Upcoming Online Reiki Certification Classes!

Teaching Reiki is one of my absolute favorite things. It’s up there with chocolate, laughing, books, and trees. It’s a true joy to introduce students to this magical practice and help empower them to participate in building their own health, happiness, and creativity.

Reiki is a holistic technique that stimulates the body’s innate healing abilities by activating the relaxation response. It balances body, mind, and spirit, integrating and harmonizing all aspects of ourselves for greater wellbeing. It can be used to reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and pain and to promote digestion, sleep, immune system function, detoxification, and recovery from illness, injury, and medical procedures. What many people don’t know is that it can also be used to align folks with their goals and release limiting beliefs that get in the way.

Photo by Arina Krasnikova on Pexels.com

Over the years, I’ve used Reiki for critters, plants, food, finding parking spots, electronics, and finances. Actually, it would probably be easier to list the things that I haven’t Reiki’ed! That would be a short list: people who don’t want to receive it for whatever reason, and … well… I guess that’s about it.

Sharing this gift with people who want to optimize their wellness, joy, peace, pleasure, comfort, and productivity makes my heart sing. I get a wonderful Reiki buzz just thinking about it! Which is why I’m super-excited to announce some upcoming online classes.

I’m offering Reiki 1 & 2 Certifications, back-to-back, on Wednesday evenings beginning in September. Reiki 1 is the starting point; no experience or special skills are necessary. It’s possible to follow up immediately with level 2 training for those who are feeling the pull. Some people prefer to pause in between. Anyone who has taken a level 1 training before, even with another teacher, is eligible for my level 2 class.

I’ve also crafted a 3-hour Reiki for Self-Care course, distilling the most essential material for those who are only interested in treating themselves. This is the simplest and most affordable route for being able to access powerful healing energy at will.  

I particularly enjoy the personal interaction of teaching, so I keep classes small to personalize the content and answer all the questions. Over the years I’ve learned that breaking a workshop into several segments helps students to digest and retain information. Recently I’ve really come to appreciate the online format, as it allows for greater comfort and convenience for everyone. I’ve put a lot of energy into maximizing class structure for your benefit. You just need to show up with an open mind; I’ll do the rest.

Learning to use Reiki for myself, as well as my clients, nearly 20 years ago massively shifted the trajectory of my life. Getting in touch with my calling and finding the courage and motivation to follow my own path has empowered me in ways I never could have imagined before I began. I want everyone to have the same opportunity to do so! You can find details here. I’m offering an early bird special, so have a peek soon if you’re interested.

Over the Hill and LOVING IT!

Today is my 50th birthday.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

As a modern, western woman, I’ve been conditioned to believe that this is the beginning of the inevitable decline of my health, mobility, cognitive abilities, productivity, and overall worth.

Well, to hell with that! I reject all this nonsense. I am choosing instead to celebrate having survived five long decades in a world whose values are so upside-down. I’m choosing to invest daily in my well-being and have adopted one of Louise Hay’s mottos as my very own.

“Happy, healthy, happy, healthy- dead.”

Meaning, I plan to enjoy myself up until the very end.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen automatically. Yes, my body requires different care than it did when I was younger. Consequences are greater for making unhealthy choices. While society would suggest that I must merely suffer as a result of continuing the behavior that suited me in my 20’s and 30’s, I’m proposing an alternative. Make different choices!

My plan for healthy aging is four-pronged. It is versatile and easily adaptable to any set of unique circumstances and value systems. I believe that if everybody started thinking along these lines, there would be a lot less pain and illness in the elder years.

