Working with Depression and Anxiety

The past few months have been quite intense for Mary and I,  and I’m sure for countless others.  The energy has been all over the place, and I think everyone is feeling it more than usual.

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Lepidolite Point

And if you suffer from depression and/or anxiety even the small things can be more challenging. This is something Mary and I battle with on a daily basis.  Finding motivation to keep going can be difficult and there are days where getting out of bed is challenging. I’m sure many of you can relate. Living with High Functioning mental illness is more challenging because people around you often don’t even realize it.  Often they just have a hard time understanding this truth, because on the surface, you have it all together.  It’s hidden, and those of us able to function have developed coping mechanisms so others can’t see it.   But let’s back track for a moment and define depression and anxiety.

Depression:

feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
 WebMD says “It’s natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.”
It’s estimated that over 19 Million people in the US suffer from depression.  The actual numbers could be higher.
Anxiety:
A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Symptoms include stress that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event, inability to set aside a worry, and restlessness.

Here’s an article on The Mighty that outlines how anxiety feels.

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Labradorite freeform

My personal history of anxiety really kicked into high gear when I started college.  If it wasn’t for a long range walkie-talkie and following my dad for most of my commute, I don’t know how I would have made it to class every day. On days I didn’t follow him, Mary and I traveled together.  Staying accountable to someone else helped to get me out of the house.  It wasn’t a perfect system, but it worked most of the time.

These days my anxiety often appears in the form of procrastination, and lack of time keeping.  Denial that I need to leave the house leaves getting ready to the last moment.  There have been periods that I have to have alarms for everything, reminding me to get dressed, it’s almost time to leave, time to leave, and crap you are going to be late if you don’t leave RIGHT NOW!  However, I have problems in crowds and social settings also. I try to go to stores during slow times, if it’s too crowded I get overwhelmed and can’t focus.

An inability to function can often lead right to depression, of feeling like I’m not enough, I’m not good enough. I’m not adult enough.  There are times I feel like there is no hope and no point.  Why, I ask all the time. Does it matter?  I don’t make a difference.   The reality is none of those are true, but in the dark times there is hardly rationalizing these feelings.  Battling these emotions on a daily basis, I’m frequently exhausted.

I know I’m not alone. Here’s an article from Huffington Post:

So, what do we do about it?  First, be gentle with yourself.  Remind yourself often that you are worthy, lovable, and capable.  Set reminders on your phone, do daily affirmations, stick post it notes in places.  Reach out to your friends. Take time for yourself.  The pace of our society is quite insane.  We get less time off than others around the world, with many of us accruing vacation we feel we don’t have time (or deserve) to take. We feel that there is so much we have to pack into a day, its just not possible.  So the laundry doesn’t get folded, dusting wait another week.  Is it really important?  It’s okay to let some things slide.

Mary and I use crystals as a part of our way of dealing with anxiety and depression. In fact these anxiety was a a huge reason why we started TOSOTS.  When Mary was at her worst with severe agoraphobia (basically fear of going outside), selling crystals was her primary job as something positive should could do working mainly from home.

 

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Stunning natural color citrine point.

There are a dizzying array of crystals and minerals. Many work towards lots of different goals.  But here’s our go to “Support Stones” and a brief description on why we use them. This by no means a complete list, but a good start. (Please do not stop any medications without consulting your medical professional.  Crystal therapy is not meant to replace any current treatment plans.)

Citrine

Labradorite

Lepidolite or Lithium in Quartz

Tourmaline

Jade

Smoky Quartz

Those of you who know us, labradorite and citrine is one of our favorite combinations. These are our go to anxiety combination.  Labradorite brings balance and helps to reduce negative thought patterns.  It is emotionally soothing. Rolling the stone around while focusing on the flash and patterns of colors helps to still the mind. Citrine boost self confidence and balances the mind-body connection as it works solar plexus and crown.  Hold citrine to your solar plexus, located at the base of the stern where the rib meet, breathe in while visualizing white light energy infusing your body.  Breathe out negativity.

