Catch some z's...
Before I began my professional Reiki practice, I was an early childhood teacher. Everyday after lunch, the kiddos would pull out their mats, grab their blankets and stuffed animals. We'd cue up the Enya and pull the shades as the kids got cozy. The other teachers and I would tuck them in, and rub the backs of the children who wanted help falling asleep.
Sometimes I joke with my in person Reiki clients that I went from being a nap assistant for kids to adults, as I help "tuck them in" while they climb under the blanket on the massage table. Once the Reiki gets flowing, now and then, I'll get a snorer on the table. They weren't the first, nor will they be the last. (I've certainly been one of those people too!) It honestly brings me a lot of joy that people experience enough comfort and safety to let go during a session. I notice this during remote work too.
The soothing energy of Reiki often helps put people so at ease that they settle into a meditative or sleep state. This is where the magic happens, and the body repairs and heals itself.
In this world of hustle and bustle, and stress, sometimes we have a hard time drifting to sleep and getting rest. Sometimes we need help to calm and get ourselves regulated. If you need assistance with this, I've been in training for a long time. ;) I'd be happy to support you with a session, or perhaps you'd want to try one of my new meditations to settle.
Goodnight cow jumping over the moon...
Let's face your fears... together
The days are growing darker, the veil is growing thinner. We have entered a time of inward turning here in the Northern Hemisphere. The advancing quiet welcomes our reflection, and often provides the right conditions for subtitles to bubble up from our subconscious.
Our modern Western celebration of Halloween plays with ghouls, goblins and spectres, while offering us a sugar high to face them all. While this can bring fun and fancy, we can choose to explore the theme of these celebrations in relation to our own healing to take them deeper.
(Note: If you've been finding yourself in an activated fight/flight response you may want to skip this reflective practice. Continue reading at the bold text.)
So, dear one, what fears lay present within you?
Oh boy, did you notice yourself contracting or resisting at all to that question? Perhaps that is your body's response trying to protect you from seeing these fears. I invite you to breathe with me, remind yourself that you are safe, and invite the presence of light and compassion to be with you.
What fear wants to be witnessed by you in this moment? Maybe you write it down. Continue to breathe, and observe it with curiosity. Just like with the quintessential boogie man in the closet that we realize is a coat once we've opened the door and turned on the light, so too, may we feel relief when we hold our fears with brave, loving, compassionate interest. We realize things aren't always as they seem. Some of our fears will boil down to these distortions of reality that need gentle correction.
Others may be of another variety, revealing the fragility of the human experience. Things that we may likely or inevitability face at some point: a fear of loss, pain, death, rejection, etc. These things we can run from, pretend that they are not there, or do whatever we can to try to prevent them from happening. Of course, we would do that. These fears and potential realities can be difficult, and scary. We are trying to protect ourselves. But, what if, for this moment, with me and all the other readers here with you, we breathe and acknowledge this fear and how it feels in your body. In truth, we may not ever be able to stop or change some of these fears from happening. But, we can be with our vulnerabilities with compassion. We can know that this is part of the human experience, and each of us is not alone. There are so many people out in the globe who hold this same fear. Though that doesn't take it away, somehow, for me, I find this shared humanness can be a balm for the experience.
When facing these types of "inevitable" fears, I try to remind myself of my own resilience, and tools. That no matter what I might face in the future that I have the ability to move through that experience, and ask for help if I need it. I remind myself of the times that I have faced my fears, whether by choice or life dragging me through them. I see that those experiences I've survived, and perhaps I've gained greater wisdom or tools as a result.
Sometimes though, working with our fear is something we need to do in a safe, supportive environment. We might need to untangle stored trauma in our bodies to release us from the fight/flight response. Soothing our nervous system, and coming to a place of regulation is key. If this resonates, you might find Reiki, or working with a skilled trauma-informed practitioner supportive.
No matter how you might find yourself today, remember you are not alone, you matter, and there are loving forces in the universe out there to support you, you just have to ask.
Feeling brave? Want to share with us one of your fears, or how you are feeling after sitting compassionately with them? Let us know in the comments.
Sending lots of love,
P.S. Reach out if you need support! :)
One of the things that I appreciate about Reiki is its ability to meet us where we are at in any given moment. When we are stressed or anxious it can bring calm and comfort. When in physical pain, it can provide ease and relief. When running on a lack of sleep, it can offer deep relaxation. When unable to leave the house for feeling sick and tired, it can help us move through the illness and heal more quickly. When struggling to find a way forward in work, relationships, or projects, it can offer clarity. When feeling alone and unsupported, it can reunite us with connection and hope.
