Crystal Culture 101: Amethyst

I wouldn’t say I’m a crystal fanatic, but I do pay $30 a year for an app that categorizes my crystals and tells me all about their properties. It’s a lot to remember when you impulsively buy pretty rocks every time you see them.

I’ve been collecting crystals for a few years now. Why, you ask? Because I like them. Whether you believe in mystical properties of rocks and minerals or not, I think we can all agree that creating more mindfulness and focus in our lives is beneficial. Choosing a crystal that represents certain qualities does that for me. It allows me to focus or channel my thoughts a little better because it gives me a physical object to direct my thoughts and energy toward- reminding me of my intention. It’s the opposite of ‘out of sight, out of mind!’

I have crystals all over my house- yes, I’m that person. Mostly I just like them there in my presence, but I’ll meditate with them or pick one up and carry it around with me if I feel like it! If it’s fun for you and not hurting anyone, then do YOU, sis.

So let’s dive in: Amethyst is one of the primary triad of crystals, in my opinion. The other two being crystal quartz and rose quartz. If you’re just getting into crystals, I recommend starting with one of these. All three are quartz variations and known to be mighty powerful. If you’re a February baby, you’re lucky because Amethyst is your birthstone! It’s a semi-precious stone and often used in jewelry. I don’t care about that, tbh. Let’s talk about the mystics of Amethyst!

Fun Fact: In Greek mythology, there was a nymph named Amethystos who was transformed into stone now known as amethyst. Apparently, amethyst is so healing, the Greeks would crush it up and put it in their wine to prevent themselves from getting too drunk! That sounds adorable and destined for failure, but I’d totally try it!

Amethyst is said to be a very powerful healing stone that protects its keeper and transmutes negative energy into positive. It’s incredibly versatile in this way, which is why I recommend starting your collection with one of these little babies. Plus, they’re pretty.

Amethyst is nonporous, so if you’re feeling really funky, you can drop your (clean) stone into your water bottle to infuse your literal body with crystal magic! If that’s too crazy, you can just put it under your pillow for a good night’s sleep. You can hold it while meditating to diffuse stress, or if all else fails, you can clutch it in your hands while you scream-cry into the void. Do what works for you, my friend.

If you’re intrigued by amethyst and all its wonder, you’re in luck. My Amethyst Collection just dropped at Lola + Rose Emporium, so take a peek and snag yourself an infused piece of your own!

xoxo,

Liz

When I look at a photo of my younger self….

Journal Prompt from Esther Perel’s “Where Should We Begin?”

When I look at a photo of my younger self I get increasingly angry at the society that has pointed out everything that could possibly be wrong with me and then some. Looking at my younger self, it is clear to see I was never fat, never ugly, never any of the things I believed about myself then and still do!

Our patriarchal society and a billion dollar beauty industry have worked together for all time to ensure women stay small. We are so distracted by mirrors and imperfect images of ourselves that we cannot possibly devote our energy fully elsewhere. Imagine a world in which women rolled out of bed and brushed their teeth before leaving the house and that’s it. The hours and money and energy and emotions we’d save could honestly change the world.

When I look at my younger self, I send her empathy and kindness because she was doing her best with what she had. It’s pointless to wish I knew then what I know now. And the truth is, I’m a slave for beauty- I actually LOVE it. But now I love it because I see it more as fun ways to enhance and express myself rather than fix myself. I’ll never be the type just to brush my teeth and leave the house.

That said, I’m damaged from growing up in quite possibly one of the most toxic eras for women, ever- the 90s and early aughts. Many readers here can probably relate. I can look at photos and see the way I stood, angled and posed in order to make myself look how I thought was best. Of course, I still do this. I can take a photo today and be disgusted, but look at it a month later and think it’s adorable. It’s a sick cycle, my friends.

I guess as they say, awareness is the first step to change.

Knowing What to Quit

That’s right, I said “what,” not “when.” Knowing when to quit is important, but first, we must know what to quit.

Fun Fact: I’m a very sore loser. Competing isn’t fun for me, so Instagram, I’m out.

For months now, I’ve really struggled with the direction I’ve wanted to take my company. I want it small, yet productive. I want to create on my terms, yet make things people want to buy. I want lots to do, but not so much that I can’t enjoy my free time. It’s all quite fickle.

