Online Reiki 1 Certification in January, 2023

Are you looking to activate your personal power? For optimal well-being, happiness, creativity, abundance, and connection? Why not start the new year off with a bang and give yourself a helping hand? Reiki is a potent tool for dismantling the blockages that prevent us from experiencing our best possible lives. You could have limitless access to this healing energy with minimal cost or time.

Hidden beliefs, unconscious triggers, cultural conditioning, and outdating coping mechanisms can sabotage even the most sincere resolutions. Reiki can help us love and accept ourselves exactly as we are and support our efforts to be more peaceful, compassionate, and integrated. No need to keep white-knuckling it or banging your head against the wall. Instead, try cultivating balance from within.

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This is a simple, yet powerful, modality that can assist you in aligning desire and intent; body, mind, and spirit; head, heart, and gut so that all your parts are working as a team, rather that a bunch of rogue elements fulfilling personal whims at the expense of the greater good.

Join me for a series of four online classes in January. No experience or special skills are necessary. Anyone can learn Reiki and benefit quickly from consistent application. It’s the easiest, safest, most magical method I’ve discovered in 25 years of spiritual practice and personal development work. Whatever therapies, remedies, or potions you’ve got going on, you can add Reiki for amplification.

If you’re wondering what the heck Reiki is, I’ll attempt an explanation. Keep in mind that words don’t really do it justice. Just like kissing, one authentic experience will be more informative than volumes of books! But I know that’s not very helpful, so here we go. Reiki is a holistic technique for healing that relieves stress. It activates the body’s innate restorative abilities by flooding the system with universal life-force energy. Once we are no longer chronically depleted, overwhelmed, or barely existing in survival mode, we have so much more power to create change in our lives. One of my students described her experience as stepping off the hamster wheel. I think that’s a great metaphor!

If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends or spread too thin, taking care of everyone else besides yourself, or simply going along just to get along, it would be my great pleasure to introduce you to a different way. You can find details about the class here. If you’re interested in applying, just send me a message and we’ll see if it’s a good match for you.

Sauerkraut Update

Last month, three of us spent a few hours shredding 7 giant heads of cabbage to make sauerkraut. Full story here.

Not in my kitchen! Sheesh, it’s a messy project.

Then the full 5 gallon crock sat for about 5 weeks.

Also not in my kitchen!

After about 4 weeks, I received a report that it was starting to smell funky. Those aren’t the exact words, but I can’t bring myself to type what my dad actually said. 🙂

Earlier this week, a qualified taste~tester deemed it “done” and 12 quarts were jarred up and refrigerated.

A pint sells for $12 at my local co-op, so that’s equivalent of almost $300 of kraut for about $13 worth of cabbage and salt. Plus a boat-load of probiotics. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

There’s No Such This as “Just” Anxiety

I get so frustrated when clients come to me with chronic pain, discomfort, or uneasiness which doctors have labeled as “just” anxiety. As if anxiety isn’t real and therefore the effects of anxiety don’t matter. GAH! (Post edited to remove a lot of creative cursing!)

Recurring headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, pain, inability to focus, and skin irritations can all result from anxiety. These conditions are no less problematic than those with medical origins. To suggest that anyone should just resign to living with such challenges because they result from anxiety rather than disease is absurd.

Anxiety produces a very real physiological response that can disrupt all the body’s systems. I’m remembering a time when a friend and I went for a hike. We were having a lovely time until suddenly I thought I might have left a pot simmering on the stove. It didn’t matter that I have never done any such thing or that we’d be gone for two hours and if there was to be a fire, the damage would have already been done.

There was no logic-ing my way out of the racing heart, nausea, and muscle tension that ensued. It’s an understatement to say that I was flipping out. And when my friend refused to join me in panic mode, claiming fatigue as an excuse not to rush back, I could feel my blood pressure rising and intense anger building. (Insert image of The Incredible Hulk!) My body responded immediately with a sympathetic nervous system (AKA stress) reaction that was not helpful (and fortunately not necessary as the stove was indeed off) but very much real.

