In April 1999, I opened a store in Greenwich Village. This was the fulfillment of a dream I'd first imagined a few years earlier. Its realization was as wonderful as I'd imagined it would be, but for a few harrowing days in June of that year, it looked as if my dream was being literally washed up on the rocky shores of reality.
One Sunday, early in the afternoon, I noticed a small leak in the ceiling. Within an hour and a half, this innocuous drop turned into a flood. Lest you think I'm exaggerating, a few customers, before they saw the deluge, commented on the lovely waterfall sounds.
The drama escalated with the arrival of the police and fire departments and didn't subside until long after the water was finally turned off. We were left with yards of sodden carpeting and dozens of ruined books, and we wondered whether the lights would ever go on again.
The flood dampened more than the physical environment. I'd been enjoying not only the materialization of my vision but my sense of power in making it happen. Now, with water pouring from nine holes in the ceiling, I decided that some people had all the bad luck, and one of them was me.
When Your Bucket of Faith Springs a Leak
Most people have had stretches in their life where everything seemed to be going smoothly. They used affirmations and visualizations to imagine what they wanted in their lives. They did their best to keep their lives and thoughts positive, and everything seemed to be going well.
Until disaster struck. If this has happened to you, you probably thought, as I did, that it was completely unfair. I wasn't just wet, I was indignant. Here I was, with programmed crystals all over the store. I smudged daily. Whoever was working in the store joined together before we opened for a brief meditation to set the tone for the day. So where were the bad vibes coming from?
I didn't try to figure this out while the crisis was in full flow. When you're wondering if you can keep the store open without the lights on (no one was eager to get electrocuted) and a nonfunctioning cash register, you don't think much about cause and effect. When you're trying to empty buckets before their contents spill on the rug and simultaneously trying to convince the fire department that it really would be a good idea to turn off the building's water, you don't explore the cosmic meaning of current events.
Once the crisis had passed, and I went home, exhausted and still not ready to try to decipher the "why" of it. I had a decision to make. I'd planned to go away the following day for a short spell of rest and retreat.
Fear and anxiety surfaced. What if it happened again? Could the employees handle the situation?
I considered these questions. It seemed that logic and reason dictated that I would have to postpone my trip. This didn't make me happy, and in my conflicted feelings, I began to find some answers.
Look for the "Should"
Whenever you become aware that you're saying or thinking this word, you're on the road to discovery. "Should," "I have to," and it's the right thing to do" are often the tip of an iceberg of old beliefs and values that stand in the way of your realizing your dreams.
Long ago, people known as parents, teachers, and other authorities had drummed into my head the notion that things like doing my homework, cleaning my room, and doing what other people thought was important made me a responsible person. If I didn't do these things, I should feel guilty, and probably terrible things would happen to me.
As I poked beneath my "should," I unearthed the following thoughts:
Go With the Flow
As I considered these ideas, I remembered that, strong as my desire for a store had been, I'd also had some doubts. I'd considered the possibility that it might be a burden. It would tie me down and keep me from going places. Things could go wrong. Now I realized that, like my desire, my fear had manifested-not enough to destroy the store's future, but enough to cause discomfort and conflict.
Yet, as I thought about it further, I saw that these circumstances gave me a choice. If I wanted to, I could use the flood to loosen my ideas about responsibility. I could allow the dramatic metaphor of water to tell me to let go and act on my inner knowledge that the responsibility I needed to take was for my personal well-being and sense of freedom. That meant having the rest and recuperation I had wisely planned for myself. I realized that if I didn't let go this time, it would be that much harder the next time.
If I wasn't careful, I would end up being the slave of my store, bound by a joyless sense of duty. This attitude could do more damage to my life and to my business than the flood.
This doesn't mean I let go as much as I needed to. I went away, and I worried. I came back and found new things to worry about. I had a long way to go, but I'd taken an important first step by understanding a graphic lesson about the power of fear. The flood taught me that fear and all negative emotions need to be handled before they manifest into physical reality.
It also meant being able to laugh at myself-even when laughter was this close to tears. I could have cried that day-but there was already enough water around.
Crystals That Flow
Green calcite is often recommended for emotional rigidity. It helps to release the blockages that prevent us from flowing into new and expanded realities. It can be placed on any area that feels painful, tight, or stuck. For example, if you are feeling tightness in your solar plexus when you think of change, place green calcite there. You may also want to add rhodochrosite to help in deep breathing.
Charoite is the crystal for known or unknown fears. It's most effective when placed on the third eye (between and slightly above the physical eyes). This crystal sometimes has a delayed effect. You may meditate with it and not experience insights, but they can pop up later.
Gemini crystals may be used to represent and resolve conflict. Think of each crystal in a gemini as symbolizing the aspects of the conflicting situation. I find that either the third eye or the heart are good places for putting this crystal. To use my example, this might be expressed: "I should stay;" "I want to go." In my case, the solution was to go and to be available in case a decision needed to be made.
Eagle (Wild Earth Animal Essences) helps us to soar above the conflicts of our physical experiences and view our lives from an aerial perspective.
Frog (Wild Earth Animal Essences) represents the healing of water, which in human form is often expressed as tears. I find it the ultimate essence to assist in flowing with a situation.
Scleranthus (Bach Flower Remedies) is the essence for helping to resolve conflicts and "either or" situations.
Pine (Bach Flower Remedies) is the most helpful essence for guilt.
Aspen, for unknown fears, and Mimulus, for known fears, help us to release this troubling emotion.