Sharing at Reiki Shares

Today a friend asked me what the Reiki shares I mentioned on Facebook were all about.   Although I had never heard of them before I studied Reiki, I now host my own and attend my teachers’ shares regularly.

Reiki shares (sometimes called “Energy Shares”) are a fabulous opportunity to give and receive Reiki healing.  Depending on the organizers, they can have many formats.

I prefer to have Reiki as the only modality being shared, mainly because I open my shares to everyone, practitioners and non-practitioners alike.  Although I use a few different modalities, for the benefit of Reiki “newbies”, I like to focus the time entirely on Reiki, so that people attending can come to understand what it’s all about without other (awesome) distractions.  Anyone can receive Reiki and anyone can learn to give Reiki.  An attunement process is what helps practitioners channel the energy to share, and is received during formal training.  At my shares, if you are new to Reiki, you get to go on the table first!  But I’m getting ahead of myself….IMG_0253

We start off the evening with a round of introductions, with the help of my beautiful talking stick.  Borrowing from a Native tradition, everyone has a chance to speak – until they are done – with no interruptions from the rest of the group.  We share our stories, our successes, and our struggles.  And we start making connections with each other.  Many times, we have short discussions about Reiki itself.

Next, we all take part in a guided meditation.  Let’s face it, we all lead busy lives, so it’s nice to have some help to wind down, clear ourselves, and be grounded to receive some healing.

We divide up into groups, depending on the number of people attending.  For large groups, I can set up three Reiki tables, and we work in groups of 3-5 people per table.  One person lays on the table, and the others give Reiki to them, usually for about 15 minutes.  With up to four people working at one table, we are all free to start anywhere we feel guided, and work intuitively for the most part.  Stools are provided for anyone needing them for comfort.

There are a few minutes in between turns, when experiences and observations are shared, and we proceed until we’re done.  Everyone gets their turn on the table….even me!

A beautiful “tradition” I first saw at Debra Jones’ energy shares was an opportunity to give Reiki to those who couldn’t attend, or for people or situations that could use some healing.  Debra has a beautiful statue of an upturned hand, where names are placed.  I have a hand-woven little basket, with a Reiki-charged Rose Quartz in it, and attendees are encouraged to put as many names in as they like.  After the sharing is over, we sit together as a group again and send distance healing to everyone and everything in the basket.

I hold Reiki Shares twice a month, one evening the first week of the month, and then a morning share the following week.  If you are at all interested in attending, please join my Meetup Group, “Loving and Living Reiki”.  Once you’ve joined, you will receive email notices of upcoming shares and classes.  By RSVPing, you are helping me to set up the appropriate number of tables, so that we can work comfortably.  As well, if I am expecting you, I can try to wait until you have arrived before starting.  As I said, no experience is necessary!  Come out to learn more about Reiki!

Sometimes new friendships are formed, certainly new insights and understandings are achieved….and we all end up with this fabulous Reiki “high”.  Feelings of love and gratitude, acceptance and belonging, and peace are often the norm.  If that appeals to you, won’t you join us?

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Supporting Our Voice (or Throat Chakra)

Speaking our truth, having a voice, and using it to communicate freely are very important to our well being.  Our throat is where our 5th chakra is found, although this chakra also affects our neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.  A simple description of the chakra system would be a system of wheels of energy, spinning vibrantly with “Prana” or life force energy.  This system of 7 basic chakras, when functioning optimally, keeps us healthy and vital.  A weak chakra point can manifest itself in our emotional, spiritual or physical levels….or all three.

When clear and strong, our voice (ie. throat chakra) enables us to express ourselves honestly and to speak our highest truth.  Many times, we find ourselves withholding such expression, and that can happen for various reasons.

Fear is often the #1 reason.  We fear that our words may be rejected, we fear that we may be ridiculed or misunderstood.  We fear that others may judge us because of what we say.  And so, we keep these words and thoughts to ourselves, and suppress our voice.  My first awareness of the throat and communication came when our son was young and came down with a very sore throat, on the day that he was to do a presentation that he was worried about at school.  Thanks to Louise Hay’s wonderful book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, I discovered that a sore throat could indicate “feeling unable to express the self”.  Some lozenges and a pep talk helped, and it vanished quickly the next day.