It took some time for my system to reset itself, but I eventually calmed down. Imagine experiencing a similar state of panic as a common occurrence. The body would be constantly challenged and would suffer very real physiological consequences. I’m sharing this example to illustrate the power of the body-mind connection; it’s not an accurate depiction of chronic anxiety at all, but hopefully gets my point across. This stuff is real!

If you’ve had an experience of being dismissed by the doctor from whom you sought help, I’m so sorry. This is where western medicine fails a lot of people. If the problem can’t be found with a microscope or scan, it’s considered irrelevant. Just because thoughts and emotions are outside the range of the average MD’s practice doesn’t make the situation imaginary or hopeless. Looking outside the box can provide answers that aren’t always visible from inside the system.

In addition to (thankfully) rare anxiety attacks like the one I described above; I experienced a low-grade, consistent anxiety for years. Probably decades, but I was pretty good at ignoring it in my youth and liberally applying numbing and distracting strategies as I got older.

As my spiritual practice evolved and I became more capacitated to sitting quietly and tuning in to what I was feeling, I often noticed an uncomfortable energy residing in my solar plexus that I came to label as anxiety. It wasn’t the flipping out kind, but it was ever-present and kept me from living my best life. Once I discovered its presence, I was able to treat it with Reiki and self-compassion. With consistent efforts and the invaluable practices of slowing down and saying no to opportunities and invitations that didn’t resonate, I’m happy to say that it’s mostly absent. It appears upon occasion with a message that I’ve made a decision that isn’t aligned with my values, and when I correct my trajectory, it fades automatically.

Anxiety doesn’t need to be a lifetime sentence. In addition to prescription medications, there are a wide variety of complementary and alternative holistic options. It’s one of the most frequent complaints I hear from Reiki students and clients, who report relief with consistent treatment. Psychotherapy, meditation, herbal remedies, flower essences, aromatherapy, enjoyable movement, EFT, nutrition, and yoga are just a few of the strategies besides Reiki that can have effective results. Sometimes the shift comes from reevaluating a relationship, living situation, or career.

What if anxiety is the body’s way of telling us something is off and requires our attention? Ignoring such a message can have destructive consequences over time; like taking the battery out of the smoke detector to stop the noise. There are lots of ways to treat anxiety, and likely one that suits your personality, lifestyle, and resources. I’ve gone the DIY approach myself, and guide others who wish to follow this same path, as well as those who seek professional help from a Reiki Master.

One thing is for sure- it’s not going to magically disappear. Nor will the symptoms. If your doctor has let you down, please seek assistance elsewhere. That might be as simple as looking up “breathing exercises for anxiety” on the web or scheduling a long-distance Reiki session. Such an easy step might be adequate to calm down enough so that you can figure out what the next steps are.

Happy Reiki Day!

I’m so excited to be on the receiving end of a remote Reiki session today!!! A few weeks ago I’m was feeling pretty worn down and recognized that I needed some extra support. I remember listening to a podcast where the woman being interviewed recommended getting LOTS of support, not just the bare minimum. I chuckled to myself, and thought, hmmm… that’s what I’ve been doing! Just getting the minimum to keep going and relying, over-relying actually, on my self-care routines.

It took me a few moments to figure out what would be the most helpful. The idea of dragging myself to yet another appointment, potentially trading working hours for relaxation, didn’t resonate at all. Even trying out a new-to-me bodyworker in the neighborhood didn’t float my boat. These things are so subjective! 

I’m not sure why it took so long for me to figure out that thing that would help me the most is the thing I most often recommend. Didn’t see the forest for all the tree, I guess. 🙂 I booked a long-distance session with my teacher, Laura Bruno, who happens to live 1,000 miles away. No worries. Reiki can travel. And it can bend time, so I’ve set up my session so that she can do it during her working hours, and arrange for it to arrive at 10pm. When I will be off my feet, no longer tending to busyness or business, tucked into bed and maximally receptive. 

