Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I talk a lot about the follow-up steps after a Reiki session; paying attention and taking inspired action. (My most recent post about this, You Don’t Need to Know How, can be found here.) Healing isn’t usually something that just occurs voila! in a treatment and then you’re all done, âś”. I suppose that might happen occasionally, but more often than not, we are given directions to the next step on the journey of recovering health and wholeness. It’s then up to us to follow through. Or not.

The perfect circumstances in my own life have aligned to illustrate this. I’m sharing it here because I am often greeted with blank stares when I tell clients to watch for insights and synchronicities that occur in the days following their sessions. Generally these hints turn us in directions we are unlikely to have found on our own. Yet if you don’t know what to look for, it can be easy to miss them.

Here’s my example.

I yearn for a sense of belonging. It’s been an elusive experience in my life, partially because I’m an introvert and have some peculiar habits, a ridiculously early bedtime and a very low tolerance for superficial conversation. This is compounded by frequent callings to up and move across the country every 8 years or so. While I have occasional glimpses of belonging, most of the time I feel like a misfit. I don’t see that changing, but I would enjoy being a part of a larger community of misfits. 🙂

A friend mentioned a teacher/author that he appreciates and so I followed her blog, bought her book, and happened to be sitting in front of my laptop when an invitation arrived from her. An online class, the description of which used different language, but essentially outlined a way to grow a sense of belonging wherever you are. Yes please! But completely beyond my budget given a recent out-of-pocket root canal and dental crown. But a 50% scholarship was offered, I applied, and was accepted. Some might call this grace. I call it Following the Yellow Brick Road.

Wait, there’s more! During this online class, we were given an assignment to learn the history of the land we live in, as well as the native flora and fauna. Well I couldn’t tell the difference between an oak and an elm tree and all those little birds pretty much look the same to me. A search of the library’s catalog showed nothing helpful and I hadn’t yet made it to the local bookstore when I received an email from a colleague inviting me on a hike organized by the group that maintains the wooded area near my home.

I’m not able to attend this particular hike, but when I signed up for the group’s newsletter, I was alerted that they are soon beginning the next round of volunteer training. A training that covers the history of the woods I so love to visit and the native flora and fauna there as well. Ding, ding, ding! I filled out the application, and was delighted to receive an email containing the training dates, which by some miracle (or grace or Follow the YBR magic) align with my somewhat impossible schedule.

The next day I received another email inviting me to schedule an interview with the volunteer director on one of the next several Saturdays. Saturdays are my busiest workday. I have appointments scheduled every Saturday for the next 10 weeks. But this coming Saturday, I have nothing booked in the afternoon and therefore am able to easily make this interview. This is exactly what I mean! I never could have planned this. I’m just following the road that is emerging before my very eyes.

I haven’t yet been accepted into this program. I might not be. I might not even want to be. I’m in a curious place of non-attachment, recognizing that if it’s meant to be, it will be. If it’s not meant to be, it has at the very least opened my eyes to the possibility of divine intervention through the unlikeliest of methods: email! All I know for sure is that I’m going to the interview and will keep following the clues as they appear, clearly showing me the way on The Yellow Brick Road.

All I need do is pay attention and take inspired action. Period. I don’t need to see the big picture, or even know where the next turn is. Obviously this doesn’t absolve me from making plans for my next vacation or paying my bills, but when it comes to healing it’s become crystal clear to me that I’ll be shown the way. Every single step!

You Don't Need to Know How and Reiki Package Special

One of the most common questions I hear from Reiki students and clients is, “How do I heal…”. My eczema, my finances, my relationship with my mother, the trauma lingering from childhood abuse, shoddy self-esteem, karma from previous lifetimes, addictions, phobias… You name it, my answer is always the same.

Set an intention and add Reiki. Combining the power of the mind (via intention and attention) with the healing of spiritually guided life-force energy is the formula for soothing whatever ails us. I used to want to make it more complicated, to have specific recipes for each and every circumstance, but that’s just not necessary. I’m learning to appreciate the ease of this one-size-fits-all approach!

In my self-care practice, I treat a sprained ankle the same way I do disappointment or getting out of debt. I invite Reiki to flow for whatever purpose I have in mind. Then I pay attention.

I pay attention to insights and intuitive nudges that arise from within me as well as synchronicities that point me toward guided action. When blockages and resistance arise, I use Reiki to uncover what’s underneath, and then I use Reiki to treat that.

I keep repeating this process as I work through the layers that keep me separate from the experiences I desire. I also use Reiki to help myself accept that wherever I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be, and to release the limiting beliefs that I don’t deserve to have all the goodness that I long for.

