Reiki “Snacks” for Chaotic Times

Over the years of teaching Reiki to lots of busy people, I’ve done my best to emphasize that it’s easy to make the practice fit, regardless of how crazy life may be. When engaging in self-care activities, it makes much more sense to me to find modalities that bend and flex to fit our needs rather than trying to stuff ourselves into some dogmatic box. 

I’ve met many folks who abandoned their Reiki practices after being instructed to spend 30-60 minutes every day in self-treatment. Seriously, who has that luxury on a consistent basis? I do believe it is crucial to carve out time for ourselves and the activities that nourish us and I get that investing time in spiritual practice saves time in the long run. But let’s be realistic here! Many people are going to miss the myriad benefits of Reiki if they believe an hour is required every day. 

My philosophy is that any application, no matter how brief, is better than no application at all. Just like saving $1 every day adds up over time, every drop of Reiki contributes to wellness. I advise students to take advantage of any 5- or 10-minute gaps in their days, of time spent waiting in line or on hold with customer service, and the moments before drifting off to sleep. It’s possible to turn on the flow of Reiki while you’re meditating, bathing, exercising, cooking, or even watching TV. 

Last night in class, a student shared that her previously dedicated Reiki time had been usurped by stressful life events. As a result, she was grabbing precious moments here and there, whenever she could. She called it her Reiki Tic Tacs. Those Tic Tac breaks were keeping her going. 

I just love the analogy! Sure, it’s wonderful to enjoy a Reiki feast from time to time and really drop in deeply and soak up the healing vibes. It’s great to have a consistent Reiki breakfast where I can start my day off with a boost of energy. And just like when I don’t have time for a proper meal, I can toss a handful of nuts in my mouth as I walk out the door, Reiki “snacks” will sustain me for several hours. Popping Tic Tacs, if that’s all that’s available, can help me get through a rough patch until I can nourish myself more thoroughly.

There are many ways to practice Reiki. Take advantage of any and every opportunity to give yourself a healing dose as frequently as you can. And when life conspires to give you a solid chunk of time, take advantage of that too. Find what works for you in each moment and adapt when you need to. At the end of the day, all those Reiki snacks will have accumulated and you’ll be that much closer to your goals.  

How to Apologize and Why

Wow! Brene Brown hosts this amazing podcast that I found to be helpful, humbling, informative, and inspiring. Apologies fall into the realm of holistic health and emotional well-being, so I wanted to share it here.

It’s a lot to digest, so you might like to break it up into chunks like I did. It’s taken me a week to listen to part one and the first five minutes of part two just blew me away. I feel confident it will not disappoint.

https://brenebrown.com/podcast/harriet-lerner-and-brene-im-sorry-how-to-apologize-why-it-matters-part-1-of-2/

https://brenebrown.com/podcast/im-sorry-how-to-apologize-why-it-matters-part-2-of-2/

Pursuing Happiness with ”Brain Science, Positive Psychology, and Contemplative Training”

Once again, I am deeply touched by Dr. Rick Hanson’s free newsletter. Last week’s edition was titled “Keep your Eye on the Prize” and guided us through a contemplative practice of recognizing purpose and priorities and followed up with easy, useful tips for moving in the desired direction. It’s so easy to get swept up in the busy-ness of modern life if we aren’t anchored to our goals. Here you will find suggestions for connecting with those anchors.

I’m selective in what I allow into my inbox. My time is precious and there needs to be a good return on any time I invest in reading newsletters. This is one that consistently adds value to my toolbox. This gift of a ”simple practice each week for more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind” does not disappoint and I think will benefit anyone interested in actively pursuing improved quality of life. Check it out and decide for yourself!

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. 😉

Rick Hanson: Cling Less, Love More

I really enjoyed this blog post by meditation teacher and neuropsychologist, Dr. Rick Hanson. He has taught me so much over the past several years about how the brain and the mind work. It’s a nice complement to the post I recently made about using Reiki to reduce unhelpful attachments.

