Refreshing Your Self-Reiki Practice

I’m often asked how one can get back into a self-treatment practice after a lapse. The simplest way is to bring your palms to press against one another in front of your heart center and invite the Reiki to flow. You could then recite the Reiki principles, sit quietly with a hand on your heart and one on your belly or anywhere else you feel drawn, or move through the traditional series of hand positions.

Reiki will always be there for you once you’ve been attuned by a Reiki Master Teacher. Luckily Reiki doesn’t begrudge your neglect and will begin to flow when asked. You might not feel it strongly at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will seem, and the more relaxed and receptive you’ll become. You needn’t do anything more than apply this healing energy in the way you were taught, no matter if it was months, years, or even decades ago.

Another option is to get a treatment from another practitioner, setting an intention to help you ease into a routine. Sometimes just saying your desire out loud can be powerful, and having another person witness this awakens a sense of accountability. Experiencing the benefits of a treatment, at your own hands or someone else’s, can activate devotion to a self-care routine.

Yesterday I provided a long-distance Reiki treatment for someone who wanted to begin a daily self-care practice. She had taken a class years ago, but never followed through in real life. We collaborated on how to best support her goal and the result was a phone call during which I guided her through a series of hand positions, layered with affirmations, while simultaneously delivering Reiki. Somehow she managed to stay awake from this double treatment and reported a deeply relaxing and inspiring experience.

You could also retake the training if that feels helpful. I’ve received a lot of benefit from doing this myself. Even with the same teacher and the same material, I had a very different experience as I was in a different place, with a different level of understanding. As the curriculum is far from standardized, different teachers might provide entirely different content. It’s not at all necessary to repeat a class since Reiki itself can teach you everything you need to know once you’ve been initiated, but I enjoy learning, and fellow geeks will probably understand that I did it for fun as well as knowledge!

Finally, you might consider renewing your attunement. While the attunement you received during class never wears off or goes bad or gets stale, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have another. It’s rather like jumpstarting a car! If you feel the need for a powerful intervention, this is the way to go. I offer refresher attunements as a stand-alone service that could also be combined with a treatment for a super-relaxing double feature. Since Reiki isn’t limited by time or space, this can be done remotely or virtually, depending on your preference.

You have many options! I’d suggest starting with a self-treatment using the hand positions to lay the groundwork for establishing a habit of providing Reiki for yourself daily. Even ten minutes makes a big difference when done consistently. Then if you still find yourself wanting more, consider a treatment, class, or refresher attunement. There’s no shame in getting support from the professionals. That’s what we’re here for!

Reiki Principles as a Template for Living Happily

During a recent guided meditation, the facilitator shared the 5 Reiki Principles for us to contemplate. I realized that they are universal guidelines for all people, practitioners and non-practitioners alike, who desire to cultivate more happiness, peace, and wellness.

I especially like the version that she shared. While we have access to the original material written by Usui Sensei, the founder of the Reiki system of healing that is most widely known today, translations vary greatly. I’m guessing it’s not easy to transform Japanese, a complex and highly nuanced language, into meaningful text while accounting for vast cultural differences and the passing of 100 years!

In case you’re interested in being more happy, peaceful, and well, I’ll share the principles here.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.

I so appreciate the simplicity of committing “just for today”. That seems very doable! Tomorrow you can go back to being angry or worrying if you want, but I suspect that the benefits you reap might convince you otherwise!

Notice the first line says that I will not “be” angry. In my mind, there is a difference between “getting” angry, and allowing the emotion to flow and dissipate, and “being” angry, as in stuck or attached to it. I might suggest “I will not hold on to anger” as an alternative if that seems useful.

How in the world can we not worry? Perhaps it’s easier if we define worry as obsessively thinking about things we cannot control. It’s not helpful! Nor healthy. And very different from paying attention to what’s going on, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself, and making plans for things you are unable to affect now, but might in the future. If you can’t exert any influence over it, dwelling and wallowing will only weaken your life-force energy and subsequently, your immune system.

I want to point out that “work” here refers to any activity that you offer in your home or community that benefits yourself or any other. It need not be a paying job, but that is included as well. Whatever you’re doing, make a choice to do your best and be honest- especially with yourself.

