Heal a friend, heal yourself

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When thinking of a gift for a family member or a close friend, I always try to customize it to their personal likes and/or hobbies. But there is one gift I've given that takes it up a notch. I call this gift 'The Healing Box.'

During our lives we are always challenged with every day stresses. It can be our children or spouse being difficult, the dog or cat are messing around, or we can find ourselves a little short on the coin 4 days away from pay day! As friends we try to support each other during these times by commiserating and listening. Then there are those times I call Life Changing. Times like being diagnosed with cancer, a dire diagnosis of some sort or the death of a spouse or child. These occurrences can shift the planes of the earth and Life as we know is changed forever. When I see my friends faced with this, I've felt helpless and have wondered, 'What I can I do to assist them and what can I say that will be good and not damaging?' And then there are those times when I have felt so lost in what to do, I end up doing nothing and have had regrets afterward.

A few years ago, I had a friend diagnosed with third-stage breast cancer. She was a single mom of a terrific 11-year-old son and was, frankly, devastated. We, her friends, gathered together as a support group and helped her find a doctor, helped her decide on what treatment to choose and kept her house clean and bodies fed. After all that, I still felt like I should be doing more. We were taking care of all her physical needs but what could we do for her Spirit and Emotional needs? I came up with the idea of a Healing Box.

I found a pretty, wooden box at CostPlus World Market, about the size of a shoebox, and filled it with items I thought would help in her journey through and beyond her cancer. I gave each item lots of thought, keeping her beliefs and ideas in mind. In a card, I listed each item and wrote what compelled me to include it in her box. I will list the items I included and the narrative for each. You can use any kind of box since it doesn't have to be one from World Market. I have used pretty boxes received as gifts, a hat box, a shoebox decorated with pictures and scrapbook items and I have even used a box made for storing pictures. The purpose of the container is to have the items you collected in something that can be stored on a shelf or under the bed for easy access so it doesn't really matter what it is.

Here is how I explain the box to the friend I am giving it to:

Dear Friend:

I am giving you what I call a Healing Box. This is what I felt I needed to do to help you through your trying time since I have been feeling helpless in how to fix all that is going on with you and know I can't. I envision this box being used during your meditative times or quiet times in the morning.

It is wrapped in a pretty shawl whose colors remind me of you. Please place this around your body and imagine me and the Universe embracing you in our loving arms and wishing you only comfort.

The candle is there to shine it's golden, healing light over you while you are in your quiet moments.

The mirror is there to show not only your reflection but to help you reflect on what was, what is and what will be. It will also show you the woman I see: Strong, intuitive, beautiful, fearless and, yes, a little crazy!

The picture frame is to hold the image of your most beloved. This is to remind you why you are going through this with the courage I know is inside you.

The CD is one I cherish and play while in my own time of meditation and want to share it with you.

The amethyst crystal is to give you protection, increase your intuitiveness and to help you remember your dreams.

The citrine is to help heal you, body and soul, and to give you personal power.

All of this is given with the wish that whatever the future has in store for you, it will include all the love and friendship you deserve.

Keep in mind the items can be any you think would be helpful during the friend's time.  I am also very careful in who I give this to and why. I usually reserve it for those who have something going on that is definitely more than the every day craziness we all experience. I have taken one of the items I usually put in the Healing Box and given it to someone who needs a little boost. The shawl by itself is nice because you can say, 'I thought you needed a hug so put this on and think of me doing that for you!' A crystal that represents a particular healing power is another nice gift by itself.

What I have found to happen when I have given the Healing Box to somebody, there is a little healing that happens within myself, also. It feels good to give something to somebody that tells her outright she is important to me and that I wish her well. The friend's appreciation is a very nice reward.

Crystals and Stones and their healing properties:
Amethyst protection, increase intuition, helps to remember dreams
Aquamarine stone of joy and happiness. Protective stone of the traveler
Bloodstone takes away the negativity and sadness
Carnelian female stone, heals and balances the reproductive system
Citrine healer and balancer of personal power
Lapis helps to change negativity into postively
Moon Stone increases intuition
Obsidian grounds and centers
Onyx connector with the cycle of life, protective
Opal opens communication
Peridot helps to heal and balance
(black) protective, deflects negativity from the wearer
(green) helps with emotional change, bringing balance
(rubellite) cleanses and helps deal with sexual energies
(watermelon) aids transitions
Turquoise heals, connects self to higher self