The Returning Light
Ease gently back into the world.
Happy Spring Equinox,
Today, we find the light is balanced with the dark. Here, in the Northern Hemisphere we are going to get to enjoy more and more daylight until the Solstice in June.
I've been reflecting a lot lately about how we've just lived through three years of the Covid era. My conversations with clients and others have shown that this has felt like a bit of a time warp. It's hard for many of us to take in that this lasted three years, yet we also experienced moments that felt like an eternity or a standstill. My life changed in so many ways, and I can imagine that may be true for you too.
I noticed that in the earlier days of the pandemic there were several voices telling us to be aware that we were moving through a collective trauma. As such, we should be mindful, gentle and forgiving with ourselves. To adjust our expectations of ourselves, because we were doing the best we could in survival mode. Perhaps, it's just me and the information that I consume, but it seemed to me that message petered out at some point, though we all continued to live through this experience. I think many of us just got tired, and were doing the best we could to get through.
In case you need to hear this today, I want to remind you that the last three years were not business as usual. As things settle, and the light returns, continue to be gentle with yourself. It may take some time to make sense of what we all just lived through collectively, and, of course, what you experienced personally. (I'm waiting for the Ken Burns documentary! ;) ) If you feel tender, or cautious, or just ready to get on with it, I hear you! Allow space for what's there. Be kind to yourself. Try to be kind to others who are relearning what it's like to live again.
Make space to bring with you the wisdom that you've gleaned during this time, and permission to shed the stress and dysregulation that may have come with it. If you feel called, share with our community what wisdom you are bringing with you, or perhaps what you are most looking forward to or hopeful about as the light returns in the comments below.
Wishing you all a gentle, easeful transition into the spring.
Ten Years Ago Today...
Celebrating my Reiki beginnings.
The summer of 2009 was a turning point in my life. I was teaching at a child care center as I prepared to enter my last year of college studying education. Over the couple years leading up to that time, I had become disillusioned by the education system. More and more, it felt like the path I was following was squelching my soul. I still loved kids, and teaching, but something wasn't right. It wasn't until one really rough day at the center that summer, that I hit my breaking point. I finally garnered the courage to throw in the towel on pursuing becoming a public school teacher. I was ready to find a new path.
As I had always I wanted to be a teacher, letting the idea of that go, left the field wide open for me. I had no idea what else to explore, so it felt like I was starting from scratch. Fortunately, this felt liberating and exciting, rather than terrifying, as my soul was feeling relieved at being free. As I dove into self-exploration, personality tests, and career matching quizzes, I found myself drawn to holistic medicine, and ecopsychology, two areas of study I knew little to nothing about. I checked out every book I could from the library about different healing modalities and perspectives to help me determine my path. As I did my research, synchronicity was unfolding.
I continued to teach at the child care center while I sifted through my options. Two days that summer, I worked with a substitute teacher who did Reiki for horses. I felt so connected with her, and her stories about Reiki fascinated me. Reiki was something I had only heard about weeks before while scouring my library books. After one of our conversations, she encouraged me to take a class with her teacher Mary Preuss. Huh, I thought. The idea hadn't crossed my mind, but maybe it's worth taking a look. When I found Mary's class schedule, there was a Reiki I class offered a couple weeks before I would head back to school in the fall. It was good timing. Why not? I figured. I might as well try it out. I had nothing to lose.
So, it was ten years ago today, on Saturday August 15, 2019, I attended my first Reiki class. Little did I know, the profound experiences I would have that day would change my life forever.
Class began for our small group of three with an introduction and history of Reiki, before we prepared to be attuned to the Reiki energy. (For those of you unfamiliar, an attunement is a sacred ritual which helps harmonize your personal energy with the Reiki energy, so you can access it more readily.) Mary started leading us through a guided meditation. I had very little experience with these at the time, and felt a bit like I was making things up. She instructed us to imagine the three Grand Masters of Reiki forming a triangle around us. If we were ready to take this next step of being attuned, would we please say so.