Giving thanks for blessings is a wonderful practice for connecting to Spirit and attracting more things for which you can be grateful. Our brains developed over the millennia to notice problems as a way of surviving. Even though we’re no longer in danger of becoming lunch for a saber-toothed tiger, our default thinking is still negatively biased. Rick Hanson, meditation teacher and neuropsychologist says, “The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones.” We have to make an effort to be aware of the blessings but it gets easier with practice.

As the facilitator read the final line about being kind to neighbors, mine were hammering on our shared wall. How curious! It reminded me that there are consequences to thoughts as well as actions, and putting out annoyed vibes is not an act of kindness. It was a lovely opportunity to exchange irritation for acceptance, and remember that I am also sometimes noisy. The neighbors probably don’t love it when I turn up disco music while bouncing on my rebounder!

While these words were written a long time ago in an immensely different world, there is much wisdom that can be gleaned from them. Even if you have no interest in learning Reiki, you can still benefit from contemplating how and why you might apply these principles in your daily life. Each and every effort will bring its own rewards in the form of greater happiness, peace, and wellness.

How Can I Convince Someone That Reiki is Legit?

Sometimes my students are troubled to learn that a friend or family member scoffs at Reiki. They want to know how to convince their boyfriends, sisters, parents, etc. that Reiki is a powerful and effective therapy. As the students gain experience and see their own lives improving drastically, they become more and more eager to share it with others.

This is completely understandable. It’s only natural to want our loved ones to enjoy the same benefits (risk free, I might add!) that we do. Yet many individuals are skeptical of energywork as they can’t see it with their eyes, and often can’t feel it.  Of course, we practitioners know that just because energy isn’t seen or felt doesn’t mean it isn’t working; just that we haven’t yet become sensitive enough to notice it.

So how do we convince folks that Reiki is legit?

We don’t.

I know; that’s a disappointing answer! I’m tempted to say I’m sorry, only I recently vowed to be very discerning with my apologies.

I gave up all persuasive attempts a long time ago. Many of my massage clients get a glazed look in their eyes when I mention Reiki. My biological family just isn’t into it. I can get two sentences deep into any conversation before the topic is abruptly changed. Some friends have stopped bringing up anything health-related in my presence to avoid my Reiki campaigns. This doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped talking about it, but I don’t waste my breath trying to convince anyone. (I will, however, talk the ear off of someone who is curious and open-minded!)

Instead, I’ve cultivated a Reiki family. People who actually desire to talk about All Things Reiki. One day we will resume meeting in person, but for now there are frequent check-ins and occasional video gatherings. The more time I spend with my Reiki peeps, the less I care about proving the effectiveness of this extraordinary modality to anyone determined to deny its very existence.

I recommend letting go of the desire to validate Reiki’s worthiness. I do have a few suggestions that might help bridge the gap though.

You might find it useful to apply Reiki to your intention to be seen, heard, and understood. These are all valid, universal human needs and worth pursuing. It won’t necessarily affect the specific relationship that you’re wishing to shift, but you might find it reveals something better. Something you never even knew was possible until it appears.

You can also Reiki your communication skills. My teacher shared with me a short prayer that has been invaluable over the years. “Give me the right words, the right tone, and the right expression so that I may be heard.” I’ve applied Reiki to my throat chakra in combination with this prayer when preparing for challenging conversations. Sometimes finding the appropriate vocabulary can make all the difference. I use different lingo to speak to medical professionals than I do to spiritual seekers.

Also, you can Reiki your attachment to wanting to convince someone. You’ll find greater peace in letting it go. Not what you wanted to hear, I imagine, but nonetheless the truth. Your value as a practitioner and the value of the Reiki you offer is in no way limited by the regard, or lack thereof, from anyone else. Once you get clear on that internally, you’ll have an easier time accepting the skeptics as they are. Surrendering the need to change others might actually be the proof you seek!

Going with the (Snow) Flow, Part 2

Earlier in the week I posted about my emotional rollercoaster ride regarding the delivery of my eagerly awaited BioMat.