Lepidolite and Lithium in quartz play a dual role with the lithium content in the stones helps to counter depression and anxiety.  Lithium in quartz  also a strong heart stone that brings emotional peace.  Lepidolite works more on the physical aspects of the body, while the lithium in quartz works more with the emotional side.

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Smoky Quartz

When working with stones for depression, it is necessary to feel grounded, protected and have stones that feed your energy.  Smoky quartz fits the bill on all levels, its energy is rich and warm.  Smoky quartz brings joy, it grounds but doesn’t make you feel heavy, it lifts the spirit.  Its energy gives you a sense of safety and comfort.  Really everyone can benefit from Smoky Quartz! I often sleep with smoky quartz under my pillow or grasped in my hand.  It is always on my nightstand.

 

Tourmaline is another of our favorites, it comes in a huge array of colors.  But pink, green, black, and blue are most common. Black tourmaline is very protective, helping to ward of negativity and to some degree negative people.  Tourmaline feeds your energy. And for this the heart chakra colors of pink and green work best.  They help to bring joy and foster self-worth.  Their energy is very easy to work with.

Jade also comes in several colors, but for this, green is the go to color.  I prefer the darker shades of green jade. Jade is often associated with abundance and prosperity.  However, Jade is also good for connecting you to the earth energies.  It helps to instill hope and bring greater harmony into your life.

There are many ways to incorporate crystal energies into your life.  Mediation and breathing practices are just one way.  As I mentioned earlier, we often sleep with them, or at least have them at our beside. Carry them in your pockets, wear them as jewelry, tuck them into a sock (smaller the better here, really) or for us ladies, tuck them in your bra. We call it the over the shoulder boulder holder. 😉

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like assistance in choosing the right stone or help creating a custom pouch of stones to carry.

Mary and Jennifer co-own The Other Side of the Sun (TOSOTScrystals) an online crystal and mineral store.  We are also Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians.  We have been working with the crystal world since 2001.

Blog Returns?

Hello, anyone still checking this? I know its been quite awhile since we have written regular blog posts, but I am going to try again. 🙂  In the meantime, I’ve updated the look of the blog and it now includes our instagram and facebook accounts which will show you the latest posts.  You can always find us @tosotscrystals.  I often post videos and random musings to these social streams. Hope to see you around.

Two Ways to Win! Customer Appreciation

From our Sept 24th Newsletter.

We thought it would be a good time to let everyone know how much we appreciate you, our customers.  This month, and every month, we will run different ways to win free crystals. What’s not to love?

There are currently 2 ways to win!

1. Place an order between now and October 9 to be entered to win all these beautiful goodies!

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Our Facebook contest is up and running, visit our page comment, like and share to be entered to win these goodies.

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And now all orders $75 and over will ship for free*!

This month is a time for new beginnings. Many of us look at Mercury retrogrades with just a hint of apprehension, with the best laid plans often going awry.  However Mercury retrogrades can be a positive thing!   This Mercury retrograde continues on the energies of last months Venus retrograde.  This Mercury retrograde is about setting new patterns,  it is time to reevaluate and reconsider. You may find yourself coming back to old projects or situations, this is your chance to revamp old projects and make them better!  Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps back to recenter yourself and begin again with a fresh perspective. This combines with a rare lunar eclipse this Sunday with September’s supermoon.  What better time to sweep out the old and bring in the new!  Now is the time to set your intentions to manifest your dreams.

We have added  a wide variety of new crystals and minerals, including a several from our personal collection.  We are also listing a number of stunning offerings from an estate sale.  Pink amphibole crystals from Madagascar, Black Shiva Lingams, and gorgeous amethyst crystals are among our other additions. Check out all of our latest offerings here.

Until next time.

In gratitude and love,

Jennifer & Mary

*Free Shipping up to $25 value. No coupon necessary.