  1. Cultivate life-force energy (ki/chi/qi/prana). In eastern systems, this is the foundation of health and healing. Here in the west, it’s still somewhat foreign to many. Whether or not we can see it, feel it, or measure it, there is an energy that flows through all living beings. We can enhance this flow through lifestyle choices such as eating natural foods, spending time in nature, moving our bodies, expressing emotions, connecting with loved ones, and getting plenty of rest. Reiki, yoga, martial arts, qi gong, and tai chi are practices designed to build and balance ki.
  2. Minimize toxins. While I’d love to avoid them altogether, in today’s world I just don’t think it’s possible. So I do the best I can with the options available to me. Before I put something in or on my body or bring a product (or relationship) into my environment, I determine its level of toxicity. Yes, this means passing up many things that are quite popular such as donuts and nail polish. Given my 50 voyages around the sun, I have developed the wisdom to see that I value my well-being much, much more than fitting in with an unhealthy crowd.
  3. Manage stress. While I’d also like to avoid stress altogether, I don’t think that’s possible either. Given that I live in the world, and not removed from it on a desert island or mountain top, my options are to just absorb it or take steps to actively minimize its effects. This takes consistent effort, yet I assure you that every investment in reducing stress has a cumulative impact on health and well-being. Enter “stress, disease” in your search engine if you’re curious about the specifics.
  4. Choose joy, creativity, and pleasure. Sadly, these gems are tremendously undervalued in today’s world. In addition to enhancing ki flow, taking this step also activates the connection with Spirit. For me, they are the portal to living openheartedly, compassionately, and generously. I believe they nourish the heart; both in a literal and metaphorical sense. It also tends to draw others to me who are like-minded, which activates an upward joy spiral. Building pockets of enjoyment into every day is an approach that helps me navigate the challenging times with greater ease and prolong the good times with minimal effort.

I’ve spent the past two decades organizing my life around these four principles. It certainly didn’t happen all at once. Nor was it always easy. Going against the standard motto: “work, suffer, work, suffer-decline, sick, dead” is revolutionary. Other people don’t always appreciate the changes we make as these changes can challenge their world views and often put projected responsibility back on their own shoulders. Yet, taking one step at a time while absorbing the rewards along the way creates a positive feedback loop that is very encouraging.

Pick one small change you can make today and start there. Perhaps take the money you’d spend over the next few months on soda and buy a water filter so you have access to the purest hydration possible. Or visit the farmers market for the best quality produce in your area. Go for a walk before work or own your break if it isn’t sweltering outside. If is, make a playlist of upbeat tunes and dance in your living room.

Just one thing is all it takes to begin. This is the foundation for a shift that can have a huge impact on your wellness over time. Make it something simple and easy or it won’t be sustainable. Once you get the hang of it, add another simple, easy shift. And another and another.

If all goes well, thirty years from now you can join me on the dance floor to celebrate my 80th.

Free 5 Day Qi Gong Challenge

You might recognize Lee Holden from his PBS specials. I just came across his work on Facebook. I like what he has to say about health and wellness so much that I’ve signed up for this program. While it doesn’t begin until July 19, I received a bonus session when I registered that was so enjoyable and beneficial I’ve decided to do it every day until the challenge begins. It’s simply, easy, and safe for all fitness levels.

According to his website, he has helped more than 100,000 students

  • Heal from injury and disease
  • Slow the aging process
  • Feel better than ever
  • Maximize their energy

I’m a beginner to this technique, so I’m not going to try to describe its origins, practices, or effects. You’re better off learning directly from the master! Despite my lack of expertise, I did want to share this opportunity with you as I can see the immense value. Qi Gong and Reiki both work with cultivating and balancing life-force energy. They pair together quite nicely!

Here’s a link to his blog, 8 Reasons to Sign Up for the Free Qi Challenge. I feel confident that nearly everyone can relate to at least one of these reasons! From there you can find a link to register. I hope you will. I’d love to hear what you think if you give it a try. I’ve already (after just two sessions) noticed a decrease in anxiety and better quality sleep. If you struggle with either of this issues, I think you’ll agree that 20 minutes per day is a reasonable investment to enjoy relief.

Catch ya later, I’m off to practice!

Shelter at Home, Tip for Sanity: Unplug Occasionally!

It’s been a busy week of connecting and participating in community via the web. I’ve enjoyed a Reiki circle, a yogini prayer ritual, a dance party, an energetic healing ritual, meditations galore, amazing Kundalini yoga classes, an active imagination journey, monthly astrological and energetic updates for April, a play date with my favorite kiddos, a chat with a friend on another continent, a chat with a friend and neighbor who might as well be on another continent, more chats with friends and family, and surely I’m forgetting several other events.

It’s amaaaazing how interconnected we can be these days. I’m so appreciative for all the quality content available from all over the world and the access I have to spiritual and sisterhood communities regardless of my inability to leave the house.

It’s also overwhelming. My nervous system just can’t handle all this connectivity all the time!

Today, I’m taking a break and unplugging. Allowing time to turn inward and acknowledge the array of emotions and spectrum of energy within me that needs to be sorted, processed, some of it released, some of it integrated, much of it welcomed and tended to with kindness.

