Using Stones for Personal Growth

by John and Micki Baumann

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Obsidian or Black Aventurine:  Focusing

Obsidian is a black, siliceous rock that is formed when silica-rich volcanic magma flows onto the earth's surface and rapidly solidifies into a glassy solid.  Named after a Roman (Obsius), obsidian was used in antiquity because of its sharp edges and high vitreous luster.  The ancient Aztecs made divinatory mirrors of polished obsidian, as well as obsidian images of the god Tezcatlipoca, whose name means "shining mirror".  Obsidian figurines, amulets and lucky charms have been found all over Central and South America.  It was also a popular material for fashioning stone knives, spear points and arrowheads.

Black Aventurine has the same energy as obsidian, and can be used as an alternative if desired.  Black aventurine is a black, opaque stone containing tiny flecks of pyrite that give it a metallic iridescence, making it sparkle in the light, almost as if it contained glitter. Although aventurines can come from all over the world, black aventurine is a recently rediscovered stone that comes from a small mine in Ontario, Canada. In the past, it was used by the Native peoples of Canada, but in modern times it has been a fairly obscure stone until recently when a new pocket was opened up.

The vibrations emanating from the crystalline structure of Obsidian (as well as Black Aventurine) interact with your personal energy to strengthen Focusing.  Focusing is the ability to concentrate on what you are trying to do.  It is bearing down on it with a mental forcefulness and a constant attentiveness.  It is being able to always keep your goal foremost in your mind.

If you are good at focusing, you know how to concentrate your energy in an intense way, and you have the willpower and determination to stay with a project or a thought process.  You find it easy to stay on track because you never lose sight of your ultimate goal.  You know that continually keeping your goal in mind contributes to the success of anything you do, and keeps you from getting sidetracked in what you are trying to accomplish.

Focusing has both a doing side and a knowing side.  The doing side is being able to concentrate on what you are trying to accomplish.  The knowing side is recognizing what to focus on, recognizing what things are useful to concentrate on, and what things just waste your time and energy.  If you are good at focusing you can always "see the forest for the trees".  This means you have the ability to keep your final goal clearly in your mind so that you don't get hung up in the various steps leading up to that goal.  Focusing too much on the trees and not enough on the forest, can prevent you from seeing the big picture and achieving the final goal itself.  The doing and knowing side of focusing form two sides of the same duality.  This means that as you develop the ability to recognize what to concentrate on, you also increase your ability to focus in general.

If you have trouble with focusing, you find it difficult to keep your mind from wandering, and you become easily scattered and divergent.  You sometimes get hung up in details that keep you from achieving the thing you really want to achieve.  It is often an uphill battle for you to stay on track toward your goals, and you sometimes feel like a failure because of your difficulty in accomplishing things.


Black Aventurine


Black Aventurine

Becoming More Focused

To become better at focusing, practice putting your energy behind something you are really interested in and really want to see happen.  Allow yourself to become passionate about it, and dedicate a portion of your energy to it.  When you have a strong passion or drive for something, it is natural to focus on it and put energy toward it at a high level.  This is a little like putting your money where your mouth is, except it is putting your energy where your will lies.  Whenever you are passionate about something, it is easy to dedicate your energy to it, and to use your willpower and determination to focus or concentrate on it.

One of the most beneficial ways to use your powers of concentration is to focus on the positive.  If you can truly "Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don't mess with Mr. In-between", then you have an optimistic focus, which is of great value in keeping you from getting sidetracked by negative things.  Staying focused on the positive allows you to see that life is basically good, and this keeps you from becoming a guarded cynic.

Another beneficial way to use your powers of concentration is to focus on what is possible, on things that could possibly be true.  Concentrate on being open-minded in the sense of being open to new ideas and concepts, no matter how strange they may sound to you at first.  Focus your energy on evaluating whether particular outrageous sounding concepts are feasible.  Speculate about things and contemplate possibilities.  And in the end, focus your energy on the things you find to be real and true.  This will give you experience in directing your focus along logical lines without being biased, and without demanding that it lead you in any particular direction.

In choosing a relationship, be practical and consider only relationships that will be worthwhile for both of you.  Concentrate on analyzing who is good for you to be with.  To practice this, focus your energy on being discerning, levelheaded and pragmatic about relationships.  If you concentrate on becoming more aware of who you can have a good relationship with, it will be easier for you to walk away from relationships you know will be bad for you.