Many of the seemingly problematic traits I’m working to lessen are actually a product of evolution. That doesn’t mean I’m forever doomed to suffer, but that what I experience is perfectly natural. There are strategies for overcoming behaviors whose roots lie in not being eaten by a tiger. While I’m not in danger of being dinner for a large animal, my brain unnecessarily protects me from such crises. I need to intervene if I wish to experience freedom from such evolutionary overprotection.

He explains it a lot better if you also like to geek out about why we do the things we do when we really don’t want to do them! He also provides very simple, very practical tools for creating lasting change that don’t include Reiki, but pair nicely with it for those on that path.

Cling Less, Love More

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Online Guided Reiki Practice

Ushering people into the realm of self-empowerment is my calling. Teaching Reiki classes and providing sessions, both distance and in-person, brings me great joy. Yet I’ve recognized a gap in the services I provide. Once initiated into the Reiki world, there’s not a lot of guidance or connection for practitioners.

Becoming actively involved in one’s wellness is not well supported in our culture. For those interested in reclaiming wholeness and worthiness, accessing guidance from the soul level and creating a lifestyle designed to foster optimal health and happiness, the path is often a solitary one.

This has inspired me to build a new tier of services specifically for Reiki folks. The latest installation is Reiki Squares, an online guided self-care practice. We begin on March 4 with a focus on self-compassion, a concept with which many of us struggle. Intellectually we might understand that we can’t really assist anyone when we’re depleted, but we have few role models for applying self-compassion in the real world.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

If you’ve been attuned to level 1 Reiki or beyond, regardless of when that happened or how often you practice or don’t practice, you’re welcome to join us. Whatever issues you’re dealing with, Reiki can help.

This is a trauma-informed event and we will begin every session establishing community agreements to build an emotionally safe container. There will be an opportunity, but no obligation, to share about your experience. Many find that being witnessed by colleagues adds value and often we can learn from the adventures of others.

Find more information on this and other services on my Reiki Tribe page, as well as an opportunity to signup for a monthly newsletter announcing future events.

Practicing in community helps remind us that we’re not alone. Healing doesn’t need to be a solitary practice. Join us for an hour of self-compassion and self-care that will hopefully inspire you to add these elements to your daily life.

Spirit is Not One-Size-Fits-All

In this humorous video, Sonia Choquette delves into the different personalities of the human spirit. It can be really helpful to have this type of clarity so you don’t bother turning to a go-get-’em type person when you really want a hug and vice versa.

I recognize myself as part earth and part water. I guess my spirit type is mud, although she doesn’t present that as an option. You might think mud is rather unappealing, but it’s certainly useful for holding things together. It’s definitely messy, and difficult to control. Like me. 🙂

I think many of you will enjoy watching this, if only for the chuckles. And some will really find the concepts presented to be helpful for understanding yourself as well as creating future strategies to meet your unique needs.

Navigating Estrangement Situations

I found this podcast with Dr. Rick and (his son) Forest Hanson, to be very helpful. In my Reiki practice, many clients and students are searching for tools to handle difficult family dynamics. Those of us on spiritual and/or healing journeys have often come across practices of forgiveness and compassion which might seem to butt heads with practices of self-care and boundary setting. Confusion can arise, further complicating things.

To say it’s a complex issue is really an understatement! Whether you’re the one choosing distance, or the one being distanced from, you might find some comfort or useful tips in this mindful and meaningful dialog. It’s geared toward parent/child relationships, but could easily be adapted to friendships.

From podcast notes: “We’ve received a substantial number of questions from our listeners regarding familial estrangement: when one family member distances themselves from the others, or chooses not to interact with them at all. It’s a common and extremely challenging situation, and the pain related to it can be particularly intense during the holidays. Today on Being Well, Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson discuss family estrangement, particularly focusing on parents and children, and how the questions we engage in this territory apply more broadly to how we balance our own boundaries with the responsibilities we have toward other people.”

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.

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.

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“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.”