Kiwi And Kindness

32281376_239602350118513_1081264003952410624_nSome crystals I return to and write about more than once, particularly the ones that have had a lasting effect on me and have become personally special. One of these that has become a habitual pocket rock is Lotus Jasper, also known as Kiwi Jasper. The white version of this stone is known as Sesame Jasper – but for writing and alliteration purposes I will refer to it as Kiwi Jasper…

My partner bought me my first piece of Kiwi Jasper in a mixed parcel of points – a wonderful crystal stew of Mookaite, Dalmationite, Opalite…but the delicate green of this point caught my eye. Since I’ve had it, I’ve never taken it off, and it’s one of those crystals that have become essential and part of me – like brushing my hair.

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Then, one day, Liz just happened to have just the one palmstone of this wonderful jasper. There are lots of varieties of jasper which can be used for different purposes but generally it is known as the supreme nurturer.

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Kiwi Jasper has a comfort to it, a gentleness and love that I was drawn to and it’s a very popular stone for use in healing or spirit work. It enhances the connection to Mother Earth and the universal grid of Love, a nurturing and sustaining stone that brings peace and tranquillity.

Kiwi Jasper will cleanse and align the chakras, absorbing negative energies, whilst uniting and balancing all aspects of your life and bringing calmness and resolve to help you deal with any situation.

This is the green of true Love to soothe anger, calm tension and dissolve grief. It balances the heart and sacral chakras and I love it… I asked Liz whether she could perhaps get some more and I was delighted to see a nest of my special favourite at the next Well Being event. I quite firmly believe that favourite crystals are just like cats and chocolates… you can never have just one. I told everyone about this lovely stone, the key words being Love, harmony, balance.

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I met a wonderful gentleman at the shop, shortly after purchasing my palmstone, tested it with his dowsing rods. I didn’t know you could do this but apparently it works like a barometer of the crystal’s pure intent. Something like that. My palmstone was quite high and the man then showed me how to re-progamme it… then I was talking about it to a lady at the event and I mentioned what a kind vibe it has and how it never seems to need cleansing.

She put her hand over mine as I held it and said:

It’s because it works in harmony with you – the Yang to your Yin… “

Kiwi Jasper brings emotional strength and awareness; with the awareness of Love comes the awareness of balance. We must give and receive in equal measures to achieve a happy state of wholeness.

I have found with age, I’ve learned a little about kindness, one of those indefinable qualities that can be hard to pin down. I don’t mean everyday kindnesses like washing up without being asked… more the sort of kindness that is linked with understanding.

For example: my mother is an almost-obsessive tidy upper and cleaner of her house – it’s a matter of pride, or so I always thought, especially since she has two large dogs. However, the other evening when it was just us, we talked…as grown up women, and the subject of cleaning arose. She told me that she cleans the way she does so I know she’s still capable and I won’t make her give up her house and put her in a home.

I was a little taken aback. I’ve never doubted her sensibilities or her physical capability and I was almost hurt by her even thinking I would do such a thing. Instead of taking offence, though, I tried to understand and reassure her that would never happen…(who would bake me bread then?)

So in conclusion then I suppose what I am saying is that although Love can be limitless and infinite, to be truly kind, you need to have the understanding too. Balance.

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Opals And Obedient Cats

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There is a phrase… “like herding cats” which is generally taken to mean a frustrating and pointless task, as cats are notorious for wanting to do their own thing, and responding unwillingly to any form of training.

My partner was not a cat person… until he met me… and he was fascinated to see how first Walter, then the girls, learned and responded to us and their environment. They all know their names and answer to them, and I said to him:

Well, what do you expect them to do… ignore you?”

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Which they do, actually, as he is definitely Number Two Cat Parent.

Like any responsible parent, I have tried to teach my girls the basics: “No,” “Sweets,” “Down,” “Come”, “Up” and so on, as it is useful to have them understand some basic manners too – entirely another matter as to whether the choose to comply or not.

I have come to the conclusion that cats understand extremely well the actual concept of obedience… if what you would like them to do coincides with their intentions at the moment, then all well and good and everyone is happy…

Opals are traditionally associated with bad luck and unhappiness, although it’s really a beautiful crystal and the highest grade is used in jewellery.

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My son bought me this green Kiwi Opal, and it is one of the kindest crystals I have encountered, encouraging spontaneity and creativity, whilst gently releasing inner conflicts and inviting spirit and body to work as a united whole.

