Slice of Life Challenge – March 30 – Rockhounding and Crystals – Part 2 (Continued from Tuesday)

After long conversations about the wellness benefits of stones and crystals with one of my daughters, imagine my surprise when I arrived home to find a box on my doorstep from her! It was heavy – mailed at the flat rate, and filled with individually bubble-wrapped crystals and stones. I felt like I was playing the Saran Wrap game at Christmas where it’s filled with all sorts of treasures and you have small bursts of time to unwrap it, keeping what you can before it’s time to pass it to the next person. Only I got to keep all of it!

And what treasured gifts these are! Perhaps the most touching of all are the handwritten pages explaining every stone, telling of its qualities and a few personal notes scattered throughout – the most cherished one on the Lapis Lazuli note, explaining how my daughter feels close to my late mother as she still wears her bracelet filled with these brilliant blue stones. My mother, as it turns out, had jewelry made of a variety of stones and also suffered from anxiety. We continue to learn more about my mother and to “connect the dots” long after she has passed. It’s not surprising to learn that she, too, knew the benefits of stones. I often wear her jade necklace and some of her other stones that she wore frequently.

For Christmas, I’d given my daughter and her boyfriend a rockhounding kit filled with all the tools they needed for their hobby of exploring and digging for stones in the desert. In this shipment, she included some stones she’d purchased, and some that she had rockhounded herself, straight out of the earth. Those are pretty special stones to me.

And as I read my favorite childhood poem that I shared on March 17, I’d been inspired with my new knowledge of stones to turn from the plastic Mardi Gras beads and the green glass beads to stones of green black dot Jasper in my quest to be more nymphatic in my replies of NO. And they work. I’ve said no several times, becoming the goddess of refusal.

Now I shall continue to explore the benefits of these stones, using the starter kit my daughter sent me. I have placed them all on the dyed slice of agate (flat stone) and will experiment with the healing powers of each. For now, I am including pictures of the stones she sent, along with her notes. Enjoy!

My coffee table after opening the box of surprises from my daughter

Slice of Life Challenge – March 28 – Making Stones Crystal Clear

My daughter in her desert rockhounding playground, where she locates stones.

When one of my daughters moved to Nevada, she began taking a greater interest in natural foods and overall wellness through diet, exercise, prayer, and meditation. She suffers from anxiety, so the healing properties of Himalayan Salt lamps and hikes through the desert to calm the mind and familiarization with the properties of crystals to alleviate stress are all pathways of interest for her. I made a commitment in February to involve others in my blog posts throughout March, and I invited her to share some of her knowledge of crystals. In today’s first part, our dialogue is exchanged through texting.

My daughter has been teaching me about each stone and what it can be used for – here, she holds an amethyst, used to promote serenity and calmness, and even help with headaches that come as a result of anxiety and tension.

I asked my daughter if it was true that crystals and stones really have healing properties.

What’s fascinating, Mom, is that ancient civilizations all used stones and found the same benefits from them, and this was before the days of communication between these civilizations, yet they somehow still found that a crystal or mineral that could be found in both places had the same benefits.

We were texting about her knowledge of crystals as I was suffering from a tension headache that has been debilitating since February 1, and I was willing to try anything – anything – to get my normal head back.

And they were all using them, especially certain civilizations that were known for it – like the ancient Chinese. Jade is very precious to them (as are many but everyone associates the ancient Chinese with jade) and even Cleopatra would grind down Lapis Lazuli for her famous blue eyeliner. There is an impact glass that formed millions of years ago from a meteorite crashing into the Libyan/Egyptian desert sand (I have a piece of this impact glass called Libyan Desert Glass) that was found set in the breastplate worn by King Tut and was found when his tomb was discovered. The history of people using stones in the ancient world is even an interesting topic on its own. There are even mentions of stones in the Bible.

The hour-long text session was taking us through the twists and turns from history to actual uses of stones, and I found myself growing more and more impressed by her vast knowledge of the topic.

