if it makes you happy : finding + accepting your talisman

So I guess now you’re probably just wondering. . . why? Why does any of this matter? Why should we care about your experience at this D23 thing? Why are you obsessed with the Toy Story ball? Why am I even still reading this?

Well, I’m about to tell you.

After a good while away from the blog, I was aching to get back to writing, but I was completely unsure of where to start. The ideas rolling around in my brain didn’t feel relevant; they felt disconnected and out of sorts. Even back home – in my “real” life – who was going to understand what I’d just been through? Was I supposed to pretend like none of it even happened?

I was stressed out, y’all. Stressed. Out. About who I was, what my message could/should be, and how to communicate it, connect it, and make some sense of peace from it. And that’s crazy!

For inspiration, I listened to a podcast about crystals I’d had saved in my queue for quite a while. Because crystals seem like the sort of thing a true wild woman would possess, right? And I needed to get back in my original groove. But the theories I heard in this podcast made my thoughts drift somewhere else. And suddenly – I had it.

Turns out, crystals don’t have to be crystals. Crystals can be smooth pebbles you find on a hike. They can be pre-purchased, curated expensive talismans sold at your local hippie shop. But they can’t be crystals unless you imbue a certain power onto them. You have to believe in it providing you peace, grounding, happiness, or certainty. Otherwise, it won’t work.

So, let’s stop and really think about this concept. Because if a crystal doesn’t have to be a “crystal,” then it can be anything, right? Anything that holds power for you. Like a baby blanket. Or a vintage necklace. Or a rubber ball. A free, rubber Pixar ball. Right?

Of course, I understand that a crystal, a stone, a rock, or a geode – those are natural materials of the earth. They do possess a different kind of grounding presence that I’d still like to believe in, even if there’s no scientific proof available. But if we’re speaking outside the bounds of science, then I’d like to be able to apply these theories in a way that makes sense for me. In a way that makes sense of how drawn I was to this silly toy.

“We’ll learn a lot about ourselves when we pay attention to what we’re attracted to. We can gather a lot of information without going to a lot of different places if we just stop long enough and say, What is it about this [stone] – what is it about me that I need to tap into right now? . . .

We change. We evolve. You want to shift. You want to transform.”

Heather Askinosie of Energy Muse, “Crystals 101 (Even for the Skeptics)”, One Part Podcast

See? It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s rebranding. And it’s magic.

So, whether I realized it in the moment that I received the ball or not, there was a power that I bestowed on it. And while an animated ball is not nearly as “wild” or natural as a crystal, one can’t deny that it became my talisman – representative of a mental and pyschological change that I needed to experience for those few days and carry with me for a while.

Talismans can be anything you want them to be. They’re defined as “an object…that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.” And that, of course, will look and feel different for each of us. They can be a bandanna that you wrap around your wrist with an inspiring message (as designed by the incredible Jenni Earle). They can be a wide-brimmed western hat. They can be a Pixar ball, a ring that your grandmother gave you, or a magical crystal that you bought in an eccentric woo-woo shop in Chattanooga. There’s no limit! You can have them all. I do….

Because there’s no wrong or right way to be you. There’s no wrong or right way to feel better, to ground yourself, to grant yourself peace or compassion or freedom. (Unless it hurts people. Don’t hurt people.)

Even though it felt difficult and stressful for me to understand how a Pixar ball could possibly maintain a happy presence in my wild woman life, I’ve realized there are no rules out there telling me that it can’t. There’s no wild woman police standing around telling me how to be or not to be “wild” in my own body and mind.

The whole point of being wild is to break through boundaries – not restrain yourself with a set of new ones.

So whatever predisposed image you have of yourself – forget it. Allow your passions to broaden and grow. Allow the silly, the serious, the nonsensical, and the weird. Allow yourself to be a little bit of everything.

That’s the only true way to be wild, women.

And there’s still more to the story! Stay tuned by subscribing to get all the latest – and share your thoughts here, on Instagram, or on Facebook. If you think I’m crazy, tell me! And if you agree, I’d love to hear more about your wild and quirky talismans. Let’s let em shine like diamonds, y’all.