Reiki for Pets

People are often surprised to hear that Reiki is an effective healing treatment for their beloved pets. All living creatures, including animals of every variety, are imbued with life-force energy. This energy can be imbalanced, blocked, or weakened through less-than-optimal conditions (such as poor-quality food, lack of exercise and fresh air, or inadequate attention) as well as through injuries, stress, and disease. Reiki is a non-invasive, holistic technique for fostering optimal wellness in animals as well as in their human companions.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes a simple one-off treatment is all that is needed to offer assistance through a challenging event such as travel. Other critters benefit from a cluster of sessions to support recovery from a surgery, illness, or disruptive situation such as the addition of a new pet. Some creatures might need consistent support to help balance out end of life issues or chronic illness.

Luckily for us all, Reiki can be administered from afar. There’s no reason to schlep the poor darlings to an office, which would likely further traumatize them and counteract any positive effects. While some practitioners might make house calls, the expense can be prohibitive. Any Reiki provider with a level two certification has been trained to use sacred symbols and the power of intention to deliver healing to wherever it is needed. No matter where your pet is, Reiki can be received with ease.

Caregivers are usually relieved to learn that they need not try to coral their pets or force them to appear in a video meeting! They only need to provide a picture of the animal, along with his/her name, location, and ailment. Reiki does the rest. It’s not necessary to get animals to do anything specific; as most pet people know, it’s nearly impossible and stressful all-around to even try. They are eager recipients who instinctively recognize the value of Reiki.

The most economical approach would be to take a beginners’ level Reiki class. In a short amount of time, anyone can learn to deliver healing energy. There is no special skill or constitution required. A Reiki Master Teacher will perform an attunement which opens the energy channels, allowing the student to access this limitless, universal energy at any time. You can literally have healing available at your very fingertips! If your pet has a serious health condition or is otherwise nervous, anxious, or simply unwell, this approach allows for daily treatments on a minimal budget.

If adding yet another daily task to your to-do list triggers a feeling of overwhelm, you’ll likely prefer to hire a professional to do the job. That’s what we’re here for! While my experience so far lies mostly with dogs and cats, there are no animals that are off-limits. When it comes to remote treatments, we needn’t worry about stings, bites, or scratches. If it slithers, swims, flies, crawls or gallops, Reiki can help support your pets’ optimal wellness.

Making a Difference

I’m being nudged to share a newsletter that I recently received from Oren Jay Sofer, subject line: Can any of us make a difference? (Spoiler alert: we CAN!)

It’s a sweet and refreshing message, followed by an announcement of an upcoming communication course. While I haven’t taken “Say What You Mean”, I recently completed a different program of his which was incredibly helpful.

Without further adieu, I’ve copied and pasted his email below.

I’ve had a few conversations with close friends lately about the state of our world. 

While life offers so much to be joyful and appreciative for, and while humankind has made genuine progress worthy of celebration, the affects of the pandemic, the climate crisis, and income inequality are heavy. 

It’s hard to know what to do and easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Sometimes, when I feel stuck by the complex, daunting nature of the problems we face collectively, I remember a story I heard once as a kid. 

One day, after a big storm, a child was walking along the beach. The shoreline was scattered with starfish—thousands strewn up and down the beach, as far as the eye could see. 

Soon, the child came upon a neighbor, patiently picking up the starfish one at a time and tossing them back into the ocean. She watched, puzzled, and then asked: “Hey, what are you doing?” 

 “They’ll die out here. I’m helping to save them.” 

“But—there are so many,” she stammered. “How will you ever make a difference?”

The neighbor paused. She bent down, picked up a single starfish, looked at it, and gently tossed it back to the ocean. “There. To that one starfish, I just made all the difference in the world.” 

The child’s eyes lit up. She picked up a starfish, and threw it to the sea.

None of us have the power to change the course of history. No one can control the future. But we can make a difference in one another’s lives. Every generous act, every kind word, every patient breath makes a difference. 

One area we can all change in life is how we communicate. 

Think of the times when someone has really listened, offered a few words of appreciation, encouragement or reassurance. This can make the difference between sinking into despair and finding the strength to go on. 

Even when there are difficult things to say, we can find a way to speak with courage and love. 

Each year at this time I offer a special, live, 12-week online course, Say What You Mean. We go through my book chapter by chapter, learning how to make a difference in our world – one starfish at a time.

I invite you to join me. Every class includes time for questions and coaching. There are CEs for therapists and other mental health professionals, nurses, teachers, and many others. We’ve even set up discounts for those who register with a friend or small group, and scholarships for anyone who needs one.

