Ever experience a feeling of peace or tranquillity while watching or listening to water run over rocks? Maybe you´ve been sat on a river’s edge or at a rocky beach and found that sense of relaxation.
We are innately connected to the natural world. In nature, our mind, body and spirit can recharge. It was not too long ago, that our ancestors spent more time outside than inside. In those days, we spent most of our time outside collecting food, securing shelters and entertaining ourselves. Over time this has changed. These days we can spend more time inside securing finances to provide for food, shelter and entertainment, only to escape outside for brief moments of respite.
On some level, we are aware of the healing benefits of nature. Time outdoors can boost Vitamin D intake, release stress and provide time for clarity. This month’s article looks at the relaxation benefits of time with rocks and we also share with you one of our creativity classes – our intention rocks.
There are many activities you can do outside with rocks. Just spend time on water’s edge and the impulse to throw rocks may naturally appear. Hurl a rock and watch it vanish to the depths of a lake, river, or sea. Maybe you can feel a sense of release or just enjoy the sound, ‘kerplunk’ or ‘splash’ as your rock disappears.
Skipping stones, a great activity to do on your own or with a friend, requires the right shaped rock and a bit of technique. Stone skipping can focus the mind and release tension by providing a good laugh and an outlet for our competitive side. (By the way, the world record for stone skipping as of July 2017 was 88 skips, according to Guiness World Records).
Rock balancing, on the other hand, is a much more precarious art form. Large rocks are set atop one another in balance or counter balance positions creating statues or arches in positions that naturally are impossible. Balancing rocks demands a certain finesse, patience, and discipline. This is usually a personal artform that happens far from spectators as a personal challenge between rock and creator.
Collecting rocks is also a wonderful past-time. Whether you seek jagged sparkle rocks, smooth round rocks, or those with a certain shape like a heart or with a hole in it, wandering across a stony beach or rocky outcrop is a relaxing way to spend a few hours in silence in nature. A collector can develop a type of relationship with their rocks and often remembers where and when they found each rock in their collection. Maintaining a collection gives a purpose for spending time outdoors and provides an object for pursuit.
Rock or stones can also be used to facilitate healing. The use of stones in massage allows a therapist to give stronger massage without putting a lot of stress on their body. During our hot and cold stone massage at the retreat, special stones are used to heat or cool the skin which promotes circulation and aids in the treatment of inflamed tissues. Basalt or volcanic rocks high in silica and iron hold heat longer than most other stones and are the preferred ´hot´ rocks for therapy. Marble stones are considered best for cold stone therapy. They cool the skin without damaging it and can help release heat from the body. The overall effect of a stone massage can reduce tension and leave you with a feeling of invigoration.
The use of rocks or crystals for healing dates back at least 6,000 years. Ancient people adorned themselves with ‘talismans’ or ‘amulets’ made from rocks or crystals revered for their ability to ward off illness or negative energy. Crystals are still used today by proponents of crystal healing as an alternative healing therapy. Rocks, chosen for their colour or properties, are placed on chakra or other energetic points on the body and are sometimes incorporated into Reiki sessions. Crystals used in this sense may help induce relaxation or facilitate healing. Crystals can also be placed on alters, under pillows, or in other places around the house to affect or absorb energy. However, there is no scientific evidence that shows crystals have ‘special’ power that can cure diseases or change energy.
Create your intention rocks
Here at La Crisalida Retreats you can join in one of our relax and rejuvenate retreat activities – our Intention Rocks creativity workshops In this workshop, we explore the power of intention, create rock artwork and listen to rock music. This is a simple and relaxing project that you can do at home on your own, or share with friends.
- Rocks with a smooth surface
- Coloured pencils or permanent markers
- A book of symbols or access to the internet to search
- Varnish spray (optional)
- Rock music playlist
- Place and time to create
Collect your rocks
Take time to collect some rocks, maybe you want to find some different sizes. Ideally you need to find some with a flat surface. Paler rocks are easier to paint and draw on, but maybe pick up a few different types to experiment.
Set an intention
Setting an intention can be the prompt that initiates a dream or helps manifest transformation. Intentions can be used for different periods of time. We can set a daily intention or have long-term intentions. Basically, an intention helps focus our mind and fire up our heart centre so we can attract opportunities that pave our way towards our goal or, heart’s desire.
To set an intention take a few moments with your eyes closed, and awareness focused inward. Take a couple deep breaths to help to focus your attention. Now, allow your mind to wander to a few words or a phrase that captures the feelings you would like to have. It could be something like calm, peace, focused, healthy, free, powerful, or any other word that expresses your desired state of being.
Create a symbol
Once you have a word or intention, take a few more moments to create a symbol that communicates this feeling. Maybe it´s a symbol you have seen before, find in a book or on the internet. You can even combine a few symbols, or create a new one, it only needs to make sense to you.
Now it is time to bust out the coloured pencils or markers and set to drawing your symbol on the smooth side of your rock. Start your rock playlist now, if you wish. Put as much detail and time into your creation as you enjoy. Once complete you can choose to spray your rock with a type of clear spray varnish to lock in the colours. Do this if you wish to keep your rock as a decoration. You may also choose to release your intention rock back to the wild.
Release the Intention
Whether you choose to hold on to your rock or let it go, when it comes to manifesting an intention, letting go and trusting in the outcome are both important steps. Creating an intention rock allows for a tangible release. Before releasing your rock back to the wild, (ensure safety for those who may be innocently standing by) then consider obstacles or barriers that you may need to overcome to reach your desire. Also consider the resources you have, to complete this work. You can choose to place the rock somewhere, or maybe throw it the blue water. Entrust that opportunities and openings that match your intention are coming your way.
Whether you collect rocks for art, skipping across the water or just holding in your hand, a little time with rocks can clear your mind and increase feelings of calmness. Tune into your rock like nature, next time you are outside. A few breaths with your eyes closed can help you feel heavy upon the earth. Notice the shape of your rock body… then feel rock like confidence that, like every other rock, your form has been chiselled to perfection by the hands of time… You may have rough edges or smooth ones, but notice now how your shape fits perfectly on the earth beneath you, like it is the exact perfect spot for you to, like a rock sit there and be….
May creativity, relaxation and nature be part of your days to come, rock on.