The Sceptic’s Guide to Healing Crystals

I used to be the biggest sceptic about everything. If something didn’t strike me as plausible right off the bat, than I was out – no chance of swaying my opinion.  Healing crystals were at the top of my list of things that I thought were silly and pointless.

I’m stubborn by nature and always have been, but I’ve been working on being more open-minded, and I think I’m better for it.

Y’all probably know by now that I’ve been on the road to veganism for a while now, and am an eggless vegetarian (working on cutting out that pesky dairy!). I watch a lot of vegan YouTubers (holla at my faves Lauren Toyota and Stella Rae!) and spirituality is a hot topic in that sphere.

I’ve been exploring meditation, manifestation, and crystals since the new year, and this sceptic has become a believer.

I thought I’d talk to you about healing crystals today, because that’s been my favorite discovery since exploring spirituality.

My beliefs on healing crystals

Traditionally it’s believed that crystals have their own vibrations and those vibrations hold certain healing powers.

I’m still a little sceptical, and the way I see it is that crystals simply allow you to amplify your own mind and will power.

In a psychology class we learned about a clinical trial where (of course) half of the trial group was given a placebo. Amazingly enough, members of the placebo group saw results because they believed that they were being healed.

I think crystals work for me because they cause me to be intentional in my thoughts and purpose. I carry a blue lace agate with me as it’s meant to calm anxiety, especially in social settings. It encourages communication and self-expression, and I have the tendency to be shy, so if I know I’m going to have to speak up I keep it in my hand and it gives me confidence.

I don’t think you have to believe or commit fully to the hippie dippie mindset to benefit from crystals – I certainly have my reservations about some aspects of crystal healing, but with that said my crystals still bring me a lot of peace.

Choosing healing crystals

Here is the fun part – I recommend that you try and find a crystal shop that you can visit in person as the experience is totally different than buying them online.

There are one of two ways that you can go about choosing crystals: research before hand and choose them intentionally, or go in and ‘let the crystals choose you.’

Personally, I went in blind. I decided I would buy the crystals that I was drawn to and I am glad that I did.

Here are the crystals I ended up with and how they apply to my life:

  • Blue Goldstone – encourage a positive attitude and increases drive and confidence while blocking negative energy.
    • I love that this stone is meant to increase drive – I’ve been dealing with a lack of energy to work on my own projects by the time I get home from work, lately I’ve been sitting down with my goldstone and writing for 20 minutes first thing when I get home.
  • Green Calcite – calming and soothing and helps cope with change.
    • Obviously, I’ve been undergoing a lot of change in my life lately. I left school, moved across the country to New York, started a full-time job, and am living on my own for the first time. There is a lot of coping to be done still.
  • Iceland Spar – clears away negative energy and helps remove fear-based emotions while improving the flow of energy throughout the body.
    • I harbor a lot of social anxiety (and that’s an entire post in itself) and that anxiety is definitely based on fear.
  • Rose Quartz – opens the heart to all kinds of love, raises self-esteem, and balances emotions.
    • I think that this crystal is great for everyone – who couldn’t use a bit of extra love? For me, I love that it balances emotions, as I tend to be someone who wears their heart on their sleeve. I’m quick to shed a tear (even at inopportune times) so hopefully I can focus on getting that under control.
  • Blue Lace Agate – calming stone used for nerves and depression. Encourages communication and self-expression.
    • I’ve been on the upswing after a particularly nasty run with depression. I still have bad days from time to time. I am also probably the most soft-spoken person at work, and I think that perhaps I come across as timid. That’s something I’m working on so I keep this stone with me at work.

For me it was incredibly fun to get home and start researching the crystals and drawing connections. Of course, I am sure I would have been able to draw a connection from anything I would have chosen, so that is where attitude comes in and choosing to believe.

Cleansing your healing crystals

It’s important to cleanse your crystals when they’re brand new, especially, but also on a regular basis.

There are several ways to cleanse them – whether it be water, earth, or light.

When I got mine I used water and soaked them overnight, and during the full moon I left them on my windowsill.

