Happy Solstice!!!

OOPS! I didn’t publish this yesterday, December 21, which was actually the solstice. Oh well, close enough. 🙂

A significant turning point in the cycle of the year, today is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. That means tonight is the longest night and that tomorrow night will be slightly shorter. The days will become increasingly longer.

It’s a great time of year to turn inward. Our western society does a tremendous job of compelling the exact opposite, but if you tune in to the rhythms of nature, you can sense the pause. The pause is where clarity arises. It’s my goal to use this time of the year to slow down and allow inner wisdom to guide me. Before I begin investing my time and energy in the new year, it really helps to have a grounded and embodied sense of where I actually want to go rather than just continuing on the same trajectory I’ve been following.

My plans for today include venturing out into the cold quiet of the winter woods to refresh my life-force energy and spending some time in community. It’s lovely to be with other folks who are doing the inner work of exploring and releasing the old patterns that are no longer beneficial. I’ll give myself some time to integrate the results before setting my intentions for the new year, at an online event you’re most welcome to attend.

Whatever you do today, or on the days surrounding the solstice, I wish you peace, clarity, and acceptance. This may not be your preferred season, but isn’t it beautiful in its own way, nonetheless? We haven’t yet had any snow to speak of here in Philadelphia, but I think this photo from my last adventure in the woods conveys the spirit of Pennsylvania in winter.

Seasons greetings, friends. Take good care of yourselves.

Happy Equinox!

I find it so fascinating that this home of ours, a hunk of rock spinning around a fiery ball in vast space, manages to predictably provide us with times of equal light and darkness twice per year. 

Impressive, right?! 

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today is the autumn equinox. Hooray! Personally, I’m happy to say goodbye to heat and humidity. Equally as wonderful, we will soon have the best display of colorful leaves here in Pennsylvania. And then they fall to the earth to decay and eventually provide support for spring’s glorious eruption of green. Which is what is happening in the southern hemisphere, where they celebrate the spring equinox today. 

This turning point of the seasons is an invitation to align with nature and bring more balance into our own lives. It could be something as simple as a breathing practice. Alternate nostril breathing brings our right and left sides (brain and body) into balance. “Square” breathing equalizes every inhale and exhale. 

It’s also helpful to consider our current imbalances when choosing strategies. If I’m feeling anxious, slightly extending my exhales could help calm me down. A slight emphasis on the inhales could pick me up when energy is low. Knowing where you are relative to where you’d like to be can inform your decisions. Putting on another sweater isn’t going to help if you’re already too warm. 

Photo by Shiva Smyth on Pexels.com

Today we experience equal lengths of day and night in the macrocosm. How can you take advantage of these cosmic energies to cultivate more balance in your microcosm? It could be time to release something that no longer serves yourself or the community or commit to something that has been twinkling in the back of your mind for some time. It could be as simple as removing some clutter or cleaning the windows so that you can think or see more clearly. 

Chances are that you’re the only one who truly knows what action (or inaction!)  will support your unique equilibrium. Take a few moments today to turn inward and inquire. “How does it get better than this?” is a great prompt if you want some help getting started.

If you have Reiki superpowers, turn on the juice during your contemplation and goal setting. It will help your thoughts and actions to align with flow of nature and your greatest good. If you don’t yet have Reiki superpowers, but would like to, learning is easy in fun. I’m teaching a beginners course in October.

Book Recommendations for Sanity during a Global Crisis

I’ve had a bit of extra time the last several months to indulge in one of my all-time favorite pleasures. Books! I’m dropping the titles of a few that have been significantly meaningful below. Please consider shopping at your local bookstore, perhaps Big Blue Marble if you’re in Mt. Airy. They need your support much more so than the richest man on the planet.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’d rather spend my time reading them than writing about them, but I will say that these gems have provided me with tools that have contributed greatly to my mental and emotional wellness at a time when the world seems very opposed to such things. Taking a break from the news and social media to attend to your inner landscape can be remarkably empowering.

  • Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Rick Hanson, PhD
  • Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender, Tosha Silver
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael Singer
  • The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Julia Cameron
  • If Women Rose Rooted: A Journey to Authenticity and Belonging, Sharon Blackie
  • The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imagination, Robert Moss
  • Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko- pa Turner

Reiki and Spiritual Guidance

Back pain and anxiety drew me to Reiki many years ago. I was hooked from the very beginning! Little did I know that seeking respite from these difficulties would set me on a spiritual path that would change my life’s trajectory. Consistent self-treatment supplemented by assistance from colleagues provided relief and a surprising twist.

I became curious about the “whys” and well as the “hows” when symptoms emerged, and I fell down an unexpected rabbit hole. It became obvious that my discomfort was often a sign that my head and heart were misaligned. Rather than simply chasing away the aches and pains, I dug deeper and began exploring the underlying imbalances.

Reiki helped me to become present and tune in to my body. As I made time every day to heal myself, patterns began to emerge. I eventually realized that my lower back would ache when I was feeling unsupported and anxiety would soon follow. I began setting an intention to heal the root cause of these unpleasant symptoms.

Consistent treatment helped me to see that the discomfort was actually my soul alerting me that I was ignoring my purpose for this lifetime; a calling that was uniquely mine, that mattered to both my personal evolution and to the world at large. This awakening led me to appreciate the pain, both physical and emotional, as cues to activate my intuition and open to guidance.

Soon I began to understand that I was tremendously supported in ways that matter deeply to my soul’s mission, but not at all in the interests that distracted me from it! I was not supported in the quest for status or the pursuit of dysfunctional relationships. When I became attached to a goal that was misaligned with my calling and overrode the messages that I was off track, eventually pain would step in, forcing me to rest and reflect.

During these mandatory pauses, it became so clear that I was being redirected! As I chose to honor my body and my emotions, a new path emerged. I committed to taking inspired action rather than blindly plowing through obstacles and I developed a sense of trust that Spirit was always guiding me. The more I listened, the clearer the signals became.

I rarely need an intervention as drastic as a panic attack or acute lumbar distress these days. As I invest in my health and spiritual awakening through my daily Reiki practice, it’s become clear that I am uniquely situated to offer a specific type of medicine to my clients and community due to my experiences and personal constitution. Reiki is the remedy that opened me to spiritual guidance and is now the remedy I have to share with others.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than guiding students and clients on their soul’s path. If you’re interested in tapping into your inner wisdom and opening to spiritual guidance, Reiki can help you as well. You don’t need any special skills or experience to receive a treatment or sign up for a beginning class. Fortunately for us all, you can do both from the comfort and safety of your own home.

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.

Map for Self-Healing

Holistic health is a journey with numerous twists and turns. For many of us it includes finding body-mind-spirit balance in a world that idolizes the mind, abuses the body, and ignores the spirit. As I choose to cultivate wellness more and more frequently, I am rewarded with greater physical comfort, more peace and calm, enhanced productivity, and a deeper sense of connection with my true self and life purpose. This encourages me to forge onward, despite a glaring lack of support from society at large.

So… I did a Reiki healing attunement for myself the other evening. This is a technique for removing blockages which prevent the arrival of desired goals. It’s very powerful, and sometimes disruptive as it can demand changes in belief systems and lifestyle to support the healing intention. It’s very much about re-establishing balance; therefore we need to eliminate the activities that create imbalance. All. Of. Them. (Chances are you already know what they are!)

I asked to release a pattern that has plagued me my entire adult life. Afterwards, I was gifted with a series of dreams that displayed in brilliant array the negative thought patterns that prevent me from receiving my petition. I am now abundantly clear that I’ve been given a road map: If I want to go to Point X, I must relinquish these false beliefs that derail me, and I’ll make better time if I stop wasting my energy on judgments and criticisms. All. Of. Them!

golden tool on white brown and black map
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now it’s up to me to follow through. It’s no easy job to recognize that your own thoughts are what obstruct you from going where you want to go! And certainly no easier to break mental habits that have developed over decades. But it’s the route to my success, so you’d better believe I’m going to give it my all!