In my mind, I said, "I am ready." Instantaneously after—I felt a huge surge of energy flow through my entire body! It was as if someone had dumped an enormous barrel of water over the back of my head which then filled every nook and cranny of my body! It felt amazing!
Again, I said, "I am ready." Not a second later—again—another full body surge just like the last! It blew my mind! "This shit is real!!" I thought. I had felt small currents of energy in different areas of my body when doing yoga before, but it was nothing compared to this. The call and response nature to this experience, blew my analytical mind out of the water. I could not understand how it happened, but I had no doubt in my mind it was real.
Shortly thereafter, we each received our attunements. I remember sitting there afterwards in awe, because my hands felt like they were air conditioners. It felt as if there was cool energy flowing out my palms.
In the afternoon, we began practicing Reiki on each other. Being in a small group, one person received while the rest of us worked on her. During the first session, I was working on my classmate's leg, and I felt this deep heaviness in my heart. I didn't have any idea how to offer Reiki at the time, so I was imagining breathing in her energy and out mine. (Please, do NOT do this at home, folks!) As I was doing so, I quietly asked my teacher if it was normal to feel things in your body while giving Reiki. She sort of nodded, and shrugged, suggesting that it was possible. I continued as described, while the heaviness in my heart persisted.
Then, all of a sudden, I was out of my body, watching myself from behind, as I started to pass out on top of my classmate! My teacher quickly pulled me aside, and I came back into my body. She sat me down, and guided me in grounding my energy. I sat on the couch for several minutes as I tuned into my feet and tried to collect myself.
Eventually, I was ready to bring myself back to the session. It was getting towards the end, and our teacher said we could return to any area we thought might need it. I went to her heart. A few minutes later, we finished the session, and shared our experiences with each other.
My classmate began, "Well, first of all, someone fell on top of me..."
I sheepishly laughed, and raised my hand, "Yeah, that was me."
She went on sharing her experiences, and ended with, "Whoever came back to my heart at the end, thank you. You have no idea what is going on in my personal life, but I really needed it."
Her words struck me profoundly. That feeling in my chest... was a glimpse of what she was experiencing. I couldn't believe that there was legitimacy to what I had perceived. It was eye opening.
After that day, I decided to move forward and complete the full Reiki training over the next several months. My life began to make a 180. As things aligned, I made plans to graduate early with my degree, while I came back for Reiki training on the weekends. It was over this time, with other experiences like the one with the heaviness in my chest, that I realized I was an empath. I had been all my life, picking up on people's feelings, and other subtleties. But it took the Reiki attunement to bring this truth out for me to realize it. What followed was a crash course in learning how to take care of myself as an empath while I did this work, so a) I wouldn't take people's stuff home, and b) I wouldn't pass out on top of anyone else. ;) My record has been clean since!
That was only the beginning, ten years ago. What has followed has been such a beautiful unfolding of healing, connecting more deeply with the Reiki energy, experiencing life's mysteries, and coming to know you all. I feel, without a doubt, that finding Reiki is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
As I celebrate this milestone of a decade with Reiki, I want to thank each of you for joining me on this journey. Whether we have known each other for sometime, or just recently connected. Whether it's been a deep dive, or light, sweet check-ins. Knowing and working with you all has enriched my life so much, and has made me a better person, practitioner, and teacher. It has allowed me to live out a dream, and I wouldn't be here without you. For this, I sincerely thank you.
Anyway, I could keep gushing! As many of you know! ;)
May the next decade bring even more fun, beauty, excitement, and rich, deep, soul connection, for each and every one of us!
Are you ready for a new beginning?
For those drawn to the Reiki path, another round of group Reiki I training will begin in early 2020. For those of you ready to jump into Reiki II, there are three spots still available for the class starting on September 14th, 2019. Let me know if you are interested! For more details, visit our Reiki Training page.
Empaths, I will be offering the Empowered Empath Series on Tuesday evenings this October. I will be sending out an announcement with the full details within the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!
Have a beautiful rest of your summer!
Reiki Master Teacher and Owner of Embrace Your Essence
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