Because Reiki is a spiritual and energetic modality, it can mold itself to whatever the situation requires and help bring a greater sense of balance. Reiki is flexible and transcendent of time and space. It can support us whether we are receiving in person, at home on our couch connecting over the phone, or about to go into surgery or to court. Even if we are not able to tune in due to circumstances, the Reiki still flows and brings balance. We can receive it from others, as well as from ourselves if we are attuned.
This adaptability of Reiki, and its gentle way of responding to all situations makes it one of the most grounded, practical, and compassionate tools I have ever had the privilege of adding to my tool box.
Perhaps, you have had the opportunity to see how Reiki supports you in the various scenarios of your life, or perhaps you have yet to discover this unique quality of the modality. I would love to hear the ways that you may have experienced Reiki in our comments. Were there any things that you were surprised about?
Many blessings to each of you.
Navigating the ups and downs of life.
As I write to you, friends, it's pouring outside. How timely that I have finally sat down to write to you on this topic and mother nature matches her mood to this title.
As of this summer, I have been practicing Reiki for twelve years! Over this decade plus, I've moved through plenty of ups and downs in life, and one of the things that I am continually grateful for is the presence of this divine energy in my life. Shortly after I finished my training in 2009, my mother had a massive stroke (she fortunately made a significant recovery). During that period, I gave Reiki to myself and my mother everyday. I also regularly received Reiki from others. Despite the dire circumstances, I felt a sense of knowing that all would be okay. Somehow, the Reiki helped me navigate that time with an awareness and calm I didn't realize I could access during such a crisis. It also helped me be more present and supportive of my mom.
Fast forward to today, as we continue to move through our own personal and collective challenges, I am reminded of what a safety and strength Reiki is to me. Leaning into daily self-Reiki and receiving from others helps me to ride the waves while the maelstrom rages. I can't control the outcome, and make the winds quiet nor the waves cease to roll, but the Reiki helps me stay balanced enough to steer my boat through these waters, and keep from capsizing until calmer waters return.
Do you have your own story about how Reiki has helped you move through a difficult time? Share your story in the comments.
Or perhaps, you need some support navigating the waters of your life right now? If so, I'm here to help. I'm seeing clients remotely over the phone or Zoom, and returning clients in person on select days. Book online to schedule a remote session, or email me to schedule an in person appointment.
No matter what is unfolding in your life right now, dear soul, please be loving and kind to yourself, and know there are compassionate energies all around available to support you.
With much love,
What happens when we go beyond putting out fires.
Over the last couple years, as the decluttering practices of Marie Kondo, Japanese tidying expert, have become mainstream, many of us have been going through our closets, refolding clothes, and asking ourselves, "does this spark joy?" Going through our homes like this can bring up overwhelm, and all sorts of emotion, but as we go through the process, there comes to be more space available, more peace, clarity, and hopefully joy. :)
Now, I am not writing you to nudge you to go organize your closet! But, hey, if you feel inspired to, big props to you!
Instead, I invite you to imagine your body, or energy field as a house. Take a moment, and close your eyes, breathe, and tune in. What does your "house" look like, and feel like on the inside and outside? Can you move around from different areas? Does it feel chaotic, distracting, or perhaps there is peace, and comfort? Are you bumping into boxes with who-knows-what inside? Perhaps there are things that you stuffed down in the basement or the corners of your closets that you hoped never to look at again. Maybe you are hanging onto a bunch of your aunt Milda's stuff. Check the walls, have you memorialized that hurtful thing that person said to you in fifth grade, or do you have some graphic picture you are looking at day in and day out? Make a note of what your energy seems like in this moment. Trust your instincts.
Receiving Reiki is one way that we can clear, bit-by-bit, and tidy our energy. Oftentimes, it starts out by putting out that fire in the kitchen, which, in this metaphor, may translate to releasing intense physical or emotional pain you are experiencing. Once the crisis has been averted, we start to get to those things that are impeding our daily functioning, like all those dishes on the counter, or those boxes in the way of our path through the house. With our health this may look like getting better sleep, more ease in making healthy choices, or feeling less stressed. Eventually, we get to a point where life is flowing more easily, without major drama impacting our functioning. (That doesn't mean that life stops happening, but that when crisis come up, we have the reserves and attention available to tend to them without getting caught in the drama.)
