"I need you to Reiki my vagina."

Not the greeting I typically receive from clients! But this woman has been suffering from chronic yeast and bacterial infections for the past eight years. Ugh! So she is on a mission and doesn’t beat around the bush.

One of Reiki’s superpowers is that it is activated by intention. Beginning practitioners are taught a series of hand positions to transfer the healing energy, but it’s not at all necessary to touch the area we are treating. We can hover over the area or “beam” the energy from our hands to the target, and as we gain skill it becomes easy to solely use the power of intention to focus the energy on a zone we cannot touch such as breasts, genitals, or rashes.

So it wasn’t the request that surprised me. It’s not problematic to treat the sexual organs. It was the candor of the request that really captured my attention. It got me thinking that in 16 years of practice, no one has ever said anything like this to me! It seems likely that some of my other thousands of clients suffered from some sort of vaginal distress.

Which got me thinking of how sexuality has somehow been excluded from attention in much of the holistic healing world. While it’s quite common for people to share extremely personal details about their digestive tract or emotional trauma, very rarely have I treated someone who expressed a wish to activate dormant sexual energy or experience more powerful orgasms.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

And it’s not because Reiki can’t help with these things. It totally can! Simply decreasing stress, releasing stuck emotions and improving circulation will invariable be beneficial; setting a specific intention will be even more powerful. Yet somehow the perception that our sexual health and pleasure isn’t worthy of healing or is too shameful to talk about pervades. Well, I am here to help break this pattern!

It is completely normal and perfectly acceptable to desire a happy, healthy sex life. There is nothing un-spiritual about wanting to experience greater ecstasy or more freedom and confidence in the bedroom. Or kitchen or garage… Hey, no judgment here! Regardless of the source of this seeming taboo (patriarchal, cultural, and religious conditioning; your time is up!) we can reprogram our thinking to embrace our sexuality and seek holistic health care support for maximizing our inherent ability to enjoy consensual physical union.

It may indeed be uncomfortable for you to speak to a practitioner about your goals for enhancing your libido. If it’s the first time you’re doing so, you can expect to stammer and blush. If you’ve done your homework and chosen an open-minded, progressive, and compassionate practitioner, he or she can help you get the words out. A big part of what I do is listening respectfully and guiding clients to a clear statement of intent. It’s just part of the job.

If you’re in the Philly area, I’d be delighted to schedule a treatment for you. To be 100% clear, using Reiki for sexual healing is completely non-sexual. It is simply the application of spiritually guided life-force energy for the intention of your choosing. Never ever, never ever should it include contact with the genitals; or any other area you’d prefer not to be touched for that matter.

If you’re not in my neighborhood, my long-distance Reiki package discount is available for another week. Contact me if you’re wondering if it could be a match for you and your needs.

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Will Reiki Help My…

Short answer? Probably!

In the past week I’ve shared Reiki for a wide array of issues. A sick cat, indigestion, misplaced libido, bladder pain, shoulder pain, low back pain, foot pain, general anxiety, travel anxiety, “ruffled edges”, depression, feelings of disconnection, worries about an upcoming difficult situation, healing of sexual trauma and all the resulting false beliefs and suppressed emotions, and stress eating.

Oh yeah, I did a healing attunement and blessing for a new home, and have since received excited reports of family harmony and children playing peaceably together and eating vegetables. That was fun. And very exciting for the parents and me too as it’s now a new service I’m keen to offer. More on this in the near future!

Reiki can be helpful for physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and circumstantial issues. It’s my go-to strategy for anything that ails me and no doubt my students get tired of hearing me ask if they Reiki’ed whatever it is that they are complaining about. I might sound like a broken record, but that’s just because it works. It works every single time! Often like magic. Not always in the ways we want it to, but it definitely works.

Here’s the thing. Reiki always supports our highest good. So when it seems like it isn’t working, often there’s a reason that we just aren’t seeing.

When Reiki wasn’t able to help me sleep past 5 am, I eventually realized that I was supposed to get my butt out of bed and make productive use of that time.

When the housing situation I desired didn’t materialize, I eventually realized there were lessons I needed to learn in my current location first. If I had just moved away, I would have taken all my problems with me. Thanks, but no thanks!

When my ankle continued to bother me for nearly 3 years, I eventually realized (with the help of a series of synchronicities and a medical intuitive session ala Laura Bruno) it was a message from my Spirit about being neither fully grounded nor moving forward as guided. I wrote more about this discovery in Reiki fail?

