Intuition Chronicles: Pay Attention! Reiki Can Help.

Accessing one’s intuition is a highly desirable ability. I believe these inner nudges are the soul attempting to guide me toward the highest good. Alas, I’m not always paying attention! No doubt lots of messages are simply overlooked while I’m busy doing something terribly unimportant.

I’ve been using Reiki for years to amplify my capacity to receive and interpret the guidance that comes to me. It’s a simple practice, which makes it easier to perform consistently. All I do is state my intention to intercept and understand intuitive messages, activate Reiki and the symbols, and place one hand on my heart and the other on my belly. Sometimes I feel guided to use the traditional hand positions, sometimes I’m led to leave my hands palm up in my lap, allowing the energy to fill and saturate my aura. Some days I only have a few minutes, other days I’m able to marinate for half an hour or more. 

Other practitioners appreciate more elaborate, even ritualistic, protocols. One of the great things about Reiki is that there’s tremendous room for personalization. You can experiment and find a style that works for you. The essential ingredients are intention plus Reiki, but all sorts of garnish may be added. Anything that helps keep your focus or sparks the imagination can be of benefit. 

In addition to this simple daily self-treatment, I’ve begun asking for guidance from my dreams. Before I go to bed each night, I ask a question for which I’d like an answer. (A burst of Reiki here does wonders too!) The challenging part is capturing whatever images, characters, circumstances, or songs filter through upon waking. It’s much easier to turn over and go back to sleep! I’m getting better at recording whatever fragments I can, and interpreting them intuitively in the morning. 

Last night I asked for guidance about window coverings to prevent the upcoming summer sun from baking my apartment. I woke up around 4am (I’m working on cultivating more time-appropriate delivery, but really, who am I to question my soul’s methods?) with the words “occiput” and “clavicle” in my head. Huh? I dutifully made a note and fell back to sleep.

As you might imagine, I was unable to apply any useful interpretation of these words to my shopping dilemma. Skeletal anatomy and curtains share no symbolic connection that I can discern. However… a few hours later I was trying out a free trial period of an online exercise program, and the teacher used these exact words several times! Ding, ding, ding! It didn’t take a huge leap of faith to accept this seeming coincidence as confirmation that the program would be helpful to me. 

If I hadn’t been paying attention (and committed to the dreamwork process), I would have missed this opportunity. I’m always on the lookout for ways to keep my body happy and healthy, but it isn’t always clear what will help prevent chronic pain rather than triggering it. This unique and timely message was easy to decipher. Clearly wellness is infinitely more valuable than the window treatments! (Besides, that particular guidance will arrive with perfect timing too.)

Accessing intuition is part having an antenna extended, part willingness to slow down and pay attention, and part detective work. I guess humor and humility deserve a mention as well! Things don’t always happen according to my preferred timeline. It helps to remember that my soul has a higher perspective than my intellect. The more I practice, the easier all the steps become, and the more I am able to trust the voice within. But none of it matters if I’m not paying attention.

Intuition Chronicles: The Price of Not Following Through

Welcome to Intuition Chronicles, my records of intuitive messages received and the results of following or ignoring them. I’m sharing them here for the purpose of illustrating the practice of learning to trust intuition. Yes, for most of us it is a practice. And tracking internal nudges is one of the foundational exercises I suggest for my Reiki students who aspire to be intuitive adepts.

Me: What’s up with this fatigue that doesn’t fade no matter how much sleep I get?

Intuition: Vitamin D. (My guidance isn’t always this clear, but I often do have a sudden, inexplicable inner knowing in the form of words or phrases. The key, and reason for the journal I keep, is learning to recognize it.)

Me: Maybe I should have some tests run before I buy a supplement. (I tend to second- guess my instructions. Keeping track of the price I pay for this lack of trust helps me better recognize future messages as the blessing that they truly are.)

Two months later, a bill close to $1200 from bloodwork being carelessly sent to an out-of-network lab, one missing vial of blood that would have been tested for Lyme disease, having to read my own results in the online portal as the doctor didn’t bother to follow up, and a massive reminder of the value of listening to my intuition: I’m deficient in vitamin D. 