Rather than freaking out about the delay due to our most recent snowstorm, I chose to use Reiki to optimize my situation. So when the notification finally turned up announcing the updated ETA on the (seemingly) worst possible day, I continued to not freak out.

This level of trust in divine timing and surrender to the flow has taken years of practice and continuous application of Reiki for myself, my well-being, and all sorts of experiences. If you ask any of my Reiki students, they can attest to my devotion to using Reiki for pretty much everything! “Did you Reiki it?” is my standard response to any complaint. Be it housing, health, finances, exams, upset pets or misbehaving gadgets, Reiki helps us get in synch with the rhythms of nature and maximize our capacity to accept whatever circumstances arise and take guided action.

So much easier than struggling against bureaucracy and trying to get a supervisor on the phone to make special arrangements!

I generously distributed Reiki to the delivery, despite it being scheduled for today, the busiest day of my week. The one and only day my roommate (who generally works from home and might have been able to accept delivery in between meetings or during lunch) had an appointment downtown and was out of the house all day.

I had a break in between sessions this afternoon and did the only thing I possibly could to boost my chances of signing for my package. I went home as soon and as quickly as I could, prepared to spend the 37 minutes I had free waiting hopefully. I had barely sat down with a cuppa tea when I heard the truck outside!

That’s right! My package arrived in the very narrow window in which I was available!! In fact, I’m sitting on it right now as I type, treating my lower back to some healing heat. Once again, I’m amazed at the power of Reiki to bring me into alignment with my highest good in ways I never could have imagined. Thank you, thank you, thank you Reiki!

Going with the Snow Flow

     

Here in Philadelphia, we just had our third significant snowfall in as many weeks. It makes for a lot of rescheduling clients so they don’t drive home after a relaxing treatment on icy roads. And it’s also provided several unexpected free days. Kinda like snow days as a kid, and loads of time to spend with my beloved books. In short, the weather has been wreaking havoc on my schedule and I’m doing a pretty good job of rolling with it.

I especially enjoy my hikes as the woods are incredibly peaceful.

Until yesterday.

I’m expecting a delivery that has been delayed and have no idea how long. No big deal usually, but I need to sign for this one. When I ordered my BioMat weeks ago, I began sending Reiki to its travels all the way from Hawaii. Obviously there are lots of complications these days for such a lengthy journey, and snow is only one of them. So I turned to Reiki, and have been intending for safe and timely transport.

Last week when I learned that it was scheduled to arrive today, I was elated. At that time, I had no appointments booked and simply blocked out my calendar so I could hang out at home listening for the doorbell. Reiki at its finest! Admittedly, I was a little bit smug about my success.

Then the storm yesterday resulted in a notice that the package has been delayed, but no information as of yet as to how long it’s delayed. Curses! The rest of the week is rather full due to keeping today’s schedule vacant and all the moving clients around because of the weather.

Again, not usually a big deal, even as a dedicated pedestrian. The pick-up store is walkable. But this package is 18 pounds! Too heavy to carry, even to the nearest bus stop. Too difficult to schlep with a shopping cart as crossing every intersection on foot means climbing over a frozen slush bank created by the plows. The likelihood of finding a friend available to give me a lift in the middle of my now-full rest of the week is slim and Lyft and Uber seem rather unappealing these days.

From this perspective, it’s rather a downer. Somehow I’d forgotten about the magic of Reiki! As if the flow of life-force energy is unable to navigate a snowstorm? Puh-lease! I’m grateful I only lost a few moments of my precious life worrying about this triviality before I turned it back over to the ease and grace available when I’m connected to the flow of Reiki.

So, I still have no idea when the package is coming. I’m continuously releasing my attachment to having it arrive today as planned (after all, I’m really, really eager to experience the BioMat!) and releasing my attachment to knowing when it’s supposedly coming so I can make a plan. Instead, I’m placing my trust in Divine Timing and an intelligent and benevolent Universe.

It will get here when it gets here, and I’m certain that its arrival will be perfect in ways I can’t possibly know just yet.

That’s so Reiki!