If you want to learn and practice together, I’d love to see you there. You can learn more and sign up on my website here

Hope you can join me, 

Oren

Grateful for the Simple Things

Last week, my brother sent me a text with a picture, saying that my nephew wanted me to see it. Since neither of them generally initiates contact with me, I was especially delighted. Since I was having a difficult day, it was especially heartwarming.

Allow me to introduce Captain Theo and Rosie. 🙂 I dare you not to say, “Aw…”!

A friend declared this a “cuteness explosion”, and I couldn’t agree more. Somehow the dining room background just makes it all the more precious. I’m sharing this here for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. It’s a good reminder that the simple things in life can be the most uplifting.

I am grateful. ❤

Upcoming Online Reiki Certification Classes!

Teaching Reiki is one of my absolute favorite things. It’s up there with chocolate, laughing, books, and trees. It’s a true joy to introduce students to this magical practice and help empower them to participate in building their own health, happiness, and creativity.

Reiki is a holistic technique that stimulates the body’s innate healing abilities by activating the relaxation response. It balances body, mind, and spirit, integrating and harmonizing all aspects of ourselves for greater wellbeing. It can be used to reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and pain and to promote digestion, sleep, immune system function, detoxification, and recovery from illness, injury, and medical procedures. What many people don’t know is that it can also be used to align folks with their goals and release limiting beliefs that get in the way.

Photo by Arina Krasnikova on Pexels.com

Over the years, I’ve used Reiki for critters, plants, food, finding parking spots, electronics, and finances. Actually, it would probably be easier to list the things that I haven’t Reiki’ed! That would be a short list: people who don’t want to receive it for whatever reason, and … well… I guess that’s about it.

Sharing this gift with people who want to optimize their wellness, joy, peace, pleasure, comfort, and productivity makes my heart sing. I get a wonderful Reiki buzz just thinking about it! Which is why I’m super-excited to announce some upcoming online classes.

I’m offering Reiki 1 & 2 Certifications, back-to-back, on Wednesday evenings beginning in September. Reiki 1 is the starting point; no experience or special skills are necessary. It’s possible to follow up immediately with level 2 training for those who are feeling the pull. Some people prefer to pause in between. Anyone who has taken a level 1 training before, even with another teacher, is eligible for my level 2 class.

I’ve also crafted a 3-hour Reiki for Self-Care course, distilling the most essential material for those who are only interested in treating themselves. This is the simplest and most affordable route for being able to access powerful healing energy at will.  

I particularly enjoy the personal interaction of teaching, so I keep classes small to personalize the content and answer all the questions. Over the years I’ve learned that breaking a workshop into several segments helps students to digest and retain information. Recently I’ve really come to appreciate the online format, as it allows for greater comfort and convenience for everyone. I’ve put a lot of energy into maximizing class structure for your benefit. You just need to show up with an open mind; I’ll do the rest.

Learning to use Reiki for myself, as well as my clients, nearly 20 years ago massively shifted the trajectory of my life. Getting in touch with my calling and finding the courage and motivation to follow my own path has empowered me in ways I never could have imagined before I began. I want everyone to have the same opportunity to do so! You can find details here. I’m offering an early bird special, so have a peek soon if you’re interested.

Affirmations Work!

Last night I started using a new affirmation that I borrowed from Lee Harris, a channeler and intuitive who offers a helpful energy update each month. I’m really enjoying his online Abundance Upshift program. Exploring and upgrading belief systems is a good portion of the work we’re doing; hence the affirmation.

“I allow myself to receive in unexpected and surprising ways.”

These words really resonated with me, so I decided to take them out for a spin. I repeated them several times aloud before bed and copied them into my journal this morning. I find repetition to be helpful for getting new ideas lodged in my mind. Science tells us that creating new neural pathways is possible, but does require some consistent effort.

So… I went about my morning and suddenly felt the urge to get myself to the woods. Since I moved, almost two months ago, I haven’t explored opportunities for hiking in my new neighborhood. Happily, today my mood, energy, schedule, and the weather all collaborated for my benefit.

I walked to the closest trailhead. Meh. It just didn’t feel right, so I continued along the sidewalk. The next entrance pulled me in, and I soon realized I had found the field designated for dogs to run freely. Not having a four-legged friend myself, I turned back around, hoping to find a quieter and less crowded spot. It was at that moment that I crossed paths with a client. When I explained that I was scouting out the new neighborhood, she invited me to join her.

