How do you stand so still?

Bamboo Trees, Morikami Gardens
Bamboo Trees, Morikami Gardens

At a Reiki Clinic a few years ago, a recipient sat up from the table and said to myself, and my fellow practitioners, “How do you stand so still?!” We all laughed and I said, “It’s the Reiki.”

And, indeed, it is the Reiki that allows us, as practitioners, to stand so still during a session.

When I learned Reiki levels 1 and 2 in October 2001, at Kripalu in Lenox Massachusetts, standing still was one of the lessons for me.

I remember one of the students in my class advising me about using soft knees and modified yoga poses to assist in stillness.

This was enormously helpful and, even now (18 years later), I share those techniques with my students as we practice offering Reiki to others during a level 1 class. Also, as new students, trying to stay with the same hand position for at least 2 minutes can seem daunting, so having a steady base in ones feet and legs is essential.

However, is there more going on for the practitioner during a Reiki session? Is her stillness more than a mindful practice?

As a practitioner, when offering Reiki, the energy is flowing through you to the recipient. This is universal life force energy. It is universal and infinite. It cannot be depleted. You won’t use it up as it goes to your lovely client.

In this process, you, as the practitioner, enter the state of receiving Reiki and all of its calm-producing benefits.

This calmness helps one stand in stillness. Being in this state also brings focus to the mind and heightened clarity and greater awareness of sensations.

Some people have described offering Reiki as being in a trance-like state.

Trance is defined as a “half-conscious” state and I would say that in my experience, it is that way. When I’m offering Reiki, I often “go someplace else.” I am physically present in the room, aware of my surroundings, of my client and her state, and of the healing that I am facilitating, but I’m also in a completely different state than I am in my day-to-day life.

I am calmer, clearer, with laser focus — and I can stand absolutely still — and when I move from hand position to hand position, I do so smoothly and easily.

So the answer to, “How do you stand so still?” is, “Reiki!” It allows the practitioner to enter a trancelike state that facilitates focus, stillness, and heightened awareness. Ask any Reiki practitioner and they will be able to tell you their story of stillness and peace.

Hope to see you soon at a Reiki clinic, class or session to experience the peaceful trance of Reiki!

Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Diffuser
Nebulizing Diffuser from Organic Aromas

Several years ago, my daughter and I had the pleasure of attending an essential oils class with Lynn Palmgren of Palmgren Acupuncture, in Oak Park, where we sampled different oils and blends and found the right ones for us. It was fun and insightful, but what was truly amazing was that the next morning:

Our house had the lovely aroma of lemon throughout it!

What a treat to wake up to this pure clean scent!

Over the years, I’ve tried different oils and recently received a diffuser and oils from Organic Aromas.*

This diffuser is so lovely and looks beautiful in our home.

But what I really love about it is the intensity of the scent. No water is used with this diffuser and so it is just pure essential oils being sent into the air. We have been using the lemon for a clean and uplifting feeling and the lavender for the end of the day to encourage unwinding. Both diffuse easily and the amount can be controlled with a dial on the diffuser. (We also enjoy the changing colors of the LED light. This can be turned off with just a touch, if you choose.)

Another great aspect of this diffuser is that it’s easy to clean! It just takes minutes to clean and because you’re not using water in the diffuser, so there is no build up of minerals, which makes cleaning even easier. (You can check out this video for specific instructions.)

Aromas are a lovely add on to a Reiki session as well. For my clients without a sensitivity to scent, I have sometimes been adding in a lavender-based blend of oils to the diffuser and running it on a low setting during the session.

A number of my clients have mentioned that the scent helps them to focus their mind on relaxation and stay in the present moment.

I hope you’ll give essential oils a try. They integrate beautifully into your home and healing practice and provide so many benefits.

Wishing you abundant love and light!

 

 

*Please note that I received the Organic Aromas diffuser and oils in exchange for reviewing and posting about it. The above statements are true and accurate regarding my experience with their product.

Elsewhere

You sought peace and
freedom
No more depression.
Spirit said:
Go here
Go
Be free
free
free
and we went there
a place
of freedom,
peace
and spirit.
A place without our
bodies and our pain.
We went someplace else
and came back
healed.

by Janice E. Lodato

 

Elsewhere is a reflection on a Reiki session where a client sought freedom from depression.

Things that don’t make sense

Last year, my word for the year was actually a phrase. It was: “This is the year of doing things that don’t make sense.” This may seem silly or illogical or risky but for me it led me to do a number of things that didn’t make sense, but brought me a lot of joy.

For instance, I attended a Reiki retreat at a time of the year when I had neither the time nor the funds to attend. It was an amazing and transformative experience. I also made some of the closest friends that I’ve had in a long time. These are women who are truly my tribe. I can be 100% authentic with them.  Infinite gratitude to Rachel Goldberg for coordinating the retreat and making the financial hurdle an easy one to overcome.

Two other examples from last year were: 1. I ran a 25k trail race. In some ways this made sense. I’m a dedicated runner and logged over 1,000 miles in 2018 – the same as in the previous two years. However, I was woefully undertrained for the hills and trails and risked injury. It didn’t make sense to tackle this, though this accomplishment is one of my proudest of 2018. 2. My family and I adopted a second dog. This did not make sense, however, she has lit up my life and is a joy to be around. At 9 months old, she has a lot to learn, though her exuberance is a breath of fresh air in our house.

