Agates.

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent combing the Lake Superior shoreline through piles of smooth, tumbled stones. We were in search of small treasures -- fairy tears, colorful little buttons, mottled pieces of metal, beautiful bits of old ceramic. But the ultimate prize were agates: lovely little gems whose whispery white bands would peek through heaps of basalt and rhyolite. 
When it comes to finding agates, timing is everything. Ideally, always after a storm when the lake reveals its most precious stones. Agates are always difficult to come by but its a thrill when you're able to spot their luminescent stripes. It's like finding North Country gold.

Today was possibly my last opportunity of the year to search for agates. Something about dipping my toes in the clear, icy lake and running my fingers through heaps of smooth pebbles is cathartic. It's an opportunity for me to separate myself from my thoughts and feelings and focus on the simple task at hand. I guess you could say that for me it's like a form of meditation.
Meditation comes in all different forms. Mindful meditation involves paying precise attention to the details of our present experience -- to notice what you are noticing as you are noticing it. When I'm hunting for agates,  it involves focusing on the sensations from that very moment: sifting my fingers through pebbles, listening to the sound of waves gently tumbling little stones, keeping a keen eye for the agate's orthodox pattern amongst otherwise plain rocks.
I've found that meditation has been incredibly helpful for my overall well-being in so many different ways. I stress less over little things, especially when it comes to my work where focus is everything and tensions are high.

It helps build a real, solid happiness within me that I have never felt before. You know that overwhelming feeling you get after receiving incredible news, or seeing a really old friend after a long time, or when you're falling in love? It's like that, only the crazy thing is nothing is happening. I just feel pure, unsolicited happiness for no reason. The older I get the more I realize that I really only feel happiness when good things are about to happen or have just happened. I think it's important to feel happiness always -- even in the least positive of times.

But perhaps the most important benefit that I have noticed with mindful meditation is the fact that it aids in developing a stronger sense of self. When I am outside in nature (especially alone), I connect to an aspect of life that is so raw and refreshing. By sense of self, I mean a powerful inner strength that resounds from somewhere deep within me. It is the ability to know who you are exactly, what your boundaries are, having emotional independence, and finding confidence in yourself.

35 comments

  1. awesome

    http://www.queenhorsfall.com/

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  2. You're so right, inner happiness is so important and nature is always a good way to find it. The agates are really beautiful, I wish our lakes had such treasures. Best wishes!

    http://darkwoodenpath.blogspot.de

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  3. I've never heard of these but they look amazing! The shore sounds amazing!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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  4. I love when I'm able to be out in places with nature, unfortunately it's not very often! And such a pretty find!

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  5. great post
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC / facebook?
    let me know in the comments on my blog and I follow back!
    http://www.mosaictrends.com/

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  6. What a great way to connect with nature and yourself!
    xx
    SASHA

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  7. I definitely agree about meditation. It has definitely helped me became sure-r of myself and calmer. An awesome post and those rocks are incredible!

    Nat | Dignifiable

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  8. Pretty rocks! It is always healthy to have some one on one with nature every now and then :) -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

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  9. Wow they look wonderful :)
    I invite you to my blog, maybe follow for follow? :)

    veronicalucy.blogspot.com

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  10. Beautiful stone ( I do love a pretty stones haha!) what a lovely post , I like reading different stuff from time to time :)

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. This is such a lovely, positive post and I throughly enjoyed the read. Meditation is something I think I should try more of but I do find it quite difficult to switch off sometimes and often forget to do it. So many people have commented on the benefits of meditation though so I think it's something I need to find more time for x

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  12. I just love nature it really does make me feel better! :)

    ARedLip&Love

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  13. Beautiful stones! They rally look like the perfect object for practicing mindfulness- such unique textures and colours :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  14. Omg these are some really beautiful stones! Speaking of meditation I could almost just look at your pictures and feel peaceful. I definitely agree though that mediating is a great way to calm and I always tell my brother he should try it (he stresses a lot haha).

    Stephanie ● Sartorial Diner

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  15. They´re beautiful!Lovely photos ♡

    Have a nice day xx Love from Slovakia ~
    ♡ ESTÉE LAUDER ♡

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  16. The agates looks beautiful. I do meditation as well and helps me a lot to clear my head. Xx


    eLLa
    every LiTTLE thing07

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  17. those look really beautiful!!! :D

    Have a great week!
    Animated Confessions

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  18. You find these?? That's incredible, I'm moving haha! I've only ever seen those types of rocks in gift shops and what not for absurdly high prices.

    I've only ever felt happy for no reason for fleeting moments of time. But it's the type of thing where you get a tiny taste of it, and you just want more, more, more. Usually it's at the end of the week when I suddenly realize I have 2 whole days to relax!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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  19. You painted a truly beautiful and tranquil image of you dipping your fingers into the 'icy water' to find them :) Have a lovely week.

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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  20. Whoa I had never heard of agates before, thanks for sharing!!! These photos are lovely.

    xoxo Emily
    http://www.ditchtheheels.com

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  21. They look soo pretty! Amazing decoration pieces as well! Thanks for sharing! x

    clumsyagenda.blogspot.com

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  22. They look really amazing
    kiss

    new post http://sarameirelesthesnowwhite.blogspot.pt/2015/12/one-of-my-secrets.html

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  23. They are so beautiful. So true, those little things make me happy too (:
    Nati xx
    www.simplyartdicted.com

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  24. these are so pretty, i completly understand what you mean by little things! lovely blog too :) x x

    millieerosee.blogspot.com

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  25. This is truly an inspirational post for me, Alexandra! I used to practice meditation, but I stopped for some reason (mostly laziness, lol). You just reminded me of that feeling of ease and wholeness:)
    I can't imagine how amazing that must be to actually find these beautiful stones in the lake. Thank you so much for sharing!

    http://www.yuliannova.com/

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  26. Hi, you had commented on my blog long time back on a Diwali post!
    you have a great blog here... beautiful stones :)

    would you like following each other :)

    Love
    AhoySeptember
    facebook


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  27. Great post. I sometimes do mindfulness practices when I have trouble falling asleep and it really helps. Takes my mind off those thoughts that won't let my mind rest. Thanks for sharing <3 The stones are really pretty too!
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    Emma xxx

    www.wellemma.com

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  28. Gorgeous post, it's so important to find something that let's you shut the rest of the world out. I'm such a tactile person this sounds like the perfect form of meditation, thanks for sharing, and what lovely finds too!

    What Raj Wants

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  29. Such a great pot!! For me, inner peace is much more important than happiness. ^^
    would you like to follow each other on GFC & G+? If you follow me,
    I will follow you back after it.
    www.tomntins.com

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  30. Beautiful post!
    Do you want to follow each other?

    Have a lovely day Adela Acanski

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  31. These are so pretty! I love how unique they all are.
    XO Diana | http://www.dianavilic.com

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  32. I just ADORE your blog, Alex. It's meaningful. The agates and your photos of them are gorgeous, but I just love what you say about meditation. And I love how everyone feels meditation through different ways :)

    Raashi
    raashiagarwal.blogspot.com.au

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  33. it looks so unique. So Amazing pictures, photos & images

    would you like to follow each other on GFC & G+? If you follow me,
    I will follow you back after it.
    www.tomntins.com

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