Avoiding Painful Emotions: Garnet Will Make You Popular

My fave piece: smokey quartz and bright orange...

My fave piece: smokey quartz and bright orange garnet crystals, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After years of driving past The Cave of Wonders, curiosity pulled me in. I stepped inside and magnificent gems encircled me. A sweet caramel and white pitbull named Bella shadowed me as I perused the stones. I showed Bella a black, shiny piece of tourmaline and explained its energy-absorbing properties. She sniffed and licked my hand, confirming my selection. I picked up a piece of smooth, rose quartz and felt its coolness and weight in my hand. The bin’s placard announced that it decreased stress and brought love into one’s life. Sign me up for that! I added it to my growing collection and continued browsing. Bella grew bored of examining my treasures and parked herself in the front entrance to greet unsuspecting humans.

When my stone collection overflowed the reaches of my palm, I decided to check out. I had gems to help me grieve, avoid negative energy and stress, and bring love and prosperity into my life. Yep, I was covered in the happy life department now. The shop owner handed me a complimentary marble-sized garnet – the stone of the week. He gave me a handout describing its properties and meanings. Garnet brings successful business, cures depression, makes a person popular, adds constancy to friendships, increases security level, cleanses and purifies and increases sex drive. I hit the jackpot! Now I could start a successful business, be happy, popular, confident, clear negative energy and be a sex goddess!

While the garnet claims appeared exaggerated, I think we all hope at times that one special thing or person can provide fulfillment, safety, and happiness. We all have experiences in which we wish a garnet could cure all our troubles. Simple fixes are attractive but no replacement to feeling our way through life. I keep the garnet in my purse to remind me of this fact. If life hands me a lesson, and I choose not to accept the challenge, it comes around again. The times I find myself wishing for a “garnet fix” are typically the times I want to avoid painful emotions.

Where in your life do you find yourself wishing for the garnet fix? What do you need to feel your way through?

 

Imperfectly,

Amelia

 

 

Making Space

Hello Everyone! Happy New Year! I realize it’s been . . . ahem. . . a couple months since I last posted. Upon reflection, I initially framed this sabbatical as a time of self-growth and actualization. Then, I went home for the holidays and realized I have a long way to go in this department. During my hiatus, I summoned motivation to re-enter the blogosphere. I signed up for a “Get Published Now!” class. Unfortunately, and ironically, it was postponed until next week. However, I am undeterred!

When I returned home from the holidays, I surveyed my cozy apartment. I thought, “I have too much s*#t in here.” I am by no means a pack rat, and I keep my space fairly neat. However, my gaze gravitated to items I no longer needed. Following my divorce I moved my sectional sofa and over-sized chair into a tiny, new living room. I knew the chair overwhelmed the space. However, it matched the sofa, technically fit, and served as my splendidly imperfect dog’s favorite napping space. I rarely sat in it (or dusted under it for that matter . . . eww). I knew it needed to go. I considered consigning it, but this option seemed burdensome. I decided to email my local friends and inquire if they were interested in or knew of someone who could use the chair. A few minutes later I received an email from my yoga instructor. She shared that one of my classmates lost everything in a fire Christmas Day. I made contact with this classmate who expressed interest in the chair. When she saw it, her eyes filled with tears. She commented that it looked remarkably similar to the one she lost in the fire. That evening some friends came over to pick me up for dinner, and we had some time to spare prior to our reservation. They kindly helped me re-arrange my furniture which made my living space open and inviting. Moving the furniture independently would have likely resulted in an exorbitant chiropractor bill!

A couple of days later my sweet sister told me she had a pretty rough day and just desired a hug. On her way to the metro station, she saw a homeless man outside her office building. She had seen him several times, and he never asked for a handout. She stated she felt called to give him a few dollars and wish him a good day. This deed resulted in her missing her usual train. However, while waiting on the platform, she unexpectedly spotted a friend who greeted her with a big hug. She would have missed him had she caught the earlier train.