Here, we need to keep up with maintaining our chores or the clutter will start to build up again. The same with our energy, if we stop once things start to feel good, and we do not continue with self-care, and incorporating the wisdom we've learned, eventually we become burdened again.
However, the beautiful thing that happens when we continue to tend to our houses and energy, we not only maintain the flow and organization that keeps things humming in life, but we start to get to those boxes that are tucked away. Those boxes that are filled with things you didn't have time to deal with when it happened. Those things you inherited from your family, but don't fit who you are. The things you've been hanging onto out of obligation or familiarity. You can finally reach that hanging on the wall with those painful words, and take sucker that down, and burn it in the most epic bonfire of your life! The energy in those "boxes", and "pictures" take up space. Once we finally have the time to sit with them and air them out, the stuff we don't want to hang onto will dissipate. In the process, we also uncover the nuggets, the gifts, and wisdom that were tucked away in there, and we can elevate the beauty in them. Of course, we don't do this all in one go, we do it bit-by-bit so we can safely honor our feelings, and experience, and integrate what we need to in a sustainable way. This whole process frees up all this space, so your innate nature, peace, ease, and joy can more readily radiate from within you.
No matter where you are in your energetic tidying, Reiki will meet you in cleansing the next layer with gentleness. Because we all know, sometimes it's hard to do these things. If it was easy, we would have done it already. We might be overwhelmed doing it all on our own, maybe we are scared to see what is hiding out in those boxes, or we've been looking at that wall hanging for so long we've come to believe it's true. Dear one, you don't have to do it alone, it can be done in a safe, gentle, manageable way, and no, that B.S. line is not true.
So where are you in your energetic tidying journey? Share with us in the comments or send me an email. If you want help in the process, reach out. I'm here for you.
A little known bonus of Reiki
Many of you are already aware of the many benefits of Reiki. Because it helps our being move towards balance, it can help us find relief from physical pain, recover from illness, or injury. It can support us in acknowledging and honoring our emotions. Receiving Reiki can bring us into greater contact with our essential essence within, a sense of peace, and clarity. These are just some of the blessings we may experience as a result of receiving Reiki.
But did you know that you don't have to be physically present with a practitioner to receive Reiki? This is one of my favorite qualities about Reiki. It makes this healing art even more versatile. Though science hasn't specifically studied the mechanism of what is happening during a distant Reiki session, principles of nonlocality and entanglement may be what is at play. I often say, distant Reiki is comparable to prayer. With your intention to receive, and my intent to hold space for you, we tap into a reality that transcends time and space. You are able to receive the Reiki directly, and instantaneously, though we may be miles apart. When receiving distant Reiki, your experience is essentially the same as it might be in person. The only difference is not feeling the physicality of my hands, nor being in my treatment room. :)
There are certain contexts when having a distant session has its advantages over an in person session.
Now, let's say you want to try a distant session, or keep it as a back up option for when you can't make it in person, what does that look like? You will choose your preferred way to communicate with me, either over the phone, Skype, or email. In the case of phone or Skype, you call me at the agreed upon time, we discuss your intentions, and how I can support you. Then we spend the remaining time doing Reiki. Generally, clients stay on the line, and I let them know when I have finished. We spend the last few minutes sharing what was experienced, and processing. If you choose the email option, you let me know your intentions ahead of our appointment time. Then I send the Reiki for however many minutes we agree upon, and I email you after with what I noticed. You can reply back at your convenience with your observations. Ideally, clients find it most relaxing if they are able to find a calm place to lay down while receiving so they can tune in. But this is not necessary to receive the benefits, such as cases where you have a meeting, test, etc.
Given the flexibility and accessibility that distant Reiki offers us, I find it to be a beautiful blessing. It means that in times when we may need support the most, but the limitations of our physical world would otherwise keep us from getting to the clinic and laying on the treatment table, we can still receive the healing love of Reiki.
Do you have questions about distant Reiki or how it would look in a specific situation? Post your questions in the comments or send me an email. If you think distant Reiki might be supportive for you, we can set up an appointment. Otherwise, I invite you to keep it in mind as a back up in case you need to call in sick or cancel because of snowy roads.
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