Posted on October 10, 2017
by Beth Lowell
“You Should Have Just Said Something!”
How many times have you heard that? Maybe you were really stressed after over-extending yourself but still honored your commitment. Or you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Or you didn’t want to fail at any cost.
An imaginary standard of perfection seems to take over sometimes which defies all reason, creating a rigidity that upon later reflection borders on the absurd. In hindsight, we can laugh at the situation, learn from it, or kick ourselves for being so pig-headedly stupid.
“Why didn’t I say something?”
How many times have you said or thought these words? Maybe your words could have helped or encouraged someone, or in your mind prevented some terrible tragedy. Sometimes you think you have all the time in the world, and suddenly the person you wanted to thank, or express sympathy to, or tell them that you miss them is gone. So now it’s too late. And then comes the regret and the guilt.
Do you hear the bell of self-compassion ringing? Your intentions were probably good even if misguided, or thwarted by circumstance. Give yourself a break. And then take action.
One way to do this is to put your feelings in writing. Journaling daily works wonders to set your intentions and goals, clear your thoughts and clarify your emotions in a way that’s personal and for your eyes only. Looking back on your journal in a year’s time after diligent writing is a concrete way to see how much you’ve progressed in all areas of life.
Writing things down gets them out of your head and off your chest. That’s why productivity experts recommend writing your to-do list for the following day before you go to bed so your mind can be free of anxiety and you can sleep soundly.
Another way to free yourself of nagging thoughts or doubts is through letter writing.
- Write a letter to your former self showering yourself with all the love and understanding you deserve.
- Write a letter, as recommended by Julia Cameron in her groundbreaking work The Artist’s Way, The Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, to someone who was a naysayer along your personal path. This can include family and teachers, friends and mentors, anyone who discouraged your dreams, or someone who has upset or angered you. Mail this not to the person or people, but to yourself. The act of writing it will get those unresolved feelings off your chest. You can save it for the future and open it on a rainy day.
Writing such letters:
- Eliminates fear of expressing yourself or repercussions
- Helps you heal through releasing anger
- Is an act of compassion for others who would love nothing more than to hear from you as well as an act of self-compassion, validating your deepest thoughts and feelings
- Keeps you honest
- Allows you to experience humility with grace and grasp the true nature of how little we are in control of
Sound familiar? If you’ve studied Reiki, this may sound similar to the Reiki precepts. Yeah, funny how those precepts work!
If it’s not too late, (it’s never too late in my book) write a letter to a loved one. Why not email? People read email these days just about as much as they answer the home phone. In an age where texts and tweets serve as primary forms of communication, a hand-written letter stands head and shoulders above and is a beautiful gift to both yourself (because the act of writing forces you to slow down and breathe) and to the recipient, whose mailbox is likely to be filled with little other than circulars, bills and junk mail aside from birthday or holiday cards whose popularity has waned with the onset of electronic communication.
If the person you wish to address is no longer living or has disappeared from your radar and can’t be located you have yet another option.
Join the What I Never Told You (Winty for short) project to give you the chance to write to a person who may never be able to receive your note. It’s about healing and sometimes letting go.
The end result of this collaborative project is the creation and exhibition of a beautiful mosaic-like paper quilt created from the shreds of letters from all over the world, which can travel and grow over time and which will carry forth all of the good intentions of the writers.
Participating is easy. Write your letter and mail it to Winty’s PO Box. If you wish to be mentioned in the catalogue that will accompany this exhibition, simply include your return address on the envelope.
You may type the letter if you prefer–no email is accepted for this project. Your letters will not be read, but shredded and combined with all of the other letters received (with all of their different colored paper and envelopes, handwriting styles and beautiful stamps) into a very large paper quilt.
You can follow the project’s blog or sign up for the newsletter to keep up with the progress of the project. If you include your mailing address I’ll send you a handwritten thank you on a postcard, and include an affirmation created just for you.
Writing letters is different than having a conversation. Writing allows you the time to have your say uninterrupted, and it allows you to cross out, edit, trash and start again all over. It’s a way of communication that lets you gather your thoughts and allow the other person to savor them. It’s both a meditative and respectful process.
The project assumes that whoever and wherever the recipients of these letters are on their path of existence, living or dead, that they will energetically receive and appreciate the messages and that their authors will be a little lighter of heart and spirit for having participated.
Write your letter
Mail it to WINTY PO Box 281, Morristown NJ 07963
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Beth Lowell is an artist and Reiki practitioner with a specialization in pets located in Morristown, NJ
Posted on July 6, 2017
Learning Reiki: A Student Connects to Her Inner Wisdom
Here’s what Lindsay Lee, a recent Reiki I and Reiki II graduate (and mother-to-be), said about learning to give herself a daily 10-minute Reiki treatment and how she felt after taking the class.
Going Within: The Power of Self Care
By the end of the Reiki I class and practicing what I learned, I discovered how deeply profound it is to slow down and connect to my inner being. I have all the tools, wisdom, and knowledge in my body. Self-care is the beginning of everything!