Love finds us when we make space for it and give it away. What things do you need to let go of? Make space for? How can you show your love today? (Commenting on my blog is one way if you’re struggling here. . . or calling your Mom . . . the possibilities are endless.)

Imperfectly,

Amelia

My splendidly imperfect dog still has many nap spaces
My splendidly imperfect dog still has many nap spaces

The Power of Intention = Dishrag Slippers

My closest friends will tell you I frequently say, “put that intention into the universe,” followed by, “who wants to order dessert?” Intention/goal setting, prayer . . . whatever you want to call it, involves identifying what you desire in your life and living in a way that brings it to fruition. Yes, I recognize this idea sounds a bit spiritually foo, foo, but we have plenty of psychological research supporting the effectiveness of this process. To me, it involves the combination of rewiring your brain to look for evidence of that of which you seek and also spiritually informing the universe, “Hey! I totally want X in my life, so if you could help me out with this one, I would greatly appreciate it.”

Recovering perfectionists struggle with the key to intention setting . . . letting go of how and WHEN it manifests in one’s life. Holy moly, I STRUGGLE with this one!!! I often find myself saying things like, “Hi Universe. It’s me. Amelia. . . um remember me? . . . I’ve been really good . . . working hard to be a loving, caring, confident person . . . I picked garbage off the sidewalk today . . . I called my mom . . . I stopped wishing ill will to Mr. Scum Bucket (see Successfully Failing Online Dating) . . . can you please respond to that intention I set a few days ago? . . .Trying to trust you here, but questioning if you’re on a Carnival cruise or something . . .” Here’s the paradox of intentions/prayers/goals – one must set them and then completely let go of being attached to a particular outcome. THEN, one has to live life like the intention will happen. At this point, you’re likely thinking “Amelia, WTF?” (Mom please message me later, and I will decipher WTF for you. Also, I apologize upfront for using WTF.)

Here’s a simple example. In September, a friend from yoga class invited me to a party on the roof top of a posh hotel. I had no idea what to wear, so I turned to my best fashionista friend for advice. She instructed me to text her pictures of my cocktail dresses . . . yikes! I consigned my fabulously large collection of two cocktail dresses after a “come to Jesus” with my closet months ago. Hence, I made an emergency shopping trip to Nordstrom’s. I had 6 hours to find a dress. With text support from my fashionista friend and my sweet sister I found a gorgeous cocktail dress, along with an adorable price tag. The price did not justify a one-time wear. However, I said, “Hey universe, this dress is stunning, and I would like to wear it again to something really special. . . I love going to weddings . . .I am happy to don this for a future party . . .” My sweet sister encouraged me to wear it to as many semi-formal events as possible, and I invited the challenge! Two months later, my dear friend Sara contacted me to inform me that she and her boyfriend were engaged and throwing an engagement party in February. I responded by saying, “Congratulations! I’m so excited for you both! I have the perfect dress for your party!” (BTW- I’m wearing the dress in the picture on the “About Me” page. If anyone needs a date to semi-formal event, I would love to wear it again!)

Sometimes the answers to our intentions do not come exactly in the form we xpect. Be careful what you wish for and be open to what comes! During my recent visit to TX, I complained to my kind host, Steve, my feet were cold. . .

Me: Hey Steve my feet are freezing. Can I borrow some socks?

Steve: Good lord girl! It’s 85 degrees outside . . . at night.

Me: I know. . . can I please borrow some socks.

Steve: I have something even better.

Me: (Steve returns with what appear to be two, stripy dishrags, sewn closed on each end with an elastic casing along the top.) What are those?

Steve: They’re dishrag slippers. My Mah-Mah in Louisiana makes them. She’s 92 years old. Hey, didn’t you want some guy to bring you slippers?  (see F’ing Honest.com)

Me: This is not exactly what I had in mind . . .

Steve: Well Amelia, you need to be a little more responsible with the intentions you throw into the universe and be grateful for what you receive. You are bordering the line of high maintenance.

Me: Point well taken . . .