They say that crystals hold on to energy (good or bad!) which is why you need to cleanse them when they are new – since writing my first draft of this post I have got a blue kyanite, which is a special stone that doesn’t hold onto energy and doesn’t need to be cleansed, but it’s simply an exception to the rule.

Meditation

Meditation has become a daily practice for me because I realized about a month ago that I wasn’t taking time to slow down and just breathe. I feel like every day is full of overwhelm lately, and while it’s helping me grow I do need to take a step back from time to time.

Now I like to meditate first thing in the morning, typically holding my Iceland Spar.

For me, meditation is a way to balance my thoughts and emotions and set intentions for the day. I was really bad at meditation at first, and still it’s a work in progress, but I feel like I’m starting to get it down.

If you still don’t believe?

So – you might think that everything I just said is complete BS and I wouldn’t even blame you. I myself am still a semi-sceptic.

But beyond helping you heal yourself healing crystals are super cool. I collected rocks as a kid and this feels a lot like that so whether they do anything for you or not – consider picking them up for the cool factor. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather believe and be wrong then hold on to my skeptical tendencies and miss out.

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How to Combat Homesickness

I’m about to get touchy-feely here, so prepare yourself. I talk about moving to New York allllll the time and mostly I’m talking about cool and exciting things (like casually seeing Jimmy Fallon) but there is a darker side to moving somewhere where you don’t know anybody.

And that’s homesickness.

Homesickness strikes out of nowhere and it’s the worst. I can’t walk by the central park zoo without tears stinging my eyes (the zoo smell is reminiscent of the midwest), and I have a nasty habit of listening to the song Temporary Home when I’m already feeling down about being away from the people I love.

Because I make bad choices.

Today I was listening to Spotify at work and All The Pretty Girls came on, and I have such strong associations with that song that instantly my heart began to hurt.

That song makes me think of driving around in my jeep with my friends during the summer and I realized that by the time I was home again my friends would all be gearing up to go their separate ways for the fall.

That threw me into a major funk.

I could lie and say that I’ve been adjusting perfectly to living here, but truth be told I miss home pretty often, and I’ve been feeling a lot of stress and overwhelm. I work at my internship all day and then come home, make dinner, and work on my blogs and social media until I sleep (usually falling asleep with my laptop open and lights on.)

I love my internship and being in New York, but I’ve had to learn a lot about coping with homesickness and I thought I could share my tips. Whether you’re gearing up to go to school in the fall or moving across the country like I did, hopefully these tips might help you.

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Cry it out.

I’m putting this one out there right off the bat: sometimes you just need a good cry. Don’t try to fight it, just go for it.

A few times since I’ve been here I’ve gotten caught up in the overwhelm and just needed a release. I put on my He is We playlist (throwback to the best year of my life, yo!) and give myself twenty minutes to let it all out.

From there I might get some ice cream or do yoga and I feel better. I don’t know why it works, but it does.

Do something exciting.

If you’re homesick – that means you’re somewhere new. Plan to do something that you could only do where you are. As much as you miss home, new places and experiences can help take your mind off of your pains.

For me, I usually go and get food. New York is famous for it’s cuisine, and I’ve been trying out all sorts of great vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Blossom is my favorite so far!

Meet new people.

Or hang out with people that you’ve already met! I am always so reluctant to go hang out with new people because I get social anxiety, but once I just do it I’m always so glad that I did!

If you don’t know where to start – consider being a creeper like me. Usually I comment on people’s IG’s by going through the #newyorkblogger or #nycblogger tag and ask people if they want to meet up.

Usually I get ignored (tbh), but I have made a few friends that way!

Skype your old people.

As great as New York is and as wonderful as the people I have met are, sometimes I just need a friendly face to talk to.

And honestly I’ve found that I have more to talk about with my friends now that we’re not seeing each other 24/7. Skype is a great way to catch up, and being able to actually see the people who you miss the most is great.

Unplug.

My overall funk started on Sunday, so I just laid in bed and while technically I didn’t completely unplug, I went through guided meditations on YouTube to calm and center myself.

I think if you focus on being very present in the moment and stop thinking about the past it’s easier to push feelings of homesickness aside.

