Hydrate and Heal with Vitajuwel

As I am sure you have figured out by now, it is a safe bet to say that I love the potential of crystal healing. I use crystals for elevating my home, my health, my meditation, even my yoga practice! So when I learned there was a safe way to use crystals to enhance my drinking water, I jumped at the chance!

Enter VitaJuwel, the solution to all my problems. Well, maybe not all my problems since crystals have yet to pay off my bills, but I digress.

Vitajuwel creates beautiful glass vials filled with different crystal elixirs that you can place in your normal drinking water so you can enjoy all of the wonderful crystal energy without having to place gemstones directly in your water. Most recently, they created a water bottle, Via, so that you can take your crystal elixirs on the go! I'm in heaven!

The idea of creating gemstone-charged beverages has been around for centuries, dating back to when the ancient Greeks used amethyst with their wine to keep them from getting too drunk and enhance the flavor. (PS: VitaJuwel makes a wine decanter that is absolutely gorgeous!) Nowadays, we know that it can be harmful to place crystals directly in what we consume due to the potential for toxic substances to be released (copper, lead, etc.). By encasing different blends of gemstones in sealed vials, VitaJuwel lets you enjoy that beneficial energy goodness without the potential toxic nonsense.

VitaJuwel was kind enough to send me a Via to review, and to be honest, I have been addicted to it since it arrived! They sent the Five Elements bottle, which features amethyst, chalcedony, petrified wood, rose quartz, ocean chalcedony.  The description that accompanies it states: Traditional Chinese medicine has developed over 5,000 years and recognizes health as a harmonious balance of five elements: Wood for growth, water for reflection, earth for grounding, metal for strength and fire for passion. Every person is a unique blend of these elements. Following this ancient philosophy, we have included one kind of gem for each element in this blend to reflect each attribute. Get your life in balance. Experience this ancient wisdom. It is extremely beautiful... I've certainly never had a water bottle that looks like a work of art! All you have to do is fill your bottle with regular tap or filtered water, allow the water 7-10 minutes to charge, and it is good to go!

Once the water is charged, I notice a palatable difference from normal tap water... the texture and taste seems smoother and softer. (I even heard that using your VitaJuwel with juice can change the taste so that is not as acidic, and I can't wait to try it!) Sometimes people have trouble understanding the power crystals can have, so I like giving them a comparison taste test so they can taste the evidence for themselves.  I make sure I always have a full bottle of Vitajuwel water ready, and it always gets so many compliments. 

The only downside to this amazing bottle is that it is relatively fragile, so it requires a bit more thought than the typical water bottle you can just throw in your bag. It is a piece of art, so treat it like one! I like to either keep mine at my desk, beside my bed, or set aside for after my yoga/meditation practice, as to limit the risk of breaking it. If I absolutely have to pack it, I put a drink coozie on each end to protect it!
Drink coozies on either end before it goes in the purse!

All things considered, however, I would highly recommend purchasing one yourself and for the whole family! (There is a kids Vitajuwel that is adorable and is sure to help your kids drink more water as well! Who needs sugary drinks when you can have beautiful crystal water?)

Many thanks for the folks over at VitaJuwel for sending me a Via to review and enjoy, and keep doing the wonderful work you are doing!

Want your own? Head over to VitaJuwel's website! Or if you are a local Bozemanite, check out the amazing selection of VitaJuwel goodies at the Dari Rasa Trunk Show downtown. 

Do any of you have a VitaJuwel? Do you have any experience with gemstone elixirs?

How to Play A Tibetan Singing Bowl

The use of Tibetan bowls for healing and meditation is a technique that has been around for centuries. They are found in monasteries, homes, and it is likely you have come across one at a meditation group or yoga class. They can be a very powerful spiritual tool, but don't be intimidated, Tibetan bowls can be played and enjoyed by everyone (no matter their spiritual path).

When it comes to purchasing your first singing bowl, I typically recommend trying a Tibetan bowl first, as they are more durable than a crystal or porcelain singing bowl. Tibetan bowls are traditionally made from 7 different metals (each to represent a different planet). This durability lets you experiment with different healing techniques, such as filling the bowl with water or placing it on the body, with less of a risk of damage.

As for which Tibetan bowl to buy, that is where your intuition needs to come into play to give you your final answer. It might be difficult, but try and buy your bowl in person, or at least on a website that gives you a preview of the sound. There is a large variety between bowls, and you have many choices to choose from! Big bowls will have a deeper resonance, whereas smaller bowls will be higher pitched. Many people like to look for a bowl whose note corresponds with a specific chakra (C/root, D/sacral, E/solar plexus, F/heart, G/throat, A/third eye, B/crown). As tempted as I am to go out and find a variety of different bowls to add to my collection, I try to purposefully only get the bowls that really jump out as special to me. Remember that especially with singing bowls, it is all about intention, and you can heal the whole body/every chakra with one bowl if you wish. Allow your collection to grow over time, and revel in the individuality of each bowl.