Even we caretakers need some caretaking. I seem to have taken on the role of the caretakers’ caretaker, as I have many clients who are in heavy duty caretaking roles. They come to me for support when they get depleted, or better yet to prevent getting depleted. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I need to keep my own tank full so I can keep operating. And tomorrow morning, I will wake up with a full tank, magically restored while I was resting. 

How does it get better than that? 

Why Reiki??

The following is an excerpt from the handouts I provide in level 1 Reiki certification. I’m perpetually updating class notes to reflect the ongoing downloads and updates that inform my own understanding. If you’ve heard talk about Reiki and have been curious but hesitant to try the waters, this could help nudge you one way or the other.

“You’re in the right place if you’re interested in optimizing your wellness, uncovering your innate wholeness, finding and following your calling, soothing aches and pains, finding the well of peace and joy deep within, healing trauma, releasing limiting beliefs, spiritual awakening, or personal growth. Reiki can be used for all these goals by cultivating balance, removing blockages, and strengthening vitality.

“It is my intention to provide a basic understanding of what Reiki is and how we can use it to improve health, happiness, and productivity. I invite you to be curious about all the possibilities Reiki has to offer. Experiment when you feel guided to do so. There are NO limits! If you have an idea about how to use Reiki that I haven’t mentioned; try it! Reiki can do no harm.”

My next online beginners class runs on Thursday mornings in October, 10am-noon ET. There is still room for a few more compatible students to join us. I don’t have a formal application process. Just message me with a little bit of information about what you hope to get from this class and we’ll see if we’re a good match for each other.

Options on the Reiki Menu

Reiki helps to correct any type of imbalance, and it can be fun to think of choosing the goal of a session as if from options on a menu. A sense of humor can be very helpful in the healing process! Sometimes my clients come up with comical names for the type of treatment they desire. One asks repeatedly for The Reboot; a session devoted to resetting the nervous system and activating the relaxation response. She finds it incredibly recuperative given the intense demands of her career.

The Deactivator is also popular, especially for those recovering from trauma or dealing with chronic pain. It helps to break the uncomfortable cycle triggered by hyper-vigilance and near-constant sympathetic nervous system (AKA fight-flight-freeze) activation. Occasionally folks ask for The Activator when they’re feeling stuck or blocked and can’t seem to get motivated. Kinda like all-natural, energetic uppers and downers with no negative side-effects!

Over the past couple of years, most of my work has been centered around The Fill ‘er Up treatment. People who have become depleted energetically, physically, and emotionally seem to  be developing bizarre symptoms such as rashes, digestive upset, or severe joint pain as the tank runs dry and there just isn’t enough energy for the body to do much more than survive. Physiological systems begin to break down and mysterious ailments pop up. 

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For the past few months, there’s been an emerging trend that stems from The Fill ‘er Up. The Flush and Fill; the perfect remedy for those who have experienced the emotional equivalent of running a marathon in a toxic waste dump. So many of my clients are empathic and tend to pick up unwanted energies as they go about their days. When tanks are already low, there are few resources available for protecting personal boundaries or lugging around accumulated burdens, and eventually the body and the psyche begin to suffer. Burnout looms on the horizon.

Reiki can transform any and all energies that do not belong to us or that have worn out their welcome. Breaking free from the heavy loads that are outdated or not even ours to bear is incredibly invigorating. I don’t know of any other therapy that is so simple, so gentle and so powerful; certainly not any that can be received from the comfort of home or in a practitioner’s office; or learned in just a few hours for those who desire frequent application. 

If you’d like to learn how to give yourself daily Flush and Fills, consider taking a Reiki 1 class. I am offering one online beginning in July, and others are teaching in-person classes. If you can’t stand the idea of adding one more task, no matter how wonderful the results, to your to-do list, that’s what we professionals are here for. If you’re already a practitioner, simply set your intention to transform anything that is not aligned with your highest good to that which is, and proceed with the hand positions you’ve been taught. Whatever your desired degree of participation (or lack thereof!) is, Reiki has a niche just for you.