The work to be done is entirely internal. There is no book, no class, no pill (herbal or pharmaceutical!), no therapy, no alternative treatment or practitioner, no exercise that can do this for me. I’ve been given a road map to my personal healing, and now it’s up to me to reprogram my mind with compassion, persistence, and awareness. Then I can get started on my journey with a new, accurate guidance system. Onward!

Contact me if you’re interested in your own personal healing map. Reiki can help you navigate it.

Can You Use Reiki for …

I love it when my students and clients ask questions I’d never before considered! Most recently I was stumped by, “Can you use Reiki to have a good hair day?” As my approach to Reiki has always been experimental, I generally reply to these inquiries with “I’m not sure. I don’t see why not. Give it a try and let me know!”

I teach three general guidelines about practicing Reiki.

  • Use Reiki for everything, all the time! No book or course could come close to covering the myriad applications of Reiki; hence my experimental approach. Students have reported success when Reiki’ing all sorts of things I never taught them: windshield wiper blades and goldfish, for example!
  • Don’t attempt to interfere with anyone’s free will.  When we learn this amazing healing technique, it’s tempting to want to help friends and family, but often they are not interested in receiving our help. Free will always takes precedence over well-meaning interference.
  • Reiki always works for our highest good, but not always in the way we want it to work. Just like every process in life, we benefit from trusting in divine wisdom and  remaining unattached to the form of the outcome.

Let’s look at how we can apply these guidelines to a “Can you use Reiki…” question.

If you’re not attempting to manipulate someone’s opinion or behavior, I’d suggest giving it a try. This holds true for Reiki for good hair as much as it does for Reiki for healing mysterious illnesses or relationship harmony or world peace. It’s a universal guideline that can be consulted for any situation.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of this analysis is that Reiki always works for the highest good. Often we don’t see the big picture and therefore remain ignorant of what our highest good is. In this case, it could mean that the hair-holder’s (pun intended 😉 intuition would be heightened and the perfect stylist, technique, or product would be revealed. It could mean that greater self-love, -acceptance, and -appreciate begin to develop, making concerns of good hair days less important. It could mean an actual hair crisis that would lead to meeting a person of consequence or a significant learning experience.

If we remember that an intelligence greater than us has our best interest at heart, it’s much easier to Reiki our goals and release expectation. If we remember that we don’t always know what’s best for ourselves, let alone anyone else, it’s easier to let go of trying to manage another’s health and well-being. When we remember the Reiki is a spiritually guided life-force energy, it’s easier to see how it can support us in enjoying our greatest good in every aspect of life.



Healer, Heal Thyself Part 1

So. I injured my knee. Much of the time it doesn’t hurt at all. Until it does. And sometimes it really freakin’ does! My chiropractor did an orthopedic test (specific movements with joints held in specific positions) and it appears I have a torn meniscus. Crap. Although… it is a wonderful opportunity to practice what I preach about self-care and alternative medicine.

Let me begin by saying I’m not a doctor. I’m not offering medical advice. I have no idea what you should do about your knee injury. I’m certainly not suggesting you shouldn’t seek medical attention simply because I’m not. However, you might like to include some complementary methods with whatever treatment you are receiving. Legal disclaimer over.

I’m exploring a wide range of holistic techniques to heal my knee. I’m quite certain that the problem is not the lack of a pharmaceutical drug, and surgery or other invasive procedures will only be considered if all other, and I mean ALL other, plans fail.

I believe in the power of body-mind-spirit healing, and listening to the messages the body provides.

I believe in the healing power of Reiki, bodywork, and compassionate touch.

I believe in using plants and food as medicine.

I believe that minimizing stress and inflammation supports optimal health and healing.

I believe in using mindfulness and breath as tools of integration.

I believe in the ancient sciences of yoga and Ayurveda.

I believe healing comes from the inside out and that my body knows what it needs if I only slow down enough to listen.

I believe I am the ultimate authority when it comes to my health, and while I will research techniques and therapies and consult with other holistic health practitioners, my treatment must align with my beliefs.