You might not be able to step away from your electronics for an entire day. I get that. Yet there’s likely something you can dial down, some information you can let lie, a website or two that could be safely ignored, or a brief time out from constant social media connection that would benefit your mental and emotional health.

I’d love to read about how you’re managing this constant barrage of engagement. Just not today.

2020: The Year of Perfect Vision

Full transparency: I am borrowing this tag line from a student. But it’s just so brilliant I have to share it! 20/20 is the term ophthalmologists use to describe normal eyesight. Well, we’re taking it a step further and claiming 2020 as the year of Perfect Vision, the foundation to uncovering the soul’s calling as well as the guidance and motivation necessary to pursue it.

It’s helpful to know where you want to go before your start charting your journey. It’s also helpful to clean out your trunk so you’re not hauling around crap from the past decade on your adventure. Perhaps most helpful of all is tuning up your vehicle, paying attention to all the systems that allow it to run smoothly. Self-care, -kindness, -discovery, and -awareness are the corollary steps in creating an intentional lifestyle.

For me yoga, Reiki, and nourishment are essential building blocks in this process. No news there; you’re heard me say this 10,000 times already! Over the past year I’ve benefited greatly from several other teachings that really upped my game, and I’m very eager to share them here in the hopes others might also profit. If you’re looking to maximize your potential in the new year, you might find some guidance here.

I could spend the next month extolling the virtues of these lessons. Instead I’ll provide links to websites allowing you to do your own research. The three teachers I’m mentioning have a variety of courses as well as very generous newsletters which can be a risk-free gateway into their work. I respect and admire their contributions to personal growth and spiritual awakening and am incredibly grateful for the wisdom they’ve shared.

Sharon Blackie’s Courting the World Soul online course totally blew my socks off. I’m still digesting the amazing material of this 8 week course, which is a mix of depth psychology, mythology, and more. She has set me on a journey of discovering my roots to help find belonging in a world that generally makes no sense to me.

Layla Martin offers a free Radiant Queen Masterclass which includes simple practices for liberating the wild feminine energy that most of us women were taught very early on to lock down. She’s a vibrant teacher of tantra, sexual empowerment, and liberation from the bonds of patriarchal programming. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if that last sentence makes you uncomfortable!

I’m really learning a lot from Rick Hanson’s Growing the Good yearlong meditation program. His background as a Buddhist and neuro-psychologist reveals a fascinating intersection of east/west, ancient tradition/modern science. Understanding my nervous system better allows me to experience calm more frequently. ‘Nuff said!

Perhaps more transformative than all of the above is the time I’ve spent in nature. I just can’t get enough time amongst the trees! Sitting by the creek breathing the ki-infused air is where my deepest healing and best ideas happen. I’ve applied to a volunteer training program to further my knowledge of the local wooded treasure as well as to gain skills for sharing it with others. If you’re in the Philly area, Friends of the Wissahickon offers loads of guided hikes. Wherever you are, no doubt there is a patch of land that needs your appreciation.

And finally, I’m over the moon with my latest oracle card purchase. The Wild Unknown Archetypes is a beautiful deck and has been tremendously helpful for accessing my inner wisdom. They’ve been a big hit at recent community Reiki circles and I’m planning to bring them to this week’s event. Join us if you’re in the neighborhhood!

It’s my sincerest wish that 2020 brings you great peace, health, wealth, and happiness. Perhaps one of these tools can help you further your goals. As always, I’m available for Reiki (in person and remote) and massage sessions to get your year on track and uncover the benefits of Perfect Vision.

Will One Session Help?

I get this question a lot. People want definitive answers before committing to a session. My short answer is, yes. Every session helps. Each step we make towards improving our health and wellness counts. 98% of my clients leave each and every session feeling better than when they arrived.

And… it’s really not quite that simple. I liken healing to getting out of debt. Will one payment help reduce your credit card balance? Sure. Will it eliminate the deficit that has been accruing for decades? Maybe, but probably not.

It’s the same with massage and Reiki treatments. The results depend on so many factors that it’s impossible for me to predict with absolute accuracy how long it will take for any particular issue to be resolved. The intensity and duration of any discomfort is an important consideration as well as lifestyle choices. Activities, thoughts, and behaviors that add to or detract from the underlying imbalance most definitely play a roll. Willingness to let go and embrace change will certainly enhance the efficacy of every treatment, as will efforts to cultivate and preserve the body’s physiological relaxation response.