“Hi Universe, It’s me. . . Amelia . . .again. . . umm thanks so much for the slippers . . .they are super comfy and nicely complement my heart-print pjs . . . I should have been a little more mature regarding my intention for love . . .so here it goes . . . I would like to find the love of my life when I’m ready and you think the time is right . . .and if I could also wear my cocktail dress again that would be fabulous . . . not necessary though . . .but a bonus. . . Love, Amelia.”

“It’s not so much that we force the hand of God, as we become willing to be who we need to be in order to manifest the intention.” ~ K. Woodward Thomas

Imperfectly,

Amelia

Dishrag slippers

Dishrag slippers

George Michael is Not the Only One Who Has Got to Have Faith

“Yes, I got to have faith . . .I gotta have faith . . . Cause I gotta have faitha, faitha, faith . . . I gotta have faitha, faitha, faith.” ~George Michael

Approximately one and a half years ago life threw me into the churning, 50 foot waves of an emotional ocean. I would come up for air, fill my lungs, only to be hit by another wave, forced under, while the shattering noise of a powerful ocean and gallons of water pushed overhead and held me tight to the bottom. I wanted up. I wanted to breathe. I wanted it to stop. Whenever a wave receded, I came up choking, gasping, spitting up water and reaching for anyone who could keep me afloat. This process happened for months. My tears were a release of all the emotional water I swallowed when I had the safety and space to release it. When they say grief is a process, they are being f’ing honest. The belief which propelled me through this emotional maelstrom was “faith” . . . faith that I would not feel this way forever . . . faith that the universe must have something better in store for me . . . faith there was a purpose in all the crap I stumbled upon.

During the emotional equivalent of Survivor, a friend invited me to a jewelry party. Typically I abhor pyramid scheme companies which utilize “independent consultants” to pedal cookware, make up, vitamins, etc. However, I liked and wanted to support this friend. Additionally, the party had free appetizers and wine, so nothing lost right? . . . I arrived at the party and instantly felt overwhelmed by all the glittery trinkets and charms. My jewelry tastes are simple. . .  small, delicate, feminine, can be found in the jewelry section of Target.

I sifted through the trays of beads, baubles and charms until I found Faith. Unlike the other flashy jewels on display, she was simple. A pewter tag with her name stamped in all caps. She knew I needed her — a visual reminder of what I knew in my heart. I paired Faith with a simple silver chain and headed to the checkout station. My friends informed me that Faith needed a pop of color and encouraged me to select a colorful bead accent. Faith and I hung out together frequently during the first few months of my divorce. Sometimes, I wore Faith to bed on particularly challenging nights to remind myself I would feel better in the morning, and I typically always did.  I continue to keep a close relationship with Faith, because she always comes through.

If faith feels a little too touchy, feely, Amelia hugs trees because she lives in California, there is psychological support for the benefits of faith. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson states that our brains are wired for the negative. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense our brains would look out for and focus on things that have potential to harm us. Hence, we must teach our brains to do what Hanson calls “taking in the good.” If I have faith that good things are in store for me, and make a concerted effort to notice the good when it comes into my life, then I will feel (insert drum roll here) good. Pretty powerful stuff right? Additionally there is a psychological phenomenon called confirmation bias which states that we look for evidence to support our beliefs. If we have faith that good will come our way, we look for signs to support this belief and if we think life is going to suck we will find plenty of evidence to this effect.

For me faith has a spiritual component, it’s my way of saying, “Hey universe, I don’t get why all this b.s. is happening to me right now. I know it’s a FOG (i.e., F!@#$ing Opportunity for Growth) moment. I’m going to do my best to trust that everything is the way it should be right now and all I have to figure out is the next step.” Boy, this one is hard for me. I want the whole plan including two back up plans in case Plan A or B does not work. I also want AAA emotional towing support for unexpected life events. However, Faith reminds me that I’m OK, safe and loved. There is something bigger and better coming if I can have patience and yield to the universe’s time line vs. mine.

May you have faith.

Imperfectly,

Amelia

My splendidly imperfect dog has faith things will be better in the morning . . .

My splendidly imperfect dog has faith things will be better in the morning . . .