Ki is in the Air!

It’s practically impossible not to notice the abundance of life-force energy that is available during the spring! While Ki is a universal energy, always present, and easily accessible, it’s simply more obvious this time of year. I can feel it in the gentle rain and the cool breezes; I hear it in morning serenades of the early birds and in the laughter that floats up from children playing on the sidewalk. It’s easily seen blowing through the sky as fluffy clouds, the brilliant new leaves trees proudly display, and in the prolific blossoms that fall from branches to litter sidewalks like confetti.

During this time of nature’s renewal, let us remind ourselves that the world offers us a wealth of Ki. All we need do is receive it. It is our natural state to be in the flow of abundance, health, peace, love, and joy that the universe provides. Our limiting beliefs, thoughts, habits, and attachments can block this natural flow. Reiki is an amazing tool for restoring flow and balance, yet it is just one tool. Another powerful tool is awareness.

Cultivating our awareness of the beauty that surrounds us, of the elements of nature, and the joy of life is a potent practice for building wellness and strengthening purpose. Replenishing our reserves from the vast, omnipresent quantity of universal energy is a simple technique that can be done throughout the day. Merely noticing the beauty of a flower, a smile, a fragrance, or a sound can raise our vibration and create an opening for healing energy to enter. The act of appreciating these gifts and expressing gratitude can compound the ability to receive Ki.

While it is indeed lovely to receive the blessing of a healing treatment from a practitioner (I’m soooo looking forward to my Reiki treatment in a few days!) and super-important to engage in daily self-care practices, there are countless opportunities throughout each day to tap into to the abundance of life-force energy that surrounds us. The essence of life is never farther away than the air we breathe. Let’s all inhale deeply, and saturate ourselves in the essence of springtime Ki.

Radical Self-Care, Just Do It Already!

This morning I find myself procrastinating. I know I’ll feel better on my yoga matt and most definitely I’ll feel like a new person after practicing. Yet I’m dragging my heels. I felt into this resistance and there’s no substance to it. It’s not a message from my body saying “rest” or from my heart saying “listen”. It’s actually a stubbornness arising from my inner three year old who is stomping her foot and saying “You can’t make me!”.

Funny, that’s not where I thought I was going two minutes ago when I sat down to write this! But I’m going to roll with it and acknowledge her presence. So it seems there is a message after all! I could easily override this sweet child and Just Do It. I was ready to ignore her, but the willingness to tune-in to my resistance seems to have opened up the channels of communication.

So what I’m going to Just Do, is sit down and receive what she has to say, show this girl some empathy and really hear her. I’m guessing she needs some reassurance that her needs are important and that I care. I will take the time to do that and explain my reasons for wanting to do yoga; that it is a gift I offer myself because I love how it makes me feel, not because someone told me I have to do it. Or because I need to do it in order to be worthy of approval. It’s not an assignment needing to be accomplished to please anyone else.

As I’m sinking into this awareness I notice the resistance is melting away. While I still plan to have that conversation, I’m astounded by the realization that I often do put pressure on myself to get my self-care activities done so I can cross them off my list, boost my ego for having done so, and move on to the next seemingly necessary achievement. Once again, I’m reminded that intention is everything, and that just like anything else, self-care activities can be distorted to feed the ego or distract myself from the real job of expressing kindness to myself and others.

Be loving. Just Do It. Everything else appears to be questionable!


Radical Self-Care, Know Your Goal

It’s so easy to wake up and get overwhelmed by all the things that need to  be done that day. Even when most of my tasks are enjoyable, I can often start spinning out, worried that I won’t ever find enough time. That’s when checking in with my priorities comes in handy. Achieving a lot of stuff is not my actual goal, surprisingly! Spiritual evolution is. By that, I mean waking up and remembering who I am. Remembering that I am on a mission to be loving and to be loved. To be love itself.

