“The true measure of a man is how he treats
someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
In the midst of a Marie Kondo inspired clear-out this week, I found a heavy white shoe box, at the back of my wardrobe. In it, the crystals I have collected on my travels over the years. Nestled down the side of the box, wrapped in a soft, red, velvet bag, was a healing crystal wand. It is made of Lapis Lazuli, quartz and seven smaller crystals embedded onto a silver strip that runs the length of it. These seven crystals represent the main chakras.
In June 2016, I was in Leh, Northern India. Walking back to my accommodation one evening, I stopped at a stall selling crystals. I had been travelling, mostly alone, for five months. Earlier that day, I experienced my first and only, aggressive encounter. I felt confused, on edge but more than anything, I felt alone.
As I browsed under the watchful eye of the stall owner, she suddenly pushed this wand into my hands. Clasping her hennaed hands around mine, I immediately felt a deep steadiness. She wore a purple sari and a light gold chain ran between her nose ring and ear.
She told me that this wand would protect me as I moved through life. She refused money for this piece. I tried to push money into her hands, yet she just laughed and jumped out of my way.
She reassured me that a gift would come back to her in other ways.
Coincidentally, I read The Gift by Lewis Hyde this week. This is the history of gift-giving. From fairy tales to tribal customs to navigating today’s marketplace. It is an exploration of the value of giving over receiving.
In her introduction to the book, Margaret Atwood writes that, “I am not concerned with gifts given in spite or fear, nor the gifts we accept out of servility or obligation; my concern is the gift we long for, the gift that, when it comes, speaks commandingly to the soul and irresistibly moves us”
By giving an unexpected gift, the positive effects on society last a long time, it’s a ripple effect. When the lady in the purple sari gave me the crystal wand, she understood this.
Soon after, I returned with a bag of groceries. Hoping she would receive these from me but she was long gone. Her stall packed up. I handed them over to a woman breastfeeding her child. She sat at the back of a stall, while her husband sold carvings of toads out front.
In Adam Grant‘s book Give and Take, he believes that success, development, and financial well-being is usually divided into three factors:
He goes a step further and identifies a fourth component
- the ability to interact with people.
Adam classifies people, Takers and Givers.
He recommends that the best version of ourselves is when our default setting is one of giving. Extending kindness and generosity.
In fact, when we give, it promotes happiness and win-win outcomes. When we help another person, we receive in return.
Has this crystal wand protected me in recent years? I feel it has. Simply recounting this memory brings up good feeling emotions and emotions can be contagious.
On a mystical note, Lapis Lazuli promotes inner vision and communication and is connected to the throat. It works with you to communicate honestly and understand blockages holding you back.
As I changed my career, people tried to dissuade me, some classified this change as a tragedy. And I had the power to ignore them and push on. I had the strength to ignore other people’s opinions and follow my intuition.
The feeling of safety, intimacy and love is a basic human need. To receive that affection from someone I didn’t know, someone who saw me and felt the need to reach out? Well, that is something even greater and more beautiful because it brings us together. It shows the depth of humanity.
We are interdependent beings. We lean on each other. We pull each other up and we ease each others pain.
Giving my this crystal wand was her way of telling me that she saw me, I wasn’t alone, I was safe.
The power of a gift without conditions, is simply, a gift that keeps on giving.
Thanks for reading ❤️
You might be interested in this article about procrastination.
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