Practicing Patience

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary it is active; it is concentrated strength.” ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Patience at the CrossroadsLately, I’ve had the opportunity to practice patience quite frequently.  Maybe this is always the case but I feel it quite strongly now.  In our daily lives there are many opportunities to practice patience: the traffic light, the slow computer (or Internet connection), the water that doesn’t seem to boil, the sleep that seems elusive, the job offer that is just outside of reach, the child who takes “forever” to go to sleep, the Springtime that seems so far away.  For me, these are opportunities to practice patience and to breathe.

I notice that I often find it hard to make time for a daily meditation practice.  However, there are countless times during the day when my patience starts to fade.  That’s when I take the time to notice my breath.  Sometimes it’s just a single breath, sometimes a few, but regardless, the situation is not changed — I have changed.

With the breath, with my patience, I have fostered calm and gathered strength to go on.

How do you practice patience in your daily life?

[twitter-follow screen_name=’u_r_reiki’]

Reiki Clients Report Decreased Stress, Pain, Anxiety; Elevated Mood and More Relaxed

Yes!  Reiki works!

The Wellness House in Hinsdale Illinois has been surveying program participants about how they feel before and after healing sessions.  (Healing sessions include Reiki, Massage, Healing Touch and CranioSacral therapy.)  The overall demographic of the participants was: 85%+ Female and 91%+ Cancer Patients in active treatment.  The participants reported the following results after their healing session:

  • Stress: decreased by 60%
  • Pain: decreased by 55%
  • Anxiety: decreased by 72%
  • Mood: improved by 45%
  • Relaxation: increased by 60%

For 40% of the participants this was their first healing session at the Wellness House.

What is your experience after a Reiki session?  Is your mood elevated?  Are you more relaxed and less anxious?  If you’re a Reiki practitioner is the experience different for you after self-Reiki than when Reiki is offered to you by others?  Please share your Reiki experiences in the comments!

Wishing you abundant love and light!

Janice Lodato, MA, RMT

[twitter-follow screen_name=’u_r_reiki’]

Reiki Resolution Technique

The past five days have been filled with anxiety, anger and pain.  Sometimes for me this has been almost disorientating and disabling.  I almost don’t know what to do next as I feel held by these strong emotions.

However, I have reminded myself of the wise and helpful technique presented by my teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb.  They call this technique the Reiki Resolution Technique.

The technique works as follows:  If you are a Reiki practitioner, level 2, then first do the mental/emotional symbol plus the empowerment symbol.  Place your hands on your heart and hold the emotion in your hands and heart.  Don’t shy away from it.  Don’t dismiss it.  Hold the anxiety, for example, in your hands and notice what happens.  (Hold it for about 5-10 minutes, with your eyes closed, your body relaxed and your breathing deep and steady.)  As I have done this the past few days, I’ve observed a melting away of the emotion as it replaced by a wave of peace.

If you’re not a Reiki practitioner, you can try this technique as well.  It is helpful to not turn away from our emotions but apply loving and heartfelt attention toward them.  The practice of self-compassion is very important.  The more compassion we create in ourselves, the more we generate this out into the world.

Try this technique and let me know how it works for you.

I will take a blogging break until after the new year.  I wish for each of you a Blessed Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year filled with love, light and peace.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’u_r_reiki’]

Turn toward the Light

It’s that time of year.  The shadows are long.  The sun creeps along the southern part of the sky.  The hours of daylight are minimal and, if you’re like me, Reiki Healing Energy.netyou long for “extra” hours of sleep, candles, friends, blankets and chocolate.

In Reiki, we often sign our correspondence, “With love and light.”  We offer the universe’s gifts to those we interact with.  What light are we offering?  Is it sunlight?  Certainly, in our human existence many of us are energized by a sunny day or rooms filled with natural or artificial light.  Currently, I’m enjoying the natural light that comes through a newly cleaned window with the screen removed.  The outside scene seems brighter and more appealing.  My gaze often wanders that way as if the answer to all my questions lie there in the light of nature.

However, there are many days, especially here in the Midwest, that are filled with gray skies.  This time of year we have just over 9 hours of daylight.  Does that mean that we don’t have light that day or night?  That our existence is gray too?  No, the light we refer to in Reiki is the light of our souls.  It is the light of the universe.