Many of my students have started using the word “Reiki” as an adjective. While technically it’s a noun (commonly translated from Japanese as “spiritually guided life-force energy”), I’ve used it for years as a verb. “Did you Reiki it?”, is my standard reply to each and every complaint or concern uttered by a practitioner. The adjective form was completely new to me, and a brilliant revelation!

One of the greatest rewards of being a Reiki teacher is learning from my students. 🙂 Frequently they have insights and ideas that change my perspective or open doors I never even knew existed. While my supposedly smart phone hasn’t been able to learn the word Reiki despite constant correction (seriously what is Ricci and why does it think it’s a word in my vocabulary?), people who are drawn to study Reiki are much more creative and adaptable.

“That’s so Reiki” developed in response to a discussion about the seemingly bizarre and inexplicable results and synchronicities that appear when we apply this healing energy consistently. When someone notices tingling or pulsing sensations at the time when a practitioner is sending them long-distance Reiki without being aware of the exact time of the transmission, that’s so Reiki! When the universe conspires to bring me the precise set of circumstances that puts me in the right place at the right time to meet the person who has the answers I need, that’s also very Reiki.

In the beginning it’s common to describe these results as “weird” or “impossible”, but as we continue to practice Reiki, we quickly learn that its effects are powerful yet gentle, all encompassing and somewhat miraculous. When we move beyond the ego’s desire to label and analyze these effects, it becomes easy to see that while I may not grasp the big picture, Reiki does. While I may not know what’s best for me, Reiki’s innate intelligence can deliver what I didn’t even know that I needed.

When we begin to trust in the spiritually guided aspect of Reiki, we can allow ourselves to relax into the seemingly mysterious results. Rather than trying to describe the indescribable nature of healing, we can simply accept that it’s just so Reiki.

Following the Breadcrumbs

Some days I feel like I’m living in a modern day fairy tale. Today is one of those days. As per usual, it began with something going wrong. Or so I thought.

I was unable to open a document that needed revisions. An update was required and then my laptop needing restarting. Of course, that took forever. I’m sure you’ve been there!

I finally gave up and decided to go for a walk. Along the way, a cat rushed up to me from out of nowhere and then starting weaving slowly back and forth in front of me on the sidewalk. It felt like I was being herded! I declined to follow as it turned toward a house, assuming the human who lived there wouldn’t welcome my unexpected arrival. Your cat sent me? Nah. I kept going. But my spidey-senses were tingling and I was now hyper-alert.

Once I entered the woods, I could see people on the trail ahead of me. I caught up to them almost immediately as my legs are long and my stride energetic. To avoid lurking behind them or trying to pass, I took a different route than planned. About 10 minutes later, I blundered around a bend to find a buck with impressive antlers eyeing me warily.

Pausing to drink in the beauty of this moment, I saw he had a friend. Friends, actually, and maybe a consort. And, oh, there’s a fawn. Six of them in total. Not a big deal in the woods of Pennsylvania, but keep in mind I’m within the city limits of Philadelphia, the sixth largest city in the US, and about 100 yards away from a very busy road.

I stood there awestruck for many minutes. I’d still be there now, but it’s obvious my presence made them uneasy, so I continued on my journey, causing them to scatter, luckily away from the road. As I resumed my brisk pace, I remembered how a similar series of fortunate events put me on the path of a kindred soul in another part of the vast park system a few weeks ago.

The pure magic of this encounter elevated me out of a snit I had been nursing. Suddenly it was easy for me to let go of a hurt that had been unintentionally delivered and my mood improved greatly. Earlier in the day I had asked Reiki to help me heal this wound. I believe this allowed me to receive divine guidance, which led me to exactly what I needed despite my best efforts to stick to an inferior plan.

I then remembered how just yesterday I was thinking that it had been ages since I’d seen any wild critters bigger than a squirrel, and made a request to Mother Nature to send me some visitors. Those simple intentions for healing and wildlife viewing combined with my willingness to be rerouted by following the breadcrumbs led me to have an uplifting spiritual experience.

What a blessing! The more I pay attention to and allow myself to be guided by mystical nudges and my heart’s longing, I find myself in the right place at the right time. So when the urge to share this joyful episode on my blog arose, I brought myself straight to my now-restarted computer and started typing.