This is the beginning of a series in which I explore the journey of healing my knee using holistic, energy, plant, and spiritual medicine. And a magnetic knee brace, which I was gifted today. Because I also believe in synchronicity and kindness and hey, it certainly can’t hurt!

Up next: body-mind-spirit healing for a meniscus tear.


Spiritual Healing

I’ve been confused by the expression “spiritual healing” for some time now. At first I thought it meant to heal one’s spirit. But over the past few years of spiritual exploration and practice, I’ve come to recognize that spirit can never be damaged or broken. It remains as it was created: perfect, whole, and complete. No healing needed. Ever!

Well then, what the heck is spiritual healing if not healing of the spirit?

I now realize that spiritual healing is about reconnecting with spirit and reclaiming our essential nature of wholeness, worthiness, and innocence. It’s about remembering that we are one with spirit, life, love, the universe, the divine; whatever words you use to describe the eternal source of all that is. Spiritual healing is about removing the blockages that prevent us from experiencing ourselves as spiritual beings.

The blockages come from traumatic experiences, cultural conditioning, and ancestral beliefs; as well as unprocessed feelings of shame, fear, anger, and sadness. They get installed every time we shut down a part of ourselves to escape or prevent pain or to please others. They are absorbed from a society that promotes superficial values. They are presented in messages about not being good enough; being too needed, too sensitive, too whatever; or having too much or too little of some arbitrary trait that the media currently idolizes or abhors.

The blockages arise from not having basic needs met and not knowing how to handle the resulting pain; and the subsequent use of self-medicating behaviors or substances; and the emerging shame, guilt, humiliation, or despair experienced from falling into this destructive pattern yet again. This is a vicious cycle that contributes to separation from spirit almost as much as experiencing violence, neglect, or abuse.

The blockages are ubiquitous. We all have them to varying degrees.

And yet we all have access to the underlying perfection of spirit that is waiting patiently to be unveiled. This is the gift that spiritual healing provides. Reiki is one of the many paths that can lead us on this journey back to our True Selves, our essential natures, our invincible spirits. It’s a journey of remembering who we really are by allowing healing life-force energy to remove all that we are not.


Tapping into the Power of Effective Motivation

I’m been mesmerized by a teaching of Christopher Wallis. According to his website, he teaches meditation, yoga and Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling.  He teaches about practicing from a three pronged “effective motivation”, called “pure motivation” in Buddhist teachings. My spiritual, massage and Reiki practices are being  transformed by adjusting my primary intention to one of effective motivation.

The first piece is to practice out of love for myself, rather than trying to fix the (seemingly) broken pieces. From a spiritual viewpoint, I’m not broken and don’t need fixing, and any motivation from this flawed perspective would be ineffective. Instead, when I’m motivated to uncover my essential nature of wholeness and holiness, I’m tapping into the power of effective motivation. Very powerful stuff!

May I practice out of love for myself.

Second, he cautions about chasing bliss at the expense of what is real. He offers the adjustment of practicing in order to know the Truth. (I use a capital T to signify universal and eternal Truth vs. subjective or temporary truths.) This allows me to experience the sadness, anger, shame, or fear that could be covering my True Self, and to allow for deep healing rather than simple pleasure seeking. He suggests that a greater level of joy is eventually accessible when we chose to honor what is True.

May I practice from a desire to know the Truth.

And finally, rather than seeking special powers (psychic powers or the ability to manifest desires of the ego) or manipulative power over others, he proposes that I practice in order to benefit all beings, myself included. Asking Life, “what do you want to do through me?” instead of making demands of what I think I want (P.S. I’m almost always wrong about what I think I want!) is a more effective motivation, and a simple way to tap into universal life-force energy.

May I practice for the benefit of all beings. 

This simple, yet powerful intention is shifting my practice in a fundamental way that feels like it will have profound results over time. Already I’m experiencing more groundedness, connection, and peacefulness. Which is really quite enough motivation for me to continue! Obviously I want to get the most out of all my practices, so aligning with this effective motivation appears to be an easy way to support myself.

May I practice out of love for myself, in order to know the truth, 

and for the benefit of all beings.