Reiki and Attachments

One of the things I teach in my Reiki classes is the value of nonattachment. It’s a simple concept, but not exactly easy to embody. Desire for a goal can be so intense that we might not notice when something even better comes along. The trick is in asking for what you want and trusting Reiki to bring you what you really need, even if it’s something altogether different. The longer I do this work, the more certain I become that Reiki is wiser than I am.

An episode of The Simpsons pops into my mind every time I think of unhealthy attachment. Curiously, this particular scene has stuck in my memory for nearly thirty years even though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve watched the show. Clearly it made a strong impression!

Homer gets his arm stuck in a vending machine while trying to get a free soda. Emergency personnel are summoned and one of them is about to cut off the trapped arm when another asks, “Homer, are you just holding onto the can?”

Rather than letting go of the fizzy sugary drink to free himself, he continued to hold on tightly. This is what unhealthy attachment looks like! Poor guy nearly had his arm amputated (both arms, actually. I don’t recall why, but he somehow got the other one stuck in a different vending machine as only Homer could…) because he didn’t want to let go.

Real life isn’t as obvious, nor as humorous. It can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and dig in your heels to keep a job, identity, or relationship that just isn’t working because an alternative isn’t clear. Change can be scary; the unknown even more so.

We don’t need to know all the answers to release attachment. We just need to be willing to consider alternatives. It’s usually not necessary to make a total leap of faith, although I’ve done just that several times and landed happily on greener grass. Most of the time, however, I’ve just relaxed my death grip on the soda can and paid attention when other opportunities presented themselves.

You might be asking; how do I know what to let go of? Buddhists believe that all attachments lead to suffering. While this may be true, I recognize the unlikelihood that many will pursue complete and utter nonattachment. So, my suggestion is to begin by letting go of the ones that cause the greatest harm to your wellbeing.

This is where Reiki comes in handy. It can help you see clearly where suffering is optional and connect to your inner wisdom to make the best possible choices. Students and clients alike report that once they make the decision to let go, the universe provides unexpected openings. Reiki can also help provide access to the courage and motivation to follow through on the prospects that appear.

If you’re seeking more peace and happiness in your life, you’d likely benefit from being less like Homer. Whatever you’re holding onto that is causing you pain is unlikely to be on your path. Let it go before the emergency crew arrives with a saw and you’ll find life’s transitions to be much less uncomfortable.

Marianne Williamson says that if a train does not stop at your station, it’s not your train. Reiki can help you trust that your train will always stop for you. It’s a simple matter of taking a class, setting your intention, and applying healing energy on a consistent basis. Anyone can do it. If that seems like too much work, a practitioner can provide the same service. It’s really that easy.

Don’t Skimp on the Supplements

I’m a big fan of giving the body support to help it function optimally, especially during trying times. Ideally, we’d get all the nutrition we need from choosing healthy foods, but I don’t know many people who are interested in such an endeavor. Even if you make A+ decisions and build your menus around the concept of “food as medicine” (vs. eating what is convenient or most pleasing to the taste buds), some gaps are difficult to fill.

I’m not a doctor, but have learned a lot from naturopaths and nutritionists, as well as Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine practitioners over the past two decades. I’ve discovered that the quality of supplements and the time of day they are taken can make all the difference.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking of a book on cassette (that’s an archaic form of audio recording for you youngsters!) that I listened to back in the 90’s. Dead Doctors Don’t Lie. I don’t recall how it came into my possession or much about it other than one fascinating story. A man whose job it was to empty porta-johns shared that he continuously noticed a common brand of inexpensive daily vitamins fully intact amongst the contents. Meaning that these pills passed through the digestive tract without being broken down or absorbed at all!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Ever since then I’ve made a point of purchasing top-quality supplements and learning which are best taken before, during, and after meals for optimal assimilation. What sense is there in buying cheap vitamins if your body can’t digest them? None!

While I’m not able to make specific recommendations here, I’ve found health food stores to have knowledgeable employees. The same is obviously not true about superstores or drugstores. As a general rule, it’s probably best to not buy your supplements at the same place you buy socks or gasoline. Just saying!

Better yet, find a trusted holistic health practitioner who can assist you. Even if you don’t have someone available locally, many people are doing telephone consultations these days. A high school friend who is now a physician shared that her med school training included one half-day class on nutrition. What?! Apparently that’s common. So, you might need to pay out of pocket and venture outside of your network to get advice that has merit.

Yes, all of this does take time, energy, and money. I joke around that I’m going to hire a personal assistant to hand me the pills, drops, potions, and teas at the right time of day. (Wouldn’t that be nice? And not a bad job for the right person!) As that isn’t yet in my budget, I’ve got a routine down. While I’m swishing coconut oil around in my mouth first thing in the morning (oil pulling- it’s powerful medicine!), I line up everything on the counter and set myself up for easy consumption. Now that I’ve got it figured out, it just takes a few moments here and there.