I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Reiki and Bladder Issues

Recently someone asked me how Reiki could help his bladder issues. He didn’t elaborate on exactly what the “issues” are, but it doesn’t particularly matter. Reiki works with bladder issues much the same way it works with anxiety and sprained ankles and pneumonia: holistically. As I’ve heard several other bladder complaints since then, I thought it might be helpful to share my perspective here.

Reiki support is multi-layered: lowering stress (which halts energy from being needlessly diverted to the same physiological response experienced when facing a bear in the woods), bathing the body in life-force energy (which can be used for recharging and healing), and supporting emotional balance (which helps prevent future stress and further accumulation of stuck or stored emotions). I believe the body knows how to heal itself; but injuries, false beliefs, destructive habits, trauma and stress block the innate flow of energy. Reiki helps re-establish that flow.

Louise Hay, who I affectionately refer to as the Queen of Affirmations, writes about bladder problems in her little blue book, Heal Your Body, the Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them. She lists probable causes as “Anxiety. Holding on to old ideas. Fear of letting go. Being pissed off.”

She also provides a new thought pattern with a prescription to repeat it frequently until relief emerges. “I comfortably and easily release the old and welcome the new in my life.”

In my personal experience and in working with thousands of clients over the years, it’s clear that affirmations are helpful in reprogramming thought patterns. They help us notice when we slip into a harmful mental loop and bring awareness to our emotional state and our power to intentionally shift it.

However, many of the deeper programs running in the subconscious seem to be immune to such efforts. When the fight-flight-freeze mechanism gets triggered, there are no magical words that will deactivate it. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it only occurred occasionally. However in today’s hectic world, it’s quite common to experience chronic levels of stress that keep the body locked in a state of being constantly on the defense against bears.

This is where Reiki comes in. By stimulating the relaxation response in order to reset the nervous system, it’s possible to move more quickly out of fight-flight-freeze reactions. When we’re able to recognize that in reality we really are safe and that the traffic or deadline (or whatever activated the warning bells) has awakened a primal physiological response that is a huge overreaction.

When the brain is no longer on hyperalert and signaling the body to prepare for imminent danger, calm is once again accessible and from here, it’s possible to resume positive thinking. Combined with compassion and the awareness of the sensations the body provides as indicators of well-being or the lack thereof, we now have a recipe for deep and lasting transformation.

It’s possible to build up resilience against chronic stress by receiving routine Reiki treatments, practicing mindfulness and other stress management techniques, and using affirmations to rewrite the default scripts that play in the mind. If you feel the need for a more powerful intervention, a beginner’s Reiki class will enable you to access this seemingly magical healing energy wherever and whenever you need it. While there are no guarantees when it comes to healing, it never hurts to explore natural and holistic remedies that give you access to the best possible health that is available to you in each moment.

Contact me if you’re interested in receiving a remote treatment from the comfort and safety of your home or to learn how to treat yourself. I’d be delighted to discuss the possibilities with you.

Reiki for the Election, the Follow Up

You might have heard about the recent US presidential election. 😉 And that Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular, were spotlighted while the country waited for the results. It felt like we were in one big pressure cooker!

This post isn’t about politics per se, but about the spirit of community and how taking action in ways that align with values can feel empowering. That spirituality and everyday life need not be compartmentalized, but can be integrated for greater purpose and well-being.

You might have also heard that Philadelphia’s mail-in ballot count was highly contentious! The media mentioned it once or twice. 😉

Here’s the insider scoop. This year, Pennsylvanians were allowed to register to vote by mail without needing to provide a reason such as poor health or travel. Unsure of the course of the pandemic and utterly devoted to democracy, many of us did so. After hints of the postal service not being able to handle the volume of this unprecedented event, many made a plan to hand them over directly at official drop-off points.

Well in advance of election day, two of my friends and I donned our masks, and walked to the neighborhood location. We were surprised to see a line of people waiting to vote early at the polls as well as a steady stream of folks dropping off their mail-in ballots.

It was AWESOME!!!