Reiki Master Teacher Certification Course

This isn’t your typical certification course! It’s a 7 month journey and Personal Healing Quest designed to let Reiki lead the way. We’ll meet twice each month online, covering all the traditional material, as well as exploring our unique pathways to healing. The gaps between meetings are meant to allow maximum digestion and integration of the material and individual practice.

This course is my unique recipe, an accumulation of professional experiences for over 20 years, and constant, eclectic personal development work. Actually, I never intended to become a teacher, but my intuition was strong (and persistent!) and I’ve come to realize that it gives me great pleasure to guide practitioners. I tend to march to the beat of my own drummer and have cultivated an environment that encourages students to do the same.

The curriculum includes:

• Level 3 Reiki attunement
• Introduction to 3 spiritual healing symbols
• How to hold space and why
• Communication guidelines
• How to release blockages and limiting beliefs
• How to formulate powerful and succinct intentions
• Individual support for your self-treatment practice and personal healing quest
• How to set up, activate, and maintain a crystal grid and why
• Guidance for the development of your personal style of sharing Reiki
• How to give attunements. Even if you never plan to teach formal classes, you’ll have the ability to initiate friends and family.
• How to develop your unique teaching style and materials
• Basic guidelines for starting a professional practice

Beginning on July 7, we’ll meet on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 6-8pm ET through January. The cost is $777, due upon registration. Contact me with any questions or to apply for one of the 7 spots. I’ve heard it said that the number 7 signifies ”you’re on the right track; keep going!” I’d love to hear from you if this rings true.

Treating Low Back Pain Holistically

Since I was 13, back pain has been a lingering presence in my life; one I’ve learned to minimize through holistic lifestyle choices. I’ve also worked with countless clients over the past 20 years with similar issues. I have accumulated tons of experience in this area. When this nemesis reappeared with gusto last year, I had a lot of tools at my disposal, but I still frequently experienced sensations that ranged from discomfort to debilitating pain. 

I’ve learned so much on my journey. I can speak to this issue on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual planes. While I sometimes utilize analgesics, I know the cause is not a deficiency of ibuprofen or CBD cream, so I keep investigating. I want to treat the root, not just the symptoms. Tight hip flexors, sitting too much, exercising too aggressively, one’s ability to ask for and receive support, and complex feelings related to sexuality, belonging, safety, or worthiness can all contribute to an imbalance that affects the low back. 

Relieving lumbar pain and its frequent companion, sciatic nerve pain, is my wheelhouse. Yet none of my interventions had any lasting effect. The irritation that arose from being so ineffective only contributed to the problem. Such events are quite humbling for us bodyworkers! Until I remembered… it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.

Finally, I asked for help. I was pointed to a specific, often overlooked, muscle. (Thank you, Laura! <3) The moment I heard the word, bells went off in my head. It’s part of every bodywork session I provide, but I’ve rarely thought of my own sartorius muscles since, well… ever. While I religiously address all the soft tissue that connects to the pelvis when working with clients, I had left it out of my stretching routine. Given my tendency to sit cross- legged, it had shortened and began to tug on the front of my pelvis, creating an imbalance that spread through my lumbar region. 

It took a bit of searching to find a good technique for addressing this bugger. It’s not something that’s easy to get into without intending to do so. Many of the videos and articles I found didn’t really do it justice. I’m sharing the one that really did below, along with the reminder that even though we may be knowledgable about something, it never hurts to get a second opinion from a subjective and trusted advisor.

You can ignore the ”for runners” qualification in the title. I am not, nor ever have been, a runner, and found this stretch to be very helpful. It might be the missing link in your search for freedom from back pain too.

Distance Reiki Treatments: What Should the Client Do?