If you’re going to bother taking products for the sake of improving your health, do yourself a favor and make it worthwhile! Otherwise you might as well just drop them straight in the toilet and spare yourself the trouble.  

Fire Cider Update

Last month I started my first ever batch of fire cider. It’s an immune-boosting tonic that I’ve been curious about for the past several years. I shredded garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric and covered the mixture with apple cider vinegar. I shook the jars every day for three and a half weeks before straining out the solids. (Which I later learned could have been saved for making broth. Next time!) The recipe calls for horseradish to clear the sinuses, but I couldn’t find the fresh root. I figure I can always add a pinch of cayenne if necessary.

I’m kicking the new year off with a 21 day reset program, and have committed to a dietary cleanse and a variety of good-health habits that I’m hoping to cement into my normal routine. I’m using fire cider as part of the process. I’ve been taking a tablespoon of the infused vinegar with a teaspoon of honey in hot water every morning. I don’t intend to continue long-term, but I’m glad there will be plenty leftover in case I ever feel like I’m coming down with something.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I shared some with a friend, who texted me last night to say that she’d tried it. “OOF!” was her only comment. I had to laugh. It is quite potent. It’s meant to be medicine after all! The trick that I wanted to share is to add only enough hot water to mix in the honey, but not enough to dilute it too much. You really want to get it down the hatch quickly, not sip and savor. As the acidity of vinegar isn’t great for the enamel of teeth, I’ve been doing a swish of pure water afterwards, but not brushing right away, as per my dentist’s instructions.

I really recommend giving this a try. It’s a particularly good time to bolster the immune system and always a good idea to be prepared for the dreaded moment when you feel the first signs of less-than-wellness. I rarely get sick, but I do remember how I’ve appreciated having potions on hand rather than having to scramble when under the weather.

I’ve seen fire cider for sale in single servings at the health food store, but there really is something special about making your own. It’s certainly much more cost effective. I enhanced mine with a blast of Reiki each day while shaking. You get a whole lot of OOF for minimal effort and a few dollars. Why not?

Inhabiting Aloneness

My friend emailed me this beautiful excerpt from the book, Eternal Echoes, written by John O’Donohue. It really captures the essence of why I’ve fared so well during these seemingly endless months of involuntary isolation.

Photo by Domen Mirtiu010d Dolenec on Pexels.com

“Each one of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. Most of the activity in society is subconsciously designed to quell the voice crying in the wilderness within you. The mystic Thomas a Kempis said that when you go out into the world, you return having lost some of yourself. Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.”

Refining Resolutions

Enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions begins to wane around the second week of January. I’d say that’s pretty normal, especially if the goals you’ve chosen aren’t authentically yours. It’s easy to be swayed by external so-called authority figures who proclaim to know what’s best. Yet I’m here to remind us all, myself included, that we are each our own authorities.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Perhaps your resolutions could be tweaked slightly, rather than tossed out completely. I find it helps to know my “why”, the underlying motivation that causes me to seek change. Oftentimes resolutions are strategies to achieve a why, but there are likely other avenues that could help you reach your destination. There’s no shame in changing course when you realize you’re on the wrong path!

It’s common for people to choose goals related to health this time of year. In spiritual circles, I hear people talking about going vegan and eating more kale. True confession: I’m a carnivore. Yup. I eat meat. Red meat. My body feels better when I do. I’d prefer to be a vegan, frankly, as the cost of grass-fed beef is outrageous. I’d fit in better, I suppose, if I went along with the crowd, but it wouldn’t actually serve my health. I do want to minimize my impact on the environment, so I’m committing to experiment with the minimum quantity my body needs.

Same with dairy. Holy moly, do I love cheese! Yet I’m not interested in supporting the cruel practices of factory farming, so I’m going with small family farm products, switching to goat cheese more, and replacing half and half with homemade hemp or nut milk. If I began the year pretending to be vegan, I’d be ready to throw in the towel about now. I’m glad I’ve learned to listen to the expert on me: me.

Another confession: I don’t like kale. There, I said it! And I have zero interest in eating salad in the winter. No thank you. So, I can just skip those trendy resolutions and opt to eat a variety of organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, roasted or made into fabulous stew. I’ve thrown out enough slimy kale and wilty lettuce over the years to know that it’s just not going to happen. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve my eating habits; I just need to do it my own way.

I might not like kale, but I truly loathe the gym. Ugh. Voluntarily immersing myself in an atmosphere of suffering is just not my idea of good health. Plus, I can’t turn off my knowledge of body mechanics and it distresses me to see people doing things that are likely to cause injury. Nope, not for me. I’ve recently sworn off vinyasa yoga, which is the primary style offered in my area. It’s just too fast for me. Teachers always say to go at your own pace, but they don’t mean four times as slow as the tempo they’ve set- it disrupts the flow for the whole class.