Me: #$^%

Intuition: 

(Fortunately intuition doesn’t gloat.) 

Two days later, after purchasing a $25 bottle of vitamin E drops at the health food store, I feel much more energized and commit to listening to my inner guidance moving forward. Again.

I’m not at all proposing that people don’t get medical treatment when it’s called for. But in this case, there would have been zero risk to buying a simple vitamin supplement and seeing if it worked its magic. Society has conditioned me to place my trust in the medical industrial complex rather than my gut. This particular episode was rather costly and therefore an excellent reminder that my soul always steers me toward my greatest good. 

When “magnesium” came up three times in two days recently, I didn’t think twice about doing my own research online about the signs of deficiency and excess, best sources, and dosages. (Stay tuned for an upcoming post about deciphering synchronicity with intuition.) No need to learn this lesson twice!

Learning to trust my inner wisdom is an invaluable resource when it comes to cultivating health and wellness. I have no doubts that my intuition will steer me toward a medical doctor if that’s ever the necessary course of action. It’s my job to keep listening and to act on the information I’m given. Ideally without expensive detours. 

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.

Don’t Skimp on the Supplements

I’m a big fan of giving the body support to help it function optimally, especially during trying times. Ideally, we’d get all the nutrition we need from choosing healthy foods, but I don’t know many people who are interested in such an endeavor. Even if you make A+ decisions and build your menus around the concept of “food as medicine” (vs. eating what is convenient or most pleasing to the taste buds), some gaps are difficult to fill.

I’m not a doctor, but have learned a lot from naturopaths and nutritionists, as well as Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine practitioners over the past two decades. I’ve discovered that the quality of supplements and the time of day they are taken can make all the difference.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking of a book on cassette (that’s an archaic form of audio recording for you youngsters!) that I listened to back in the 90’s. Dead Doctors Don’t Lie. I don’t recall how it came into my possession or much about it other than one fascinating story. A man whose job it was to empty porta-johns shared that he continuously noticed a common brand of inexpensive daily vitamins fully intact amongst the contents. Meaning that these pills passed through the digestive tract without being broken down or absorbed at all!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Ever since then I’ve made a point of purchasing top-quality supplements and learning which are best taken before, during, and after meals for optimal assimilation. What sense is there in buying cheap vitamins if your body can’t digest them? None!

While I’m not able to make specific recommendations here, I’ve found health food stores to have knowledgeable employees. The same is obviously not true about superstores or drugstores. As a general rule, it’s probably best to not buy your supplements at the same place you buy socks or gasoline. Just saying!

Better yet, find a trusted holistic health practitioner who can assist you. Even if you don’t have someone available locally, many people are doing telephone consultations these days. A high school friend who is now a physician shared that her med school training included one half-day class on nutrition. What?! Apparently that’s common. So, you might need to pay out of pocket and venture outside of your network to get advice that has merit.

Yes, all of this does take time, energy, and money. I joke around that I’m going to hire a personal assistant to hand me the pills, drops, potions, and teas at the right time of day. (Wouldn’t that be nice? And not a bad job for the right person!) As that isn’t yet in my budget, I’ve got a routine down. While I’m swishing coconut oil around in my mouth first thing in the morning (oil pulling- it’s powerful medicine!), I line up everything on the counter and set myself up for easy consumption. Now that I’ve got it figured out, it just takes a few moments here and there.

If you’re going to bother taking products for the sake of improving your health, do yourself a favor and make it worthwhile! Otherwise you might as well just drop them straight in the toilet and spare yourself the trouble.  

Refining Resolutions

Enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions begins to wane around the second week of January. I’d say that’s pretty normal, especially if the goals you’ve chosen aren’t authentically yours. It’s easy to be swayed by external so-called authority figures who proclaim to know what’s best. Yet I’m here to remind us all, myself included, that we are each our own authorities.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Perhaps your resolutions could be tweaked slightly, rather than tossed out completely. I find it helps to know my “why”, the underlying motivation that causes me to seek change. Oftentimes resolutions are strategies to achieve a why, but there are likely other avenues that could help you reach your destination. There’s no shame in changing course when you realize you’re on the wrong path!