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Thus it is a useful stone to possess and use if you feel repressed or confined. The opal nurtures and makes the owner aware of the benefits that come from being nurtured, a calming, caring and co-operative stone.

19369060_141704846384723_1802846821_oFire Opal – helps initiate new ideas and stir enthusiasm, Yellow Opal – for emotional stability, called the ‘Stone of Hope’

Opal contains more water than most crystals usually do, which is perhaps what aids it attune its own vibration with its owner, as opals quickly synchronised with their owners. Of course, Opal comes in various forms (thank you Lizian for letting me play with the pretty stones…) but the underlying crystal properties are the same.

19250084_141705089718032_55389870_oPink Opals to help heal emotions, bring compassion and ease painful memories…

Its varied and beautiful colours awaken the spirit of creativity, while its gentle, almost motherly vibe encourages us to communicate honestly and kindly with one another, helping where we can and caring too. Always.

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Gotcha…

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I have previously mentioned my stray cat problem… however… this is no more. I would like to dedicate this post to the Cats’ Protection League and thank them for all the wonderful work they do.

Our most persistent stray, Boris, has a place! We had adjusted our home routine to keep our girls safe and stress-free, locking the cat flap and night time, giving plenty of love and attention and lashings of Feliway…

I made so many ‘phone calls, it was heart rending. I never truly realised the extent of the stray problem here until I started this, as every other stray cat we’ve helped we’ve been able to re-home privately.

Boris made it through December in a nest of pillows in the porch and had a plate of catfood left out for him morning and night. My girls didn’t like it. Not one little bit. However, they adapted and an uneasy truce was declared.

Then I got the ‘phone call. A place was available in the local shelter – could I catch Boris and bring him in? I was delighted…Boris vanished, unwilling to discuss the terms of his Pexit… (Porch Exit…)

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The next couple of nights were cold. There was a frost. With a heavy heart, the morning I was due to bring Boris in, I prepared to call the lovely lady to say that Boris had disappeared and the place would have to go to another cat. I opened the back door to let Charlie out and she hissed angrily. Boris was there!

He “meh”-ed quietly at me and looked hopeful. Quickly, I swept Charlie up and into the front room and emptied a sachet of catfood out for Boris. Now I faced a dilemma – he was accustomed to eating in the porch, having been chased indignantly out of the house by hissing, teeth clattering, paw stamping girl cats.

I placed the food on the doormat and retreated, waiting with bated breath. Boris approached, obviously very hungry, snatched a mouthful of food and went back outside. My heart sank. I was the only person in the house, apart from the cats, and it was beginning to seem that Boris was going to live up to his namesake and be … bumptious.

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He came back inside. Had another mouthful of food – and stayed on the mat. I lunged forwards and gently pushed the kitchen door shut. Boris gave me a suspicious look and returned to his food. The cat carrier was waiting, sprinkled with treats and Feliway.

Boris finished his food. Inwardly bracing myself for raked wrists and bitten fingers, I carefully bent down, prepared for the struggle and – PICKED BORIS UP.

He went happily into the cat carrier, turned round, then curled up and went to sleep. Weak with relief, I rang the lovely lady at the shelter to let her know we were on our way.

While we were in the taxi, Boris didn’t fuss, or meow or fight to get out of the carrier. Is it anthropomorphic of me to say he was ready to go and knew I was helping? When we got there, the lady explained how well Boris would be looked after, medical checks, neutering, a warm bed, food…

I saw his little tabby and white face disappear around the corner with a pang, but I know he’ll be happy and safe and make someone a wonderful pet.

Bon voyage Boris and good luck. Time to come in out of the cold now.

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Carnelian and Compassion for Cats

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These cats are breaking my heart… I have a stray cat problem as I am sure I may have mentioned before. With the onset of winter and the colder, wetter weather, I am seeing homeless felines everywhere,

Why? Why do people do this? I will never understand why people take on the responsibility of an animal and then as soon as it grows up or loses its cuteness or does something wrong then the animal is abandoned. I would sooner chop off my own arm than abandon one of my cats – they are family.

Another new face on the stray circuit, a battered looking black and white tom, found refuge in our conservatory on a cold night last week. My partner had to go out and move him on:

I’m sorry, I’m afraid you’ll have to leave. Can’t have you upsetting the ladies.”

All right Guv’nor, all right, just give me a minute to get me things and I’ll be off…”

I don’t want to make light, really of what is, after all, a heart breaking problem, but I just wish these owners would have a little compassion and think what these animals suffer as they are deprived of a home through no fault of their own, and face an uncertain future.