Sometimes, we don’t speak our truth out of kindness.  As I wrote in a previous blog, kindness is essential, so what we need to do is find a way to voice ourselves in a kind way.  If we withhold our words because we are worried about hurting someone’s feelings, it can be hurtful to us, too. We may often assume that our words will be received poorly, but if we present them in a loving way, without aggression or judgement, we can benefit both parties.

So what can we do when we find ourselves blocked?  How do we support this chakra and our ability to speak clearly and honestly?

Fortunately, there are many ways.  As a Reiki practitioner, I will place my hand over my throat and give myself Reiki, with the focus that the energy will help unblock this area.

Each chakra has a colour associated with it, and for the 5th chakra, that colour is blue.  You can close your eyes and visualize (or meditate longer) that your throat is enveloped in beautiful, supportive blue light.  Wearing blue around the throat (as in a scarf, or tie for the gents) is another suggestion.

Beautiful Lapis Lazuli from the Rock Shop
Beautiful Lapis Lazuli from the Rock Shop

There are crystals that help support our throat chakra and, when worn as a necklace, can give us extra help.  As well, you can hold them and meditate with them.  Lapis lazuli, blue kyanite, aquamarine and blue sodalite are all fabulous for that.  My friend, Charles Brand, has a great selection of crystals and gemstones, and I love placing a lapis palm stone over my throat when I need help there.  For more information, you can check out his website.  If requested, I also use crystals during Reiki sessions, to enhance the healing session.

And last, but not least, we can use essential oils to balance this area.  I love using a doTERRA blend called “Whisper”, which contains patchouli, bergamot, sandalwood, cinnamon, ylang ylang, among other oils.  At a Chakra Balancing course I took recently, I learned that one drop on the throat will support our ability to express our feelings and speak one’s truth, by calming the mind and allowing us to discern our emotions and find a way to express our heart’s will.

So there you have it.  I think it is very helpful to do an assessment of sorts on ourselves every once in a while.  Take some time to learn more about the chakra system and how they affect us, and this awareness may help you find strengths in all your chakras.  Awareness is the first step to getting better.

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
– Spencer Johnson

The Reiki Treatment “Experience”

So you’ve never had a Reiki session, and you’re curious…..

Whenever I tell people I am a Reiki practitioner, they often say, “cool!” or “wow” or “that’s great!”.  It is often followed by, “What’s Reiki?”  I have a fuller explanation on my website, but for now, let’s just say that I channel the universal energy that flows through everything and everyone (similar to The Force in Star Wars! ), and allow it to flow through me into my client.  This beautiful omniscient energy helps balance your energy, removing any blockages, so that you can start your healing process.  I am not healing anything.  You are.

A Reiki session typically starts with a chat, so that I can answer any questions you may have about the treatment, and explain what I will be doing.  I will have you fill out an intake form, which summarizes that I will not be replacing any medical care, that the Reiki session will complement any other modalities you are receiving, and that it may help by promoting a state of rest and relaxation.  Removing stress is one of the first steps to promoting your own body’s immune system to “do it’s thing”.

Then you will lay down, fully clothed on my Reiki table.  For the record, Reiki can be given any time, anywhere.  I have given a relative Reiki while on a crowded TTC subway, in fact.  By being in a relaxing setting for your treatment, however, you are more likely to be at ease and to enjoy your treatment more.  I will provide any supports, cushions or cozy blankets to ensure that you are comfortable, as you will be on the table for approximately one hour.  For those who cannot lay down, a comfortable chair will work equally well.

And then the session begins.

You will be laying (or sitting) with your eyes closed, and as you become more and more relaxed as the session goes on, you may even drift off to sleep.  That’s okay.  Actually, it is wonderful for me to see, because it means that the healing process has started, as any stress (physical or mental) leaves your body.

I allow the energy to flow through my hands and – with your permission – will lay my hands in various positions on your body.  For any “private” areas or painful areas, I will hold my hands about six inches above your body.  I usually start working at your head, making my way down your torso to your feet, and will then work anywhere else I am guided to, intuitively.  Sometimes I will stay in one position for a long time, if I feel the energy is really flowing and needed there.  Other times, I progress quite quickly.

Throughout the session, people have reported various experiences:  some “see” colours, some experience muscle twitching, many say they feel heat coming from my hands.  Some people merely experience a very relaxing “zoning out”.  Every session is different, even with the same people.  The Reiki energy goes to where it’s needed most, and on different days, that may be a different place.