Make plans.

I am lucky in that I know when I’m going home, as I’m just here for an internship. Knowing when I am going to see the people I love next makes my homesickness feel a lot better.

If this were a permanent move and I didn’t know when the next time I’d see my family was, this would be a million times more difficult. Having that countdown and saying ___ more weeks makes it OK.

If your move is less temporary than mine, make a plan for when you’ll see them next. Whether it’s six weeks or six months, it is fun to have something to look forward to!

Journal.

I’m writing a huge blog post on my introspections since moving here (like 6000+ words huge) and honestly journaling has kept me sane. I don’t have time to do a ton, but even just a short paragraph every night makes a huge difference in my mental state.

If you aren’t good at journalling, I recommend getting a guided book with writing prompts or questions to get you started.

Live in the moment & know it’s all going to be OK.

Adjusting is so hard. I thought that my move was going to be a breeze and that I would have no troubles. I was wrong.

While I could easily let the homesickness consume me, for the most part I’ve gotten good at letting myself feel it when it comes on, but then pushing it to the side.

Easier said than done, but just don’t dwell on it. Don’t ignore your feelings or bottle them up, just feel them when they come on and then move on.

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Being Bold and Meeting Bloggers; NYC Adventures

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Listerine, all opinions are my own as always! 

Until recently, I would have never thought of myself as bold- I mean, I’m a soft spoken, baby faced introvert whose idea of a good night involves peanut butter cups and Legally Blonde.

Pushing my gentle nature aside, though, I’ve come to realize that I actually am pretty bold. In the past five months I made the decision to leave school, I took an internship on a whim, and I moved to New York City before figuring out where I was going to live.

So maybe I am a little bold.

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Last week I had the opportunity to tour the LISTERINE® Lab with a group of fantastic (and super kind!) bloggers and in celebration of their BRING OUT THE BOLD™ campaign we talked about what it meant to be bold.

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LISTERINE® conducted a study that showed individuals who use LISTERINE® products tend to be more bold in their everyday lives.

But what does this mean?

Really – it covers a lot! LISTERINE® users are more likely to ride motorcycles, book spontaneous trips, or eat spicy food.

And don’t get me started about the food at the event. Per usual fashion I beelined for the guacamole, taking a conservative serving before shamelessly going back for seconds. It was that good.

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Lunch was the first time I really got to sit down and get to know the other bloggers at the event, and it was such a fun experience. One of the most exciting things about moving to New York for me was the chance to meet other people who share my passion. Being able to nerd out over SEO and social networking is refreshing in a world that doesn’t understand blogs as being anything more than an online diary.

Beyond talking shop, I also was at a table with Dr. Lee Gause from Smile Design Manhattan who talked about the “dental crisis in this country” and shared his own dental routine.

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Needless to say that Dr. Gause schooled us all in caring for our pearly whites, and talked to us about the importance of dental hygiene. One thing that I learned from Dr. Gause’s routine was that Listerine also sells a line of prerinses that you can use to preserve the whiteness of your teeth!

But our experience went way beyond just a discussion – we got to go into the top secret (no joke – cameras forbidden!) lab where we were shrunk down with virtual reality and got to explore the surface of a plaque infested tooth  – it was enough to make me want to spend the rest of my life flossing and swishing.

We also spent time with scientist Tara Fourre who was wonderfully informative. She emphasized the importance of Listerine (and good dental hygiene in general!) by reminding us that “plaque build up happens quickly” and by skimping on your dental regimen you’re “creating the perfect environment for plaque build up.” Yuck!

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I was surprised to learn that 50% of adults are plagued with gingivitis, but swishing with Listerine for 30 seconds just twice a day (just one minute out of our lives!) can cut that percentage down dramatically. Brushing only gets rid of 25% of the ‘gunk’ in our mouths, so it’s important to floss and rinse with Listerine to keep your pearly whites fresh.

Beyond learning a lot (this stuff will stick with me for life, yo!) hearing about how everyone else was bold was really incredible. I mean it when I say that I was surrounded by magnetic, warm, and genuine people, and hearing what everyone had to say made my heart sing.