Consider the goal of being debt free. The degree of debt, income, spending habits, savings and gifts must all be calculated. It’s much the same in healing. Are you making more deposits into your health and wellness account than withdrawals? Are you reducing your harmful spending habits? Are you willing to take on extra work to boost your healing income?

These are all investments beyond the scope of any one treatment. So while yes, one session will help, it’s ultimately your participation in the process that will speed your arrival at the finish line. I’ve seen clients experience tremendous progress through making healthier choices on a daily basis as well as clients who remain stuck on a plateau if receiving bi-monthly treatments is their only contribution.

There’s no right or wrong  here. I’m happy to help clients maintain their health when seeing me is the only effort they are able or willing to make, and I enjoy supporting those who wish to take more active roles and rely less on my efforts. There’s a place for everyone in my practice. But if you want to get better faster, you’ll need to get involved and start making frequent deposits into your health account.

Health Insurance

As the year draws to a close, I’m receiving a lot of calls and emails about choosing my health insurance package for next year. While I am indeed grateful for the ability to seek medical care should I need it, I’m more interested in the steps I can take every day to insure my optimal health and wellbeing.

For me, that’s spending time in nature, being with the trees and flowing water. Drinking my tea outside at sunrise allowing myself to be still and quiet and present with my intentions and feelings. Choosing organic and sustainably produced foods from the farmers market and making the time to prepare and enjoy nourishing meals. Setting healthy boundaries to protect my down time and peace of mind. Engaging in meaningful and uplifting conversations and reading material.

And my latest project- learning to have fun, since I’ve managed to take really good care of myself in an overly serious and chore-like manner. So tomorrow night you can find me wearing silly glasses and a tiara (it’s Halloween after all!) turning in the wrong direction and stepping on toes and having a blast with my neighborhood contra dancing community.

It doesn’t really matter what type of insurance you invest in for yourself. Knitting, baking, painting, gardening, hiking, writing, singing… I could go on for ages! But I do encourage everyone to empower themselves by taking action (or stillness, as might often be more helpful!) to promote your health rather than relying on a doctor to “fix” you once things begin to fall apart.

Choosing Healing

Experiencing pain seems to be a requisite affliction of the human condition. While I remain intrigued about the myriad causes of pain, I’m especially fascinated by our ability to respond to it in such a wide variety of ways. We have so many choices available; all of them valid and useful at times. It’s my intention to choose the one that will offer the greatest healing.

I’m quite adept at shutting down to avoid pain as well as at distracting myself from it. I’ve managed to tune out chronic low back pain for decades by reducing my ability to feel sensation in that area. I’ve numbed my heart to protect myself from further disappointment and rejection. I’ve even managed to create strong barriers that keep me separate from the anguish and hatred that exist in the world. While these strategies have indeed reduced the amount of pain I experience, they simultaneously keep me separated from the highs as well as the lows life has to offer.

Given that I yearn to experience joy and peace and love, I’ve begun to challenge the above behavior. I’ve designed a full spectrum self-care routine that provides comfort during times of need. These are healthier strategies that support overall well-being, yet still attempt to create distance between myself and pain. While it is indeed important to be gentle with myself when facing upset, this is merely a step on the journey of healing, not the destination. So connecting with a girlfriend (or 7! Yup, it was a trying week), buoying my spirits with inspiring music or books, visiting my happy place in the woods, and seeking out the world’s best taco recipe are all helpful and uplifting activities, there is another layer of work to be accomplished afterwards to fully integrate my entire being.

This is the layer where healing occurs. As difficult as it might sound, and as elaborate as our society’s rituals for avoiding this are, I’ve come to believe that it’s necessary to fully experience pain in order to heal it. Being completely present, vulnerable, and open-hearted is the path I’m choosing to take whenever I am able. This allows the energy to continue flowing and quite often the intensity of pain subsides as a result. It most definitely prevents me from burying it inside myself, only to have it emerge later on as disease or disability. And it absolutely enables me to connect fully with my humanity and become even more compassionate towards myself and others.

