Using Stones for Personal Growth

by John and Micki Baumann

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Amber:  Seizing Opportunity

Amber is the fossilized, hardened resin of the pine tree, Pinus Succinifera, formed in the Eocene period about 50 million years ago.  It is usually honey colored and transparent and is sometimes found with inclusions of insects or parts of plants.  The largest deposits of amber exist on the seabed of the Baltic Sea.  Other deposits are found in the Dominican Republic, Sicily, Romania, Burma, and Canada.  The word amber comes from the Greek gods' elixir of immortality, ambrosia (from ambrotos, immortal).  Amber is perhaps the oldest substance used for human adornment.  Amber beads, charms and ornaments have been found in the tombs of ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt, as well as in northern European grave sites dating back as far as 8000 B.C.

Amber acts on the Inner Being to strengthen the ability to Seize Opportunity.  This is the ability to respond when opportunity knocks, to seize the day and take advantage of an opportunity when it comes along.  It is being able to take advantage of something while the circumstances are right, because circumstances always change.

If you are good at responding when opportunity knocks, you are also good at actively creating change in your life.  You are good at changing direction or changing priorities without undue hesitation when you know the circumstances are favorable.  You feel comfortable about acting spontaneously to create changes in your life when a true opportunity for positive change exists.  If you are good at operating in this way, you don't miss many opportunities.

Seizing opportunity has both a doing side and a knowing side.  The doing side is being able to seize an opportunity and take advantage of it during the time or "window of opportunity" when it is open to you.  The knowing side is being able to recognize favorable circumstances when they cross your path.  This helps you realize what is advantageous so you can also recognize an opportunity when you see one.  You can't take advantage of an opportunity that you don't see.  If you are good at recognizing when an opportunity exists, and how much of an opportunity is really there, then you also know when to be spontaneous and grab that opportunity.  These two aspects of opportunity work together as a duality.  This means that as you develop the ability to recognize when an opportunity exists, you also increase the ability to seize opportunities in general.

If you have trouble seizing opportunities, you hesitate to change paths or directions in life because you have little confidence in your ability to act quickly and without much deliberation.  You resist change and find it difficult to be spontaneous.  It is hard for you to make changes without first figuring things out from every possible direction, and even then you hesitate.  You know only too well that "he who hesitates is lost", and you end up having many regrets in life.  Resisting change can even produce depression if you resist making the changes for long enough.

Learning to Seize Opportunities

If you want to improve your ability to take advantage of opportunities, work at becoming more aware of the fact that changing something in your life is more likely to have a positive effect than a negative effect.  Believe in the positive and adopt the optimistic attitude that new things you take on are more likely to turn out well than not.  Don't be afraid of change itself, or of the unknowns that may be on the other side of a change.  Instead, feel free to try new things, to "go for it" with gusto.  Learn to act with spontaneity when an opportunity arises.  This enables you to seize that opportunity and not let it pass you by.

Another way to become more opportunistic is to practice being open to changing your viewpoint or attitude when you discover new truths or find new answers to life's questions.  In order to grow as a person, you must be able to change what you believe when necessary, in response to new knowledge that you find.  This process of searching for and finding answers, and then adjusting your viewpoint to those answers, gives you a kind of mental adaptability or malleability.  This adaptability helps you take advantage of opportunities that come along because it makes it easier for you to change and move in new or different directions.

In addition, work at being objective and fair with people by always being ready to listen to reason.  Objectivity allows you to follow what is real and true, without becoming emotionally attached or personally involved in the outcome.  It is not that you don't take sides, but you only take sides when the facts tell you to.  Being objective will develop your ability to change sides, change opinions, change your mind, when a situation demands it, especially in light of new information.  If you can change your mind when there is good reason, you will also find it easier to change direction in order to seize an opportunity.