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When you are able to brush shoulders with people doing powerful things, it makes you want to follow in their footsteps. Listening to people I admire share what makes them bold has me thinking that I’ll start making more bold decisions in my life, too. Who knows, the next post you read may may just be reading Mostly Morgan: Skydiving Addition.

Or maybe not. But it’s something to work up towards!

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April Blogging Income Report!

Happy May, y’all!  For the first time in a long time, I’m actually publishing an income report on the first day of the month. This feels like a cause for celebration.!April was a great month as far as blogging goes – I was able to participate in a really fun event and I planned a few

April was a great month as far as blogging goes – I was able to participate in a really fun event and I planned a few amazing collaborations that will be taking place in the next few months.

Best of all, though, is I was able to get caught back up. You may remember (or be sick of) hearing me describe how stressed I was juggling moving across the country, starting a full-time job, and keeping up with two blogs.

While I’m not completely back in the rhythm of things, I am somewhere around 80% there so I’m not complaining.

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My focus in April.

The main thing I worked on in April was growing my social presence. That meant being more active on Twitter (I’m actually learning to like it!), posting more on Instagram, and being more proactive about replying!

I love blogging and pouring my heart into massive posts for y’all, but the interaction on social media is a little addicting. It’s nice being able to interact more in real time and I am eager to continue being even more active on social media from here on out.

YouTube.

I have also been spending a lot of time and effort on my YouTube channel. Up until this point I’ve only uploaded vlogs since moving to New York, but tomorrow a sit-down video is going live, y’all!

YouTube is a fun way to give you all a better look at what is going on in my life. I am always so tempted to write blog posts just updating you on what is going on in my life.

Then I have to remind myself that I’m not Beyonce, so the only person who would care to read such posts is my mom. (Hi, mom!)

With that said, YouTube is a great medium for me to use where I can say, “Oh, hey there! Look at what I did today!” and because I’m in New York and exploring the city it can be at least somewhat exciting and interesting for people to watch.

Hopefully.

A quick note: 

I have been thinking over whether I should continue doing these blogging income reports here on Mostly Morgan or if they should be switched to my blogging and business blog.

Ultimately I decided that because I will be monetizing MT soon, too, I think it will be interesting to report the income for each individual site separately, as I am going about monetization in two very different ways.

APRIL INCOME

Activate – $650
Hostgator – $525
Izea – $400
Collectively – $250
InfluenceHer Network – $245
BlogHer – $51
YouTube – $6.23
Amazon – $.28 (every cent counts, right?)
Total: $2127.51

APRIL EXPENSES

LeadPages – $16.67
Adobe Lightroom – $10.61
Hosting – $6.83
Total: $34.11

GRAND TOTAL: $2093.40

As usual, I calculated the amount of hours that I would have had to work at a minimum wage job and came to 240 hours, or 60 hours a week.

I say this every month, but being able to turn blogging into a job has been amazing, and I can’t wait to see where my blog takes me in the coming months.

Question of the month:

So, I tweeted out asking for questions on monetization to answer, and my favorite question was: How do you get started?

I think that it’s a question a lot of newer bloggers wonder, but isn’t often addressed. And if I’m being honest, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for getting started with monetization, but I do want to share some ideas:

First decide if you’re ready to get started.

“Wait, what?! Of course I’m ready, I want to make money!”

I understand the enthusiasm and rush when it comes to monetizing, but make sure that you have something to offer. A lot of bloggers start blogging and two weeks later find themselves frustrated when they haven’t made a penny.

While you work to establish your presence and gain authority in your niche, you will probably be working for free at first and that’s fine.

Companies work with bloggers to get the word out about their product and to convert sales. If you don’t have an audience yet the company won’t be seeing a return from working with you and therefore it will be a one-sided relationship benefiting only you.

Before you get started make sure you accomplish these goals:

  • You’re getting at least 100 unique visitors every day
  • Your audience is engaged and you get comments
  • You have a social media presence (even if it’s small)
  • You publish at least once a week.

Once your site is ready to monetize, there are several ways that you can go about getting started.