I use Reiki to help me let go of the habits that prevent me from receiving my heart’s desires and to notice the clues the universe gives me about how to move toward my goals. When I encounter obstacles, I Reiki them; and when I feel stuck, I Reiki that. Usually what’s underneath it all is a false message I’ve adopted as a result of cultural conditioning or an outdated coping mechanism. Once discovered, I Reiki that too.

I know this time of year can be difficult for many of us. It certainly is for me. I take extra measures to protect my mental and emotional health. To help you do the same, I’m offering a discount on a series of 5 long-distance Reiki session, only $360. Normally $80 each, you save $40 when purchasing a package by 12/31/19. Gift certificates are available as well.

You don’t need to know how to heal this anxiety, depression, auto-immune condition, neurological disorder, PTSD, or anything else. Reiki knows how. All you need to do is receive treatment and take inspired action. Contact me with any questions or to arrange purchase of a package and schedule your first session.

This is What 'Self-Care' REALLY Means

I’ve written a lot about self-care over the years. I talk about it frequently with students and clients. I practice it non-stop. Most of the time it’s not at all glamorous. Often it involves chopping vegetables on a Saturday morning, doing my bookkeeping on a Friday night, saying “no” to invitations that don’t spark joy, NOT buying that awesome tote bag that’s 60% off, getting up at 5 am to pursue my dreams, and going to bed early so I’m not cranky when I do that.

When this touching article by Brianna Wiest came across my radar once again, I decided to share it. She makes very good points about the toxicity that is so rampant in our society and the importance of choosing to go another route. Particularly this: “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” So here’s what Brianna has to say. I hope you find it helpful.

“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.”
-Brianna Wiest

New Moon Intentions

Yesterday we were gifted with the energy of a new moon, a time when the cosmic energies are supportive of planting the seeds for that which we’d like to harvest. I recognize the vast wisdom of astrology, but have yet to learn the language. Currently my bandwidth is fully occupied with other pursuits, so I turn to The Power Path School of Shamanism updates for a user friendly, fully digested version of what’s happening in the universe.

Here’s what they have to say about this month’s new moon energies:

“This moon supports expansion, freedom, practicality, a higher sense of intuition and beauty, and an increase in your inner awareness of what you want, what you can have and what you deserve.  This is the “proactive change” growing teeth and getting grounded in something substantial as you anchor a new vision or a new project.  
“This new moon also initiates a time frame of preparedness for what is coming in the future. It is not too early to get thinking about your goals and desires for the months to come. And, whatever you can get rid of that is no longer useful during this new moon time will make space for what you really want.
 
“This is a social time where you can share your visions and get support. Celebrate change, progress and all the aspects of your life that are on the move to something better, bigger, grander and more balanced. Be sure to take some time for self care as your emotional and physical health is a major component of being prepared for the future. If you have some clarity about what you want, this new moon is also a great time for actually making a concrete list of what is clear to you and how you plan to go about manifesting it.” 

I had the great joy of hosting a small gathering of people in my office last night. We joined together as a community to witness one another’s intentions and share a layering of energetic tools to support our goals. I’m all about stacking practices- a term I use to describe the combining of a variety of techniques to maximize outcome.

Keeping the quality of the astrological forecast in mind, we used the powers of awareness and connection, sound vibration (via my amaaaaazing crystal bowl), Reiki and all its potent symbols, grounding aromatherapy (cypress, cinnamon, rosemary- yum!), and a deck of oracle cards to offer concrete wisdom about how to proceed. (Forgiveness was the beginning point according to the group reading. Isn’t that always the case?!) All of this was amplified by the dynamism of intention, further amplified by the group’s combined efforts.

The invitation is clear. At the very least we all have the power of intention and the influence of the mind-body connection. Stack this with the understanding of the currents of the new moon energies and every tool you have at your disposal, and take a few moments to align yourself with the future you desire. Our vibration is constantly influencing our experiences, why not make the effort to influence them in our preferred direction?

Amazing Healing Resources!

I’m reblogging this post from my Reiki teacher, admired friend, and trusted adviser, Laura Bruno. I’m currently working my way through her Second Chakra Healing Journal, which is bringing to light patterns which have been lurking in the shadows for decades. I have ordered my free gift from Elicia Miller (link below), but not yet had a moment to look at it. If Laura says Elicia is an ally in the healing realm, that’s good enough for me! Perhaps there are gems for your own journey here.

My friend and colleague Elicia Miller just sent a wonderful review of my newly released Second Chakra Healing Journal. Elicia and I have shared clients for almost a decade. My Medical Intuitive awareness dovetails well with her ability to support people through healing core wounds. She offers the deepest, most effective Inner Child and emotional […]

Elicia Miller reviews my newly released Second Chakra Healing Journal — Laura Bruno’s Blog

Will One Session Help?