This question comes up a lot. I get it; it’s an unusual situation. When people come into my office for a treatment, I guide them through a chat and then onto the table where they remain mostly still throughout the session, unless discomfort prompts some type of reconfiguration. It’s structured. 

If you’re receiving a session at your own home, there can be some confusion about what you need to do as that structure is not in place. 

The short answer is: you don’t need to do anything. Well… you need to be willing to receive, but that seems a given if you’ve signed up and provided payment for a treatment. 

Willingness? Check. End of the checklist.

But… what do you DO? Again, you don’t need to do anything. I trade sessions weekly with my Reiki buddy and we don’t schedule the timing. She does my session when it’s convenient for her and I usually don’t know when that is. I go about my day with my Reiki receptors open and my system receives and integrates the healing energy without my conscious awareness. 

If you have an actual appointment time and want to be engaged in the process, you might like to lay down and rest. Some of my clients like to set up a spa-like atmosphere and light candles, diffuse essential oils, pull out the fuzzy blankets, and/or surround themselves with crystals. This can be fun for some people, and the ritual of creating a healing space does speak to the subconscious. It’s like saying, “Hey, look at this environment I’ve created for myself. Obviously some deep healing is about to happen.” It can be very helpful to soothe the inner skeptic. 

Now, if you’re getting a Reiki treatment because of anxiety or trauma, trying to force yourself to relax might not lead to a relaxing experience. If curling up on the couch in the middle of the day sounds excruciatingly painful to you, don’t do it. Perhaps you’d be better served by sitting in your favorite chair looking at the clouds. Or going for a walk. Or painting or gardening or playing with your dog. Restorative yoga might be a good choice if that’s in your repertoire.

Reiki is not a one-size-fits-all modality. There is limitless freedom to find a strategy that suits yourself and your own particular needs at the moment. If you love to meditate, but find it hard to carve out the time, you might like to take advantage of this appointment to do so. If attempting to meditate makes you feel like ants are crawling all over your skin, don’t torture yourself. Torturing yourself is unlikely to lead to healing. When I say it so bluntly, it makes sense, right? There is no “should” when it comes to Reiki. 

Your nervous system is a unique entity that has been wired and rewired, connected, disconnected and rewired again based on your unique constitution and experiences. It will let you know what activities are within the safe and acceptable range for you at any moment. So if doing the laundry or reorganizing your desk helps you to feel at ease, that just might be the right choice for you. You get to decide. It’s YOUR session. Make it work for you.

Star of Bethlehem- a Bach Flower Remedy for Trauma

I’ve mentioned this gem before, but lately it seems it could use a spotlight. Flower essences are a form of plant medicine that affect internal energy patterns and help restore emotional equilibrium. Of all the strategies I suggest to clients for releasing trauma, this is the most popular as it requires very little effort.

For people who are already struggling with bursting schedules, popping a few drops of a homeopathic potion in their mouths is much more appealing that squeezing in a daily meditation, mantra practice, or journaling exercise. It does pair quite nicely with these efforts for those looking for a multi-faceted approach. Reiki and somatic therapies will also be invaluable for those seeking professional support.

Star of Bethlehem is brilliant at preventing fresh upset from getting stored in the system as well as nudging out any pain that has been lodged for decades. The more sensitive of us can be burdened with trauma passed down along ancestral lines as well as from previous lifetimes. I don’t know many people who have managed to dodge trauma entirely and with the information bombarding us from across the globe these days, collateral trauma is practically unavoidable.

Sheesh, this isn’t meant to be a doomsday post! Trauma; it’s natural and common. That’s life. Yet there is hope! There are countless remedies, and here is one of my favorites that is incredibly effective, affordable, and easy to use. If you’re geeking out on the idea of applying a simple, natural therapy to cultivate greater mental and emotional wellness, I’d encourage you to explore flower remedies thoroughly. Star of Bethlehem is but one in a complex system of plant helpers standing by, ready to assist your blossoming well-being. Pun intended. 😉