Okay, everyone have their bowls? Awesome! Let's play!

Hold the bowl in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Be sure not to touch the sides of the bowl as that is where the vibration resonates from.

With the striker, gently strike the bowl to get the vibration going.

Try rubbing the outside rim in a circular motion, keeping an even pressure. Getting your Tibetan bowl to sing like this takes practice, so keep at it!

Many people enjoy the sound of Tibetan bowls because they can psychically feel the vibration deep within them. When listening, breathe deeply and perhaps visualize the waves of sounds working their way through your body, leaving only positivity and relaxation in their wake.

Although you can heal by merely holding the bowl or being near it as it plays, there are many other techniques you can try! Here are some ideas:

Lie down, and place the bowl on the chest, belly, above your head, or between your legs. With the striker, gong the side of the bowl and allow it to resonate through your body for at least 20 seconds until you strike again. 

Once you have mastered playing the bowl while it rests on you, take it up a notch. Fill the bowl no more then 1/4 of the way full with warm water, and place it on your body. Strike, and allow to resonate for at least 20 seconds.

If you have two bowls, place one on your body while laying down, and one on the floor a few inches above the head.

Take turns with a partner placing it on each others backs and shoulders and playing, experimenting the difference in sensation between just striking and rubbing the bowl.

Experiment with different strikers and tools to learn the differences between their results.

If you have a big enough bowl, turn it upside down and put it on your head! (You likely want to put a small cloth or cushion between the bowl and your head to help it balance so you don't hurt yourself or the bowl.) With a slightly downward motion, strike the side of the bowl and allow the vibration to flood through your body. This can be a great way to relieve headaches or stress!

What is this bowl doing on my head?

In the following video, I demonstrate three beginner techniques using a suede covered tool, a wooden tool, and a felt mallet, along with how to play the bowl while it is on your head.

Bowls get better as they age, so whenever you feel compelled to play, do so!

Have you ever played a singing bowl? What singing bowls do you have?

Crystal Spotlight: Labradorite

Today, I'm shining the crystal spotlight on one of my absolute favorite stones: labradorite! Isn't it ah-mah-zing?! I wear my labradorite Joyful Jewelry pendant all the time (have you checked out her incredible jewelry yet?!), and have a few other beautiful pieces in my home.

Its name comes from Labrador, Canada, where it was first discovered in 1770. However, labradorite can be found in a variety of places all over the world. In Finland, it is referred to as spectrolite, but typically has a larger range of colors than most labradorite.

At first glance, it may seem predominately grey or black with a shimmer of blue or green. When you rotate it slowly, however, it flashes amazing iridescent sparkles of bright blue, gold, red, and orange. Flattering in every light, it is one of my favorite stones for jewelry because it goes with everything and gives you an alluring glow.

Given its transitioning colors, it shouldn't be surprising that it is a wonderful crystal to help you navigate life's changes and transitions! Sometimes called a power stone, labradorite is the perfect stone to help you with the transition towards positive growth and higher consciousness.

Some Inuit tribes believe that labradorite fell from the frozen fire of the northern lights and shines in a magical light that separates our world from unseen dimensions and realms. Labradorite is a powerful assistant in strengthening our intuitive abilities and stimulates spiritual awakening. Strengthening your natural energies from within, it aids in self awareness and helps us keep in touch with our highest self. On a physical level, it aids with eye and brain disorders, can lower blood pressure, boosts metabolism, and aids in digestion. Additonally, women find wearing it beneficial to balance hormones and relieve menstrual symptoms.
Here is my Joyful Jewelry necklace up against a beautiful rough piece of labradorite.
Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about labradorite! Now that I have shared one of my favorite crystals, what are your favorites? Do you have a crystal that you would like to learn more about?

Crystal Spotlight: Cleansing & Recharging Under The Full Moon

As we all know, crystals and gemstones can carry fantastic positive energy that can benefit our lives and the world around us. However, crystals absorb a lot of negative gunk over time, so it is beneficial to cleanse and recharge them!

There are multiple ways to cleanse crystals, like letting them bask in the sunshine, tossing them through a candle flame, burying them underground, or washing them in a flowing stream. However, some crystals will fade in sunlight, like amethyst, and others will dissolve in water, like selenite. Therefore, one of my favorite methods is using the full moon! The full moon is known for its power and the wonderful energy it brings, so it makes a great tool to re-energize your crystals.

Firstly, go on a scavenger hunt for all the crystals in your house, including jewelry! This took me quite a while to find all the crystals hiding on random shelves and in drawers, but if a crystal has been sitting around for a while, it especially could use a cleanse!

