I am finalizing my gear a few weeks before starting my trek and I am debating bringing… rocks. Well, actually crystals. I can hear the laughter now. Trust me I am laughing at myself too as I am shelling out money to reduce my pack weight and dreading carrying 16 pounds of water, but oh why not a few pieces of the earth?
Here is a little story about why I have come to like special rocks so much that I may just carry a few 1,000 miles.
Living on Kauai
I moved to Kauai to work on a farm and after my first few weeks, a friend lent me a book called “Signs, The Secret Language of the Universe,” by Laura Lynne Jackson. After several days I got around to reading it. I opened randomly to a chapter about manifesting, about asking for what you want to come into your life. It sounded too good to be true. I was amazed and skeptical. Then a bee flew down and landed on my hand, specifically on a ring on my right hand. She walked along my hand then flew off. I was surprisingly calm and when she left I looked down at my ring. It is engraved with a single word: “believe.”
I took that as a powerful sign. The next day I made a vision board and began speaking to the universe. I wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I have wanted it since I was 15, so perhaps the Universe could be a pal and help me get there.
One week later and I was still thinking about the trail and I went on a walk to the beach. On my walk, I asked the Universe to send me a sign if I should follow this dream at this time in my life. Within 20 minutes the world gave me three rainbows. It was a go.
I spent several months after this revelation continuing my farm work on Kauai. While farming I was also immersed in the spiritual nature of the island. It is a place to dive within. To dig. To make sacred and pure. Quite frankly I didn’t sign up for self-betterment, I was there to learn to farm. But that little bee opened up my mind’s eye. I wanted to see and feel more.
I shared the story of the bee that made me believe with my dear friend. Then she introduced me to the power of crystals. I was gifted a few from different friends and bought a few of my own. I began tapping into different levels of my own energy as a way to better know myself. As I have accumulated PCT guide books and have been getting advice from past hikers I have also been meditating with pieces of earth to stay grounded in my purpose.
I sit with each stone, seed, and shell and envision myself on the trail and using the qualities of each to connect, overcome and make sacred all that I will encounter. I am practicing mindfulness.
I feel vulnerable in sharing this aspect of my preparation because unlike the burpees and readings and gear trials it isn’t as streamlined. But it works for me and maybe in my sharing, it will strike a chord in others.
To make tangible all these wild abstractions, here are the things I use to stay grounded and how I tap into the energy of each.
Green Aventurine: Green opens up the heart chakra, it evokes joy and zest for life. I hold this and see myself reveling in all the natural beauty around me. I feel the shrieks and howls I will unfurl in the wild alone.
Selenite: This white crystal opens the third eye and reminds me to tap into deeper layers of myself. While I am backpacking I want to have an open heart and mind. I want to learn new things about myself through struggle and perseverance.
Rose Quartz: Calming, nurturing feelings of self-love and peace are exuded from this crystal. These feelings are important for me to stay connected to as I want to remember to nurture my needs while on the PCT. I want to be tough but also listen to my body and heart every step of the way.
Amethyst: I was gifted this by the same friend who lent me “Signs.” For me this stone represents manifestation. Of letting things in and befriending the Universe. I hold this purple jagged stone and remember the power of speaking things into existence. I remember the bee and I believe in my path.
Calcite: A woman I really look up to gave me this crystal as a parting gift. It has a beautiful sunshiney color and is powerful by way of bridging emotions and intellect. For me, I find the greatest value in the place it was found and the friend who gave it to me. When I hold it I think of kind connections. I feel gratitude.
Rudraksha seed: These seeds are powerful prayer beads in Hinduism because they act as safeguards against negative energy. They are wise and are even known to help identify water and food that is safe (a good trail perk!)
Chalcedony Druzy shell: Makes joy from fear! Yes!
Hamburger pod seed (sheep’s eye): This seed comes from the Micuna Gigantia, a large vine that is invasive in Hawaii. I helped de-vine some of this plant while living for a short time on the Big Island of Hawaii. I loved how the seeds were repurposed as road fillers. I sit with it and think of how I can use challenges to my advantage. I too feel creativity ooze from a seed with an abundance of names as it looks like an eye, and it helps me look at things with a new perspective.
Flower Agate: My newest Earth healer aims to release pain and incite affectionate energy. It is shaped into a mushroom and shows me growth as I connect my emotions to my reality.
I will not self-sabotage by bringing all these crystals and tokens of Earth in my pack, but one or two may sneak their way in. Trail life is sounding pretty luxurious!
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