Crystals and other things

The return to work … and stress…

Well, it’s just over a fortnight into the month and me being back and work and juggling everything else that goes on in my life such as taking and going to meditation classes, meetings, workshops, talks has meant that the time I have spent at home has been almost total ‘down time’.  Chilling with mugs of tea and a DVD or several is about all I’ve been able to do.  It may be a good sign that I am taking that time out and not filling my time up with busy-ness.

Stress hit a high on Friday with a confrontation with a pupil … and the fear that I may have done something wrong, that I will end up being told off for it, and yet common sense tells me that I did nothing wrong (apart from shout a little loudly). I was annoyed and angry with myself for letting my temper ooze out, though I regained control very quickly, and gained a stress-headache as a result of keeping things in.  There was no chance to let the temper out as I was on the roller-coaster of lessons yet again.  I wish I could have a ‘get out of lessons free card’ like some of the pupils, just for a few mins to gather myself back together.  I now have another set of negative automatic thoughts and reactions that now need de-programming, or perhaps that need revisiting in the light of some further insight.

Having said that, this was a lesson I had to take as soon as I got to work after a counselling session that ended just half an hour or so before the lesson.  It was an emotional session, with me trying to face up to my emotional eating, self-image, self-confidence, self-esteem and weight issues … sometimes I think I should just phone in ill.  I have leave of absence for these sessions simply because I give up my non-contact time in the week to attend them so that I have no classes to be covered.

Any suggestions for a career change for me?

I think this may be the only way out of what seems to be constant source of stress in my life, and with the way attitudes towards education have changed, both among parents and pupils and the low value placed on education and the lack of respect for teachers from parents, pupils, government and the wider society it’s not going to change, is it?  A way out, but I have no idea what else I would like to do or could do (bearing in mind I do need a certain income to pay the bills …).

Crystals

Thinking about stress, I’m always trying to find ways that work for me to relieve stress in my life and so stop me becoming totally drained and heading towards a dark place.

Meditation certainly helps no end, but that takes a fair amount of time, time I don’t have in the normal school day.  Morning and night not a problem, but during the school day … not even at lunchtime do I have time that is mine.  So, I do look at other things.  Square breathing that can be done ‘on the fly’ to regain control of some part of myself and my emotions, for instance.

Crystals may be another way of helping myself … though I’m not always convinced about such things.  I also have mixed views about the rape of our planet, our home in the Universe, for it’s precious resources that cannot be replaced, well not in our life-time at any rate.

I did have an interesting experience with a tumbled piece of sodalite that I purchased after a particularly emotionally harrowing counselling session a year and a half ago.  I was fondling it while having a make-over in the Body Shop.  There was a cracking sound and a piece of the sodalite had broken off and crumbled.  Now, I’m not strong enough to do that, there were no obvious flaws that I could see in the mineral, and it would most likely have broken into two pieces if that were the case, but to crumble into what looked like blue sand …

Crystal therapists and ‘experts’ I’ve related this tale to tell me that was a sign that some powerful healing had happened, and that such breakages are not uncommon.

The scientist in me is very sceptical about anything like this, even though I know that I did end up feeling better sooner than I thought.  There was a sudden easing of my emotional distress, whether that was due to the crystal or the make-over or just a little bit of time and space I don”t know – too many variables to say which one it was!  Or maybe it was just a combination of them all.

Sodalite

Sodalite from www.exquisiteearth.co.uk
Sodalite from http://www.exquisiteearth.co.uk

Sodalite unites logic with intuition and opens spiritual perception, bringing information from the higher mind down to the physical level.  When used in meditation, the mind can be used to understand the circumstances you find yourself in.  This stone instills a drive for truth and an urge towards idealism, making it possible to remain true to yourself and stand up for your beliefs.

Sodalite eliminates mental confusion and intellectual bondage.  It encourages rational thought, objectivity, truth and intuitive perception along with the verbalisation of feelings.  As it calms the mind it allows new information to be received.  Sodalite stimulates the release of old mental conditioning and rigid mind-sets, creating space to put new insights into practice.

Psychologically, this stone brings about emotional balance and calms panic attacks.  It can transform a defensive or oversensitive personality, releasing the core fears, phobias, guilt and control mechanisms that hold you back from being who you truly are.  It enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-trust.

Sodalite aids, among other things, the throat, vocal cords and larynx and is helpful for hoarseness and digestive disorders.  From The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall.