Once you have everything you want to cleanse, I start off by rinsing my crystals in running water. From there, I place them in a bowl of water and sea salt (I usually put a few spoonfuls into a big bowl and stir until it dissolves). Leave them in the bowl for up to 24 hours. I like to do the cleansing the night before the full moon, so the following evening I pat all of the crystals dry and then put them in a place they will be exposed the most moonlight (like a window or outside).

Remember, if you have selenite or other gemstones that can dissolve in water, skip the water steps and just put them in the moonlight!

By morning, you will wake up to find new life in your crystals! I have noticed a big difference not only in the energy of my cleansed crystals, but in their shine and color as well.

Time to enjoy your newly refreshed crystals!

Do you have a favorite way to cleanse your stones? Have you ever done it before?


Check for the next full moon here!

Crystal Spotlight: Calcite

At a gem show recently, I found myself drawn to a juicy hunk of green calcite. Unable to resist, I took it home and was inspired to learn more about it!

Calcite is one of the most abundant type of crystals on the planet, and can be found all over the world. In addition to being absolutely beautiful, it possesses amazing beneficial healing properties as well!

All varieties of calcite are extremely helpful in removing negativity, both from the body and the environment the calcite resides in. Plus, depending on the color, calcite can possess a magnitude of additional properties, making it a great crystal to keep around! As you can see from the photo above, there is a large variety of colors you can find calcite in. However, for the sake of not having a 10 page post, we'll just explore a couple today.

Green calcite is a grounding and centering stone. It is known as a stone of manifestation, as it increases all prosperity and success, both in business and your personal life. Mine is currently in my garden, hopefully increasing the number of tomatoes I will get this year!

Blue calcite is a soothing stone that can be wonderful for frayed nerves. It encourages you to get the rest you need and embrace calm. Blue calcite can also be a great learning aid, making it a fantastic stone for students! It would be great to have some in a classroom, for the teacher and student alike!

Orange calcite is a great stone for the mind. It can help relief fear, mental ailments (depression, anxiety, etc.), and phobias. Orange calcite can be particularly helpful in balancing your mental and emotional equilibrium.

What a yummy piece of Root Beer Calcite!
Isn't this piece of root beer calcite magnificent? Other than the green calcite, the photographed crystals were borrowed from my wonderful grandmother, who has a stunning gemstone collection like you wouldn't believe! Many thanks to her for letting us all drool at her incredible crystals!

Do you have any calcite? Which one is your favorite?

Giveaway: Win An Essential Oil Spray, Rose Quartz Pendulum, and Gemstone Bundle!

Over the past few months, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support for Blue Lotus! To show my appreciation and return the love, I'm doing a giveaway! Yippee!

I am giving away a Joyful essential oil spray, Rose Quartz pendulum, and a bundle of amazing tumbled gemstones!

First up is a Joyful essential oil spray! With a base of Vitajuwel crystal infused water (with a mix of amethyst, clear quartz, and rose quartz), it mixes essential oils of lemon, mandarin, bergamot, ylang ylang, rose geranium, and rose. This uplifting mix can be used as a cheering room spray, and I love using it as a daily perfume! Spray some in your hair, and you can smell wonderful all day!

Next is the rose quartz pendulum. Rose quartz is a beautiful crystal that encourages love for yourself and others! Since it corresponds directly with the heart chakra, this could be a great pendulum if you find yourself needing help finding answers that come directly from the heart. To learn more about how to use a pendulum, click here to check out my previous post! 

Finally, lets check out the assortment of crystals you will receive! They have all been cleansed and charged with a crystal singing bowl session, so you can be assured they have some fabulous energy to them. 

From left to right, starting from the top row:
- gold tiger eye (a protecting, grounding stone which enhances integrity, willpower, and confidence)
- hematite (protects and connects us to the earth that improves memory and concentration)
- rose quartz (stone of universal love, trust, harmony, peace, and self-acceptance)
- unakite (enhances your third eye, assists in sleep, and balances your emotions)
- sodalite (calms the mind, encourages intuition, and releases fear, phobias, and guilt)
- green aventurine (helps with love relationships, releases stress, and brings good luck)
- banded amethyst (boosts intuition, cleanses the aura, and repels negativity)
- apache tears (absorbs negative energy and comforts grief)
- green moss agate (balances emotional energy and enhances concentration)
- quartz (opens the mind and heart to higher guidance and is a good overall healing stone)
- snowflake obsidian (calming and soothing, and gives awareness of negative patterns)
- blue lace agate (calming, gives a sense of peace and tranquility, helps with expression)
- green fluorite (highly protective and enhances personal growth)

Enter below, and don't forget to share this giveaway with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lots of love! 