I get this question a lot. People want definitive answers before committing to a session. My short answer is, yes. Every session helps. Each step we make towards improving our health and wellness counts. 98% of my clients leave each and every session feeling better than when they arrived.

And… it’s really not quite that simple. I liken healing to getting out of debt. Will one payment help reduce your credit card balance? Sure. Will it eliminate the deficit that has been accruing for decades? Maybe, but probably not.

It’s the same with massage and Reiki treatments. The results depend on so many factors that it’s impossible for me to predict with absolute accuracy how long it will take for any particular issue to be resolved. The intensity and duration of any discomfort is an important consideration as well as lifestyle choices. Activities, thoughts, and behaviors that add to or detract from the underlying imbalance most definitely play a roll. Willingness to let go and embrace change will certainly enhance the efficacy of every treatment, as will efforts to cultivate and preserve the body’s physiological relaxation response.

Consider the goal of being debt free. The degree of debt, income, spending habits, savings and gifts must all be calculated. It’s much the same in healing. Are you making more deposits into your health and wellness account than withdrawals? Are you reducing your harmful spending habits? Are you willing to take on extra work to boost your healing income?

These are all investments beyond the scope of any one treatment. So while yes, one session will help, it’s ultimately your participation in the process that will speed your arrival at the finish line. I’ve seen clients experience tremendous progress through making healthier choices on a daily basis as well as clients who remain stuck on a plateau if receiving bi-monthly treatments is their only contribution.

There’s no right or wrong  here. I’m happy to help clients maintain their health when seeing me is the only effort they are able or willing to make, and I enjoy supporting those who wish to take more active roles and rely less on my efforts. There’s a place for everyone in my practice. But if you want to get better faster, you’ll need to get involved and start making frequent deposits into your health account.

Reiki fail?

For months now I’ve been spontaneously waking up before 5 am. Since I’ve been using Reiki to break this super annoying pattern and failing miserably, I know that there’s a bigger plan beyond what I can see. As I tell my students, Reiki always works, just not always in the way we want it to! I trust the intelligence of this universal life-force healing energy much more than I trust my own thinking. My thoughts often lead me astray!

This week my self-care, spiritual, and personal growth practices all converged to show me the colossal wisdom of Reiki and my own shortsightedness. It’s a lovely story of how the universe has conspired to give me exactly what I want despite my continued resistance to receive it. The complexity of several different factors intersecting perfectly blows my mind and lends credence to my belief in synchronicity, divine guidance and divine timing.

Last month’s meditation in Rick Hansen’s “Growing the Good” online program focused on motivation. That certainly got my attention as I was just wrapping up the 12 week studies in the book, “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity“, by Julia Cameron. Given that I’ve spent the last year intending to open to my innate creative flow, this book was a no-brainer, and linking creativity with motivation was incredibly helpful. As was the choice to delve into the humorous yet profound “You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero, as I’m building my own business and have a burning desire for more freedom and autonomy as well as prosperity.

Throw in the practices I’m learning about dream tending from Sharon Blackie in her online course “Courting the World Soul” and a dietary detox revealing greater levels of energy, I grew closer to my epiphany. But it wasn’t until I had a medical intuitive session with the amazing Laura Bruno regarding the healing of a longstanding pain in my foot that the breakthrough broke. In addition to some practical remedies, Laura suggested that I make a verbal commitment to a project that I intend to complete in the next 2-5 years. As I did this… ding ding ding!! The alarms in my head went off and everything fell into place.

I have three different books simmering inside me that I just can’t seem to find the time or motivation to begin. With the exercises in the books I’m reading, the meditation, harvesting the messages in my dreams, breaking the hold that sugar has over me, and making this commitment to myself and the projects I desire to create; it was infinitely obvious that the universe/Spirit/Reiki/intuition/whatever you want to call it was giving me the gift of an undisturbed, quiet hour every morning to devote to my creative urges.

Once I stopped wasting this precious time lying in bed cursing my biorhythms and feeling sorry for myself, I began to see this for the spectacular blessing that it is. Since then I’ve been jumping out of bed after recording the fragments of dream memories and doing what absolutely needs doing to sit my butt down and write for an hour. I have no idea of where it will lead, but the energetic rewards of being devoted to my goals and allowing creativity to flow, feel fantastic! And quite frankly, that’s good enough for now.

Happy side effects: I’ve not had any sensation in my foot since I made my commitment to using this morning time for writing. My body was trying to tell me something for a long time and I just wasn’t getting the message. I vow to learn to speak her language to save myself the time and hassle of painfully unheeded communication. I am also finding myself so productive in the mornings that I’m able to get to the woods more frequently for creek therapy and sunshine. Win, win, win!