Posts in crystals
Lost and Found

Just a note: I’m going to talk about my journey during the early days of motherhood and the struggles I had. If you find reading on that subject difficult or uncomfortable please feel free to close this window in your browser. I promise I’ll write more about crystals soon.

I often describe the time after I had my first son, when I became a mother, as the hardest time of my life. Crossing the threshold of pregnant woman to mother was something that nobody can prepare you for. I imagine that it’s the same for every woman who has ever carried a baby, or adopted a baby, or has been pregnant, or lost a pregnancy. Once you cross that threshold, there’s no going back. You simply aren’t the same woman that you were before, in small ways and in big ways, you know things and feel things and have unlocked a part of yourself that you can’t put back. I felt as if one night I went to sleep as one person and woke up as an entirely different person. I couldn’t even recognize myself in the mirror.

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

I wasn’t prepared for that. 

I was the first of the “kids” in my family to have a baby. I have a group of cousins who I grew up with and am close to, I’m the oldest of the bunch. I was the first for, well, everything. From bringing a boyfriend home for Christmas, to moving away to a new city after college, to getting married, getting a puppy and then - having a baby. I asked my aunt, one of my dearest friends, if she thought I would be a good mom. “Of course you will”, she said plainly, “you’re good at everything you put your mind to”. 

At the time, I’ll admit, I thought she was right. I was good at everything I put my mind to. I got the roles I wanted on stage, I got the job I wanted in Chicago, and had the wedding of my dreams and a honeymoon filled with adventure. I was good at the things I put my mind to. In hindsight, I wish I put my mind to more things, but that’s a different blog post.

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Then I had my son. After 30 hours of labor, I sat, terrified and in love with this new human. I expected to blossom into this whole new person, a loving miracle of a human who effortlessly took care of this baby. I did not. I struggled with everything. I felt lost in a sea of worries and uncertainty. The months ticked by and the feelings I had of being an impostor only intensified.

 

Quickly after I had my son, two of my friends had their first babies. I remember going to visit them in the hospital and when I walked in the room they were glowing. They looked so natural, so happy, so immediately at home in their motherhood - and I sobbed the entire way home. It only confirmed my suspicion, that I was not a natural mother. That there has been a terrible mistake. I was missing a piece of the puzzle and now my poor son is going to have to grow up with this frazzled, overwhelmed shell of a mother who can’t seem to do anything right.

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

(Note: Of course, that’s total bullshit. The phrase “natural mother” is bullshit.) 

If I could go back in time just once it would be to comfort that version of myself. I would let her cry in my arms and say, “You are enough”. 

My problem was that I had lost myself. When you cross the threshold into mother an entirely new identity is thrust upon you. Lose the weight. Breastfeed. Keep working. Stay home. Music class. Swim class. Sacrifice. Don’t ask for help. Cook. Clean. Sacrifice more. 

I couldn’t check any of the boxes, I felt like it was all-consuming and a struggle, I was trying to live up to an ideal that I had created in my mind and failing at every turn. I had unknowingly set myself up for failure by creating a report card that was impossible for me to pass.  

When you stripped away my job, my body, my old hobbies - I didn’t know who I was. The version of “mom” I was trying to be was making me miserable. Like, cry-every-day-what-is-wrong-with-me miserable. 

I had to start from scratch with myself and my expectations. I started noticing what made me feel happy, and what made me feel miserable - and started doing more of the happy things.

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

 

I know this sounds elementary but please believe me that it’s a big deal. I felt like I was building myself from the ground up. Waking up at night and pumping to increase my supply made me miserable, so I stopped. Going for a walk by myself made me happy, so I went for a small one every day. Trying crash diet after crash diet and drinking protein shakes made me miserable, so I stopped. Meditating made me feel awesome, so I did more. Watching TV made me feel like crap, so I stopped. Reading self-development and poetry and collecting crystals made happy, so I did more.  

I let go of the expectations I had for myself as a mother and tried to enjoy the small moments and, eventually, I found myself again. I swear too much and feed my toddler too many fruit snacks, but I dropped the guilt and try to do better everyday. I’ve gained 20 pounds since my wedding day and I’m just tired of beating myself up about it, so I don’t. I have fewer friends, but I surround myself with the most extraordinary and supportive ones in the world.