_mg_8508Boris, the stray, in happier times

This is why we must never ignore these charities such as the Cats Protection League, RSPCA and the PDSA, that do such amazing work. These charities, both here and abroad, do such amazing work, like FACE Foundation, with TNR programmes and empty shelter days, where they try and re-home every animal need our support and help.

And it’s not just cats. Dogs too. Animals that we assume responsibility for and then forget as though these little lives mean nothing. I’m not going to turn this into a rant, but I would urge everybody to donate, help, volunteer, foster, adopt, whatever you can.

I have my four girls obviously, but if I could afford it, then that four would probably become fourteen. And I do think it is about time our government addresses various issues that beset our animal population, for example, look again at the Dangerous Dogs Act, implement policies that would regulate the breeding of animals and protect their lives, set aside some funding for a nationwide programme of trap, neuter, return… If we cannot exercise compassion for our animal friends, then how can we hope to extend that to our own species?

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Carnelian, a stone I have not personally experienced although I own several pieces, is a crystal that both stabilises and encourages… It can help you be realistic whilst giving you the energy and motivation to put thoughts into action. My son is fond of this crystal – it is useful in the dramatic arts and can also help cleanse and recharge other crystals, just by being near them.

Carnelian is a very empathetic crystal, it can help to banish fear of the unknown, of death, whilst promoting positive life choices and instilling courage in its wearer.

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Linked to the Base chakra, it gives the courage to overcome abuse of any kind and its physical benefits include aiding the absorption of vitamins and helping with depression, back problems and rheumatism.

Carnelian is kind, yet practical. It banishes mental chatter to improve clarity of thought and enhance perception. It removes emotional negativity, protects against other peoples’ negative thoughts and enhance perception. It removes emotional negativity, protects against other peoples’ negative thoughts and promotes a love of life, with all its ups and downs.

Everybody has room for a little piece of Carnelian in their crystal repertoire… everyone has room for a little compassion too.

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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

14th Dalai Lama

Kindness

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I don’t do unkindness. Not now. Not anymore. There was too much of it in my earlier life and I reached a point where I felt ill with it… like eating too many greasy chips. I thought I would hate to make anyone else feel as I did and had a quick prod of the old emotions – as you do – to see what I could do to feel better.

Kindness. I am not speaking about dancing around scattering glitter and flowers, and letting people liberties with you. Just little things. Like the opening of a door for someone; a pleasant smile and a ‘thank you’ can make all the difference to a day and make you feel that it is all worthwhile.

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Un-kindness is unnecessary and very rarely justified. I saw something that made me so sad the other day as I was dusting in my son’s bedroom. I had the window open, and we overlook a park. A little boy, only about three, was walking with his mother who was on her phone and pushing a pushchair. He had some sweets, but dropped them and started to cry. Instead of comforting him, or saying:

Never mind, we’ll get you some more,” the woman cuffed him across the top of his head and shouted:

Now look what you’ve done, you little tw**! Well that’s it, you’re not getting any more!”

What was the point of that? How cruel and unkind a response to an unfortunate accident. The little boy wanted his sweets, he didn’t throw them away in temper, he wasn’t misbehaving. As I watched from the bedroom window, the mother seized the little boy and dragged him away, still sobbing miserably.

What did the child learn from that? That his earliest disappointments in life will come from his mother? Not a lesson I would ever want my sons to learn. That it’s all right to hit out in temper at someone who’s already upset? Or hey, life’s a bitch and inevitably something worse will happen when you’re already hurting?

Really, it wouldn’t have taken much just to comfort the little boy, or even say:

“Well, we can’t go back to the shop now, let’s go home and watch television and you can have some more sweets tomorrow.”

IMG_6447 (2).JPGA pink rose, traditionally associated with kindness, love and gentleness

The ‘un’ kindness of the whole incident struck me as sad and unnecessary. However, I’m not judging the mother, perhaps she had a bad day… but there is always room for kindness, and a grateful smile from her little boy could have been her reward if the whole scenario had played out differently.

So. As I said previously, there’s no need to be unrealistic about the kindness you bring to the world, just think about what you do. You’ll feel better in yourself and you will have a better response from the people you meet. And, here’s a thought, be kind to yourself too. Give yourself a break.

(Thank you to Iman Refaat of Perceptions for inspiring this post and making me think about kindness. She’s a lovely person, check out her blog for inspiration, positivity and encouragement.) 

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All featured crystals are examples of Rose Quartz, my favourite crystal. It is linked to the heart chakra and helps to promote love, compassion and empathy.