Tapping into the Power of Effective Motivation

I’m been mesmerized by a teaching of Christopher Wallis. According to his website, he teaches meditation, yoga and Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling.  He teaches about practicing from a three pronged “effective motivation”, called “pure motivation” in Buddhist teachings. My spiritual, massage and Reiki practices are being  transformed by adjusting my primary intention to one of effective motivation.

The first piece is to practice out of love for myself, rather than trying to fix the (seemingly) broken pieces. From a spiritual viewpoint, I’m not broken and don’t need fixing, and any motivation from this flawed perspective would be ineffective. Instead, when I’m motivated to uncover my essential nature of wholeness and holiness, I’m tapping into the power of effective motivation. Very powerful stuff!

May I practice out of love for myself.

Second, he cautions about chasing bliss at the expense of what is real. He offers the adjustment of practicing in order to know the Truth. (I use a capital T to signify universal and eternal Truth vs. subjective or temporary truths.) This allows me to experience the sadness, anger, shame, or fear that could be covering my True Self, and to allow for deep healing rather than simple pleasure seeking. He suggests that a greater level of joy is eventually accessible when we chose to honor what is True.

May I practice from a desire to know the Truth.

And finally, rather than seeking special powers (psychic powers or the ability to manifest desires of the ego) or manipulative power over others, he proposes that I practice in order to benefit all beings, myself included. Asking Life, “what do you want to do through me?” instead of making demands of what I think I want (P.S. I’m almost always wrong about what I think I want!) is a more effective motivation, and a simple way to tap into universal life-force energy.

May I practice for the benefit of all beings. 

This simple, yet powerful intention is shifting my practice in a fundamental way that feels like it will have profound results over time. Already I’m experiencing more groundedness, connection, and peacefulness. Which is really quite enough motivation for me to continue! Obviously I want to get the most out of all my practices, so aligning with this effective motivation appears to be an easy way to support myself.

May I practice out of love for myself, in order to know the truth, 

and for the benefit of all beings.

Emotional Honesty

I’m trying something new this year. 2018 is the time for me to feel all my feelings. It doesn’t sound all that impressive, I know. Yet it is a huge undertaking! The vast majority of my emotions have been ignored, suppressed, or deflected for decades. They’re still buried within, waiting to be experienced, digested, and released. It seems that this is the process that needs to be allowed for true healing to occur.

There are several key components that I’ve committed to in order to support this endeavor. I’ve recently realized that lasting change requires all of the pieces to be in play simultaneously.

  • Gathering a team of compassionate, understanding, and supportive friends who can witness my journey without judging, blaming, shaming, or advising.
  • Eliminating  self-medication strategies such as alcohol, sugar, and processed foods and limiting time spent on social media, watching TV, and engaging in meaningless chit-chat.
  • Devotion to spiritual practices that release blockages and reroute that freed energy for a higher purpose.
  • Willingness to be radically honesty with myself about what is coming up in each moment.
  • Commitment to stillness when uncomfortable emotions arise.

Ugh! It’s so much easier to eat something, to distract myself with electronics, or to check out with a nice pint of beer. I’ve become a master at using yoga, dance, and Reiki to shift the energy of discomfort. I now recognize this behavior as misusing these powerful techniques to avoid the work of healing by preventing emotions from rising to the surface for processing. Discomfort cannot be avoided in the healing process. Ugh!

Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’m learning is that there are multiple ways to use Reiki for emotional healing. First, it can be a remedy for getting through difficult situations by providing comfort in the moment. Second, it can be used to prevent emotions from becoming festering wounds that develop over time through neglect and abandonment. And thirdly (perhaps most importantly) it can be used to muster up the courage and willingness to sit quietly in loving awareness with whatever is true in each moment; without moving to escape or repair it.

So here I sit, prepared to experience whatever arises; willing to feel all my feelings despite great discomfort and the urge to flee. It might not sound impressive, but when I am able to allow complete emotional honesty, the liberation I experience is phenomenal. While the rewards are mostly internal, they are truly transformative. And that is more valuable to me than sounding impressive.




Committing to Myself

I began the new year with a ritual to get super clear about the changes I need to make in order to align with my desires. The more I explore the arts of spiritual practice, self-care, and redefining success to suit my needs, the more I recognize that shifting on the energetic level within myself is a much more powerful strategy than seeking external goals. 

I’ve developed a morning routine using tantric exercises, Reiki, crystals, mantra, meditation, and yoga to rewire my nervous system and engage my deep subconscious to support my efforts. I’ve cleaned up my eating habits to a level of purity I’ve only ever experienced during cleanses in the past. I’ve reworked my schedule to release everything that drains my energy and doesn’t provide nourishment, fulfillment, or pleasure.