I wish it didn’t take the birth of my son as the catalyst to burn it all down and start from scratch, because I do feel like I missed a lot of time in those early days when all I did was worry and cry. But I can say now that I’m a happy, messy, mom-in-progress. Being mindful, looking inward, and focusing on my truest self has - to be dramatic - saved my life, and at the very least saved my happiness. And with this platform I only hope that it can inspire you to take inventory and find what makes you truly come alive. It’s not the ideal that society or your ego has for you, but the whispers of your heart.

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Photo: Chelise Renee Photography

Welcome to Younicorn Food: Crystals to Feed Your Spirit

Sweet Younicorn! It’s been a whirlwind the last couple weeks, and spring is finally starting to make it’s way to the dreary Midwest. It’s hard to understate what a difference the sun makes in our days here.

March is always such a challenging month. Itching to get outside, so eager for the flowers to bloom - but just, not quite there. Even when the sun shines, the cold is bitter. Especially with two young kids, it’s a test of patience.

Mindful parenting takes lots of patience, crystals are a helpful tool.

 Let’s talk about the sparkling, shining, giant crystal in the room, shall we? I’ve made quite the transition on this site from selling toast art to blogging about mindfulness and self care to now providing curated crystals. I feel very “at home” with this transition and it makes me at once excited, nervous, but mostly thrilled. Crystals have been an important tool for meditation as well as a lifelong fascination of mine and I can’t wait to share what I’ve uncovered with you.  

If you read my blog or followed me on social media in the beginning of my business journey you will recall that I sold boxes of natural food coloring and sprinkles to make toast art - hence the name of my site, Younicorn Food. I came up with the idea for the toast art boxes after a very, very long day while I was drinking wine in the shower (as one does). It was what Elizabeth Gilbert would call “an alive idea”. I got a chill from my head to my feet and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Fast forward months later, I took some photography courses, refreshed my business acumen, and got to work. I realize now, in this new year, that it was all an elaborate stepping stone to get me where I am today.


crystals for meditation, healing, and mindfulness.

Writing to you about alignment, mindfulness, and creating your own joy - and curating crystals to offer as a tool to get you there. 

Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with crystals. I used to go to gem and mineral shows with my dad where we would easily spend hours scouring the different stones and talking with the vendors. I was transported back to that place in my childhood last month when my dad and I went to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the largest of it’s kind in the world. We saw tiny stones worth literal hundreds of thousands of dollars and others that you had to dig through muddy wheelbarrows and clean with your bare hands. It was a truly wonderful experience, one of those trips where you start planning your next visit even before you leave. 

Eckhart Tolle describes nature as “an entry point” into stillness. It’s a portal to another realm. A realm that is alive in it’s stillness.

Wilderness, oceans, mountains, forests, crystals…they have all been here long before we have. They have seen it all and know it all. The silent wisdom, the patience, and the beauty of nature is a mirror for the strength and spirit that lies within all of us.


Ocean Jasper to help you connect with nature and yourself

The unrelenting power of the ocean waves and the fragility of a flower in bloom - it’s all part of us.

My husband and I have been lucky enough to take a few vacations together before we had our boys - and always we gravitated toward the mountains, toward the trees. We were engaged at the base of a waterfall in Yosemite National Park, we took our honeymoon for two glorious weeks in New Zealand exploring rainforests, glaciers, and mountains. And finally, we took a trip to Big Sur while I was seven months pregnant, staying in a 500 square foot cottage in the middle of a quiet Redwood preserve. When I sit and reflect on my relationship with nature, it’s astonishing that I didn’t realize just how big of a part it plays in my story. 

And now, with these crystals in my home I feel the next chapter coming into focus, and the role nature plays in that. The time, the patience, the earth, and the heat that it takes for these crystals to form into their perfect selves is an invaluable addition to my home and my life. Something I hope I can bring into the lives and homes of a lot of people. Crystals helped me find my way back to myself after I had my first son and lost my way.

Crystals taught me to look inward, that all of the answers are inside me, that my true voice is whispering.  

Crystals are forgiving. They sat for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even a million years to form into the stone that sits in your meditation corner or on your nightstand - surely, you can spare a few minutes a day to tap into it’s wisdom. If you’re not ready, it’s okay, they can wait. After all, they have waited all this time. They have seen all that has come before us, they have felt all of the growth and turmoil and beauty that’s made it’s mark on this Earth we all share.



Pink amethyst to calm, soothe, and melt away anxieties

They have secrets. The good news is, they can’t wait to share, all you have to do it listen. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I would love to know what you think! The crystals offered on my site were hand picking and curated by me at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show this year, and I’m so proud to be able to provide them.