Well, that most probably covers all I’ve mentioned in my experience of sodalite, as well as issues I’m working on.  I do remember just finding myself attracted to the sodalite in the display of crystals in the shop, which was Exquisite Earth in Merthyr Tydfil.  I also remember the owner telling me to look up the crystal in a copy of ‘The Crystal Bible’ by Judy Hall and at the time it perfectly suited the situation I found myself in, and still do.  However, I am working my way through to the other side, and I am certainly a lot, lot better than I was back then!

Art

Art has taken a bit of a back seat to life in general lately.  I am hoping to lose myself in some art in the very near future – such as as soon as I’ve finished this blog entry and got a mug of tea!  I don’t have a lot of time this afternoon as I have a talk to do tonight.

Currently reading …

My reading list is really odd at the moment :

‘I can make you thin’ by Paul McKenna

‘The Spook’s Battle’ by Joseph Delaney

‘After Death Communication’ by Emma Heathcote-James

‘The Physicists’ View of Nature, Part 2: The Quantum Revolution’ by Amit Goswani

So, you can go figure!

Trains and seasonal stations

Riding the rails

Sir Nigel Gresley from http://www.copyright-free-photos.org.uk

Yesterday was a bit of a day.  I have a weekly morning appointment that often leaves me feeling very emotional.  I’ve been travelling there and back by train while I’ve been on holiday.  However, next week I return to work and the early morning train journeys will cease as I will have to get to work asap after my appointment.  I went to the Forum Coffee Lounge in Merthyr Tydfil for a pot of tea and some cake – I settled on a flapjack this week.  It has to be said, the Forum has the most gorgeous home-made cakes and traditional puddings, and they are very reasonably priced.

After enjoying the tea and nibble and recording my thoughts in my Luddite-journal,I decided to get a Day Ranger ticket,  and travel around South Wales.  The day was turning out to be a beautiful late summer day, the world lit with a soft golden light that presages Autumn so wonderfully.  I thought it would be nice to just to watch the world go by and for nothing more than the joy of moving from place to place, a chance to get my thoughts and emotions back into order, and to take a day out.  And so I did.  And it was lovely and relaxing.  I wish my train had been a steam train, like Sir Nigel Gresley, an A4 Pacific.  But the haulage by various diesel units was adequate and did the job of allowing me to relax.

I do find train travel relaxing.  I can’t run away from what I need to examine internally or work on creatively while travelling in such a way.  I have my journal with me, I write in it as I need to and work my way through things and find my balance once again.  Steam engines I love, but any locomotive will do in such circumstances.

Changing seasons

Rosebay Willowherb

The world is certainly moving towards Autumn in these here necks of the woods.  The quality of the light is changing, becoming more golden as the Sun’s strength wanes as we move further away from the Summer Solstice towards the Autumn Equinox.  There’s plenty of strength in the Sun to warm the Earth during the day, but the early mornings, late evenings and nights have that wonderful chill that heralds the coming of the magnificence of Autumn.

It really is my favourite time of year.  I adore the glowing warm colours and I start to eagerly look around me for signs of the changes, and yesterday I saw them.

The profusion of red haws on the hawthorn trees like seeds of the fire that will blaze soon.  There were the very occasional flash of  bright yellow leaves on the beech trees.  My ‘flame’ trees (some kind of maple or sycamore I think) were crowned with darker green leaves that had hints of a deep burgundy in them.  Ferns were beginning to turn yellow and then brown after being baked by the Summer Sun.  Fluffy seeds from rosebay willow herb.  Just hints, promises of the beauty of the colours yet to come.

The cycle of the seasons

I’ve always felt a close connection to the cycle of the seasons.  Without knowing why, I’ve always felt a deep ‘attachment’ to the solstices and equinoxes and have had an understanding of how they link to the cycles of human life and experience.

I have my own way of observing these astronomical (and astrological) stations of the year, ways that have developed over the past few years since I started to explore and find ways of expressing my spirituality and beliefs.  It has always seemed natural to me to acknowledge these stations of the year in some way.  As I’ve developed, so have my practices, sometimes I feel guilty about not spending as much time on them, having abbreviated them to the pure essence of what they are about, but I work hard on reminding myself that as we change, grow, develop, so must our practices and the way we do things.  When we learn something new, we do it with great attention to all the details, learning from this, but as our understanding and skill develops, we learn what is truly essential and leave out those parts that are superfluous to ourselves, our individuality.  Of course, they may be incorporated once again later if they are found to be required once again, but I do believe that by cutting away a lot of the faff and fluff you get to the core of the practice and the focus and intent is greater as a result.  The more in tune you are with the process, the less fuss is needed to make the connections that are needed.  But that’s me …simplicity wherever possible.