This may seem like a lot of work, but I’m here to report that the rewards have been astounding! It seems that each of my efforts has resulted in unexpected bonuses I never could have planned. The Universe is supporting me wholeheartedly in my path of spiritual healing and recovering wholeness. I’m being met with blessings and honored with gifts that reassure and inspire me to continue on this road less traveled.

I’m reminded on a brilliant quote by Goethe, a German writer from the turn of the twentieth century.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

The experiences of my past several weeks have rectified any doubts I’ve ever experienced about these meaningful words. More than ever, I am committed to my journey of awakening and also to remembering that I have support from realms beyond. If ever there was a time to be bold, this is it. I choose to begin it now.

Won’t you join me?


Redefining Success for 2018

It’s time for me to examine the goals I wish to pursue by redefining the word “success”. Enough of allowing the media, Hollywood, and Wall Street to influence my perception of success as a six figure income, superficial popularity, and meaningless (to me anyway) status. As I welcome in the new year, I’m using Reiki to get clear about what will serve me best in my quest for success. 

When I sit in contemplation about how I wish to feel and what I wish to offer in 2018, I place one hand on my heart and the other on my solar plexus, willing Reiki to flow and guide me. I consider my challenges and victories of the past year and ask for clarity about what I need to release and what I need to cultivate. I allow my heart to open and my willpower to activate as I invite guidance about achieving these desires. 

For starters, how can I deepen my spiritual connection and sense of worthiness? How do I uncover the sparkle of my inner light and extended it to brighten the world for myself, my friends, family, clients, and all beings? What resources do I need to support this goal and what actions can I take right now to start moving in that direction? What time drains, bad habits, or inefficiencies can be released?

Next I consider magnifying my physical, mental, emotional, and energetic health. How can I create more time for rest and play, for preparing and mindfully consuming  nurturing meals, for reading (both for pleasure and growth), for expression and creativity, and for recreation and connection with those who inspire and uplift me? What obligations can I surrender that will free me to pursue my unique version of success rather than conforming with society’s version?

My career falls third on my list of pursuits. While increasing prosperity is indeed on my wish list, I will only consider myself a success if my work doesn’t hamper my spiritual growth or well-being. Pretty radical redefinition, isn’t it? Yes, I long for a tropical vacation, and we’ve only just begun the winter experience here in Philadelphia. Yes, there are several courses that would expand my ability to serve my students and clients better. Without a doubt I would enjoy attending concerts, the symphony and theater much more regularly this year. Yet, none of that is worth sacrificing my health or peace of mind.

Making the commitment to pursuing personal, spiritual, and wellness development  as my primary priority seems like a no-brainer to me. Yet every advertisement I see is urging me to find meaning and self-worth through a purchase or experience that is rarely aligned with my values. In 2018, I’m vowing to continue my redefinition of success as it applies to me. I am wholeheartedly secure in the knowing that a daily Reiki practice will help me stay true to myself and optimize each moment, allowing success to flow into my life. 

It could easily do the same thing for you.



Comparing and Despairing

“To compare is despair.” I’ve heard this sentiment at least a hundred times from Jennifer Hadley, a spiritual teacher. Yesterday I experienced it with brilliant clarity in the blink of an eye. I was feeling rather victorious about completing a book challenge. I read my goal of 24 books  in 2017 and was considering expanding that number for the new year. When I went to my Goodreads app to enter my aspiration to read 30 books in 2018, I noticed that the average number entered by other participants was 49.

What? How is that possible? Who are these people? Do they have jobs? Do they read picture books? And how can I rearrange my life to read a book each and every week in 2018? All of a sudden my victory was overshadowed by thousands of strangers and I was crushed.

I reviewed my day wondering how I could squeeze in an extra hour or two of reading. If I didn’t go to yoga class, get a massage, spend time visiting with my friend, prepare my meals or plan future ones; I could probably bang out one of the novels that’s been sitting neglected for ages on my bookshelf.

Wait a minute! What? Who am I and what just happened? I went from comparing to competition to mindless consumption to throwing my values out the window in no time at all. Is it really more important to me to achieve some arbitrary goal than to be a rock-star in the self-care world? Is it more important that cultivating meaningful connections or mindfulness in my daily life? Obviously it is not!

Luckily this round of comparing and despairing came and went pretty quickly. I caught myself before I went too deeply down that rabbit hole because despair is a rather icky feeling. My emotional radar lit up like crazy and warned me that I was off-track. I was able to reevaluate and correct my course within a few hours.

Yet I wonder how many times over the years have I lost days and weeks rather than minutes and hours? Oh wait! That’s a subtle form of comparison, isn’t it? I’m not falling for that! No doubt I’ve spent plenty of time feeling needless despair in the past, but the important thing is that I’m committed to avoiding any pointless upset from here on out. 

Welcome 2018. I can tell it’s going to be a year filled with challenges and growth and ultimately more joy. All I need to do is avoiding the nonsensical goal to win competitions I was never interested in entering.