For the Love of Rocks: a past and present love affair

When I was a very young child, I played with rocks like other kids may have played with Fisher Price toys. My Nana and I ran successful restaurants out of her dining room, serving my Pap delicious dishes made up of differently colored, sometimes hand painted, rocks. Together, we taught "school" to classrooms full of rocks and played "store" by selling rocks as produce, meat and various dry and canned goods. As cliche as it is, sometimes those rocks even acted as my pets.

As I got a little older, my attention turned to rocks that were more sparkly. My dad and I would explore land around family properties in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri; and parks, streams, rivers, waterfalls, etc in search of  smooth river rocks, fossils, arrowheads, geodes and anything else interesting or shiny. The occasional find of a fully intact geode was like hitting the jackpot! And when we brought them home, I got to do the honors of cracking them open, when I could. I would admire what was inside and find the rock a lovely home in our backyard garden or in my bedroom. 

As a pre-teen and teenager, my interest turned to crystals and gemstones. I would stop in rock, bead and new age stores in every city or town I visited and look for interesting crystals, stones or jewelry. I developed an obsession for all things hematite. At the time, I had no idea of the magical, healing properties of hematite. I just felt drawn to it and loved the look and feel of it. Looking back, it was a really great stone for a teen girl to cherish as hematite is known for its grounding energy and promotes self-confidence and courage in women. Throughout high school and most of college, I wore beaded bracelets made from onyx, hematite, turquoise and rose quartz because they gave me a sense of strength and security.

Fast forward to 2014, when a lovely new store opened in my city that carries a thoughtfully curated collection of objects the shopkeeper has picked up on her adventures throughout the United States. The inventory ranges from cozy vintage sweaters to hand-carved wooden trinket boxes, animal skulls to locally made candles to what really drew me in - crystals, feathers and tarot cards. When I first entered this store, I felt I had found my retail soul sister. The crystals were selected and purchased from a man who had recently traded a life in corporate America for an enchanted life of selling crystals and imparting wisdom on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. They were carefully displayed in vintage dishes with handwritten cards explaining the healing properties of each stone. To say my first visit to El Dorado General Store reignited my passion for crystals and stones was an understatement. 

Over the last year, my interest in the energy emitted by stones, crystals and rocks has been renewed and I've found myself searching for a deeper understanding of how each stone I collect can help me or others. It was because of this interest that I signed up for a Crystal Healing workshop with local energy healer extraordinaire, Sue Burton Hidalgo. Though this workshop was brief, it gave me a great foundation on which to build my knowledge of how to use stones and crystals to align the chakras and heal the body and mind. It also introduced me to the Energy Balancing Institute, where I plan to obtain my certificate in Crystal Healing once I've completed my Nutritional Therapy program. I look forward to delving further into this field and being able to offer this method of healing to future clients.