Reiki won’t help you find peace in an abusive relationship or soul-sucking job. It definitely won’t help you binge chocolate chip cookies without an inflammation response or ignore resentment that is festering deep inside. For sure it won’t make your mother change her diet to support better health if she isn’t interested in doing so, and it won’t make your baby niece sleep when you want her to. Trust me, I’ve tried all of these things and failed!

But the failure was mine. Reiki didn’t fail; it always had my back. None of those attempts were in my highest good. The problem is that I often don’t know what’s in my best interest. I’ve spent most of my life pursuing goals that were shiny on the outside and hollow on the inside. My limited human brain is generally unaware of my soul’s plan for sharing the gifts that are uniquely mine.

Not to worry! Reiki has an innate intelligence that is spiritually guided. It knows much, much better than I do what I need to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. Learning to trust that Reiki is 100% supportive allows me to surrender attachment to my ego’s plan and receive the gifts and guidance that flow to me.

Will Reiki help your xyz? If it’s in alignment with your highest good, for sure! If not, it will likely help you see that your thoughts are misguided and reveal the bigger picture. Either way, it will help you uncover your soul’s perfection and the unique medicine you have to share.

There’s still time to take advantage of the long-distance Reiki package special I’m offering to support you on this road of self- discovery. 10% off a series of five sessions, through 1/31/2020. Contact me if you’re wondering if this is a good match for your needs.

The problem I have with massage…

“The problem I have with massage…” is not exactly the phrase I wanted to hear from a new client! (Yikes! What have I gotten myself into?!) “…is that I’m unable to verbalize when the pressure is too deep.”

“Aaaah… I can total relate! I’ve experienced this frequently myself.” (I sigh with both relief and empathy!) She went on to explain that even when the therapist invites her to speak up, she just can’t do it and ends up feeling sore for days afterward.

Many of us were not raised in an environment that supported us voicing our needs and desires. Sometimes it wasn’t safe to do so. Programming begins at a very young age, and when we receive the message that our preferences don’t matter, we might adapt by shutting down to protect ourselves. Children might learn to keep their requests quiet out of fear of upsetting the adult in charge, and choose instead a strategy of remaining silent in order to be accepted. Heartbreakingly, we might internalize the message that we don’t deserve to be comfortable or nurtured or that nobody cares what we need.

This cycle can be broken if we intervene, but many of our childhood coping mechanisms run on auto-pilot until challenged. Massage is already a tricky situation because the receiver is in a vulnerable position, both physically and emotionally. Once the relaxation response kicks in, our rational thought and speech centers are subdued. It’s easy to feel that the therapist is the authority who holds all the power, and to slip into the erroneous belief that they know what is best. We’re certainly trained to think this way by the western medicine model.

You are the authority on your body! Please remember this!

I commended this woman for her awareness and for having the courage not only to show up, but to share this with me. Given that I use a gentle pressure and am able to tune in to the nervous system’s response, I felt confident that we could successfully work together. We negotiated a new strategy in which I would ask if she’d like less pressure because she said it felt easy for her to answer “yes” if that were the case.

For the same reason, I ask if a client is feeling chilly rather than if they’re warm enough. I’ve witnessed again and again that someone will say they’re fine only to discover goose bumps moments later. Sometimes the reply is that they don’t want me to go to any trouble or to interrupt the flow. Please believe me when I say that any qualified, caring massage therapist does not want you shivering or flinching on the table!

We can all learn to be more sensitive to one anther’s needs and recognize the difficulty that many people have asking for what they want. Posing a question so that they may respond with “yes” will be helpful for those with a people pleaser coping mechanism. (There’s a lot of us out there!) I find that slowing down, listening deeply without intent to formulate a reply, and tuning in to body language is beneficial.

We can also learn to express our concerns upfront and ask for help when we have difficulty. This can be a stretch from our comfort zone for sure, but if you believe your massage therapist will not respond supportively, it’s probably a hint to find one that will. Speaking to the therapist before booking a session can shed some light on their listening skills and activating intuition can serve as a filtering process.

Massage shouldn’t hurt! (Not unless you want it to, and even then it’s debatable. That’s a discussion for another day.) I’m here to advocate for everyone everywhere to speak up for themselves and ask for what they need. If you find words are elusive in a session, try a simple “Ouch!” And if that is not respected, “STOP”. There is absolutely no need to suffer in silence on the table. Life is painful enough as it is, there’s no reason to endure more at the hands (or elbows) of a hired professional.