I asked her how crystals fit into religion, because several years ago, there was backlash that stones were being used in place of God.

Honestly, this is just my opinion, Mom – nothing researched – but after working with and meditating with crystals, I am pretty convinced that the prophets in the Bible, I believe they had the gift of prophecy from God, but I believe they used crystals to help facilitate this gift. In Exodus, the breastplate of Aaron was a sacred object used by the high priest in order to communicate with God. It had 12 stones set in it, for the 12 tribes of Israel. During some of my meditations using crystals, when I’m in my meditation and visualizing, sometimes I get very unexpected quick flashes of visions. For example, if I’m visualizing things in my head during this meditation and I’m going through a walk in the forest on this journey, I focus on that, but on several meditations, visions of things have come into my head like a flash, just an image, without me ever thinking about them. I can’t explain it but it’s very cool when it happens. I think the prophets used them for sure. I haven’t researched that topic, but I just believe that.

But what about the people who say crystals are the work of the devil? There are folks out there who believe that, so I asked if she’d explored the reasons and the case for Biblical uses of crystals.

Mom, that’s because some people think they are associated with the occult. But why would God put them in such abundance on this earth if they weren’t for us to use? There are things that I don’t like or wouldn’t ever use when I go into a metaphysical shop that sells crystals because of my beliefs. For example, tarot cards. I don’t know much about them, but there are things in there that fall too far on the extreme side for my beliefs. I would never ever want a psychic reading. First off, you never know if you’re being scammed and second, that’s just not something I need.

She continued her line of reasoning.

As long as people don’t practice idolatry when using crystals, they’re fine. But that can be said for literally anything in the physical world: cell phones, televisions, anything. And why would he put them here on earth for us?? Okay, I’ll play devil’s advocate for a second and say the same reason he put Adam and Eve in a garden with forbidden fruit but he said not to eat the fruit, he never said not to use the crystals. That’s coming from humans, not God. He just said never to worship anything/anyone other than him.

I was following her thinking, even as my eyes landed on the prescription bottles in the kitchen window. What was the difference in using chemicals ground with a mortar and pestle, swallowed to enter my bloodstream to combat the effects of this severe tension headache and using the magnetic properties of stones to alleviate a headache? I had to believe in whatever remedy I was doing either way, but that didn’t mean God was knocked off the top pedestal of priority any more than when I consume the food I eat to sustain my life.

There are those who associate mediation with a variety of religions, like it’s different from prayer, so how do you think meditation is the same or different?

I believe that prayer is powerful, but I also believe the energy the crystals emit from vibrations can help calm you down for more focused prayer, uplift your spirits, help with appetite, anxiety, blood circulation, everything. When a lot of people are passing on into their eternal life, I’ve heard of people laying crystals on them as they’re dying and in all of the instances, it’s a calming peaceful last few hours/minutes. My boyfriend’s sister did that for their grandmother when she died too.

There are extreme minds who will not for one second wrap their mind around accepting the use of crystals in their lives, though, and will even go a step further and disparage anyone who would. How do you respond to these folks?

Mom, people use crystals and don’t even know. Watches are powered by quartz. When you use a barbecue lighter, it’s piezoelectric energy from hitting a quartz that sparks the flame.

I had to admit – – she had enlightened my thinking in a way that took me away from all of the negative connotations associated with crystals and had my mind turning. What could be harmful about a crystal that could have a worse reputation than headache pills? I was opening my mind to the new possibilities……

Stay tuned for Part 2 on Thursday……

Slice of Life Challenge – March 8 – Mother Nature’s Healing Powers: The Benefits of Ecotherapy

Throughout February, I worked on a plan to involve others in my blogging experiences this month. Today, my sister-in-law, Dr. Bethany Johnson, is my guest blogger on the benefits of Ecotherapy.

Dr. Bethany Johnson

Dr. Bethany Johnson is a professor of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology. She is a writing contributor for several online magazines, including Prime Women and Honey Good. Last summer , when working with @beginningisnow with actress Brooke Shields, she was selected as one of the 40 Most Influential Women Over 40. Currently, she is in the beginning stages of writing a book about losing unnecessary social expectations and rediscovering oneself. Please welcome Bethany today!