When the session is over, I will instruct you to drink lots of water, as your body has been through a form of detoxification, and the water will help flush your system.  You will more than likely have a “Reiki high”, as we fondly call it – a beautiful sensation of having been pampered and de-stressed.

For simple relaxation, a single session can be a great treat to yourself, one you can enjoy whenever you need to calm your mind and spirit.  For more chronic pains or conditions, we can set up a few sessions to help gradually, as your body’s immune system becomes cleared and your healing can begin.

If you’re curiosity has been piqued, and you would like to try a session, I would be more than happy to set up an appointment for you.  For  more information about my rates and booking, please see my website.

I look forward to being of service to you!

reikitable
“Waiting for you…”

My Favourite Reiki Precept

Of the five Reiki precepts, the one that stirs my heart every day is “Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.”  What comes to mind when you read this?  Does it mean holding a door open for someone?  Paying an unsolicited compliment?  These are certainly both acts of kindness, but it can be so much more.

Most of us are quite capable of finding nice things to say about someone’s appearance, or something that they have achieved.  How wonderful is it when we have taken extra time to style our hair, or to put together a great fashion combo, and someone notices?  That “You look great today!” compliment you receive will probably put a smile on your face, and a warm glow somewhere inside.  For a few hours, our self-esteem has risen, we are vibrating at a slightly higher frequency, and the sun seems to shine a bit brighter.  Our whole outlook on our day may even improve. All because of four words spoken from the heart.

This kind of kindness is something that many of us can – and do – practise daily.  But what about the type of kindness that comes with a bit more work, and perhaps a bit of (perceived) sacrifice?  The kindness that comes from compassion and empathy and unconditional love for all?

“Kindness” – n. goodness, favour, act of assistance, service, help, aid

Many times in our daily interactions with others, we are caught responding with our ego, rather than our heart.  Our need to be right or to have the last word sometimes overcomes our compassion.  An awareness of this behaviour is the first step to modifying it. I try to catch myself before I respond.  Better yet, I pay attention to the situation, to see what is truly happening and being said, without jumping to a response.  Am I  considering the entire situation?

For example, many years ago, there was a person I sometimes found myself “at odds” with and I often became engaged in yet another unpleasant sparring match.  I realized there was more going on with them than just a desire to spar verbally.   Almost every time we ran into trouble, it was because they were either not feeling well (in pain, even) or had been upset with someone else.   This realization only happened when I dropped my ego, and was present and acting with compassion.  Once I figured out why they were being unkind,  I didn’t take anything personally, and could find it very easy to be kind and not respond harshly.   Sometimes the best thing to say was nothing at all…. The situation dissipated quickly every time.

When we live a life of service to others, it doesn’t mean we are giving anything up.  On the contrary, we are embracing and receiving so much more.  We are not inviting ourselves to be used as doormats and to be taken advantage of, either.  Rather, we are setting a standard for how we expect to be treated.  And when this becomes the norm, when others see it as a permanent character trait, things shift.  When we live kindly, people notice.  After a while, they start living kindly, too.  We can all take an active role in creating a better, kinder world.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

heartstone

Welcome!

Caring about and for others has always been a big part of me.  As a young teenager, when my peers were deciding whether they would become a doctor or teacher, or continue on their family farm, no career choice jumped out as “the one” for me.  All I knew was that I wanted to be of service to others, that I had much love and compassion to share, and that I would somehow find a way for that to happen.

Here I am, some 40 years later, a Reiki practitioner. I am also a farmer, a mother and wife, a gardener, a blogger, an artist, a teacher, a student, a leader and a follower.  The more I learn, the more I discover how little I know, but my understanding grows.

With this blog, I hope to share with you some of the insights I have discovered on this interesting journey.  Much of it will be about Reiki teachings and experiences.  However, just as music can be enjoyed more fully when an orchestra joins the piano, there are many other modalities and practices that I have incorporated into my Reiki way of life.  I sometimes use doTERRA © essential oils, crystals, and music, to name a few.  But Reiki is at the heart of it.  Tapping in to the beautiful, divine energy that comes from a Source that can never be diminished or emptied, inviting it to heal me and to share that healing potential with others, so that they can heal themselves, is what nourishes me.  It fills me, connects me to the Divine Spirit, and makes my heart soar.

I am so happy that you are here, too.  I invite you to visit my website to learn more about my practice.

Namaste,

Julie

One of my favourite spots, Algonquin Park.
One of my favourite spots, Algonquin Park.