Through my tumultuous inner dialogue, the one conclusion I keep arriving at is that I’m sick of Intagram. Yep. So sick of it. Here’s why: Instagram is a business- they create products: reels, stories, IG TV, etc. They reward users that utilize these products to keep viewers engaging on the platform. What we see now with the reels push makes it really hard for people like me who do not give a flying fuck about dancing to trendy sounds like a circus monkey in order to garner shallow engagement to survive. I’m just unwilling. And I pay for it. In fact, I recently deleted my Facebook account and was screwed even harder. I can no longer tag my business with Geo-Tags, and I cannot run sponsored ads without Facebook. I’m literally trying to give instagram money to expose my art, and Meta won’t accept it unless I have a Facebook account. Facebook is harmful to my mental health. It just is. And I won’t cave. So my little business and I will pay the price.

What says, “Fuck the system!” more than a classic punk-mood statement piece?

And that’s why I’m here. I started this blog with all intentions to help me express myself in written form, and I believe blogs are making a resurgence as more and more people are sick of running the algorithm rat race for a few measly likes. I like me. I like my art. My work deserves exposure, and I deserve to live by my rules, not the algorithm’s.

More to come.

xoxo

Liz

I wish everyone would forget about the time that I…

Journal Prompt from Esther Perel’s “Where Should We Begin?”

OOF. A little context first.

As a teenager, my dream car was a Nissan 350z. When I was in college, I got lucky, and a coworker of mine was selling hers super cheap. I sold my car and bought it! It was SO EFFING CUTE, and I was meticulous about keeping it pristine, but I tell you, from day one, that thing was cursed.

After a couple of unfortunate, but manageable mishaps, my car and I graduated from college. I was leaving my bf’s house and headed home to grab a bottle of tequila (college) before heading to a friend’s for an afternoon of pool time.

As I’m making an extremely familiar turn, I see a teeny green spider drop down from my open window. And here is where I wish people would stop making assumptions about me: I am not all that afraid of spiders, and I was absolutely not freaking out when I ran my car into the telephone pole!!!!

I was making a left turn and was mildly distracted by the spider I was trying to flick out my window, and I didn’t turn my car sharply enough at the intersection. My right front end went on to the sidewalk WHERE THE TELEPHONE POLE WAS WAYYYY TOO CLOSE TO THE ROAD, and my light smashed into it, deploying my airbag.

The car was an ’03 and it was 2012 at the time, so the interior damage totaled out the value of the car. It wasn’t smashed to pieces, and I wasn’t having a hysterical meltdown which resulted in me careening into a telephone pole. I was going pretty slow and just didn’t cut a small enough turn because I was distracted.

I get roasted to this day, which is fine, because no one was hurt and it’s legitimately funny, but I want people to know that the whole situation was lay less dramatic than they assume. To be fair though, everyone is right to assume maximum drama.

And to add some actual drama, at the hospital, I noticed the diamond was missing out of the ring my dad had just gotten me for graduation literal days before this. That’s when the full hysterics started, and I made my friend remove me from the hospital and take me to the impound lot where I screamed at them till they let me in (it was closed, and I wouldn’t tell them what was in the car, LOL). My friend and I searched through broken glass for 30 minutes until she found the diamond among the rubble. Fuck a head wound, I wanted my diamond back! And truthfully, the thought of losing such a gift from a parent shattered my heart.

So, look, I guess I did total my car because of a spider, but I may have suffered an undiagnosed concussion over a ring. You tell me what’s more dramatic.

xoxo

Liz

I’m surprised I’m Still Alive After….

Journal Prompt from Esther Perel’s “Where Should We Begin?”

I have hardly told anyone this story, and for the sake of time, I’ll leave out extra details, but to this day, I’m overcome with panic if I think about it too much!

This was back in 2014 or 2015, and I was living in Philadelphia, but I was in Baltimore for work. I was with a coworker/my ex (lol) late at night because we had to pick up a regional trainer from the airport at like 11 pm. We were all crashing at my ex’s house, and on the way back, close to midnight, we were driving and just chatting, and I remember the roads were wet and it was extra dark.

I came up to some railroad tracks intersecting the street, but the kind that were flat to the ground, so you wouldn’t notice them in the dark unless the crossing lights were flashing indicating a train was coming. They weren’t, and in fact, I don’t remember if there were even lights at the crossing at all.