I feel different since the class. There has been a shift, a subtle transformation. I feel open, lighter, and more engaged. It was an intimate class and we covered a lot of material. I can’t wait to further my Reiki studies.
Getting a Reiki Session: The Body Speaks
I noticed the effects of receiving Reiki from a professional Reiki practitioner took place over a couple of days. The treatment felt like a much more communicative session between my body and the practitioner. My body felt so vocal.
I liked the verbal communication during my session as well. It made my mind and body feel more connected to each other and more wholesome.
Giving a Reiki Session: Connecting With Another Person
When I practiced giving Reiki chair sessions to other people, I discovered I need to be more present with the person I am giving the session to, more aware. I found that I was closing my eyes a lot in the beginning, and really I need to be aware of what’s happening with the person receiving the session.
Reiki is very much an energetic give and take. I have noticed that the more I self practice using the Reiki self care protocol, the more in tune I feel, being able to notice other peoples’ energies when I give them a Reiki session.
Reiki Take Away
Although I never had a Reiki session before taking the Reiki Level 1 course, it intuitively felt like the right move for me. The Reiki class was super thorough. I found the Reiki precepts, dry bathing, and gassho techniques incredible ways to ground myself.
I’m excited to continue practicing what I learned! Since the class, I’m beginning to reconnect with myself and with my inner peace and strength.
Posted on April 21, 2017
Caroline Gomez is a yoga teacher, mom of three, and one of my most energetic Reiki students. She’s in the process of completing Reiki III. Here’s her experience taking Reiki I.
The Power of Taking Care of Yourself with Reiki
I learned from the Reiki Self-Care Protocol that I matter. I learned how the power of intention and self-care can change your outlook and energy. The effects of the Reiki self-care protocol are cumulative and become stronger and last longer the more you practice.
I also learned that we all possess the power to self-heal. And before we practice Reiki on others, we must first practice on ourselves.
Receiving Reiki: Getting a Reiki Session
I learned that surrendering and being open to accepting energy healing from someone else is an intimate exchange. There is a level of trust that occurs between you and the practitioner, and not everyone will practice the same protocol that I learned.
When I received Reiki by getting a Reiki session, it was different from practicing the Reiki self-care protocol, not better or worse, but the energy was different. I did feel that I could block or receive from the Reiki practitioner. I felt that I was in control of the process, even though I was receiving Reiki.
I also learned that I have some way to go as a Reiki practitioner, regarding being intuitive and able to sense what is going on with another person. I was amazed at how much information the practitioner was able to learn from me just from one session.
Giving a Reiki Session: Less is More
I learned that less is more when it comes to giving Reiki. I think I was trying too hard to squeeze the energy from myself to another person. I was trying to make something happen, instead of trusting the process. When I experienced this shift, I changed my view of how the Reiki energy flows through me.
I felt so much joy in sharing, and in the exchange of giving and receiving. I was being so careful and I wanted to nurture the person receiving Reiki. I was honored that someone would trust me to give them a Reiki session.
Posted on February 8, 2017
Happy year of the rooster!
Hope you are doing well this cozy time of year in New York. It’s lightly snowing as I write this, with the sun setting as night falls: the quietness of the snow so beautiful and peaceful. Similar to the way Reiki self care feels to me when I place my hands on my body: my mind centers and I feel calm. How about you?
I’m in the middle of teaching Reiki I and it’s such a good group of students—asking deep questions and moving outside their comfort zone as they think about energy, meditation, and self care in new ways.
Read on for simple tips for your Reiki practice.
Learning Reiki online?
I recently wrote a blog post about the pros and cons of learning Reiki online. Technology definitely has a place in learning, but is it the right place to learn Reiki?
A Simple Grounding Technique:
This made me laugh. Reflexology teacher Sue Ricks gives her clients a super quick grounding technique.
Ready, for this? Squeeze your butt for one minute.
It definitely moves your energy from your head down into your lower torso, helping you feel more centered. Try it!
In Japan, shinrin-yoku is the practice of “forest bathing” — immersing yourself in the environment of the forest for relaxation. The Washington Post declared forest bathing the latest stress-reducing trend in the U.S.
A friend and fellow Reiki teacher from Japan told me people in Japan will go to a place in nature like a forest or a park and say, “Oh, there’s so much Reiki here.” They aren’t referring to the Reiki System of Natural Healing, rather they are referring to the meaning of Reiki—spiritual life force energy.
So many of my clients and students who deal with anxiety or depression notice how much better they feel when they spend time in nature. If you live in New York City, you get extra credit because nature is a little harder to find.
A Native American client once told me she connects to nature in the midst of the concrete of the city by looking up at the sky. Isn’t that expansive? How can you incorporate being in nature into your life more?
Year of the Rooster
One of my long-time teachers, Gary Strauss, (who I also interview in my book, Building a Powerful Practice), wrote an article about how to live in these polarized times, figure out what we need to do, and honor the energy of the year of the rooster. Interesting stuff!
Remember it only takes a moment to place your hands on yourself, breathe deeply and get back to your Reiki practice.