As we face these days of less external light, seek out and nurture the light of your soul, the light of the universe.  Access it in whatever way you can; with nourishing food, uplifting conversation, vigorous exercise, quiet meditation, abundant kindness, a smile for a stranger, beautiful surroundings, the light of a candle, the gentleness of Reiki.

There are many things that you can do to connect with the light of the universe.  What ways resonant for you?

[twitter-follow screen_name=’u_r_reiki’]

Reiki Haiku

Jealousy grips my heart
Why her not me
Recognition and breath frees

by Janice E. Lodato, Reiki Master Teacher

[twitter-follow screen_name='u_r_reiki']

The Illusion of Sameness and the Constancy of Change

“No one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he/she is not the same person.” ~Heraclitus

Autumn Sky

I have been experiencing some unwelcome change in my life this past week, which has brought me back to reflecting upon change in our lives.  I have been engaged in many discussions about the return to normalcy and how we sometimes rush this in our grieving process and as we’re healing from illness.  This has inevitably (because my background is in Philosophy and this is the way my mind functions) led me to reflect on, “What is normal?”.  Is change normal?

There are times in our lives where nothing seems to change.  People may ask us, “How are you?” and we reply, “Same old, same old.”  Is it really the same?  Or is sameness an illusion?  Perhaps we are just not aware at that moment how things are changing.  If we start observing our bodies we notice that they are in a constant state of change as they adjust to our environment, the food we’ve eaten that day, the emotions we are experiencing.  If we observe nature we see how the light in the sky changes from day to day, how the plants grow or lean toward the sun, how an animal’s energy fluctuates daily.

However, there are definitely times when change seems to come all of a sudden.  For instance, in the case of storms that uproot our lives, accidents that occur suddenly, or the loss of a job that seems to come out of nowhere.  Change can come suddenly as well.

So how do we cope with change?  How do we accept it?  How do we embrace it?  Certainly the benefit of know that we have survived change in the past can help us feel confidence in the face of change, as can the support and wisdom of other people’s lives and experiences.  Sometimes we think or feel that our experience is unique when really it is so similar to what others have experienced as well.

For me, recognizing and experiencing the changing flow of energy in my body and spirit and knowing this is the way of the universe fills me with peace and acceptance.  Self-Reiki brings me back to a place of calmness and wisdom that embraces flux and the constantly changing river that is our essence.

[twitter-follow screen_name=’u_r_reiki’]

The mind does not control Reiki

My Reiki teachers, Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb, taught me in the most traditional way as they are very close to the lineage that brought Reiki to the United States.  In our training we always emphasize that the mind does not control Reiki.

Often new Reiki practitioners will be concerned that their mental state, of anger, sadness, or anxiety, could negatively impact a Reiki session.  However, Reiki is a one-way street.  We OFFER Reiki.  It is up to the recipient and his/her body and spirit to take in and use Reiki as needed and desired.  Reiki cannot overwhelm the recipient and it cannot be controlled by the mind.  Though, intention setting can be a very powerful ally.

While a Reiki practitioner is offering Reiki, her/his mind needs to be engaged.  Setting an intention that becomes a sort of mantra for the practitioner can be very beneficial for her/his experience of the session.  This should not be confused however, with being in control of the Reiki or of the recipient’s energy.  We offer.  We do Reiki and notice.  We do not diagnose.  We do not manipulate.  We offer Reiki for the highest healing good.

Is setting an intention helpful?  Yes, it is helpful for our monkey minds that so desperately need something to DO.  It can also provide focus for the recipient’s mind.  However, again, the recipients mind will not control the Reiki.  The Reiki will go where it is needed most.

This approach to Reiki recognizes the power of the universe.  It is an approach that acknowledges the Reiki practitioner’s role as a conduit.  The Reiki channels through me to the recipient.

Many have difficulty accepting this and feel that they should be “doing” more during a Reiki session.  However, this is unnecessary.  The power of the universe, of universal life force energy, is being presented through your attuned hands.  Have faith and confidence that, as with your intention, it is presented for the highest healing good and will yield exactly that.

Be well my friends and trust in the universe.  Align yourself with the light.

[twitter-follow screen_name='u_r_reiki']

Reiki Poetry

I love poetry.  I find with my self-Reiki practice I am more patient with the process of writing poetry.  I enjoy playing with the words and sounds in my head for several days.  Then I jot down what has come together and edit it some more over the next several days or weeks.  So for me, it is Reiki poetry, because it is full of energy and, I hope, touches the universal.