As soon as the tail of my car crossed the tracks, the entire car shook and rattled with the force of a train rushing by, and its wind blowing our car. The three of us stopped talking and whipped around (me in the rearview mirror) to see a silent train rushing through where the car had just been.

None of us had heard it or seen it coming in the dark. There were no lights, no whistles, no crossing barriers- nothing. I was sick to my stomach thinking I had nearly killed all of us and wondering what I could have done differently to or if I had done anything just slightly differently, we’d all be dead.

We didn’t talk about it after that, but I’ve never not felt pangs of guilt and fear every time I do think about it. It’s such an odd memory and happened so fast, sometimes I feel like I made it all up. Every now and then, right before I’m falling asleep, I have a flash vision in my mind of a train slamming into my car.

Spooky shit, man.

Till next time.

xoxo

Liz

Journal Prompt: The Part of Myself I need to break up with is….

From Esther Perel’s “Where Should We Begin?”

The part of myself I need to break up with is the part that assumes I’m wrong and/or crazy when I feel angry, hurt or sad.

Many of you may know by now that a few years ago, I was involved in an organization that meets most markers of a cult. I was also dating someone within the organization. Talk about a double whammy.

These organizations keep members compliant by over time, retraining them to assume responsibility or rather, fault, for everything bad that happens. If you don’t meet x goal, it’s your fault. If someone is mean or disrespectful, all you can control is *your* response to it. Anger and sadness are wasted emotions, are you going to sit around and cry or get off your fucking ass and work? *Kim K Voice.* On top of this, my ex and I used these manipulation strategies unintentionally on everyone around us including each other.

So over time, I learned to internalize everything that went wrong and first find out everything I did wrong to avoid it. This is gaslighting to the extreme. To this day, I have a really hard time crying- I’ll feel like I need to, but it just won’t come! I went through a breakup over the summer, and I cried HARD almost every day for a month, but even at the time, I knew about half those tears were totally unrelated! Once the floodgates opened, about 4 years of suppressed tears erupted. I needed it.

The emotion I’m really, really trying to cultivate right now is….anger. hardly ever feel genuine anger! I get frustrated or I’ll get my feelings hurt if someone says something mean, but I cannot summon anger for the life of me, and it’s an emotion that’s normal and necessary at times! I’m not saying I want to start acting like a raging town witch (I kind of do want that lol), but I would love to be able to just have a reaction in the moment and speak up for myself in real time, rather than processing it for days and then deciding that we’re all human and I forgive them.

I know I’ll still arrive there regardless, but I also deserve to say my piece if I’m hurt or frustrated. Just last week, a friend said something really hurtful to me, and I sincerely don’t think they meant it, but instead of confronting them in the moment with, “Ouch- why did you say that? That’s mean and hurtful!” I just avoided them and then kept my mom on the phone for an hour deciphering what they really meant by it!

That’s truly insane. So this week, I’m going to see if I can cry about something and maybe clap back at a sideways comment.

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

I’ve only had the “stiff as a board” part down until recently. Look, the last two years have been the heaviest most of us have ever felt. I can’t speak for you, but the emotional weight of 2020-now has truly zapped my life force- and all I’ve done is watch it all unfold from my phone. I cannot even begin to comprehend how people experiencing the horrors we’ve all observed have actually felt.

I’m a firm believer in staying HOME on NYE! I was house sitting, so I got to stay in an upgraded home, hot tub and watch Andy and Anderson with friends. I was in HEAVEN.

At the end of last year, I felt myself completely crash. I was super mood swingy, I didn’t want to do anything, and I felt like I was missing parts of myself I used to know. I went out to dinner with a friend a couple weeks before Christmas, and he was KILLING me with jokes on jokes, and I was like, OMG, I never laugh anymore! I forgot people were still funny! I forgot that it’s ok to laugh! At that moment, the word “levity” flashed in my mind, and I felt that I needed to find ways to return to some lightheartedness and start seeing the good in the world again.

Then the guilt came- why should I be allowed to laugh and have fun when the world is quite literally on fire? And then I learned that guilt is just the ego’s way of making me feel like I have some amount of control over the world. And I don’t. I have control over myself. Now I’m not saying I think I should stick my head in the sand and ignore everything around me completely. I’m saying there has to be a way to observe without absorbing, and find ways that I can personally contribute to the betterment of the world while still living life to the fullest.