Having access to unlimited, spiritually guided life-force energy in the form of Reiki is indeed a huge blessing. While I continue to use Reiki to ease a headache, to soothe a wounded heart, and to optimize my experiences on a daily basis; the support it provides for me while being challenged by pain is truly invaluable. Now that I’ve chosen the difficult path of going through the pain rather than around it, I’m seeking all the support I am able to muster. And bursting with gratitude that the power of Reiki is available at my very fingertips.

If you’re interested in obtaining support on your healing journey, consider receiving Reiki treatments, or learning it yourself. While it isn’t the only means of staying present to what is true for you and allowing the energy to continue flowing (rather than denying, avoiding, or stuffing it down), in my experience it’s the most gentle and easily accessible route. Details may be found on my website if you’re interested in learning more.

 

Ki is Key for Healthy Aging :)

I’ve been invited to participate in a panel discussion with other holistic health care providers on the topic of healthy aging. I’ve decided to write a series of blogs to gather my thoughts in preparation, as well as to share my knowledge on this universally relevant subject with you all. As my passion and primary source of health care is Reiki, focusing on Ki (life-force energy) seems like the obvious starting point.

Keeping my Ki balanced and flowing is my plan for aging gracefully. Just as a flashlight begins to dim as the battery fades, my own energy diminishes over time unless I make an effort to replenish it. This doesn’t mean that my body is doomed to fall apart gradually; I merely need to care of it properly and recharge frequently.

There are countless ways to top off our tanks. Fresh air, deep rest, natural foods, adequate hydration, and being in nature are all essential ingredients for nurturing ourselves. Activities which bring us joy (dancing, painting, gardening, making music, etc.- you know what works for you!) are excellent ways to energize ourselves. The key to success here is in prioritizing these activities and carving out time in our busy schedules. Furthermore, we must protect this valuable time fiercely as there will always be dozens of reasons to choose busyness over self-care and joy.

Reiki is a holistic energy healing technique that super-charges our batteries. It can help clear out any blockages, reestablish balance and flow, and flood the recipient with universal life-force energy. This supports the body’s ability to remove toxins and ensures that all organs and glands are supported with Ki and can function more effectively. The immune system is thus enhanced and our resistance to disease is boosted. Perhaps most importantly, stress is released, rerouting precious energy back to necessary functions and facilitating our bodies’ innate healing ability.

While gray hair, bifocals, and a slower pace might be an expected outcome of passing years, there is absolutely no reason to assume that we are incapable of enjoying health and productivity. Just as a flashlight’s brightness can be restored with fresh batteries, our vitality and well-being can be restored by practices that connect us with Ki, which is abundantly available. Choosing to recharge our batteries on a daily basis is an invaluable habit that will serve us well as we age.

Seeking support from a Reiki practitioner or teacher can amplify the process even further. It matters not what route you take; just that you start on the journey. Ki is key in maintaining vitality and wellness over time. Nourish yourself from within and reap the rewards both now and in your later years.

If you’re interested in scheduling a Reiki session, please visit my website for more information. As energy is not limited by time or space, Reiki can be sent remotely through the practitioner’s intention, with the aid of Reiki symbols, to anywhere a recipient may be. We call this powerful technique Long-Distance Reiki, and it is a service I am delighted to offer. Check it out!

 

Radical Self-Care, Dance it Out!

Any inner emotional demons can be released on the dance floor, simply by setting an intention and moving the body. Especially when there’s a full moon with accompanying eclipse during the change of seasons! Ability and fitness are of no consequence. And contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is not at all necessary.

I’m a big fan of 5 Rhythms, a style of conscious dance that is loads of fun. This is a form of free-style dance and according to the official website, “a dynamic practice to both workout and meditate in the same breath. Practicing them helps us become attuned to the underlying patterns in our everyday existence.” It’s an opportunity for creative expression as well as releasing stress. And I will repeat that it is FUN!

It’s not necessary to take a workshop or a class. I dance in my bedroom all the time. Just one song can change my mood from grumpy to sweet or angry to peaceful. I learned last night that you don’t even need music! The facilitator gave a room of 60 joyful participants a theme and a count and before I knew it people were jumping, bouncing, and twirling without a song. It was crazy and beautiful and here it comes again… great FUN!

Of course, music does make it easier. So fire up your iTunes or Pandora or burn a mixed CD and give it a try. Think about what you’d like to surrender, what you wish to create, and let the rhythm move your body. Apparently Isabelle Duncan said that as long as one finger is moving, you are dancing. Give it a try and let me know how you feel afterwards.