It’s common for people to choose goals related to health this time of year. In spiritual circles, I hear people talking about going vegan and eating more kale. True confession: I’m a carnivore. Yup. I eat meat. Red meat. My body feels better when I do. I’d prefer to be a vegan, frankly, as the cost of grass-fed beef is outrageous. I’d fit in better, I suppose, if I went along with the crowd, but it wouldn’t actually serve my health. I do want to minimize my impact on the environment, so I’m committing to experiment with the minimum quantity my body needs.

Same with dairy. Holy moly, do I love cheese! Yet I’m not interested in supporting the cruel practices of factory farming, so I’m going with small family farm products, switching to goat cheese more, and replacing half and half with homemade hemp or nut milk. If I began the year pretending to be vegan, I’d be ready to throw in the towel about now. I’m glad I’ve learned to listen to the expert on me: me.

Another confession: I don’t like kale. There, I said it! And I have zero interest in eating salad in the winter. No thank you. So, I can just skip those trendy resolutions and opt to eat a variety of organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, roasted or made into fabulous stew. I’ve thrown out enough slimy kale and wilty lettuce over the years to know that it’s just not going to happen. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve my eating habits; I just need to do it my own way.

I might not like kale, but I truly loathe the gym. Ugh. Voluntarily immersing myself in an atmosphere of suffering is just not my idea of good health. Plus, I can’t turn off my knowledge of body mechanics and it distresses me to see people doing things that are likely to cause injury. Nope, not for me. I’ve recently sworn off vinyasa yoga, which is the primary style offered in my area. It’s just too fast for me. Teachers always say to go at your own pace, but they don’t mean four times as slow as the tempo they’ve set- it disrupts the flow for the whole class.

So, while I’m aware that I do need to move my body more, the most common tactics are not a good fit for me. Luckily the woods are nearby and full of steep hills. My rebounder is even closer and a great choice for intense exercise that minimizes the jarring of mature joints. I know that the stretches I benefit the most from are those that I resist because they’re uncomfortable. Yet I am grown up enough to fit them into a rotation. I don’t want to avoid things that are truly beneficial (there are LOTS of substitutes for kale, just saying…) just because I don’t enjoy them. It’s been no hardship to stick to my plan because I feel so much better already. Imagine a resolution that isn’t a constant struggle!

Here are some other aspirations I’m working towards that aren’t very popular in our consumer culture as there’s no profit to be made. In fact, these actions are nearly revolutionary as they buck the system that is always driving us to do more, work harder, and buy all the newest gizmos. I do love being a rebel, but want to make sure each decision is truly aligned with my values. Going against authority figures just for the sake of doing so is still a decision based on external factors. Feel free to borrow any of these ideas or share some of your own in the comments.

Rest more

Love and accept myself exactly as I am

Minimize screen time, including the habitual checking of my phone

Minimize multi-tasking

Maximize joy

Listen to my gut

Say no to requests that activate a sense of dread

Waste less/ make less waste

I’m wishing you a very happy 2022, and hope you find your “why”!

Coping with Ongoing Pandemic Trauma

As I was trying and failing to concentrate this morning, I realized that I was trying, and again failing, to use my willpower to override an emerging antsy-ness. I recognized the warning signs of my sympathetic nervous system activating and the need to intervene if I wanted to focus.

I have a rich and rewarding spiritual practice that nourishes me daily. My toolbox is overflowing with tools (outlined below) that support me on my wellness journey. Yoda himself would be impressed with all the tricks up my sleeve!

Yet, even with all this support, stress seeps through. Naturally empathic, I’ve learned to ground and shield myself every morning and clear my auric field each evening. Still, the collective fear of death, suffering, and loss occasionally affects me. For those who aren’t actively engaged in mitigated the psychological and physiological consequences of these strange times, the impact is even stronger.

Here’s the kicker: stress dampens the immune system. Immune systems are perhaps our most valuable resource, particularly these days. I don’t think it’s possible to avoid stress, but we can manage it and work towards minimizing its effects. Why this is not being shouted from the rooftops is a mystery to me!

