Lunch Date talk – What the heck is Reiki?

Have you discovered the Reiki healing touch system? Do you even know what it is? I’ve been meeting lots of folks who don’t know, or don’t really get it, so for this week’s “Lunch Date” call I answered the question, “What the heck is Reiki?”

You can listen to this call  below.

Have you ever had a Reiki session? What was your experience? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below. And, if you’re local, you can schedule a Reiki session with me!

How Reiki can support you during times of change

This image depicts a Reiki treatment in progre...

A Reiki treatment in progress. Author: James Logan; Uploaded by Andy Beer with agreement of author and models. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you approach the fall equinox, you may find yourself connecting to the energy of change. This time of year, when the trees are letting go of their leaves, encourages deep cleaning. Whether it’s your home, your body, your career or your lifestyle, it’s time to clean it out, dust it off, and welcome change.

Reiki is a powerful platform for change. Regular sessions, through self-practice or with a practitioner, offer gentle yet powerful support that nourishes you and clears a space into which you can invite the season’s newness.

Reiki can lessen the anxiety and pain often associated with change, so you will feel more able to incorporate needed health interventions or make lifestyle changes. Reiki can also clear the mind, enabling you to better evaluate the sometimes conflicting choices before you, so you can make important decisions with greater confidence.

When approaching change, it is important avoid making choices based on fear. Surrender to your Reiki experience, perhaps savoring the breath, allowing your awareness to drop within. Your session will bring you toward balance, and you will be better able to sort through your options, and see possibilities you hadn’t considered before. Regular Reiki sessions support you to make wise, timely changes, ones you can sustain, and which, in turn, will sustain you.

For me, self care is about making conscious choices to address the needs of my body, mind and spirit. Reiki is one tool in my self-care regimen, an over-arching support which gently guides me towards what my body needs to restore balance and wellness. In this way, Reiki opens us up to change, welcoming the newness of natural health.

Why I’m not dumping an ice bucket on my head for ALS #icebucketalternative

Stephen Hawking has ALS, and is an unusual case because he has lived much longer than expected.

Stephen Hawking has ALS, and is an unusual case because he has lived much longer than expected.

Last weekend a friend nominated me on Facebook for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was bad timing, because I had an important commitment on Sunday. It’s also been really cold in Upstate New York, and the thought of taking off my sweater to dump ice water on my head doesn’t make me feel charitable.

In addition, I’m bothered by the way that the ALS Association turned a fun dare among pro athletes and celebrities into a guilt-trip fundraiser for more research by Big-Pharma, which continues to ignore possibility of environmental or food-based causes for diseases and fails to address alternative treatments. I cannot bring myself to donate the little extra money I have to a charity that does not align with my values.

That being said, I saw the effects of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, first-hand when it affected a yoga student. The vibrant, active woman I knew deteriorated quickly and passed away earlier this year. I didn’t get to see her after she was unable to keep up her yoga practice, but I got updates from her friends. After I learned about ALS, I believe her death was a blessing. (Here is a touching opinion piece by a sufferer which made me feel better about my reaction to the news of her passing.)

My heart and mind were conflicted, and I was reminded that I had been challenged each time I opened Facebook. I mulled it over last night during my Reiki self-practice. This morning I held the camera while my son dumped ice water on my daughter’s head so she could meet her challenge. (It was 46F outside.) I realized I needed to find a way to honor those who are afflicted with ALS, but I had to do it in a way that felt good to me.

I decided to reach out to my circle of alternative and integrative practitioners, yoga teachers, energy healers and health coaches with our own challenge. It’s easy, and all of the steps are optional. You can put that ice bucket down.

  1. Learn about ALS and its symptoms. (Anyone who is willing to dump an ice bucket on his head should at least do that.)
  2. Do something productive for those who are suffering with ALS. Keep it simple. Dedicate the energy of a yoga practice or meditation. Volunteer to teach yoga or meditation, or offer energy healing, at a local hospital. Look into alternative or nutritional therapies for ALS and share what you find to help get information to those who need it. I am creating a crystal grid to send Reiki to anyone afflicted or caring for someone with ALS who would like to receive it. I’ll post a picture of the grid as soon as it is done. You are welcome to add your energy to it.
  3. Make a donation, even a very small one, to a charity that feels right to you. I spent a few hours today researching and decided to support Voice for HOPE (Healers of Planet Earth), a group advocating to make complementary, alternative and integrative health initiatives an explicit part of our national health policy. (You can join for free – donations are optional.) Here are some of the others I considered:
  4. Spread the word. If you use social media to share what you’ve learned or done, please tag your post #icebucketalternative.

Come for the Restorative Yoga, Stay for the Cat

Cats give great adjustments.

Cats give great adjustments.

Restorative yoga is lovely and deeply relaxing. I enjoying teaching restorative classes and workshops, and one of my favorites is a workshop I created where participants learn how to prop restorative poses with just one folded blanket. This gives them the opportunity to recreate the practice at home without having to invest in bolsters, blocks and straps.

I thought I would share a short one-blanket restorative sequence with you. I particularly like this sequence because the transitions are smooth and easy. You’ll go around in a circle as you move from pose to pose. Rather than write it out, I set up my camera in the backyard to record a video of the sequence for you.

It was a good idea. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. However, our cat was outside enjoying the weather, too. If the cat knows there’s yoga happening, she has to get in on the action. I’ve nicknamed her “the 4-pawed Reiki master” because she loves to give paws-on, energy-laden adjustments.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to record the video without the cat.

If you’d like to try the restorative poses, ignore the cat, who shows up just past the 3-minute mark, and listen to my voice. If you like cats, then enjoy watching her climb on me, rub my face with her head, and get in the way during transitions.

Either way, thanks for watching.


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