What’s working for me now to lift some of the weight of the world:

  1. Watch way more comedy specials
  2. Donate money- this works better than donating time right now, but I’ve done both and either or in different periods of my life
  3. Decrease consumption- I’m thinking intentionally about what I buy and donating what I’m not using
  4. Up my recycling game
  5. Decrease phone time- the endless pursuit! Our brains and nervous systems simply are not equipped to process the amount of information we consume in a day- hence why we just go numb. We just can’t do it so our brains power down, which leaves me feeling empty and dull, personally.
  6. Saying yes to what I’m in to and F no to everything else- “NO” has been my number one power move over the last 6 months, and when I tell you I’ve never been happier! (And yes, it’s possible to feel happy and heavy at the same time- emotions are not all or nothing.)

Last year, I ditched the idea of New Year’s Resolutions in favor of adopting a monthly theme for myself to practice. I trusted my gut and just aimed to find ways to practice that theme when I could. This month, I’ve chosen “Levity.” So in addition to practicing the above, I keep a sticky note by my desk that says, “What makes me feel light right now?” And when I read it, I just take a deep breath and sigh it out. It’s really helped alleviate my stiffness and introduce some more light and feathery feels.

The last note I want to add that’s been a helpful reminder for me is that feeling empathy is a good thing, but internalizing the agony of the world helps exactly zero people. When we feel depressed, anxious, helpless and angry, we are not able to function at the level required to make a positive impact on the world. The better you feel, the more the world around you benefits. I try to keep that in mind when I feel the spiral coming on.

Happy New Year, everyone! Talk to you soon!

xoxo

Liz

I didn’t say f*%@ing YEE!

But let’s go anyway… HAW!!!

We’re not quite there yet, but 2021, another fucked up year, is coming to a close. YEEHAW!

I just finished packing the last of my holiday orders… for now. I know there are always stragglers. Let me tell you, I’m beat. I’ve worked my ass off this year in almost every arena of my life, and I’m extraordinarily proud. I’ve earned a couple weeks to do NOTHING. Vacation starts Friday.

Ahhh, what a sight.

I’ve tried and failed several times now to express just how expansive, meaningful, creative, painful and beautiful this year has been for me. I simply don’t have it in me to articulate it, and I’m ok with that. I just don’t feel the need to explain myself anymore, and I don’t ruminate on things like I used to, so I just don’t have much to say!

I love to write, and for a while, I really used this blog to practice and flex the creative muscles it takes to write something meaningful. But now, I just feel so drawn inward. I don’t want to get rid of this blog, but it’s getting harder and harder to spill my guts because I just don’t feel like it’s necessary. This space helped me process a lot over the last couple years, but now I feel like the well is drying up- and that’s a good thing!

I would love to find my niche thing that I could write about on a regular basis, but it just hasn’t struck me yet, and I don’t know if it will. I don’t have one passion, and I change my mind a lot. I also don’t think I’m an expert at anything, and imposter syndrome stops me from sharing my opinions because I don’t know enough about any one subject, and knowing me, I’ll be bored in 6 months anyway!

Anyway, what I can say is that every month this year, I gave myself a theme to practice, and I stuck to it. I think that’s worth talking about today. In fact, I couldn’t even choose just one theme for December- I was that pumped. So the themes of December are reflect and celebrate. I’m taking the end of the year to appreciate how much work I’ve put in and how the rewards of it are so deserved.

Looking ahead, I know I’m not setting a New Year’s resolution. Those are for the birds. I am playing with the idea of documenting my manifestation journey (call it goal setting and achievement if you want, but I’m an air sign and a Projector, so I don’t achieve goals, I manifest) in real time starting next year, but the way I “manifest” things is so personal, and I like keeping it mostly private. However, it works like magic, and everyone could benefit from learning how to do it, but at the same time, people only do things when they’re ready and want to, so I might wind up exposing things I like keeping to myself for no reason.

So I’ll have to see how I’m feeling about that.

I’d also like to get into more interior design, but I think I need a second house.