So, while I’m aware that I do need to move my body more, the most common tactics are not a good fit for me. Luckily the woods are nearby and full of steep hills. My rebounder is even closer and a great choice for intense exercise that minimizes the jarring of mature joints. I know that the stretches I benefit the most from are those that I resist because they’re uncomfortable. Yet I am grown up enough to fit them into a rotation. I don’t want to avoid things that are truly beneficial (there are LOTS of substitutes for kale, just saying…) just because I don’t enjoy them. It’s been no hardship to stick to my plan because I feel so much better already. Imagine a resolution that isn’t a constant struggle!

Here are some other aspirations I’m working towards that aren’t very popular in our consumer culture as there’s no profit to be made. In fact, these actions are nearly revolutionary as they buck the system that is always driving us to do more, work harder, and buy all the newest gizmos. I do love being a rebel, but want to make sure each decision is truly aligned with my values. Going against authority figures just for the sake of doing so is still a decision based on external factors. Feel free to borrow any of these ideas or share some of your own in the comments.

Rest more

Love and accept myself exactly as I am

Minimize screen time, including the habitual checking of my phone

Minimize multi-tasking

Maximize joy

Listen to my gut

Say no to requests that activate a sense of dread

Waste less/ make less waste

I’m wishing you a very happy 2022, and hope you find your “why”!

Coping with Ongoing Pandemic Trauma

As I was trying and failing to concentrate this morning, I realized that I was trying, and again failing, to use my willpower to override an emerging antsy-ness. I recognized the warning signs of my sympathetic nervous system activating and the need to intervene if I wanted to focus.

I have a rich and rewarding spiritual practice that nourishes me daily. My toolbox is overflowing with tools (outlined below) that support me on my wellness journey. Yoda himself would be impressed with all the tricks up my sleeve!

Yet, even with all this support, stress seeps through. Naturally empathic, I’ve learned to ground and shield myself every morning and clear my auric field each evening. Still, the collective fear of death, suffering, and loss occasionally affects me. For those who aren’t actively engaged in mitigated the psychological and physiological consequences of these strange times, the impact is even stronger.

Here’s the kicker: stress dampens the immune system. Immune systems are perhaps our most valuable resource, particularly these days. I don’t think it’s possible to avoid stress, but we can manage it and work towards minimizing its effects. Why this is not being shouted from the rooftops is a mystery to me!

I chose one of my favorite strategies to get energy flowing. Movement. Any form that is pleasurable can help. I have a particular affinity for rebounding coupled with electronic swing music.  While I was dance-bouncing, this blog post began to emerge, a good sign that concentration and creativity were back online, and my efforts were being rewarded after just a few minutes.

A Reiki chaser really cemented in a delightful state of ease and calmness. Anyone can learn Reiki in a short amount of time and gain lifetime access to infinite healing energy. I have an upcoming online class starting in a few days for anyone who wants to begin a journey of transformation.

Star of Bethlehem, a Bach flower remedy for energetic trauma, was the icing on top. I’m thrilled to have learned over the past two years that it is effective for absorbed trauma as well as the real deal. Plant medicine, including essential oils and herbal teas are a popular go-to in my house for all sorts of ailments.

I was back to my usual self in under 30 minutes.

Here’s a peak at what else resides in my toolbox, including links when possible.

Astrology. Knowing what’s happening in the cosmos and how it affects the collective and personal energies is fantastically helpful information.

Lee Harris provides super-useful energy updates every month that share pointers from the energetic realm.  

Nature. Fresh air, trees, and running water are incredibly restorative and great medicine for me and my sanity. This tree-hugger needs to get her boots muddy at least once per week.

Meditation. There are countless forms of this ancient art and something for everybody. In particular, I’ve been enjoying Mindful Self-Compassion practices lately.

Pranayama. An ancient technology for activating body-mind-spirit health. I stumbled upon this gem in yoga classes, which have been a backbone of my wellness routine for almost 30 years.

Mantra. Deva Premal and Krishna Das are a few of my favorite sacred sound vibration purveyors. Simply listening creates a shift in my consciousness. Chanting along is like dynamite for stuck patterns.

Connection with like-minded, open-hearted folks. ‘Nuff said! Even if it’s virtual, the sense of being seen and understood is a tremendous balm.

Laughter. I laugh at myself quite a bit! Sometimes my thoughts are utterly ridiculous. At least I can have some fun while choosing to think differently. Type “funny animal videos” in your search bar if you need to lighten up.

Nutrition. Many, if not most, of those hospitalized with the dreaded virus have similar nutritional deficiencies. I’m aiming to have zero factors in common with these people by using high quality supplements. It’s good to have an expert in your corner, such as a naturopath. Sadly, the medical system is severely lacking in this department.

