It started with shells. Wandering the beach, a small sandlark, bucket in hand, was how I remember a lot of my time spent as a small child. I think two years old is the first photo my parents have of me engaged in this pursuit - probably quite a common one for most children growing up in coastal regions. It soon escalated to sea glass and then to pebbles, and branched out from the beach to moorland and mountains - wherever there are pebbles to be found, I can be found there admiring them. It's an issue with sticks too, but that's a separate story.
My maturing tastes took me to crystals/gemstones at this point. Or rather the crystals drew me in. I couldn't get enough of them. So many colours, patterns, and shapes. The stark contrast between the same stone rough and smooth. I was fascinated by how each stone had a link to an area of the body and aspect of health. I built up quite a collection which I kept in a pouch, and every so often would take them out to look at them or hold a specific stone I was drawn to or which matched an area of the body I wanted to focus on. It felt empowering to be able to learn about something different, especially something that might be able to help me; bring me comfort, calm, and a sense of connection. Eventually the bullies tired of me and moved on. I'd like to say that was the end of it, but sadly adults bully too. I did get respite between the ages of 16 - 24 though, and again after 26.
What does all this have to do with wellness? Asides from the obvious benefits of being outdoors and in the fresh air, there is the joy of seeing a beautiful thing, and the sense of satisfaction in finding something pleasing. These tie into gratitude practices - being thankful for the existence of beautiful things and experiences, as well as mindfulness - mindful looking in noticing the pebbles and other flotsam along the shoreline, and the stones in your hand, and being totally absorbed in the stones, not thinking about anything else.
I've recently been drawn towards crystal stones again, so have decided to study them. As part of the crystal healing diploma I am studying new ways of understanding body systems, shamanism, as well as geology and aspects of quantum physics. I'm very excited to have started this new journey and am looking forward to building on my learning with a blend of contexts; ancient, holistic and scientific. I will soon be on the lookout for people who would like to be case studies for crystal healing, so watch this space!
Grounding Stones in 4 steps...
A grounding stone is one used to anchor oneself in the present. It can be useful for difficult memories, feelings of overwhelm, busy lifestyles, feelings of detachment, and anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
As you get into the habit of reaching for your grounding stone, the grounding part will start to happen by association, but it also comes down, each time, to your intention (see my blog on intention setting for more information about this). It may be that you use your grounding stone as and when it feels helpful or relevant, or it may work best for you to use it at set times of day, such as bedtime, breaks at work, or before meals. Some people set timers on their phones as a reminder for these sorts of practices. You might choose to keep your grounding stone near you, in a pocket, bag, or on your bedside table if you have trouble sleeping.
Author - Zoe Copeland, MFHT
With a background in education, sports coaching and mental health, Zoe began to explore more holistic avenues of helping people with a particular focus on where the mind and body meet. Zoe began her bodywork training in Sports Massage and has since studied other massage theories and techniques, as well as Reiki, to provide a holistic approach to each treatment. With specific training in women's health, trauma and scars, she has developed an intuitive practice which leaves you feeling a positive change in your body and mind after every appointment.