Using Crystals And Other Objects In Healing

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I thought about crystals, or totems , and how they affect healing, I would have awkwardly adjusted my OldNavy purse, and looked at you like you were insane. I wasn’t the kind of person who put any stock into the potential for things to bring peace, unless they were made of bread, or cast in gold. These days I’m a little more open-minded, but I still take extreme pleasure in indulging in pastries.

There’s no way around how important the world of metaphysical healing has become. I can scarce go into a coffee shop or bookstore without seeing a shiny stone winking back at me, and I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing.

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Something that has done wonders for my healing journey is being to use an object for channeling emotion. I’m not convinced that holding a bit of amethyst will eradicate my suffering, however I do believe that by using a crystal or any totem to focus on when you’re in the midst of a crisis can help. Lately, I’ve been using a pair of crystals my husband gifted to me to relax during a panic attack. To do this, I simply hold the stones, think of what is bothering me, and imagine a ray of light is growing out of my palm and into my heart. I breathe, and breathe, and breathe until I have calmed down.

Sure, I might sound insane to some, but what I’m doing isn’t that crazy if you think about it practically. By creating a focal point in a tangible object I am rooting myself back down from that grey anxiety cloud. Like a child holds a blanket or stuffed animal during a storm, I’m also finding comfort in something as real as the pain.

This video from Insider investigates whether healing crystals work, or if it is all just a crock. I really appreciated how they explored the potential science behind the sparkle.

I think finding peace in the smallest of things is a worthy endeavor, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense to the outside world. If you can find something that makes you happy and – most importantly – helps you to function, then what’s the harm in that? I don’t think you have to use a crystal, sage, or any other defined source in your journey. What’s important is discovering a way to help yourself relax, whatever that way may be.

What tools are you using to heal?

Friday Media Prep: Zen AF

Have you ever seen images of a cat following a laser light on the wall? Frantically swiping at the apparition like it can be captured only to work itself into a tizzy? That’s me with this phone! When I’m not working or practicing a few minutes of self-care I am absolutely GLUED to my mobile partner in crime. Twitter is my main vice of the moment – I can scarce remember the years before my timeline. With every bit of breaking news I am thrust back into the maelstrom, terrified I might miss out on something. In all honesty, I think I get a sense of power from feeling like I know every little thing going on in  the world at large. But, what does that matter if my blood pressure is high and I can’t muster enough self-control to slow down? So, this weekend I’m putting myself first and committing to the art of relaxation. I can’t guarantee I’ll be phone-free, but I can promise I won’t be a ball of nerves!

I want to share two videos that I’m really digging right now. As I go deeper into learning how to meditate and practice mindfulness, I’ve been grateful for the peace of mind they’ve given me. The first is from Holistic Habits on Youtube, who shares some of her tips for a healthy night of sleep (something I could use right about now). Second, is a lovely – and long – musical video dedicated to helping you unwind and relax. Enjoy!

The Emotional Freedom Technique Is A Great Way To Ease Into Meditation

Keep your heart clear

And transparent,

And you will never be bound.

A single disturbed thought

Creates ten thousand

Distractions.

– Ryokan Taigu

Within the Black community alone, for every one woman who reports a sexual assault there are fifteen that go unreported. Statistics show that 80% of rapes are reported by white women, but women of color are more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Due to low rates of reporting for men, the numbers aren’t clear on how many are truly affected by assault, but it is believed 12% of Black men are survivors of rape. When it comes to healing, the road is long and winding.

Nothing steals peace of mind like trauma. It muddles every thought, each activity, and disrupts one’s ability to take care of the self. The pain makes even the most mundane tasks seem like mountainous undertakings. For most people, meditation is a healthy way to engage with your mind in the pursuit of peace. It offers the kind of self-care you can’t find in a product, or fancy meal. But what if you’re unable to meditate? For some survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, or other traumas, being left alone with your thoughts can be more terrifying than relaxing. When struggling with symptoms like PTSD or automatic thoughts, it can be difficult to settle into the kind of space that allows meditation.

I was introduced to the Emotional Freedom Technique in a therapy session. As a survivor of sexual assault, I have truly struggled with any form of self-care that involves my thoughts or being still.

When it became apparent to my therapist just how difficult sharing was for me, she suggested we explore the Emotional Freedom Technique. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), or “tapping” was developed in 1993 by Gary Craig, who believed stimulating the meridian points of the body could release energy blockages and perhaps stop negative emotions. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncturists, believe the meridian points are channels the chi will pass through to flow to the vital organs. The tapping process requires using the fingers to gently tap or massage various points on the face and torso while repeating positive affirmations. Ideally, as you continue the tapping you will feel yourself begin to calm. You can repeat the process as many times as you need.

The act of tapping and focusing on her words allowed me to recenter my thoughts, breathe easier and relax. After that, we began all of our sessions using the technique until we were comfortable enough to share and grow together. Now, as I revisit meditation, I use EFT to begin the calming process. Tapping soothes my mental aches from the day and helps me to reclaim the power I thought I lost in assault.

Below is an instructional video on tapping if you would like to give it a try.

*Statistics courtesy of End Rape on Campus

 

Friday Media Prep: Black Girl In A Big Dress

Do you have any hobbies that you feel certain no one will understand? For lots of us, it’s common for people to think you shouldn’t, or can’t, like something based on your background. I remember my parents teasing me for liking Coldplay and singing along to every song on Parachutes for hours on end. I used to lay up in our old tree house, singing “Yellow” over and over until the neighborhood dogs had enough with the bellowing and started barking. I think it’s fair to say most of us have prejudicial feelings about who can like what, where we’re supposed to fit in, and why some things just aren’t cool.

What I love about “Black Girl in a Big Dress” is the way it confronts those notions. Because Adrienne,the heroine of the web series, is African American people think it’s odd for her to be enamored with dressing up like a Victorian lady and trotting off to tea parties. However, she is dedicated to enjoying her passion and gives into her heart’s desire. The show is so refreshing and riot! By watching her escapades, I’ve begun to question my right to joy even if it might seem a little crazy to the outside world. After all, who are we to deny our own hearts? Below is the first episode. Let me know in the comments what you think of “Black Girl in a Big Dress” and what hobbies you have that might be surprising!

Lessons From Studio Ghibli: “Kiki’s Delivery Service”

When I was a little girl, old enough to have a say in what I wanted to rent from Blockbuster but young enough to be entranced by colorful VHS boxes, I fell in love with Studio Ghibli films. First, we watched Totoro, then came Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke . Each film transported my little brother and I to worlds just beyond the mist of our own. Through the journeys of each protagonist we discovered a bit about our own world and ourselves. In fact, the films created by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata are so insightful that I’ve often returned to them well into adulthood, trying to glean a bit more, or perhaps to revisit the clarity of my youth.

Today, I want to share a video about Kiki’s Delivery Service, a film I actually did not see until I was an adult. In the video, produced by ScreenPrism earlier this year, the plight of the titular heroine is assessed through the lens of the struggling Millenial creative – a description that rings true for me and many others. My brother shared the video with me when I was feeling discouraged about writing and debated giving it all up to do something more practical. Now, I wonder if there is anything more practical than following your heart.

You can watch the video below. What dreams will you be following?