I chose one of my favorite strategies to get energy flowing. Movement. Any form that is pleasurable can help. I have a particular affinity for rebounding coupled with electronic swing music.  While I was dance-bouncing, this blog post began to emerge, a good sign that concentration and creativity were back online, and my efforts were being rewarded after just a few minutes.

A Reiki chaser really cemented in a delightful state of ease and calmness. Anyone can learn Reiki in a short amount of time and gain lifetime access to infinite healing energy. I have an upcoming online class starting in a few days for anyone who wants to begin a journey of transformation.

Star of Bethlehem, a Bach flower remedy for energetic trauma, was the icing on top. I’m thrilled to have learned over the past two years that it is effective for absorbed trauma as well as the real deal. Plant medicine, including essential oils and herbal teas are a popular go-to in my house for all sorts of ailments.

I was back to my usual self in under 30 minutes.

Here’s a peak at what else resides in my toolbox, including links when possible.

Astrology. Knowing what’s happening in the cosmos and how it affects the collective and personal energies is fantastically helpful information.

Lee Harris provides super-useful energy updates every month that share pointers from the energetic realm.  

Nature. Fresh air, trees, and running water are incredibly restorative and great medicine for me and my sanity. This tree-hugger needs to get her boots muddy at least once per week.

Meditation. There are countless forms of this ancient art and something for everybody. In particular, I’ve been enjoying Mindful Self-Compassion practices lately.

Pranayama. An ancient technology for activating body-mind-spirit health. I stumbled upon this gem in yoga classes, which have been a backbone of my wellness routine for almost 30 years.

Mantra. Deva Premal and Krishna Das are a few of my favorite sacred sound vibration purveyors. Simply listening creates a shift in my consciousness. Chanting along is like dynamite for stuck patterns.

Connection with like-minded, open-hearted folks. ‘Nuff said! Even if it’s virtual, the sense of being seen and understood is a tremendous balm.

Laughter. I laugh at myself quite a bit! Sometimes my thoughts are utterly ridiculous. At least I can have some fun while choosing to think differently. Type “funny animal videos” in your search bar if you need to lighten up.

Nutrition. Many, if not most, of those hospitalized with the dreaded virus have similar nutritional deficiencies. I’m aiming to have zero factors in common with these people by using high quality supplements. It’s good to have an expert in your corner, such as a naturopath. Sadly, the medical system is severely lacking in this department.

Understanding trauma’s impact. Peter Levine’s work is relatively accessible to the layperson.

Understanding how the mind works. Rick Hanson’s classes and books are very useful. Thanks to him, I am aware that the mind is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones. Knowing this encourages me to pay extra attention to all the good in my life in order to enhance its effect on my neurochemistry.

Access to inner wisdom and spiritual guidance. Robert Moss and Sonia Choquette each have multiple books and classes that are invaluable for tapping into unseen resources.

Awareness of the power of thoughts and intentions. Louise Hay and Lynn McTaggart. (Forgive me, I’ve run out of patience for adding links! You can easily find all these wonderful people on your own.)

Teachers who have deeply influenced me include Tosha Silver, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Chameli Ardagh, Sharon Blackie, and Layla Martin. They all have an online presence for easy access.

This is hardly a comprehensive list. I do need to finish my project that got waylaid by the need to counteract the stress response. I really hope something above resonates with you and that you find some ease and calmness in your life by choosing to take action. It’s going to be a long winter, and it doesn’t hurt to have some tricks up your sleeve!

Online Reiki 1 Certification Coming in January!

Who wants to experience more wellness, wholeness, creativity, peace, love, and joy in the new year? Kick 2022 off with a bang by learning an amazing practice for self-care and self-empowerment to optimize your health and support your goals.

Reiki is an ancient healing energy that can easily be used by anyone to boost the body’s innate healing abilities, remove obstacles, and clear the way for that which you desire. Side effects include reduced stress, an improved mood, greater productivity, and access to your inner wisdom.

This online beginners’ course is for anyone interested in taking proactive steps to maximize well-being, happiness, pleasure, and tranquility. Yes, I said tranquility. It’s available, even in today’s world. I live there most of the time and would love to have more company! It does take effort, but the rewards are totally worth it.