Understanding trauma’s impact. Peter Levine’s work is relatively accessible to the layperson.

Understanding how the mind works. Rick Hanson’s classes and books are very useful. Thanks to him, I am aware that the mind is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones. Knowing this encourages me to pay extra attention to all the good in my life in order to enhance its effect on my neurochemistry.

Access to inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. Robert Moss and Sonia Choquette each have multiple books and classes that are invaluable for tapping into unseen resources.

Awareness of the power of thoughts and intentions. Louise Hay and Lynn McTaggart. (Forgive me, I’ve run out of patience for adding links! You can easily find all these wonderful people on your own.)

Teachers who have deeply influenced me include Tosha Silver, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Chameli Ardagh, Sharon Blackie, and Layla Martin. They all have an online presence for easy access.

This is hardly a comprehensive list. I do need to finish my project that got waylaid by the need to counteract the stress response. I really hope something above resonates with you and that you find some ease and calmness in your life by choosing to take action. It’s going to be a long winter, and it doesn’t hurt to have some tricks up your sleeve!

Online Reiki 1 Certification Coming in January!

Who wants to experience more wellness, wholeness, creativity, peace, love, and joy in the new year? Kick 2022 off with a bang by learning an amazing practice for self-care and self-empowerment to optimize your health and support your goals.

Reiki is an ancient healing energy that can easily be used by anyone to boost the body’s innate healing abilities, remove obstacles, and clear the way for that which you desire. Side effects include reduced stress, an improved mood, greater productivity, and access to your inner wisdom.

This online beginners’ course is for anyone interested in taking proactive steps to maximize well-being, happiness, pleasure, and tranquility. Yes, I said tranquility. It’s available, even in today’s world. I live there most of the time and would love to have more company! It does take effort, but the rewards are totally worth it.

Four Wednesday evenings, beginning January 5, from 6-8pm EST, we will gather together to begin a journey into the realm of healing. For an investment of only $225, you can have lifetime access to healing energy at your very fingertips.

Contact me to apply. No experience or mystical powers are necessary.

The Longest Night

Today is the winter solstice for those of us in the northern hemisphere. It’s commonly known as the shortest day, but to me the longest night seems a more fitting description.

A series of coincidences, AKA divine interventions, placed a friend and I in the woods at sunset and I was able to snap a pic of the final rays of light.

It was spectacular and magical to be in nature at such an auspicious time. But the real magic happened when I got home and turned inward. The universe is encouraging stillness, quiet, and contemplation. Oddly, our culture encourages the opposite, but I prefer to flow with the natural energy rather than fight it.

Today is also a turning point as tomorrow, and each day thereafter for the next six months, there will be a little more light than the day before. It signifies a time of hope for many as spring has always followed winter. In the meantime, let us embrace the cold, dark nights as best we can.

Happy solstice!

Fire Cider Cold and Flu Remedy, by Rosemary Gladstar

Really great tips here about staying healthy this winter! This video inspired me to get some fire cider brewing. Somehow I’ve ended up with four different batches; two include turmeric for some extra anti-inflammatory kick. I’m still a few weeks out from completion, but very much looking forward to having an extra potion in my medicine cabinet this year. Thanks Laura!

Laura Bruno's Blog

Our friend, Martha, posted this video on Facebook and David shared it with me. It combines a lot of things I’ve learned from various people along the way, including what the herbalist I apprenticed with in Seattle called “the triumvirate of herbs: garlic, onion and ginger.”

I also made a truly yummy antibiotic this summer when I had that cracked, infected tooth: apple cider vinegar, raw honey and many, many cloves of garlic. It turned out to be a terrible remedy for an infected tooth, due to the acid-sweet combo, but it certainly clears up any cold or other illness that wants to hitch a ride. (My teeth all healed, btw, through major energetic work that blasted the lurkers in there, but that’s another story.)

In addition, we keep oil of oregano on hand for sniffing, inhaling from a pot of steam, or taking internally in the event…

View original post 88 more words

Dance It Out

Feeling tense, frazzled, stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? Utilize the body-mind connection to upgrade your internal chemistry.

1. Stop doomscrolling. You can always come back later. Nothing has changed in months anyway, it won’t hurt to take a break.

2. Decide you want to feel better.

3. Take action.

Today I used Pandora Radio as an Oracle. What music will help me lift my vibration? When everything seems to be going wrong, music is the perfect remedy.

I offer this song that got me moving and endorphins flowing. If you need some relief, it might help you too. Get your groove on and let the mind go quiet. You might need to purge some thoughts first, preferably in a journal where they won’t cause any damage but can be released from your head, where they can also cause damage.

https://pandora.app.link/AygsquO7klb