How can marbles possibly qualify as a "tool for transformation"? I'm glad you asked!
At church this weekend a visiting pastor shared that his church gives new parents in their congregation a large jar filled with 1000 marbles when a child is born. The parents are instructed to remove one marble from the jar each week. The jar slowly empties month after month and year after year, finally becoming bare roughly around the time the child leaves home for college.
He explained that over the course of the eighteen years, the marble jar provides a tangible representation of how fast the time is passing and serves as a constant reminder to use the fleeting time well. I love this concept, and think it could be applied to any fixed amount of time you want to treasure and experience mindfully: removing a marble each day as you count down to your wedding date or the birth of a child. Alternatively, the jar could serve to encourage you to honor your progress as you experience challenging times: adding a marble each day throughout a period of mourning or to commemorate one more day of sobriety.
You certainly don't need marbles to live a more mindful life, but the exercise is one way to stay present in each moment. How might you measure the passage of time and remind yourself to experience moments more fully?