Happy new year! How’s your year going so far?
I’m seeing more clients these past couple of weeks wanting to reset and refocus—letting go of the past year and thinking about how they want to open up to the new year.
While of course I absolutely love seeing clients transform throughout the year, there’s something special about the energy at the beginning and ending of the year, and these are some of my favorite times to work with clients.
For Reflection & Planning
Some of you have told me you started filling out Leonie’s fabulous Create Your Shining Year workbooks and/or using the 5-Minute Journal to change negative thinking.
I recently finished Susannah Conway’s free 5-day e-course: Find Your Word of the Year (my word is SPACE and I had fun creating a Pinterest board for my word to inspire me and help me embody this energy throughout the year.
And I’m in the process of filling out Susannah’s Unraveling the Year Ahead e-book (this is shorter and less detailed than Leonie’s workbooks, but it’s free.
One of the questions in the e-book is:
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
Close your eyes and take a deep breath to settle into yourself and then spend a few minutes answering this question.
Here’s a glimpse of what I’m looking forward to:
Working and learning with clients and Reiki students; hanging out and laughing with my husband; exploring the Hudson Valley (hello Pam!); finding a new place to live; celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary; traveling (maybe to the outer Hebrides—hello Nicola! or Iceland); going to Jacob’s Pillow and seeing dance with my in-laws; starting new creative projects—learning to paint, taking photos; reading The Artist’s Way; writing poems and sending them to journals; learning more from the immensely lovable Master Sha; deepening my meditation practice; getting together with friends more often; going to Block Island (hello Katie!) and trying janzu aqua therapy again; continuing to study and get sessions with Frans Stiene, Gary Strauss, and my beloved Pingo; reading novels; sitting on the deck; cooking more; seeing how my practice evolves; taking yoga and bar classes; AND having more fun
Any goals or projects included in what you’re looking forward to in 2017? Perhaps you think about making progress in your daily Reiki or meditation practice?
Here’s an inspiring quote:
After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress.
Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet. But as you keep walking, you get wet little by little.
If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, “Oh, this pace is terrible!” But actually, it is not. When you get wet in a fog, it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress. It is like studying a foreign language. You cannot do it all of a sudden, but by repeating it over and over, you will master it.
It’s such a good reminder for our daily Reiki or meditation practice, though it also applies to other goals or projects. Reiki teacher Frans Stiene shared this quote and it puts the idea of “progress” in perspective, doesn’t it?
Sometimes I see clients or students and they want to make dramatic, immediate changes all at once in their life (believe me, I can relate to this desire!). But often, this isn’t sustainable. Practice and repetition are essential to sustaining a shift over time.
And this is where the importance of daily Reiki self care/meditation comes in. Three minutes of practice every day will be so much more powerful over the course of a year than an intensive hour once every six months.
How can you apply this to your life? What’s the next smallest step you can take to make a sustainable change in the new year?
Here’s to connecting with you in 2017—whether it’s through a class, a session, or online. Can’t wait to hear what you’re looking forward to in the year ahead and I’m honored to support you through the process.
Diona Ceniza is one of my past students. She recently completed the full Reiki training—Reiki Levels I, II, and III—and is moving into setting up her professional practice. Here’s her experience of learning Reiki.
The Benefits of Reiki Self Care
I learned first-hand about the benefits you get to enjoy when doing Reiki self-care. I never really know how it will turn out each time I give myself Reiki, but often I experience an amazing sense of well-being, a feeling of becoming more centered, and on a couple of occasions a sudden outpouring of emotions (i.e. crying my eyes out!)
I have come to realize and appreciate how important giving myself Reiki is as part of my self-care regimen.
Reiki Treatment: What to Expect
The more I study Reiki and dive deeper, the more I learned to remove expectations. When I first started, there was this hope that each session would be an amazing cleansing or big release of emotions. Now I see that I wouldn’t be able to function if it was that intense every time, and I’m more trusting of the process.
So whether the session leaves me crying, on cloud nine, or somewhere in between, I’m grateful. And even if some sessions are more subtle, the overall effect of practicing self-care Reiki on my life has been anything but (a relationship ending abruptly, strong push towards a new career, just pure chaos…). So I guess another lesson I learned from giving myself Reiki is that it truly does have a cleansing effect, and while it can be painful, it’s ultimately for the best.
