Good news–I’m back from vacation! Raise your hand if you didn’t even notice! Yeah, I scheduled some posts, took off for a week, and got back a few days ago, quiet as anything. But I’m back now, so I shall get to answering comments and posting more stories and all the like.
I would’ve posted earlier, but I needed to recover from vacationing :P Seriously, though, a couple nights ago I wasn’t sleeping very well and I was headachey and tired during the day, so blogging was the last thing I wanted to do. Fortunately, I slept wonderfully last night and have no headache right now so here I am, ready to post!
This vacation came at a really good time for me, because after getting worked up all summer long about school and writing and time slipping away, this week was a time when my sole purpose in life was relaxation. Just kicking back, enjoying the nature and the fishing and the lack of responsibilities, and for seven days completely dropping all my worries because I can’t do anything about them whilst on vacation anyways.
And while I was vacationing and relaxing and “getting my peace on”, I had a couple things happen that really helped me spiritually.
The Harmony Balls
About a month ago, I was out shopping with my sister when I noticed these, Harmony Balls. I’ve wanted a set for a very long time, and I mentioned this to April in passing. A few weeks later, after she’d saved up some money, she gave me a belated graduation gift. It took me a moment to realize what it was, but I was ecstatic to see she’d given me Harmony Balls of my very own. I absolutely love them and of course brought them on vacation.
They’ve got weight to them, and they make the loveliest chiming sound when you move them in your palm. As you rotate them in both directions, your fingers have to work in sequence to keep them moving and balanced, which tenses and relaxes muscles and ultimately soothes joints. For someone like me, who cracks my knuckles obsessively and whose fingers always need to be doing something, it’s great to have a constructive and healing way to keep my hands busy. And since I write a ton and am thus more prone to wrist injuries, the exercise helps prevent that.
It is also said in traditional Chinese beliefs that using the Harmony Balls goes beyond good hand health. They help you connect with nature, as well as channel energy through your fingers and to the rest of your body, especially your vital organs. They’ve been a way for me to take time–just a couple minutes make a huge difference–to relax and bring positive energy into my body. After using them, I can feel the peace literally settle in the palms of my hands like tangible power–it feels like magic, actually–and I just feel so much better. Big, big thanks April!
Then, while we were driving up to the cottage where we vacationed, we stopped in a small town along the way to check out some stores. We found one that was really neat, filled with spirituality and related objects, and I enthusiastically looked at their polished stones. I love stones–even just plain old rocks you find outside–and I especially love spiritual stones. I didn’t buy anything right away, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
As it turned out, my grandma wanted to go a few days later and a trip back to town was planned. I wanted to go just so I could return to the spiritual store, but the fact that I would have to endure hours of shopping just for the sake of going to one store made me change my mind, so I asked my mom to pick me up a couple stones. The biggest problem was that I’d intended to go in person and shop around for the stones I wanted, based on their spiritual properties, but because I wasn’t going, I needed to think of something off the top of my head. I chose jade and lapis lazuli.
As fate would have it, those were excellent choices.
Jade is a stone I love for writing reasons (it’s powerfully important to one of my characters and literally keeps him alive) and because the colour green has personal significance to me (colour of my eyes, and eyes are the windows to the soul). Its spiritual meaning, as described on a little card that came with the stone, is of purity and serenity. It is related to the heart and aids in emotional release. It can also bring insightful dreams (which I’ve since determined is true, because the dreams I’ve had while it’s been under my pillow have been incredibly revealing as to what my true concerns are right now).
Lapis lazuli is a stone I love because in the Unicorns of Balinor series that I read as a kid, there was a magic staff or sceptre made of lapis lazuli, and from then on I always associated the stone with magic and unicorns. Spiritually, it is a stone that releases stress and brings in peace. It bonds relationships and, like jade, it is a stone of emotion and serves as a dream enhancer.
Both these stones together encourage peace, a positive flow of emotions, and clarity in dreams. I ended up being drawn to the very stones that I needed to help find my inner peace and relieve some of the stress I’ve been feeling. Just holding them in my palm, looking at them in the light, or wearing them in a neat coil necklace (like this) helps me relax a little bit, or at least be more conscious about relaxing.
After all the physical exertion I’ve been through worrying and stressing and just generally being upset, I’m really trying to overcome my worries through more spiritual means. In the world I write about, there is a race that believes in the spiritual power of trees. They teach that holly empowers the spiritual warrior in all of us, and the term “spiritual warrior” has always stuck with me. I feel like a spiritual warrior, an entity made of energy and the power of a soul, is much more capable of overcoming fears than a physical warrior could ever be.
So with these lovely objects to be my weapons, I look to strengthen the spiritual warrior inside of me. I know she’s in there somewhere, and I think I may need her help in days to come.
What do you do to relax?
May you ever find peace in your soul and may your spiritual warrior be ever strong.