I really just don’t know what’s next. I’m keeping my options open. In the meantime, I’m really, really happy, and I’m enjoying the bliss.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Talk soon

xoxo

Liz

Private Parts

So…. we’re getting close to the end of the year. I have picked a theme for myself every month so far, which means this the first resolution I’ve kept.

This year’s theme, now that I sum everything up, is Pivot. I guess the year isn’t over, but if I’m performing a trend analysis, it seems the only consistency has been change. Imagine that. Every time I pick something to work on, I inevitably uncover something else to look at.

Through all of this meaningful inward exploration, I’ve discovered that I most want to feel safe with myself and am becoming more and more trusting of myself as I continue to face the dark places that I never wanted to look at before. It’s hard work. My outlook, attitude and life have changed drastically over the last year. Old, protective layers have melted away. I’ve let go of things and lost people, but I’ve continued to find myself.

I honestly don’t even feel like finishing out this blog- of course I’m going to- I’m in it now. But I just don’t care to continue to search for meaning and validation externally. Like, I just feel content to be with my thoughts without the need to spill them out anymore. I rather enjoy sharing less. I used to never understand how people don’t share their whole lives with other people, but I get it now. That used to be fun for me, but the more I trust myself, the less I need anyone’s opinions or input.

At this point in time, I know exactly what I want, and I’m going to go get it now.

xoxo,

Liz

Catch and Release

I don’t fish. I don’t even eat fish. Of any kind. If it lives in the water, it’s not for me. I think that’s why this works.

My feelings are like fish. Some are prettier to look at and experience than others. For the sake of this metaphor, I’m going to specifically focus on my “bad” feelings: shame, anxiety, fear, apathy, depression, anger, sadness, grief, guilt, despair, jealousy, rage, frustration, resentment, bitterness, irritation, pride, selfishness, hopelessness, misery…did I miss anything?

I imagine I’m floating in a cute little boat in my cute little bikini, on a calm, placid lake. My line is in the water because I’m fishing for treasure. Really- people lose jewelry and shit all the time. RIP to my Burberry sunglasses! I know that because I have a line in the water, I’ll inevitably hook something. And lo and behold, there’s a fish on the line. FUCK. Now there’s tension! I’m stressed because now I have to do something, or that fish is gonna run my line out until there’s nothing left, and I’m totally depleted. I guess I could cut the line, but that’s really just creating another problem because now I’ve got a fucked up line, and I have to make a new one from scratch or I won’t be able to catch any treasure.

I have to reel in the fish and unhook it. It’s hard. And it’s scary because I hate fish! I don’t want to look at it or touch it, but I have to! It’s the only way to unhook it. So I just breathe and keep reeling until I’m holding that squirming, slimy, nasty fish in my hand. And it’s terrible, and it sucks. It’s cold and yucky, and I wish I never decided to reel it in, but now it’s here, and I just have to unhook it. So I hold on hard to that fucking fish. It feels like forever, but it’s really only 30-60 seconds before all the horribleness pays off because now I have the hook out and we can both get on with our lives.

And that’s what it means to catch and release emotions. When I refuse to deal with the feelings on my line, they stay in my body and cause me thoughts I don’t want which turn into habits and behaviors. They cause fatigue and chronic exhaustion. They never let me live because they’re just swimming around inside me hogging all the space where the butterflies are supposed to live. So now, I reel them in, and I hold them for as long as it takes to unhook them. Scientifically speaking, if we practice letting go of emotions as they arrive, they really only come in waves of about 30-90 seconds at a time.

I do this all day every day. I do it while I’m working and working out. I do it while I’m at dinner and as I’m falling asleep. I do it mid-meditation and mid-downward dog. I do it at the grocery store and in traffic. I just let the damn fish off the hook. I don’t judge it for being an angry bass or a sad trout. I don’t really care if it’s a jealous carp or an apathetic minnow! I just hold onto the fish until it stops squirming enough for me to unhook it from my line and let it go. These fish and I have never felt so free to coexist knowing we are just going to have a brief encounter and move on. The best part is I’m getting pretty good at fishing.

So, if you see me with my eyes shut or staring into space for approximately 30-90 seconds, just know I’ve gone fishin’ and I’ll be back soon.

xoxo,

Liz

P.S. This is October’s theme, and I’m proud to say I’m 10 months in to my New Year’s Resolution!! Yeehaw!