How Getting Reiki Sessions Can Vary (A Lot!)
I hope to become a professional Reiki practitioner and receiving professional Reiki sessions taught me a couple of things. Firstly, it taught me how to conduct myself when running a private practice. Secondly, I learned how different each session and practitioner can be. Practitioners differ considerably in their approach but can be equally impactful.
My first experience receiving Reiki was quite dramatic. The first practitioner I went to worked at home and was very open. She said I needed to leave my job, gave me the necklace she was wearing because she said it would help me stay grounded, and ordered a Pema Chodron book for me on Amazon. The session felt like the practitioner tapped into a lot of stuck energy in my chest. It physically felt as if someone sat on my chest during the session! The session itself was intense and I went home that night hunched over from the emotions that had been dredged up.
My second experience with a different practitioner was more subtle, but the impact of it lasted long after the session. The session took place in an office setting. It was more gentle and uplifting, and there was a stronger sense of boundaries that, as an art therapist, I am more familiar with. I felt much lighter and less stressed for a few months after the session.
Despite these differences, however, my sessions with both practitioners were equally transformative, shifting my life towards a path that involves potentially becoming a Reiki practitioner myself.
The Benefits & Challenges of Giving Reiki to Others
One of the first things I learned giving Reiki to friends and family was how energized I felt. In a way, it can actually feel more healing than doing Reiki on myself.
Reiki & The Ego
On the other hand, I also realized how afraid I can be to offer Reiki to other people, largely because of my own ego and worries that the other person wouldn’t feel any benefits.
Ego is especially present when I give Reiki and it’s the reason it took me so long to fulfill the certification requirements. For months, I delayed asking others if I could practice on them because I was afraid of hearing them say no, or worse, that they would find the experience lacking if they said yes. In other words, there’s a big part of me that wants to be seen as a great practitioner, never mind the wellbeing of the client. I try to be mindful of it as much as I can and remind myself that it is Reiki doing the healing, not me.
The biggest lesson I’m taking away from this is that I have a long way to go in terms of realizing that I am not giving Reiki or doing the healing, the person takes from the energy what he or she needs. I also need to become more in touch with my intuition.
Reiki & Connection
I also realized that when giving Reiki, I feel deeply connected to the other person. Besides feeling immense gratitude that they are willing to open themselves up in such a big way, their happiness and well-being becomes my primary concern. I’ve never felt bonded to another person in such a deep but peaceful way.
Learning Reiki and taking the full training was excellent. I continue to enjoy this amazing journey and have learned and grown so much.
Interested in learning more about Reiki? Here’s how to find a qualified Reiki teacher.
In New York City and want to take a class? Check out the details here.
Because the experience of Reiki is so different for each person, I asked one of my students to share her first-hand account of what she learned. Jessica Quan recently completed her Reiki Level One training—here is her personal experience:
The Impact of Daily Self Reiki Practice
I never realized how powerful Reiki could be until I started to practice on myself.
Through practicing the Reiki self-care protocol daily, I not only became more grounded and peaceful, but I truly learned and felt the power of something greater than myself. For me, it is this spiritual element that serves as the key to empowerment and healing. Furthermore, I learned that self-healing is paramount before being able to impart this gift to others.
My New Morning Routine
The Reiki precepts (principles to live by) have been especially instrumental in grounding me before I start each day. Giving myself Reiki in the mornings is a beautiful way to begin the day, allowing me to have a sound heart and mind.
How Reiki Helped After a Break Up
After Reiki I, I went to see Deborah for a session, which is a different experience than giving myself Reiki. I learned the power of touch from another. While receiving Reiki from a professional practitioner, my body and mind reached a perfect state of peace and relaxation. Physically, I felt the warmth and healing touch from Deborah. At the time, I had just come out of a painful breakup, but I must say that after the session, there was a sense of emotional release and healing with Reiki.
Giving Reiki to Friends & Family
In giving Reiki to others, I learned that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life. My grandmother was a natural healer in Guam. It wasn’t until I learned Reiki and started practicing on others that I realized this gift was inherent within me as well. Taking Reiki I has been one of the most humbling and gratifying experiences in my life. I have found that this is my true purpose.
Interested in learning more about Reiki? Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Learning Reiki.
In New York City and want to take a class? Check out the details here.