Four Wednesday evenings, beginning January 5, from 6-8pm EST, we will gather together to begin a journey into the realm of healing. For an investment of only $225, you can have lifetime access to healing energy at your very fingertips.

Contact me to apply. No experience or mystical powers are necessary.

I’m Doing Great! And it’s Freakin’ Hard Work.

Lately I’ve been hesitant to share that I’m doing quite well when so many others are suffering greatly. I’ve concluded that it doesn’t help anyone to hide my light, nor do I wish to tell lies or half-truths. So, when someone asks with genuine interest, I don’t hold back.

I’m doing great!

Somewhere in between withholding and gloating there is a middle ground, and that’s what I’m aiming for. Most of the time I hit the mark, but I occasionally still struggle with a strange, misplaced guilt. Who am I to be experiencing such freedom, peace, and joy?

Here’s the thing. I’ve invested great amounts of effort and finances in my wellness. It hasn’t happened by default or simple luck. Every day I make choices that are often inconvenient and spectacularly unpopular.

Choices like prioritizing rest and quality nourishment. Meaning that I regularly say no when people would prefer that I said yes. That I decline invitations for drinks or meals that would not serve my highest good. That I’m unwilling to engage in conversations that are draining or toxic in nature, and that I have deactivated my Facebook account.

The most heroic endeavor, however, is allowing myself to feel all my emotions. Rather than suppressing, avoiding, or numbing, I turn towards the unpleasant reactions.Sitting in meditation when I get triggered and welcoming the totality of the feelings that arise is one of the most important commitments I’ve ever made to myself. This helps me avoid dragging yesterday’s the wounds into today’s interactions.

Protecting my energy field from debris that I might absorb from others, monitoring my thoughts and releasing those that aren’t aligned with my calling, and keeping my heart open through it all requires diligence. Sure, there are times I want to crawl into bed with a pint of ice cream and the remote control. Since I now know such behavior only delays the inevitable, it’s much less appealing.

Yes, I know the world is a crazy place. I am not exempt from what’s happening out there. Being super-sensitive, I’m also aware of the intense cosmic energies. Yet given the choice to embrace my superpower of feeling deeply or opting to feel less, courtesy of self-medication, I choose feeling deeply.

When I’m hiding from my emotions, I have no chance of doing well. The best I can hope for is getting by. When I numb any part of myself, all of me gets numbed. There’s no such thing as selective anesthesia for the psyche.

So… sorry, not sorry, I haven’t posted in ages. It’s because I’ve been busy doing great.

Upcoming Online Mindful Self-Compassion Course

The other night I watched my 4 year old nephew open his birthday gifts with great gusto. “This is AMAZING!” he proclaimed regarding a new Lego set. Well, I feel the same way about Mindful Self-Compassion! I recently completed this 8 week program [click here], and it had a profound effect on me. You, too, can learn about ways to infuse your life with both formal (such as seated meditation) and informal (remedies for self-soothing out in the real world) practices that will create profound shifts. I found the facilitators, Annie and Anne, to both be welcoming and nurturing. They did a great job of creating a safe space for us students to explore the practices and share about our experiences.

From the class description: “With self-compassion, we can motivate ourselves with encouragement, forgive ourselves when needed, face and befriend our shortcomings, care for others while caring for ourselves, and live more authentically. Research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthier habits of caring for our bodies, and more satisfying personal relationships.”

Who doesn’t want all that? We can enjoy these rewards just by changing the way we think. The material is simple and accessible and quite effective. Being a part of a group helped motivate me to practice by fostering a sense of accountability that is often missing when I learn a new skill on my own. Having a community of like-minded people sharing the journey was both comforting and inspiring.

Or you could check out the workbook [click here], which I found to be incredibly helpful, without taking the class. From there, you can access wonderful guided meditations, both recorded and offered live online for free. Sadly we don’t learn about being compassionate to ourselves and others in kindergarten along with other important life skills like sharing and reading. I wish we did! But it’s never too late and this is a powerful technique that’s simple and easy to learn. Two thumbs up!