Reiki Master Teacher Training and Personal Healing Quest

I’m delighted to announce a new certification program! I’ve been dreaming up this concept for years and have finally worked out the logistical kinks. Reiki Master Teacher, sometimes called Advanced Reiki or Reiki 3, is the pinnacle of training in this healing system. Often it’s taught in a weekend intensive, and it’s entirely possible to receive the certification without ever giving one single treatment.

I wanted to go a different route. A more scenic route. One steeped in devotion to practice. My passion is encouraging students to develop a daily routine for exploring a personal healing quest and uncovering their soul’s calling. Along with unconditional compassion and non-judgment, I believe this is the foundation of becoming a quality practitioner and teacher.

Perfection is not the goal. Consistent application of the healing tools at our disposal is. Reiki is the greatest, wisest teacher I’ve ever met! The experiences I’ve had treating myself and others have taught me infinitely more than any book or class could. It’s my intention to share this understanding and gently but firmly guide students to allow Reiki to reveal it secrets through observation.

Granted, this is no easy task! It requires patience and diligence and courage. Especially courage. Facing our wounds, fears, resistances, and limiting beliefs requires stamina, curiosity, and tons of courage. It is much, much easier to show up for a weekend workshop. In this program, you really have to work to earn the certification!

So I’ve developed a six month training that is largely independent study. Six of the seven classes will be held online for everyone’s convenience. We will meet in person only once for the attunement. There will be reading assignments and practice, practice, practice to keep us all busy for the weeks in between.

We’ll cover the traditional material including the master symbol for spiritual healing, opening a practice, and how to give initiation attunements and healing attunements, which are super-potent treatments. And we’ll discuss many of the more nuanced aspects of giving the best sessions possible. In my teaching I share the tricks that I’ve figured out over the past 16 years giving thousands of treatments. I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to!

If you’re interested in diving deep and immersing yourself fully in the Reiki pool, let’s connect and see if this is a good fit for you. You can join from anywhere, with the exception of the second class, when we’ll gather in my office in Philadelphia. The cost is $777, with an early bird discount of $77 off, available through 3/1/2020. Classes are on the fourth Thursday of each month, 6-8:30 pm eastern time, beginning in March. Details can be found here.

Long Distance Reiki Healing

One of the most amazing benefits of Reiki is that it is not limited by time or space. Healing energy can be sent to a client who is not geographically present. With the use of sacred symbols learned in a level 2 Reiki course and the power of intention, spiritually guided life-force energy can be transferred remotely. To anywhere!

Over the years of offering healing sessions to those who live in different parts of the world, I’ve come to have a deep respect for this amazing technique. While there is indeed something special about the comfort of human touch, I often find that long-distance healing can be more powerful. Somehow without a body beneath my hands, I’m better able to tune into the energetic matrix that is the blueprint of our physical reality.

It’s quite common for me to see images of blockages while sending Reiki remotely. It’s become second nature to be guided by these images to a root problem that is causing symptoms of discomfort or imbalance. Pain might be represented as steam pressurizing in an organ, a hornets’ nest, or a clogged drainpipe. While these messages obviously aren’t literal, they offer me clues about where to apply Reiki for an optimal outcome.

For several months now I’ve been sending Reiki to my 5 year-old nephew who has difficulty focusing at school. Well, duh! He’s 5! But I’m concerned that he will be burdened with a diagnostic label that might come with a prescription, so I’ve been intervening in the only way I know how. During one of his remote sessions, am image came to me of a parade of ants crawling down his leg. Ants in his pants! Totally a metaphor for what was happening, as well as an indicator that I was on target and needed to stay there until the last ant was evacuated.

Reiki has a great sense of humor!

I’ve come to recognize a pattern when doing this type of work; as one blockage is cleared, often the next layer is revealed and new symptoms arise. I’ve started offering long-distance sessions in packages to accommodate this phenomenon. Deeper healing generally requires a series of treatments to restore balance and harmony, but even one treatment can produce tremendous results. (If you’re wondering how many sessions it will take to heal an issue, that’s rather like asking me how long it will take to become free of debt. It depends. Here’s a recent post I wrote about exactly this.)

For example, working on a friend’s broken finger brought up an underlying sense of anxiety that causes her to rush around without being mindful- perhaps the very cause of the injury. Treating both the finger and the anxiety offers a much greater opportunity for deeper healing and a future with fewer accidents. I suspect the anxiety has an even deeper cause that will likely be unveiled in upcoming treatments.

