain balances when you hold certain stones close to you.

  16. says: Anne Klien ( MeAnne)

    Thanks for sharing. I do wear a jade bracelet they say it brings luck. I think it does attract positivity of the universe.

  17. says: Natasha

    What a wonderful idea! I’m the type of person who wears a lot of decorative jewelry and each piece has a significance and meaning to me. It’s nice to have a physical reminder of where our thoughts, motivations and actions should be. Thanks for sharing your story.

  18. says: Jennifer Toal

    I have a new chapter beginning in my life with a house move and moving in with my partner of 4 years been independent 9 years. This bracelet would be to keep some balance in my life and let me enjoy this next phase of my life confidently

  19. says: dannielle

    Heather, I absolutely loved this post! It’s brave of you to share your personal experiences and I can definitely identify. This industry can be incredibly dishertening at times, but it’s all about passion and I think we all have our own measures of success. The bad times make the good times all the more exciting!

    I’ve definitely been feeling unbalanced this year, trying to ‘settle’ in a city that I’m not exactly in love with while I work on a career and my blog and enjoy my relationship (all things that I definitely am in love with). I was just made redundant and immediately got a new, better job – showing that every cloud really does have a silver lining! That’s my big take away from my experience with depression this year, and these bracelets would be such a stark reminder of that. I’m going to do the entry now, and maybe I’ll hunt one down even if I don’t win! I think I’m following you everywhere already, but I’ll double check!

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Ah, thanks Dannielle, and it’s good to know we all have our struggles, and that it’s all part of life. Good luck with the new job, I’m sure it was more than luck that bagged you that! 🙂

  20. says: Elizabeth

    It is great to have a visual reminder, and like you I think it is pretty cool it is the lowest and the highest point. on earth. Interesting and I like that is has a stiry.

  21. says: Sarah

    I hope you find a good balance soon! The bracelet is beautiful and it’s always fun to create something. I love the meaning you’ve given it!

  22. says: Isabel

    I’d LOVE to win this lokai bracelet. Because the bracelet stands for positivity with the lows and highs. When I have some negative toughts I can just look at the bracelet and feel a little bit happy again.
    I think the bracelet has such a beautiful meaning with the lows and the highs and the space between them. I think everyone should have a bracelet like that :). I loved the article btw.

  23. says: Prianka

    This is a really moving and uplifting post. I have only been part of this travel blogger community for a month now, but it is so inspiring to see how people shape their lives so that travel can be a main part of it! Good luck with your future plans, and congrats for convincing your boss on the short weeks!

  24. says: Erica

    I need the Lokai Bracelet because I’ll be starting 2016 volunteering as a nurse full time in the Philippines, and I’ll be needing to find balance between that, my marriage, and my adventure!

    1. says: Heather Cole

      Oh, how exciting about the nursing, good luck with it, hope it’s the experience you hope it will be! And congrats!

  25. says: sue

    When I decided to take blogging more seriously early this year (rather than just writing for my friends) I was blown away at how much time it takes and how much there is to learn. Good for you for stepping back and reevaluating whats important for you. Hope you find the right balance as life is meant to be enjoyed not endured.

  26. says: Revati

    Having just visited both, the Dead sea and the foothills of the Himalayas in this last quarter, and also having experienced both the highest highs and lowest lows in the same time frame, the bracelet would actually signify so much for me.

  27. says: Lauren

    I’ve always wanted one of these as such a great reminder about the highs and lows in life and when there is a low, it can always be followed by a high <3

  28. says: Tami

    Great idea for a giveaway…I love the symbolism of the black bead and the white bead. We definitely all have lows and highs in our life, but mostly the space between them!

  29. says: Maya

    Your struggle resonates with me very much. I was recently looking into the same thing – looking for a pretty bracelet and when I look at it, I would remember to take a deep breath and take it easy. Lokai bracelet lost to a one made of jade and lava 😉

  30. says: Michaela Smith

    I love the fact that it holds to key elements of the earth! A great reminder to try
    and stay balanced. It looks great too and I loved reading your story 🙂

  31. says: Mar

    I like the way you see it and how you have turned this gimmick into something which means something to you. Here’s to hope that’ll bring you some balance!

  32. says: melody pittman

    Loved reading this very personal blog post about your life. What a wonderful story and so eloquently written, I could have guessed the author without even really knowing. Loved that your little brother gave you a shout out. How sweet. 😉

  33. says: Carly

    I love this article. I’ve felt really lost and out of balance the last week, so it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this struggle! Also the bracelet is beautiful.

  34. says: Toni

    I hope the change to your work hours and having ‘blogging Fridays’ help you with your balance and means you get to enjoy more time getting out doing the things you enjoy and spending time with the people you love.

  35. says: Karla

    I love that apart from it being a cool bracelet, it stands for something good. It’s not perfect but its okay. That’s what we all need to keep in mind.

  36. says: Paula McInerney

    Love that you are getting the work life balance sorted. It is never easy nut it seems like you are getting there.

  37. says: Sarah

    Great idea to remind ourselves about balance, and about the opportunities that can open up once we are willing to re-jigger daily life. And the balance that works at one point, as you’ve demonstrated, may not be the best balancing act down the road. Helpful post, and not just for travel.

  38. says: Michele Peterson

    I love the idea of carrying two different elements of the earth! A My Lokai bracelet would be a great reminder to keep balance in my life.

  39. says: Tamar

    I loved reading this because I feel like I can completely identify with the work-life balance thing, especially these days! Trying to work full time and run a blog is not easy, but good on you for talking your bosses into a 4-day work week! That’s the dream!

  40. says: Mihaela Popa

    You have an easy fresh writing style Heather. I usually don’t have the patience to read whole blog posts (unless I have a direct and strong interest in the subject) but I found yours an easy read. Well done!

  41. says: Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver

    Thanks for sharing your journey and the bracelet. I’m trying to figure out the balance, and what I can do financially to make writing my work, not just my side gig.

  42. says: Jennifer Karchmer

    Heather, wonderful blog. I would cherish this bracelet and wear it around the world during all of my travels admiring its beauty. What a lovely reminder of nature and polar opposites. Last year I went to Africa for the first time (South Africa), which I juxtapose to a 2012 trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. Both were lifelong dream destinations. One was cold in the northern hemisphere; the other not so cold located in the Southern Hemisphere. Thank you.

  43. says: Amanda Williams

    This post really resonates with me. I switched to working part time in 2014 so that I could juggle work with my writing, being a trustee for a gorilla conservation charity, an environmental activist and still trying to have some work life balance. I will never look back.