Now I not only have company and good conversation but am being shown around by someone who knows the area well and is able to offer suggestions about which trails to take to get to a variety of places. My own personal tour guide! Unexpected and surprising.

After she peeled off to return to work, I took her advice, but soon got pulled in another direction. I found myself at an intersection occupied by three ladies. When I looked closer, I recognized two of them! Oddly enough, I had no idea that they knew each other! This might not seem like such a big deal if you live in a small town, but I’m located in Philadelphia, one of the largest cities in the US, and hiking in the country’s largest urban park. Running into one familiar face is a rare event for me; three is simply magical.

I was delighted! Unexpectedly and surprisingly finding friendly faces really brightened my day and strengthened my resolve to keep using this new affirmation. I was reminded that abundance can appear in multiple forms. Friendship and connection are certainly some of my favorites!

I’m curious to see what else will happen as I continue to become aligned with the energy of receiving in unexpected and surprising ways. You’re invited to join me and report back when the miracles begin to appear. 😊

Shield Essential Oil Blend

In December 2019, my intuition demanded (yes, my intuition can be quite bossy!) that I purchase allspice essential oil. I had no idea what to use it for, so I did some sleuthing online. Turns out it’s an antiviral. How’s that for prophetic? I made a blend with other antiviral oils to make a spritzer for purifying the air in my office and enjoyed a winter without any ailments. In March, I began to diffuse it constantly in my office and mixed it with grain alcohol to make a simple, non-toxic hand sanitizer.

Since then, I’ve often though of Thieves Blend, a product of Young Living, similar in nature to what I concocted. I prefer not to support multi-level marketing companies, so I resisted buying any, but the story of its origin kept popping into my mind. Apparently thieves used this combination of herbs and spices to protect themselves while robbing homes of the dead and dying during the bubonic plague with great success. By “success”, I mean they remained healthy despite the obvious occupational hazards. As far as I know, there are no natural remedies that produce criminal superpowers!

I’m delighted to discover that Mountain Rose Herbs, a company I admire for their commitment to quality natural products grown organically and harvested sustainably, has an affordable alternative. You can diffuse it, add several drops to hand soap, or make your own non-toxic hand sanitizer. (The fact that I label a product “non-toxic” is meant to convey that the commercial option is very much toxic.)

Purchasing the oils individually can get pricey, which is why I haven’t brought it up before. Shield Blend contains five potent, pure essential oils: clove (a cousin to allspice), lemon, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme, for a very reasonable price. As this is an independent business, and not a global empire, you can expect to pay for shipping. I’ve found that it makes sense to stock up on several items at a time, as this makes the fee more palatable. It just so happens that they’re having a sale on tea now. I’ll have to reign myself in because their selection of herbal blends and caffeinated teas is simply amazing.

(I’m assuming that if you’re reading my blog, you believe in holistic, natural healing methods. It is beyond the scope of my mission to prove that essential oils have medicinal power. I did a quick search online and learned that the mechanics of this antiviral property are based on the ability to break the fatty membrane of viruses, rendering them useless. I’m aiming to preach to the choir here, and point believers to a useful product, not to convince any skeptics. I just don’t have the interest in doing the research that such a feat would require.)

If you’re a tiny bit curious or your gut is chiming in with a “yes”, it’s a minimal investment for a risk-free therapy. At the very least, taking action to prevent illness is subject to the placebo effect. The power of intention and the mind-body connection is often as potent, sometimes more potent, than medical treatment. It sure beats doing nothing and fearing the worst.

Please note that I don’t get any kick-backs for this, or any other products or services I recommend.

Upcoming Reiki for Self-Care Class

   

Several years ago, I realized that most of my Reiki students sign up to learn a healing technique to promote their own health, happiness, productivity, and creativity. In short, they want to live their best lives, and many have no intention of offering sessions to other people. It’s something they want to learn for themselves to balance out all the doing and giving that happens every day; the equivalent of putting your own oxygen mask on first.

Woman practicing self Reiki transfering energy through palms, a kind of energy medicine.

With this understanding, I distilled all the vital material from my Reiki 1 certification class (which thoroughly covers sharing Reiki with others) down into a 3-hour Reiki for Self-Care class. It’s the most effective, efficient, and affordable offering in my toolbox to get newcomers started on their healing journeys. I’ve done everything I possibly can to make this as easy and accessible to those who are interested.