Keeping this in mind  while I look at my to-do list brings a sense of ease and peacefulness. In fact, many of those to-do items no longer seem important at all and either get crossed off or moved to more appropriate times. Now that I’ve connected with my essential self, I feel supported by the flow of life and I am no longer struggling to accomplish meaningless goals. As long as I am being true to myself, it doesn’t really matter if my newsletter gets finished today or next week or if my furniture remains dusty for another day or two. Or ten. 🙂

True, there are still errands that need to be run. AND it’s crucial to remember that while I’m in the store buying a new battery for the smoke detector that my ultimate goal is to be in the flow of love. While I’m cooking dinner and taking out the recycling, if I’m focused on being love, any stress or upset about having too much to do evaporates. I’m just doing the task at hand, while being true to my mission. At that point, it’s all joyful. Knowing my goal makes each decision easier and every step along the way lighter. If I didn’t know where I wanted to go, how could I ever expect to arrive?

Because That’s the Way We’ve Always Done It

I’m sure everyone has been frustrated by this concept at some point in their lives. It seems to pop up quite frequently in my day to day activities, but maybe that’s because I’m on the lookout. Doing things in an illogical manner just because that’s how it’s always been done makes absolutely no sense to me! In fact, I once quit a job after only one week because the tracking system was so redundant and inefficient it drove me mad. I have noticed that sometimes people just get so entrenched in going through the motions that they don’t even notice that their routine could be improved.

One of the greatest benefits of moving to a new city is that I had to begin from scratch. I had to learn to navigate in unfamiliar territory with little outside assistance. Nothing was the same for me and that meant that I was able to create new systems and strategies that were perfectly designed for my new life. Even opening a new bank account offered me the freedom of mobile deposits (taking a picture of a check I wish to deposit with my smart phone eliminates the need to go to the bank) and a more streamlined bill pay feature. This is just one example of changes that have actually been upgrades.

Now I’m certainly not suggesting that everyone move across the country. Although it is one strategy for shaking things up and discovering your priorities, obviously it is a drastic choice. I would like to encourage you, however, to examine your habits with fresh eyes from time to time and engage in self-inquiry. Could your menu or closets or social calendar use an overhaul? Could your errands be more efficient or maybe even some of them eliminated? Your close friends might have some insight into possible improvements and if you are willing to hear what they have to say, they could be a valuable resource. Why not have a sincere look at your routine or your belongings and evaluate what is truly working for you and what isn’t? You will probably be pleasantly surprised at the hidden benefits of inviting change into your life.

Shoulder Pain Vanquished

For the past year, I’ve been experiencing chronic achiness and occasional pain underneath my left shoulder blade. I’ve tried a wide variety of treatments such as massage, Reiki, cranio-sacral, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments. I’ve practiced yoga nearly daily, and concentrated on releasing mental/emotional issues that no doubt contributed to the problem. Yet the discomfort persisted. As a bodyworker, I’m well versed in muscle anatomy and body mechanics. As a yogini of twenty years, I consider myself to have a fair amount of body awareness. This issue was both frustrating and humbling, as I judged myself for not being able to “fix” it. Also, it was beginning to cost me money in the form of lost revenue when I was too tired or achy to do a massage.

Yesterday I participated in a one hour posture clinic that was taught by a yoga teacher whose knowledge of alignment is spectacular. I was re-introduced to my estranged serratus anterior. This is not a well-known muscle as it is barely accessible from the outside. It is however, an important postural muscle and essentially attaches the scapula to the rib cage. The simple act of bringing my awareness to this neglected area of my body enabled me to create more balance in my torso and allowed my scapula to rest comfortably on my back. I enjoyed a wonderful bike ride home feeling like I fit together correctly once again.

Later in the day I noticed an enhanced ability to transmit healing Reiki energy to a client as I wasn’t distracted by discomfort in my body. My neck and thoracic spine self-adjusted while I was doing some gentle yoga before bed and I slept deeply and woke refreshed. I know that posture is a constant battle of awareness vs. gravity and bad habits, and that I have a lot of work ahead of me. Yet today I am delighted that my pain is diminished by 90% and I have a new tool to help myself. I am overjoyed to have yet another reminder that comfort is the reward of creating balance and that lasting change comes from the inside.