Mother Nature’s Healing Ability – The Benefits of Ecotherapy


Have you ever been feeling down, stressed, or just overall not feeling good and then gone outside for a bit only to begin to feel better? It isn’t a coincidence that being outside made you feel better. The answer to many of our physical, emotional, and mental lows can be found right beyond your door.


Ecotherapy is known as the practice of therapy that focuses on being outdoors and in nature. It is also known as nature therapy or green therapy. The term ecotherapy arose in 1992 when Professor Theodor Roszark used it in his book The Voice of the Earth. Many doctors (mostly functional physicians) are now using the connection with nature as part of protocol for getting healthier. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of being in nature. Many may say there is not enough research to validate this theory, however, there are enough examples of it working to make a reasonable connection.


A Dose of Nature a Day:
 Helps lower blood pressure
 Helps control diabetes
 Lowers stress and anxiety
 Rises energy levels, fights fatigue, and increases the quality of sleep
 Reduces depression
 Reduces the levels of ADD and ADHD
 Increases mental focus


Since I began studying the practice of ecotherapy, my experiences outside are so different. Each trip outside brings something different – even when I am in the same place. I now am very purposeful in slowing down and connecting with what is around me. Today, for example, on my walk I saw the bright white dogwood trees, I felt the sun warm my skin, especially my toes (which must have been cold from being inside and I hadn’t noticed until my walk), and off in the distance I heard a woodpecker. While walking, I first smelled something burning … wood. However, the wind shifted and then I smelled fresh cut grass. This is one of my favorite smells in the world and immediately took me back to my childhood living on the farm in Illinois! My walk tomorrow will be a whole new experience, and I can’t wait!


Gaining the benefits from ecotherapy is not difficult. You simply need to make time to get outside! The important aspect of ecotherapy is simply being outdoors and connecting to the natural elements. No matter what you are doing outside, be conscious of the fresh air you are breathing in, the wind or breeze blowing across your skin, the sounds that surround you (this is better if it is sounds of nature and not of human life). Make certain to acknowledge the colors that surround you. Look at the greens of the trees and grass, the vibrant colors of the flowers, the different textures such as the roughness of tree bark but the smoothness of a flower petal. Make certain to engage all four senses: touch, taste, smell and hearing. So, get up and get out!! Enjoy nature and heal your tired body, mind, and soul. Love to all of you!

Special thanks to Two Writing Teachers for giving writers space and voice!

A Late Christmas Discovery

The cigar box from Christmas 2021

As I was paring down my book collection (one of my goals this year), I discovered a surprise hiding behind a row of books. Last Christmas, Dad brought me a banker’s box full of family heirlooms wrapped in old towels – carnival glass, books, an antique milk glass lantern, silver napkin rings collected over the years, and a wooden cigar box. He’d wanted the towels back, so in my haste to get everything out of the box and return the towels, I’d set the items on the table to dust and polish later. Somehow, the cigar box ended up behind the row of books and managed to remain there for over a year untouched.

Imagine my surprise when I opened it to discover an assortment of Mom’s jewelry, along with my own beveled crystal earrings I bought as a teenager! I no longer have much of the sentimental jewelry that was given to me over the years, so these pieces from my past are pure treasure.

Angel Aura crystal earrings purchased when I was a teenager

The same week, one of my daughters sent me lepidolite and terahertz bracelets for their healing properties. Lately, she’s been learning a lot about crystals and gemstones from the rock hounding hobby she’s taken up in the Mojave Desert. Mom’s beaded jade necklace was among the cigar box treasures, and I can’t wait to explore the benefits of wearing these various stones alone and in combination with others.

Terahertz, Lepidolite, and Jade

I’ve asked my daughter to chime in on her unique hobby sometime in March, so stay tuned for more information about rock hounding and the benefits of using stones for healing and balance!