Crystal Spotlight: My Daily Essentials

One of the questions I am most commonly asked is "What are the main crystals I should have?"

Although there are always some of the more popular stones you can always turn to, such as amethyst, clear quartz, and rose quartz, every person's energy and situation is unique, and that dictates what stones would be most beneficial.

Regardless, I always love to share what crystals I have connected with best and feel the most benefit from wearing everyday.

First off, I have an amethyst bracelet, which is a fantastic crystal to protect, heal, calm, and helps calm and focus a worried mind during meditation.

On my opposite wrist, I have an aventurine bracelet, which helps release anxiety and stress, aids in love relationships, and manifest luck and prosperity.

On my pointer finger, I have a large chrysocolla ring. Chrysocolla benefits all the chakras by providing calming, cleansing, and energizing vibrations. In addition, it increases self confidence, self-awareness, and inner-balance.

Around my neck, I have my labradorite necklace and my rainbow moonstone necklace, both by Joyful Jewelry (

click here to read more about Jenn's beautiful jewelry

). I wear both of these stones together as they encourage a harmonious balance: yin/yang, new moon/full moon, masculine/feminine energy. Both stones are crystals assist in the creation of creative ideas,  aid in transformation, and are useful companions through change as they encourage strength and perseverance. Labradorite is a power stone which helps determine the form of your dreams and goals. Moonstone is a wonderful crystal to assist in meditation, especially when attempting to connect with ones self and ones goddess/emotional side.

My current "daily crystal" essentials have accumulated over time to reflect where I am in my life and what energy I want to draw in. On the days that I require a little extra help, I find combining other crystal energy can be beneficial, usually by placing gemstones in my pockets. (P.S. Ladies: Your bra can actually an awesome place to keep small crystals... I have had friends and clients frequently admit it's their favorite place to keep them because it centralizes the energy right near your heart center... but obviously, to each their own.) However, I'm sure as I change and my energy changes there may be a shift of what crystals I will be drawn towards and wear.

What crystals do you like to keep with you every day?

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!

Malas: Focus Better During Meditation

My wood and rose quartz mala.

First off, what is a mala?

A mala is a necklace created to aid in meditation. They are typically made from wood, seeds, or gemstones. The number of beads on a mala can vary, but commonly mala necklaces have 108 beads and bracelets contain 27 (which can be used during mediation 4 times to achieve 108). In addition to the main beads, most malas contain a larger "guru" bead and sometimes smaller divider beads (to help you keep track).

When meditating with a mantra, it is important to keep focus. Malas are used as tools to keep count of how many times you have recited your manta, along with serving as a tangible and interactive object to help restless minds and bodies remain fully present during meditation practice.

Mantras are very personal matters, determined on where you are in life, what you need to reaffirm, and/or what you need to learn. Some are popular and freely shared (such as "Om"). Some you can only learn from a teacher or spiritual guide, and should be kept private and use as per instruction (with the accompanying lessons and empowerment). Some may simply flow freely and intuitively to you, and that is the one you should use (until it has served it's purpose). They can take the form of Sanskrit ("Om Tara" speaks to the goddess Tara which encourages compassion, healing, and strength), or English ("I am love").

Regardless of source, all mantras should possess a compassionate message towards yourself and/or others. For example, say you have a strained relationship with one of your coworkers. Although a part of you may wish you did not have to interact with them on such a frequent basis, your mantra cannot be "My coworker will quit.", as tempting as it may seem some times! Taking a compassionate stance on the issue, look within. Maybe it is from a place of jealousy that you butt heads with your coworker. A reaffirming mantra such as "I am enough" can help encourage you to realize your own personal value, and break the cycle of comparing yourself with your coworker.

Once you have discovered your mantra, it is time to settle down and meditate.

Ideally, find a quiet space where you can meditate without being disturbed.  Clear your mind of stray thoughts, and breathe deeply. Feel the grounding pull of the earth, and center yourself. Once you feel connected and grounded, begin your practice. Hold the mala gently and respectively in your left hand, with the beads between your index finger and thumb. Beginning with the first bead after the guru bead, count a bead for each completed recitation of your mantra. When you finish your journey around the whole mala, do not count the guru bead. If you wish to continue, flip the mala around (with as much grace as you can manage) and begin again the other direction.

In future posts, we'll explore potential mantras, other meditation techniques, and even a tutorial on how to construct your own mala!

What are your meditation habits? Do you have a mala to assist in meditation?

Joyful Jewelry



Jewelry has always been a weakness of mine. Plus, after working in an art gallery for the past 3 years where I am surrounded by beautiful jewelry and art, I have found my love for local artists grows by the day.

Enter Joyful Jewelry by Jenn Frederick.

A Bozeman, MT local, her jewelry reflects her: radiant and joyful! Her creations are wonderfully simple, natural, and beautiful. She works with a variety of semi-precious stones, so you are sure to find the right fit for you. Using 14k gold or sterling silver wire, her pieces are strong and hold up to even the most active lady (I have yet to take mine off). A delicate silhouette that compliments a range of occasions, from every-day wear to wedding accessories.

After trying one of Jenn's gorgeous Chrysophrase necklaces (but not feeling as deep of a personal connection to it), my eyes fell on one of her Labradorite creations and I immediately knew it was what I needed.

For the past few months, I have feel a pull towards Labradorite. It is a power stone helps with transitions and allows your to determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. (As a 20-something figuring out her life, I can use all the help I can get!) In addition, it strengthens intuitions, stimulates imagination, aids mediation, and helps cultivate enthusiasm and new ideas.

It has been a welcome addition to my everyday jewelry, and in combination to my spirit lock necklace, I have found a little more clarity and feel a little more grounded (which seems to increase the more I meditate while wearing it). In addition to whatever healing aspects the stone brings, it has an absolutely beautiful glow to it, and I always smile when I spot it in the mirror.

Take a peek at her Facebook page, Joyful Jewelry, and be joyful!

I never take it off because it matches everything!