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Venus Retrograde From September’s Newsletter

We have become more aware of the effects of the  Mercury retrogade, (Sept 17 – Oct 9th) but many of us have been feeling the effects of a relatively rare Venus retrograde, it happens about every 19 months.  Most people think of Venus and love, but she rules over all relationships, art, beauty, and finances. Venus has also been known as the god of war too, so you may have seen more conflict in your life than you are used to.  This has been a time to reevaluate situations and break from toxic relationships.

Venus leaves retrograde Sept 6th and will be full direct by Oct. 9th. As you may notice we will have an overlap where we will feel some residual affects of Venus, while working through the next Mercury retrograde, bringing lots of re-evaluation and change. As we move out of this retrograde we should look towards re-energizing abundance in all aspects of our lives.

When working with crystals for abundance, you’ll notice that most of them are green (hmmm, the color of money?) But they are also the color of the heart chakra. However, the solar plexus and sacral chakras are important too. You need to dispel fears, and awaken the creative forces within.

Shattukite is a perfect stone to work with during this time.  Shattuckite promotes strength and courage and the tenacity to continue during stressful situations of life.
Of course we can’t talk about abundance without mentioning citrine!  It is one of our favorite varieties of quartz and it rules the solar plexus.  Citrine dispels fears and promotes abundance.  We have citrine from the Congo and Brazil, some are lightbraries, some have blue tourmaline, and others are a dreamy combination with rose quartz!

The sacral chakra is the root of ideas and creativity.  Sunstone, Calcite and tangerine quartz are all good sacral stones.
Check out all of our latest offerings here.

There is something for every budget, we currently have over 200 items under $50!

Until next time.

In gratitude and love,

Jennifer & Mary

Summer Sale – 30% Off

Help us beat the heat and pay for our brand new air conditioner system with our Stay Cool sale with 30% off* everything!  Murphy’s law hit last week when our AC died on one of the hottest days of the year so far. Keep your cool with these awesome savings but act quickly because this sale ends soon!

Shop Now!
*Sale Terms: 30% off all purchases, No coupons to apply, discount applied at checkout! Not applicable on prior purchases. Limited layaway available upon request. Sales taxes applies for Florida residents. Sale valid through 7/25/2011.

In the time of a retrograde

Warning this is a fairly long blog entry… you may want to settle down with a cup of tea. We’ve been quiet for the past month, and some profound personal shifts have been occurring. I wanted to share just a part of my spiritual journey this month.

You may not know but I’m a Gemini, who’s planet is ruled by none other than Mercury. That means that Gemini’s (along with other signs ruled by Mercury) feel the retrograde more than others. And this one, was felt more than most. Mercury began its latest move into retrograde on March 30 and will be fully past on the 23rd.  At the start of writing this post, there are 4 days to go.

I can’t say that I understand everything there is to know about astrology, really, I only understand a fraction of a percent, but I do know that Mercury retrogrades always mess with me, and my electronics. Emails go awry, programs break, you’re easily misunderstand and sometimes you just find yourself in a healing crisis trying to release old karma.

TOSOTS is and always has been a reflection of our spiritual journey. It is the product of perspiration, perseverance, desperation, joy, and an expression of our discoveries. Since we’re so energetically linked with the business, it is only natural that we go into a quite time while we’ve been more tuned inwards to reflect and heal. There have been few emails or special requests from our customers, so there have been few demands on our time. There have also been very few updates in the past few weeks, no facebook posts, and no blog posts either. But this has given me the necessary time to process and heal. A quite time is both scary and a blessing when you own your own business.  But I now understand that to everything there is a cycle. A time to expand, and a time to contract, much like the rhythm of breath.

You know you’re in for a rough ride when your healing crisis pretty much begins with a trip to the ER with suspected appendicitis. In between the tests, the seven hours spent in the ER gave me lots and lots of time to think. Memories from the past began to bubble up, with striking similarities to an indecent when I was in my teens, reinforcing the importance of the memories. These glimpses of the past told me this had less to do with the physical now, but the emotional issues from the past. So it’s no wonder that they released me at almost midnight telling me I was fine, but should symptoms return, to go back to the ER. So thankfully, no appendicitis, but that left me wondering what was the point besides now leaving me with thousands in medical bills, especially since we’re not exactly rolling in money.