So for 2019, when I hear that voice in my head that says, “This does not make sense.” I will continue to pause and note that: this is probably what I should be doing and I need to find a way to make it happen.

I’m also selecting a word of the year for 2019. The word is, RESPECT. I want to be aware of when I am not being respected and when I’m not respecting myself. I want to be aware of respecting others and making sure that aligns with a respectful state for all — keeping respect in balance. For instance, a week ago, someone was asking me to provide some information that I preferred to keep confidential. He insisted and so did I. Later when I reflected on the interaction I saw this as an instance where this person was not respecting my boundaries. In order to uphold my word for the year, I will continue to stand my ground in situations like this and demand respect for what I want and what I need as a strong individual.

Other ways that respect will manifest itself is in realizing some long-term resolutions that I’ve ignored in previous years. For instance, I’ve wanted to write more and start my book project. I will do that in 2019. Also, I want to teach Reiki classes to larger groups of people in order to spread its goodness into this world. I’d also like to enhance my foreign language skills, take on a physical challenge, and travel, travel, travel.

What’s your word or phrase for the year? Please share it in the comments!

Wishing you abundant love and light in 2019 and always!

What’s your Superpower?

Awhile ago, I was leading a meditation group. At the beginning of the session, I asked the participants why they wanted to learn to meditate. There were the typical answers of seeking improved concentration, peacefulness, and mindfulness; however, there was one woman who said she wanted to learn to sit still. She described how sitting still is a real challenge for her. Working in finance, she is expected to sit for many hours a day, which is really difficult for her. Her colleagues often comment upon her fidgetiness.

As we got to know each other more, I learned that this bright young woman was a creative powerhouse. She could innovate at home and at work almost constantly and was sought out by all who knew her for her keen problem solving skills. Things did not linger on her to do list as she was on-the-go throughout the day making things happen.

Our sitting sessions were difficult for her and so I modified them to a walking meditation practice that allowed her to meditate in motion. She savored coordinating breath with movement and was able to focus her mind on that singular place of breath and step.

Even with that success, however, she still longed to sit still. She said to me, “Will I be able to do sitting meditation next?” And I replied, “You’re training your mind and will be able to translate that into sitting.” But then I hesitated because I wanted to point something out to her and so I ventured, “What if not sitting still is your superpower?” She looked at me puzzled, and I said, “Think about it for awhile and let me know next week how that might change things for you.”

She returned to our meditation sessions regularly and we continued our discussions on reframing her view of her hyperactivity. She noticed that by not resisting her physical energy but rather by accepting it and harnessing it she had greater peacefulness and mindfulness.

When she felt fidgety at work, she would go for a short walk. She also moved to a standing desk and eventually a treadmill desk. Then she started to explore the possibility of a career as a personal trainer — an area she had always loved. And eventually, she was able to sit for short periods of time during meditation.

This experience made me think:

What if we looked at the things that people sometimes don’t understand about us and harness them as our superpowers? Rather than resisting them, we make them into an asset.

For instance, perhaps people tell you that you’re thin-skinned. Instead of trying to be a tough and callous individual, you accept your sensitivity and use it to relate deeply to others. You create appropriate boundaries to protect yourself and yet are able to guide those in your life with your insightfulness.

What is your superpower? I encourage you to identify it and nurture it. May it grow and help you bring a shining light to this world.

 

Interview with Alison Kelly

I had the the pleasure of sitting down with Alison and talking about her experiences with Reiki sessions and classes. She shares about how Reiki transformed her grief and how she has a steady client base after taking my level 2 class.

Time to Eat my Humble Pie

Last week, I was honored with an award from the women’s running group that Picture of humble pieI’m part of and my immediate reaction was, “I don’t deserve that.”

There is a pattern in my thoughts, and maybe yours too, one that says:

“I don’t deserve to have that chocolate cake because I didn’t run today.”

“I don’t deserve to get that promotion at work because what I do is not technical.”

“I don’t deserve to live in my dream house because I’ve made bad choices in the past.”

“I don’t deserve to have fun and be proud of my running because I’m not fast.”

This all made me realize that I need to eat my humble pie. Not in the usual way that expression is used but rather in a metaphorical way, where my pie is made of an excess of humility to the point of making my world view that of being a person of lesser status.

You see the pattern, the one that says – I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, I’m less than – it gets in the way. It blocks the things I desire from entering my life.

This pattern is one that I’ve been trying to turn on its head by changing my thoughts to:

I deserve.

I deserve that chocolate cake.

I deserve that new blouse.

I deserve the gift from a friend.

I deserve that recognition at work.

How might my life be different if I faced my day by recognizing my innate worth? As Maria Shriver says in her essay, I’ve Learned that I Deserve, “It’s not selfish or arrogant. It’s a way to be kind and loving to yourself.”

If I started there – feeling empowered by all that is good – I might more easily fulfill my needs and those of others.

Will I get everything I want and need? Indeed not. Life will still throw injustices and hard times my way as it does to everyone else, but I’ll face it all – the good and the bad – with the strength and power of my worth – because I deserve to give and receive love and all the gifts of the universe.

So please excuse me while I munch on my humility.

Interview with Nancy Paul

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my students and a fellow Reiki Master, Nancy Paul, of Lyrical Healing. She shares her experiences using Reiki in her body-centered therapy practice and about the ease and effectiveness of Reiki classes!

I hope you enjoy this video!