  • Sponsored Posts – this is how I got started, and it’s the route a lot of new bloggers take, too. There are a ton of networks, I wrote a list ages ago that you can find here.
  • Ads – I run ads in my sidebar through BlogHer, and a lot of bloggers use Google Adsense, too. I am not a huge fan of ads, but they are definitely an option.
  • Affiliate Networks – The only affiliate network that I use is Amazon Affiliates, and I don’t put in the energy that I should. Fashion bloggers do great with Reward Style and Shop Style.
  • Selling – I think this is the best way for bloggers to make money. There is a lot you can sell: e-books, courses, coaching, the list goes on. This gives you control!

I know it can be frustrating at first, but my biggest recommendation is to go through and apply to as many networks as you can and start engaging with brands on social media. Don’t pitch yourself until you’re on their radar first!

May Goals

  • Continue Networking: There are so many bloggers, brands, and opportunities in NYC. I want to continue taking advantage while I’m here!
  • Post twice weekly – I have been seriously hurting for time lately and it has seemed like a feat getting just one post up. I am going to step up my game and start being more consistent.
  • Building my list – I’ve been fairly passive about building an email ilst on both of my sites – and that is ending now. Lists are one of the most important assets a blogger has!

 

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Sunday Ramblings: Drawing conclusions, moving to NYC, and Living for Myself

This post is something I’ve written and rewritten 100 times. I have such a clear idea of how I feel, but putting it into words has proven to be difficult.

So bear with me and hear me out – I’ve been very introspective since moving away, and I’ve been thinking and questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew and I thought I believed.

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The biggest conclusion that I’ve drawn?

People aren’t living for themselves.

And I don’t say that as an accusation – it’s more of something I’m just wanting to put out there. People live to meet expectations that have been set for them, and more or less most people are living according to the same formula.

To take you back to where this thought process began: I get asked a lot about my leaving college and if I intend on going back. Depending on who is asking I answer in two very different ways:

  1. If it’s an adult or someone who I think holds some perceived authority over me – I lie. I give a non-committal answer about needing to explore my options and of course one day I’ll go back for my degree, probably next spring!
  2. If it’s anyone else I just explain to them that I felt stuck in college – being there was impeding my growth. I needed to chase bigger dreams. Will I go back? Probably, maybe, but I don’t know when and under what circumstances.

When it came to leaving school – I knew with 100% of my soul that I did not want to go back this semester, and that going back would have been more emotionally and mentally taxing than I may have been able to handle.

Yet actually deciding to leave was one of the hardest choices I’ve made.

Not because I thought that I’d regret it – I knew I wouldn’t. And I wasn’t worried about my future – I’ll be fine.

What I was worried about was how other people would react to a decision that ultimately didn’t impact them in the slightest.

And looking back on that I realized it’s a pretty messed up way to live life.

After gaining that perspective, I feel like I’ve been freed. If you’ve been around for a while, I got pretty open and raw about my experiences with mental health, and just a few months later I’ve had a complete 180.

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The realization that I have control over my life and how I act and react to situations and that I don’t have to make my decisions based on others has been very freeing.

Now, yes I am so much happier than I had been, but I’ll be honest and say that moving to New York hasn’t been completely carefree and easy.

It was and still is emotionally taxing – I’m missing watching my favorite little guy grow up, I can count on my fingers how many times I’ll see my family in the next six months, I wasn’t there to give my grandpa a big hug when his scans finally came back clean, and now Chris and I are long distance – again.

With all of that said – my new realization makes me feel empowered. Knowing that I can (and have!) make decisions for myself without worrying about the opinions of others I can confidently say that I won’t let my mental health get to a dark place again, and I will be able to better take care of myself.

Whenever I start writing these deeper, heavier posts I sit down with the intention of telling you steps A, B, and C to start living for yourself – but I realized I can’t do that. Instead I just ask that you start asking yourself who you are making your decisions for.

On a vaguely similar note – I’ve spent the last month being very introspective – I’ve been thinking about what has made me into who I am, and I’d love recommendations for blogs that cover more spiritual/self-care topics. Thanks!

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Thanks Desiree Sandlin for the pictures! <3