Reports from other neighborhoods and on other days made it clear that this was the norm. Signs continued to pop up all over the place, encouraging people to VOTE, make a plan to VOTE, to reach out to all our contacts and encourage them to VOTE. The neighborhood was already plastered with “Hate has no home here”, “Black Lives Matter”, and “Biden/Harris” signs, so it was pretty crowded out there.

The community as a whole was enthused and engaged in a way I’ve never seen. One of my clients told me that she and her husband were so committed to voting in person on election day that they bought hazmat suits. As people of color, they felt strongly about their votes being counted.

I continue to get teary when I recall the collective fierce determination that was so heartening it was palpable.

What’s this got to do with Reiki? Fair question! Back in September, some of my students and I offered Reiki with the intention for justice to prevail during the entire election process. You can read about that here. We were excited to be able to contribute our efforts to creating a more harmonious and equitable future for our country.

No, Reiki did not win the election for the Democratic party. The people had already made their choice overwhelming clear. You could not have visited this city without knowing which way the cards would fall. Reiki couldn’t have overridden the obvious choice of the vast majority, but I do believe it supported the process of counting those ballots.

I don’t know why, but state law says mail-in ballots could not begin to be counted until election day itself. There were HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of them! It took days to count them all, as you probably know. The whole world was watching us.

It was INTENSE!

And Reiki was helping to hold the space, ensuring that every vote was counted. Now I’m certainly not claiming credit for turning the tide of the election. I know other spiritual groups were actively engaged in flooding the election, the country, and the swing states with white light to support the highest good of all. Grassroots campaigns had been laboring industriously for months and it would be impossible to list everyone who made great strides behind the scenes. It was most definitely a collaborative effort.

Holding the vision for justice, peace, equality and harmony helped each of us to be doing something proactive while so many were feeling utterly helpless. I can think of nothing more just that ensuring that every vote was counted. Which is exactly what happened.

When the results were finally reported, it triggered hooting and hollering and corks popping on my quiet little block and a massive dance party in the streets downtown. Relief flooded through my body like a wave.

We have a lot more work to do to see the changes through, but we all rest a bit easier here in the City of Brotherly Love. Won’t you consider joining us in whatever way you can to to keep the scales of justice moving towards balance?

Reiki for the Election

Last night in my Reiki Master Teacher certification class, we had a lively discussion about how to offer Reiki to the upcoming election. This was the final class in a 6 month program that just happened to coincide with unprecedented global turmoil. These students have had an education in how to manage stress and build resilience that I never could have offered without the challenges presented by such intense external circumstances.

Reiki people have a great advantage during crises as we have access to healing energy at our very fingertips. Yet we were all feeling some level of distress, dismay, and overwhelm about the climate in this country that recently reached an all-new low. I wanted to explore how we could take action and restore a sense of empowerment and peace internally and expand it outwards.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

So what does “Reiki’ing the election” do? For starters, it’s not a substitute for voting or any other civil responsibilities you are inspired to take. It’s also not a guarantee that your candidate will win. Reiki works for the highest good of ALL, and while those of us present last night were in agreement of what we thought that should be, we really don’t have access to the full picture.

As with using Reiki for any goal, we came to an agreement that we needed to release attachment to the outcome.

What constitutes the highest good of all is information beyond our clearance level.

That’s a job for a higher power.

Our conversation led us to a list of core principles that we chose to focus on; the contribution we wish to make to the foundation of the country’s future. It was an animated conversation and amazing to watch as they became inspired to participate politically, but on an entirely different plane.

These are the ingredients we added to our Future of America Soup. We did a short practice, intending for these ideals to become inviolate for all inhabitants of this country. The image that came to me was a crop duster, spraying the essence of these ideals from coast to coast.

Truth

Justice

Peace

Courage

Awakening

Unity

Integrity

Liberty

Please won’t you join us? Reiki is fueled by intention. If you haven’t been trained in Reiki, you can still participate by visualizing the future you’d like to experience and sending loving energy from your heart. If you have been attuned, simply add your Reiki intention and any symbols you have.

You don’t need to choose between involvement and serenity. This is one way you can have both. And incredible soul medicine as well!