Abundance is one of my blocks, and more specifically abundance of money. We have an abundance of lots of things in life, but concepts of love, joy, gratitude, acceptance, just don’t pay the bills, LOL.  It’s not that I expect to win the lottery, and be rolling in money, but the easy flow of money in and out. I mean, what’s the point of abundance of cash flow if you don’t let it, well, flow. It’s not enough to want abundance, or need abundance, but you have to embrace abundance, in all of its forms. Accept abundance no matter what form it comes in.  Don’t ask the universe for help, when you don’t open all of the doors. When you let go of expectations and limitations, you will be cared for.

This month the universe has been conspiring against me. Granted, everything has been in my own best interest. Against all struggles and resistance, it is giving me what I want and what I need, maybe not in the way I would have anticipated. But isn’t that the way?

For example, circumstances have brought me to apply for some outside work. I continue to struggle with my massage practice.  I don’t want a huge practice, but a couple of days a week would be nice. Some weeks it works, some it doesn’t, but it’s nothing reliable. I’m not great at marketing myself, but stubbornly not wanting to work for anyone else. Working at a spa was out of the question, or so I thought. Not that there is anything wrong with a spa, but often they require too many hours without proper breaks, I know myself and my body, I can’t handle that type of job. At a low point, I applied anyways. I thought for sure I wouldn’t get past the application stage. But I opened the door and after speaking to the manager, the actual job requirements mesh perfectly with my goals. To my surprise, they are checking references and I now truly hope to get the job.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Another example, I’ve made some fairly good lifestyle changes the past few years. Gave up smoking and eating much healthier. But exercise is one thing that I pick up for a few months, then drop for a few months. Physical activity is something I need more of (tie in to emergency above), but lack the motivation.  So while I was pondering jobs that I could do on a part time basis, a friend sends me a message. Dog walker hiring, you interested? Hmmmm… paid, to walk dogs. Key word walk, walk = exercise. Paid to exercise? Now that’s a plan I can get behind.  (I started training today by the way. ;-))

None of these lessons have come easily for me. Days have come and gone in a blur, leaving me wondering where all the time has gone. My sanity held in check by my loving wife Mary, our children (well at least the furry, feathered, and finned kind) and my dad and of course my guides and mentors. I’m grateful to Mary for holding everything together while I went off on this spiritual journey I wasn’t aware I was embarking on when this all started.

I seem to be home now. The retrograde is coming to a close and the cycle is coming to a close. Maybe this time around I’ve learned the lessons that have been presented to me. Here’s just a few. 😉

Abundance flows where and how it can. Don’t put a limit on it.
The universe loves me.
My guides will get a message to me, even if it has to go through 2 people to get to me.
Cherish the little things that make you smile.
Open your heart, you have nothing to fear.
I am me, a product of all my parts, but not consumed by any one of them.

By the way, retrograde is now over in 3 days. 😉

~Jenn

Rough Energies Through the 19th

You may have noticed, the energy is quite intense right now, but the Full Moon on the 19th should bring some relief. Expressions of anger and sorrow are common. Take the time to acknowledge and let go of these emotions. Take extra care of yourself, meditate, be gentle with yourself. Choose stones with fortifying energy that will allow you a gentle release.  Tanzanite, pink kunzite, shungite, larimar, and enhydro crystals are comforting and supportive choices.

Give us a call or drop us an email, if you need assistance choosing stones or just can’t find what you’re looking for.

A note about Facebook

If you “Like” us on Facebook and haven’t been seeing any posts from us at all, it is due to a new setting in Facebook. It defaults to people and pages you had interacted with in the days or weeks leading up to the profile changes.

To see what you’ve been missing: Scroll to the bottom of your news feed, select “Edit Options” and change the setting to “All friends and pages” again.

We sometimes post special discounts or stone offerings just for our Facebook members. Come join the fun if you haven’t already!