Create Your Own Mala

Lately, I have felt a pull towards meditating with a mala. As discussed in my previous post, it can really help you stay focused and keep track of mantra repetition. After looking at a few to purchase, I realized the one I desired didn't exist yet, and it was up to me to create it!

Creating this mala was a great project (and not terribly difficult), so I thought it would be fun to share with you how to make your own!

During its creation, keep a general thought of well-being or your personal mantra in mind. It can help to set your intent while creating your mala, and can become a meditation in and of itself!

What you will need: wood/seed beads and/or gemstone beads, a larger "guru" bead, a strong nylon string, and embroidery floss. If mixing types of beads, try to keep them a similar size as to keep meditation as seamless as possible. In addition, I found a beading needle to be extremely helpful with threading (which can be found at your local craft store).

Begin by counting out 108 beads (not including your guru bead). For my personal mala, I chose to have 94 wooden beads, and 7 rose quartz beads on each side. I incorporated rose quartz into my mala since my mantra focuses opening up my heart chakra, and rose quartz has a soft, compassionate energy that encourages unconditional love, dissolves emotional wounds, and offers inner peace.

Now comes the time consuming, yet oddly satisfying, part. Leaving at least 6 inches of extra thread on the end, create a knot so your beads will not slide off. Since I wanted to have mirroring rose quartz on either side of the guru bead, I started with my first 7 rose quartz beads, then went on to add the 94 wooden beads, then the remaining rose quartz beads. If you have the time (and the patience), place a knot after each bead to create a small space between them (which not only helps in meditation, but also keeps beads from going everywhere in case it breaks).

Time to make the tassel! Take your embroidery floss (I used a single packet that had transitioning colors) and separate at least 8 inches from the main group, but do not cut it off (just place it out of the way to the side). Then, tie your extra nylon string coming from the bottom of the guru bead around the floss and knot on the bottom of the bundle to attach it to your mala. Fold over the embroidery floss to hide your knot, and wrap the 'set aside' floss around the top multiple times. Once satisfied, loop your remaining thread through the tassel to create a knot. Cut the end of the tassel to eliminate loops or uneven edges, and you're done!

 Congratulations! You are now the proud owner and creator of a beautiful mala!

Why You Should Have a Himalayan Salt Lamp

I love how my lamp casts a wonderfully comforting light across my cozy bed.
By now, chances are you have come across a Himalayan salt lamp. Typically glowing with a warm gorgeous orange color (although they can be found also in white, pink, orange, and red), these lamps have been popping up in natural health stores, crystal shops, interior design shops, even your everyday department stores. They can be found in a variety of shapes, ranging from a natural rough shape, to pyramids, spheres, and bowls. So what is the big deal about these lamps?

In addition to their pretty color, they also have a ton of health benefits! They can reduce a multitude of air pollutants, boost serotonin levels (which can help regulate sleep), increase the flow of positive chi in your home, increase your immune system, improve mental alertness, and improve your overall well being. A lamp that is cute and healthy? Sign me up!
With claims like this, it makes you wonder:  how does a Himalayan salt lamp actually work?

Firstly, the bulb warms the lamp from within, and the warmth attracts the moisture in the air. Then, as the moisture evaporates, they emit negative ions that purify the air, which allows you to breathe easier and more freely.

Which brings up a second question: what in the world are negative ions?

According to WebMD:
Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” says Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.
They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation.

My yoga teacher has Himalayan salt lamps throughout her entire house, and along with looking absolutely beautiful, I have noticed how fresh her house always feels. Despite the fact that she has three huge furry dogs and two cuddly cats, I find that I don't have my usual pet dander issues in her home, which can also be a helpful benefit of having salt lamps in your home.

For best results, leave your lamp on all the time (with a wattage of 4 to 15 depending on the lamp). Plus, deciding what size or how many lamps you need for optimal results is determined by the size of your space. Translation: the bigger the space, the more you need (either in a larger lamp size or by placing multiple throughout the room). For example, a small 5-7 pound lamp would do best in a small 10x10 square foot room, whereas a large 20x20 square foot room would benefit from a 30-40 pound lamp.

Just a few of the numerous benefits of owning a Himalayan Salt Lamp.
A word of caution: beware of replicas or low quality lamps, as they will obviously not have the same benefits. Also, although it is salt, your lamp was not processed the same as edible salt, so don't chip off a hunk if you are making dinner! (Himalayan comes in food safe forms, such as ground or cubes, and is much healthier for you than table salt.)

After coveting Himalayan salt lamps for a while, I am now the proud owner of one and I have to admit, it is a slippery slope! Right now I have one in my bedroom, but I dream of one day covering my whole house with a variety of shapes and sizes! The orange glow from the lamp casts a warm and inviting light throughout the room, which invokes an incredible feeling of peace and relaxation.

Do you have a Himalayan salt lamp yet?