I’m delighted to be offering Reiki for Self-Care online on Saturday, September 18, 2021, from 12-3pm eastern. We cover the basics of what Reiki is and isn’t, where it comes from, what it can be used for, and how to do so via Google Meet (a video meeting platform similar to Zoom). Students will all receive an individual attunement to open their energy pathways allowing Reiki to flow at will.

The investment is $85, with a $10 early bird discount if registered by August 18. This is less than the cost of one professional session, making it the most cost-effective way to receive frequent and consistent treatment. Space is limited and registration is necessary.

If you’re wondering why you might want to learn this amazing technique and have healing power at your very fingertips ALL the time, you might enjoy my blog, 12 Reasons to Learn Reiki, where I’ve outlined the essence of the work I’ve been enjoying for the past 18 years. I’ve done thousands of sessions, both in person and long-distance, and continue to be amazed at how powerful, yet gentle, Reiki truly is.

Apply by simply contacting me and letting me know what your goals are, and we’ll take it from there.

Freestyle Homemaking

I recently moved into my own apartment after years of sharing a variety of houses with a variety of roommates. If you can recall the last time that you moved, you know that there are dozens of necessary decisions to turn a space into a home. It’s easy to go on autopilot and simply make the same choices your family of origin or the status quo would make. Ever the rebel, I get a kick out of doing things my way.

For starters, my kitchen drawers are rather narrow and long. My utensil organizer is much too wide to fit. I did a brief search online for something suitable and found nothing. Having much bigger fish to fry, I dumped all the silverware in the drawer and called it a day. My friend who was visiting at the time agreed with me that the spoons and forks don’t need to be segregated. Over a month has gone by now, and it’s simply not an issue. (Mom, I know you’re itching to scour the Container Store or Pinterest for a more civilized alternative. There’s absolutely no need. Truly, I like it this way!)

There’s a built-in microwave above my stove. It takes up a large amount of space, particularly given the limited cupboards generally found in an urban apartment. I knew right away that I wouldn’t use it (haven’t for nearly 20 years) and that I needed to find a way to reclaim that territory. Now, it’s my tea cupboard, housing loose leaf teas and the various superfoods that accompany them. Since many are stored in tins or canning jars, I’ve unplugged the microwave to prevent accidental explosions. I’m rather pleased with this solution! It sure makes teatime more streamlines.

While shopping for a shower curtain, I noticed that an additional plastic layer is recommended for inside the actual curtain. What? Why? I dug my heels in and resisted purchasing extra, needless plastic. Maybe I’m less active in the shower than other people, but so far, not a drop has escaped. Who says you need two sheets of material between the inside and outside of the tub? Martha Stewart? The Plastic Coalition? No thank you. I’m doing just fine with one.

By far, my biggest purchase was an organic mattress that I’ve been drooling over for a few years. I spend more time in my bed than anywhere else, so it’s a good investment in my future health. The cost of the mattress itself was more than I would have spent on a traditional set up, so for the next few months, my wonderful mattress will rest on the floor until I can magnetize a frame worthy of it. I get that this might not be an option for people with mobility issues, but for me it makes a whole lot more sense than going into debt and paying interest on something that is much more of a want than a need. (You can also see the corner of the sheet that is temporarily acting as a curtain…)

Learning critical thinking skills in college was perhaps the most valuable lesson of all. I’m ever so grateful that I have the capacity to question everything, even the small things and the deeply ingrained things so I can make the best decisions for me. I can’t remember how to conjugate German verbs or do advanced math, but I am able to examine costs vs. benefits and customize my decisions to precisely suit my circumstances. It certainly made this transition easier, but also enables me to make bigger choices about my health, lifestyle, and overall value system.

It’s very empowering to lead my life from my own inner compass rather than simply doing things the same way everyone else does. Please consider joining me by thinking outside of the box. Heck, let’s just eliminate the box altogether! Start with something small, like a kitchen drawer, and see how liberating it feels. Before you know it, you’ll be freestyling it all over the place.  

Over the Hill and LOVING IT!

Today is my 50th birthday.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

As a modern, western woman, I’ve been conditioned to believe that this is the beginning of the inevitable decline of my health, mobility, cognitive abilities, productivity, and overall worth.

Well, to hell with that! I reject all this nonsense. I am choosing instead to celebrate having survived five long decades in a world whose values are so upside-down. I’m choosing to invest daily in my well-being and have adopted one of Louise Hay’s mottos as my very own.

“Happy, healthy, happy, healthy- dead.”

Meaning, I plan to enjoy myself up until the very end.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen automatically. Yes, my body requires different care than it did when I was younger. Consequences are greater for making unhealthy choices. While society would suggest that I must merely suffer as a result of continuing the behavior that suited me in my 20’s and 30’s, I’m proposing an alternative. Make different choices!