Another Reiki practitioner friend, is a professional poet and writes beautiful Reiki-infused poetry.  Find Gwen Bindas’ work here: Sometimes in Summer.

Here is a recent poem of mine.  Please let me know what you think!

Chicago Sidewalks

Pigeons weave

among Florsheim/Nike/Converse

Hearts pump
Blood flows
Nerves jump

and respond

Moving

in this ever-changing space

[twitter-follow screen_name='u_r_reiki']

Daydreaming

“Oh, I could hide ‘neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings.
The six o’clock alarm would never ring.
But six rings and I rise,
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
. . .
Oh, what can it mean.
To a daydream believer . . .” by John Stewart, performed by the Monkees

Last night, as I was scrubbing the stuck on linguini off the colander, it occurred to me:  It has been years, and I mean YEARS (maybe in the 10 year range), since I last engaged in daydreaming.  I don’t mean a momentary drift off into “lala” land as one gazes at the clouds.  No, I mean, a full daydream of the joyful and involved type, where I dream about a future scenario for myself.  I would act it out in my mind and find the words, responses and situations that would bring me the most joy.

Definitely, in the past few years I have engaged in thought processes that in some ways mimic daydreaming, but they all fall short on one vital component.  They are negative, anxiety-filled musings of the mind.  They are the kind that make me say to myself, “Stop!  Think of something positive.”  I quickly identify the thought as “anxiety” and attempt to fill my mind with comforting thoughts and my heart with Reiki.

However, daydreaming, at least for me, is different.  It is positive, fun and sometimes inspirational.  It can be an anchor to my truest desires and aspirations.  If I can find the time to daydream again, it may be the key to answering the question that I just can’t seem to answer lately, “What do I want for my future professionally?”  I have many general ideas that incorporate my skills and experiences and I know what I enjoy at work and what I don’t.  The clarity of it is missing.  The vision, the mental visual acuity, is missing.  Perhaps I will find it again in daydreaming.

Do you daydream?  Do you find it helpful and empowering?

[twitter-follow screen_name='u_r_reiki']

Reiki: Anxiety and Cancer Treatment

Reiki handsThis past Saturday, I offered Reiki during three one-on-one sessions at the Wellness House in Hinsdale.  The Wellness tune-up room is a spa-type room with dimmed lights, healing music (my current favorite is Steven Halpern’s Music for Healing), and a Reiki (aka massage) table.  I have been practicing here for over a year and each time is an energizing and humbling experience.  In a very general way, you can describe what I do as offering Reiki to cancer patients.  However, each experience is so unique, each person and his/her experiences are unique, and yet each person’s experience is so similar (even in its uniqueness).

Some people come to Reiki in the midst of treatment.  They are thin, nauseated, and engaged in the “battle”.  And yet others come to Reiki after treatment, full of energy and lingering side effects, busy with their work and home lives, and creating their new normalcy.

They all come to Reiki with stress, fear, anxiety and all of the side effects of their emotional lives.  They expect a lot of Reiki.  (Don’t we all?  And why shouldn’t we?  It IS universal life force energy.)  They expect: stress-relief, better sleep, freedom to live their lives.  That freedom might just include the energy to be active all day and sleep well at night from an appropriately tired body.  Or it might be the energy to do the things one loves throughout the day, even reading in the evening, curled up in a favorite chair and staying awake long enough to read more than one page.

Even when the session is ended and they report feeling so relaxed, they often ask in an anxious voice, “What did you feel?  What did you notice?  Was it good?”  And I wonder to myself, “What is my role here as a Reiki practitioner?  Do I diagnose?”  No.  Reiki practitioners do not diagnose.  Can I offer an encouraging and kind word or two?  Indeed, and I do, because invariably that is my experience – it is positive and I feel encouraged.    The Reiki is there for them.  They draw it in and get the healing they need.  Is it a cure-all?  No, unfortunately.  Is it complementary with other modalities and treatments?  Absolutely.  Do they sign up for more and bemoan the fact that they can’t get in more frequently.  Yes.

Reiki provides emotional and spiritual support during cancer treatment.  It helps to mitigate anxiety and fear and their side effects.  With Reiki one can achieve better sleep, increased physical energy and the support of the universe.

Please share your Reiki experiences in the comment section.

Wishing you peace and wellness.

[twitter-follow screen_name='u_r_reiki']