Each time an intention is set for healing, whatever it is that is preventing that healing becomes the focus point of an inner spotlight. It takes courage to allow this spotlight to reveal the hidden blockages and outdated beliefs that are lurking in the shadows. It’s much easier to blame others for our circumstances, to distract ourselves or numb the pain. The very nature of our modern culture encourages to keep so very busy we never need notice our inner turmoil, and if we do, we are encouraged to drown it out with alcohol, baked goods, online shopping, endless social media scrolling, or casual sex.

Been there, done that!

If these superficial strategies are no longer working for you either, I would be honored to facilitate your healing process with Reiki.  I’m extending the 10% off package discount through the end of January 2020. Normally $400, five one-hour long-distance Reiki treatments are now only $360. I offer 15 minute complimentary consultations if you’re on the fence, as well as gift-certificates for your loved ones.

This can be a challenging time of year for so many reasons. You don’t have to go it alone. Another alternative is to take a class and learn to use Reiki yourself. This is the most affordable option if you’re the type of person who will actually use it on a regular basis. There’s nothing quite like having the power of healing energy at your very finger tips! I have a level 1 certification coming up in January if you’re in the Philadelphia area. If you’re not, there’s likely a teacher near you. Or you could just stay at home and schedule a long-distance treatment.

2020: The Year of Perfect Vision

Full transparency: I am borrowing this tag line from a student. But it’s just so brilliant I have to share it! 20/20 is the term ophthalmologists use to describe normal eyesight. Well, we’re taking it a step further and claiming 2020 as the year of Perfect Vision, the foundation to uncovering the soul’s calling as well as the guidance and motivation necessary to pursue it.

It’s helpful to know where you want to go before your start charting your journey. It’s also helpful to clean out your trunk so you’re not hauling around crap from the past decade on your adventure. Perhaps most helpful of all is tuning up your vehicle, paying attention to all the systems that allow it to run smoothly. Self-care, -kindness, -discovery, and -awareness are the corollary steps in creating an intentional lifestyle.

For me yoga, Reiki, and nourishment are essential building blocks in this process. No news there; you’re heard me say this 10,000 times already! Over the past year I’ve benefited greatly from several other teachings that really upped my game, and I’m very eager to share them here in the hopes others might also profit. If you’re looking to maximize your potential in the new year, you might find some guidance here.

I could spend the next month extolling the virtues of these lessons. Instead I’ll provide links to websites allowing you to do your own research. The three teachers I’m mentioning have a variety of courses as well as very generous newsletters which can be a risk-free gateway into their work. I respect and admire their contributions to personal growth and spiritual awakening and am incredibly grateful for the wisdom they’ve shared.

Sharon Blackie’s Courting the World Soul online course totally blew my socks off. I’m still digesting the amazing material of this 8 week course, which is a mix of depth psychology, mythology, and more. She has set me on a journey of discovering my roots to help find belonging in a world that generally makes no sense to me.

Layla Martin offers a free Radiant Queen Masterclass which includes simple practices for liberating the wild feminine energy that most of us women were taught very early on to lock down. She’s a vibrant teacher of tantra, sexual empowerment, and liberation from the bonds of patriarchal programming. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if that last sentence makes you uncomfortable!

I’m really learning a lot from Rick Hanson’s Growing the Good yearlong meditation program. His background as a Buddhist and neuro-psychologist reveals a fascinating intersection of east/west, ancient tradition/modern science. Understanding my nervous system better allows me to experience calm more frequently. ‘Nuff said!

Perhaps more transformative than all of the above is the time I’ve spent in nature. I just can’t get enough time amongst the trees! Sitting by the creek breathing the ki-infused air is where my deepest healing and best ideas happen. I’ve applied to a volunteer training program to further my knowledge of the local wooded treasure as well as to gain skills for sharing it with others. If you’re in the Philly area, Friends of the Wissahickon offers loads of guided hikes. Wherever you are, no doubt there is a patch of land that needs your appreciation.

And finally, I’m over the moon with my latest oracle card purchase. The Wild Unknown Archetypes is a beautiful deck and has been tremendously helpful for accessing my inner wisdom. They’ve been a big hit at recent community Reiki circles and I’m planning to bring them to this week’s event. Join us if you’re in the neighborhhood!

It’s my sincerest wish that 2020 brings you great peace, health, wealth, and happiness. Perhaps one of these tools can help you further your goals. As always, I’m available for Reiki (in person and remote) and massage sessions to get your year on track and uncover the benefits of Perfect Vision.

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, ✔. 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!