My plan for healthy aging is four-pronged. It is versatile and easily adaptable to any set of unique circumstances and value systems. I believe that if everybody started thinking along these lines, there would be a lot less pain and illness in the elder years.

  1. Cultivate life-force energy (ki/chi/qi/prana). In eastern systems, this is the foundation of health and healing. Here in the west, it’s still somewhat foreign to many. Whether or not we can see it, feel it, or measure it, there is an energy that flows through all living beings. We can enhance this flow through lifestyle choices such as eating natural foods, spending time in nature, moving our bodies, expressing emotions, connecting with loved ones, and getting plenty of rest. Reiki, yoga, martial arts, qi gong, and tai chi are practices designed to build and balance ki.
  2. Minimize toxins. While I’d love to avoid them altogether, in today’s world I just don’t think it’s possible. So I do the best I can with the options available to me. Before I put something in or on my body or bring a product (or relationship) into my environment, I determine its level of toxicity. Yes, this means passing up many things that are quite popular such as donuts and nail polish. Given my 50 voyages around the sun, I have developed the wisdom to see that I value my well-being much, much more than fitting in with an unhealthy crowd.
  3. Manage stress. While I’d also like to avoid stress altogether, I don’t think that’s possible either. Given that I live in the world, and not removed from it on a desert island or mountain top, my options are to just absorb it or take steps to actively minimize its effects. This takes consistent effort, yet I assure you that every investment in reducing stress has a cumulative impact on health and well-being. Enter “stress, disease” in your search engine if you’re curious about the specifics.
  4. Choose joy, creativity, and pleasure. Sadly, these gems are tremendously undervalued in today’s world. In addition to enhancing ki flow, taking this step also activates the connection with Spirit. For me, they are the portal to living openheartedly, compassionately, and generously. I believe they nourish the heart; both in a literal and metaphorical sense. It also tends to draw others to me who are like-minded, which activates an upward joy spiral. Building pockets of enjoyment into every day is an approach that helps me navigate the challenging times with greater ease and prolong the good times with minimal effort.

I’ve spent the past two decades organizing my life around these four principles. It certainly didn’t happen all at once. Nor was it always easy. Going against the standard motto: “work, suffer, work, suffer-decline, sick, dead” is revolutionary. Other people don’t always appreciate the changes we make as these changes can challenge their world views and often put projected responsibility back on their own shoulders. Yet, taking one step at a time while absorbing the rewards along the way creates a positive feedback loop that is very encouraging.

Pick one small change you can make today and start there. Perhaps take the money you’d spend over the next few months on soda and buy a water filter so you have access to the purest hydration possible. Or visit the farmers market for the best quality produce in your area. Go for a walk before work or own your break if it isn’t sweltering outside. If is, make a playlist of upbeat tunes and dance in your living room.

Just one thing is all it takes to begin. This is the foundation for a shift that can have a huge impact on your wellness over time. Make it something simple and easy or it won’t be sustainable. Once you get the hang of it, add another simple, easy shift. And another and another.

If all goes well, thirty years from now you can join me on the dance floor to celebrate my 80th.

Free 5 Day Qi Gong Challenge

You might recognize Lee Holden from his PBS specials. I just came across his work on Facebook. I like what he has to say about health and wellness so much that I’ve signed up for this program. While it doesn’t begin until July 19, I received a bonus session when I registered that was so enjoyable and beneficial I’ve decided to do it every day until the challenge begins. It’s simply, easy, and safe for all fitness levels.

According to his website, he has helped more than 100,000 students

  • Heal from injury and disease
  • Slow the aging process
  • Feel better than ever
  • Maximize their energy

I’m a beginner to this technique, so I’m not going to try to describe its origins, practices, or effects. You’re better off learning directly from the master! Despite my lack of expertise, I did want to share this opportunity with you as I can see the immense value. Qi Gong and Reiki both work with cultivating and balancing life-force energy. They pair together quite nicely!

Here’s a link to his blog, 8 Reasons to Sign Up for the Free Qi Challenge. I feel confident that nearly everyone can relate to at least one of these reasons! From there you can find a link to register. I hope you will. I’d love to hear what you think if you give it a try. I’ve already (after just two sessions) noticed a decrease in anxiety and better quality sleep. If you struggle with either of this issues, I think you’ll agree that 20 minutes per day is a reasonable investment to enjoy relief.

Catch ya later, I’m off to practice!