crystals.

All right, so I’m about to tell you all something slightly embarrassing about myself. Well, no, it’s not embarrassing because it makes me happy and I think it manifests good things for me in my life. But I guess the reason I say it’s slightly embarrassing is because I used to judge the shit out of people that did this. Hippy dippy freaks, is what I thought of these people. Yup, I’m talking about crystals. Now please, do not jump ship. Before recently, I thought that there were only two types of people who believed in crystals and that the various properties crystals are believed to have were actually legit. The first type is the person who wears bell bottoms and spends too much time hula-hooping, and thinks taking psychedelics is a way to transcend to another dimension or whatever. The second type is the faux spiritual yogi who wears a lot of lulu lemon and pretends to be all zen but is actually just privileged enough to drink a lot of green juice and go to hot yoga classes twice a day. So, yeah, I wasn’t exactly receptive to the idea of crystals as something legit.

I don’t know exactly how I got from that place of total judgement to a version of myself that was actually receptive to the idea of using crystals, specifically for daily affirmations. But one day, one of my roommates came home. She’d been staying with family for the first couple months of quarantine, and she’d basically become a whole different version of herself. She was happy and peaceful and just seemed so much more content than I’d ever seen her. She started talking about all the changes she’d made to improve her life and mental health while she was away, and one of the things that she’d started doing was using crystals for affirmations. She had a small collection of crystals—clear quartz on her keychain, an obsidian stone in her car, and a small pile of crystals in a dish she kept on her night stand. Part of the reason I feel like the changes I’ve made in my life recently were so fated is because I never thought I’d be a crystal kind of person, but I didn’t feel myself brush off the idea as she talked about it. Instead, I was drawn in by it. The next day, I spent hours researching crystals. I took notes on their properties and what they’re said to be able to do and what the benefits can be. I honestly couldn’t pin down what it was that got me, but whatever the reason, I was completely drawn in by the idea of using crystals. So the next day, we all went to this cute shop that sold crystals and incense and little figurines of gods and goddesses and basically the whole store just smelled like eucalyptus and sage, which was kind of delightful. I bought my crystals—one for self love, one for transforming negative energy into positive energy, two for balancing the energies in the home (we lowkey thought our old apartment had demons in it, and also had a very toxic roommate), one for breaking bad habits, one for connecting with your angel energy and getting in touch with your love and light. Since then, I’ve also accumulated one for inner peace, one for spiritual growth and healing, and one for blocking negativity.

So basically, every morning, I practice yoga and then I meditate. Before I meditate, I look at little glass dish with my crystals in it and I decide what I need the most that day, like what affirmations I need to empower myself or heal myself or whatever I’m in need of or in the mood for. Sometimes I only need two or three crystals, sometimes I need all of them. When I meditate, I have them somewhere where they’re in contact with my skin. If I’m sitting up when I meditate I usually put some in the palm of each hand and rest my hands, palms up, on my legs. If I’m lying down, I’ll put them on my stomach or over my heart. I don’t know if it actually matters that they’re in contact with your skin, but that’s always felt important to me. And so after I meditate, I pick up each crystal one by one and fold it in my hands, and then put my hands either over my heart or over my third eye (the whole crystals and meditation thing has dragged me down a rabbit hole that has now led me to an interest in chakras). Then, in my head, I say whatever comes to me. Like for instance, when I’m holding my rose quartz (crystal for love, which I mostly use for self-love affirmations) I’ll say something like, I love and respect my body, and my body loves and respects me. It’s nothing crazy or complicated. When I’m holding the crystals, the things that I need to hear usually just come to me. So I’ll repeat it a few times to myself, and maybe a few other phrases, and then I put the crystal back down and move on to the next one.

The truth is that I have absolutely no idea if crystals actually possess the properties that people claim they do. But what I do know with absolute certainty is that there are certain things about your life that you get to decide. It changes the tone of your day, and eventually your life, if you wake up every morning and tell yourself that you love your body, or that your home is a loving and beautiful place. It changes things if you tell yourself that today, you’ll break that bad habit of a certain negative thought cycle, or if you tell yourself that you are full of empathy and kindness. I firmly believe that we create the narratives of our lives—the things that we tell ourselves become our realities. If you tell yourself—even if you do it without realizing, which is definitely something I used to do constantly—that it’s a bad day, it is going to be a bad day. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. We can control how we integrate that thing into our narratives. Tell yourself it’s a good day, and then if something bad happens, it’s a lot less likely that it’ll feel like the end of the world. Or tell yourself that you’ll give yourself the time and space to handle your emotions, and then if something bad happens, you’ll actually allow yourself to react and to feel it, and then it’s much easier to let it go and allow yourself to be present and joyful in the rest of your time. I don’t know if crystals actually possess magical properties, but I do know that it’s powerful to ground an affirmation in a physical object, because it makes you pause and really think about what it is that your saying and what tone you’re setting for your day. And honestly, I don’t think it matters if crystals are actually magical or not. I think it’s fun to believe that they are, and what matters is that they’re as powerful as you believe they are. I think they’re like conduits for your energy. You get out of them whatever you put it. Having a crystal in the corner of your room and ignoring it isn’t going to yield any benefits. But using crystals as objects with which you ground your affirmations absolutely is powerful.

I know that a lot of people have very strong opinions about crystals. And I know that I’m probably starting to seem annoying af. On paper, I’m annoyed by me. I’m vegan, I meditate, I practice yoga, I like crystals, I use affirmations. Trust me, I know how I sound. But the reality is that these things are all little pieces of what help me access joy in every moment of my life. I don’t really care what I sound like to other people because I used to be a really unhappy person, and the self-care practices that I’ve built for myself now make me happy. Like constantly and regularly, I am happy. I feel content often. And that’s because I did the work to literally tear down my life and rebuild it brick by goddamn brick. My life isn’t rebuilt yet, not even close. I think it’s one of those things that you have to do forever. But I like this work. It’s definitely better than living in misery and thinking that’s normal, because it most certainly is not. So, yeah. I use crystals. And I’m happy. I’d rather be silly and happy than cynical and sad any day.

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