Seeing Hope

On Christmas Day, I went for a long walk along our local trail way.  The weather was unseasonably mild, the sun was shining, and my heart was full of gratitude and joy.  I walked with awareness, paying attention to the sounds and smells, as well as the sights, in our peaceful country setting.  And as I did so, I started seeing all the signs of hope that beckoned to me.  There were empty nests and birdhouses, waiting for the return of spring residents, and milkweed pods bursting with fluffy seed heads, ready to fly away and germinate.  With the mild weather, the recently planted tree saplings appeared to be in full bud, with the promise of fresh green growth.

It occurred to me that these signs could be just as easily be viewed as faded and past any semblance of “life”.  The birds were long gone, the milkweeds’ flowers spent, and the trees were bare and dormant.  With a different perspective, one could sadly pine for past beauty and life, rather than dream about future possibilities.  It’s all about our viewpoint and state of mind.  I choose to see hope.

* * *

2015 was an incredible year for me.  As for many of you, there were some milestones, some failures, some joy, some grief.  I view the hardships as lessons, without which I would have no growth.

My year started out with me taking on the role of teacher again, and I was bursting with pride when I taught Reiki Levels I and II.  To help my students set forth on their own Reiki path as practitioners gave me more joy than I ever thought possible.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be their teacher, their mentor, their fellow light11717548_1134930933189644_3607929970317271952_oworker.

Mid-summer marked another personal and professional highlight as I joined the ranks of Raven Keyes’ Master Medical Reiki ™ group.  I couldn’t believe my fortune, to have the workshop taught right here in Orangeville!  And having Raven herself here, at our home, for a meal with other members of our group, was truly surreal….  Our Canadian group numbers 27 practitioners, and we have already forged some amazing bonds.  We all look forward to sharing Reiki in the operating room, to work alongside surgeons and other conventional professionals, as we help bring holistic, non-invasive healing energy to patients undergoing surgery.  As Raven said, “It’s all happening!”

Essential oils are being used in our home as well as my healing practice now.  I have been doing much studying and the more I learn about the powerful properties of these amazing plant-derived oils, the more I want to share them with others.  I taught many “make and take” classes, and plan on doing many more in 2016.  I look forward to helping others join my “oil team”, so that they can learn to use tIHMhem, too.

More professional improvement came in the form of my Indian head massage training in October.  I wanted to offer another modality to my clients, and I had heard so much about it.   Like Reiki and the oils, this modality helps restore and support our energy, brings relaxation (and thus increases our immunity) and is easily accessible (all I need is a low-backed chair to do a treatment).  The case studies I have completed so far have demonstrated the numerous health benefits and I encourage you to come in for a session!

 

Phew!  So what is 2016 going to bring me?  For starters, I plan on continuing teaching Reiki and about using essential oils.  A “first” for me will be running a Reiki workshop at a retreat in February.  My hope is to broaden my teachings outside of my own community, and to bring more and more Reiki practitioners into the world.  I truly believe that we can make a difference. (Oh, and Jen?  I WILL be offering a Master Reiki workshop this year – I promise! )

I will continue to work hard to bring Reiki to the hospital setting, offering my services to anyone undergoing medical procedures, or looking for supportive care, be it palliative or recuperative.  Receiving Reiki should be an option available to anyone and everyone when they need medical attention.  I have seen its powerful benefits and am always grateful for the opportunities to share it with others.

And above all, I will see hope everywhere….  Namaste, my friends.  I wish you much Joy, Love and Abundance for 2016.IMG_20160101_144236

 

 

How am I Doing…Today?

Every morning, before I go to work at the farm, I spend some time in my healing room, preparing myself for the day.  Ideally, I would do this right after rising out of bed, but the reality is I enjoy my sleep, and enjoy making a healthy breakfast for my family.  Once they’re off, it’s quiet and I can take as much time as I want, without feeling rushed.

One of the first things I do is just “check in” with myself….how am I feeling today?  Each of the five Reiki precepts is prefaced with “Just for today”.  Every day is different – the euphoria we may have been enjoying yesterday may dissipate, the anxiety about something may have increased.  How am I feeling today, right now?

I take some deep, cleansing breaths, place my hands in Gassho position (Namaste gesture), and allow myself to feel grounded and connected to the Earth.  If my mind starts wandering to what I need to get done at the farm, or what items to add to my grocery shopping list, I have a few “tools”.  Visualizing roots growing from my feet, down into the ground, works great.  So does holding a crystal such as black tourmaline or obsidian.  And aromatherapy using a grounding blend, or pure Frankincense also does the trick beautifully.  (I don’t usually have to do anything but slow my breathing and focus, but these tools do help!)

precepts

I then recite the precepts, because they remind me of how I can best serve myself and others.

IMG_1316I have a beautiful singing bowl, which I purchased last winter.  It sits on my windowsill, and I often like to take it in my hands to play for a few minutes.  I discovered that when I have not done a good job of calming my mind and spirit, the bowl reflects this turmoil, and does not tone very loudly – if at all.  However, when I feel “connected”, peaceful and whole….the song fills the whole room!  Talk about bio-feedback!

Self-Reiki is also an important part of my daily practice.  At this point in my day, I will use Reiki to clear each of my chakras, to cleanse my healing room (and other rooms, if necessary).  I will do a short meditation and prayer.  When I am finished, I feel peaceful, grounded….and ready to take on anything I encounter in the day.

Tomorrow may well be a whole other story.  That’s okay.  I only need to focus on Today.

Namaste my friends!

 

Waking up this morning, I smile,
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.  Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reiki and Aromatherapy

What comes to mind when you hear the word “aromatherapy”?  Chances are it may include things like lavender, room “freshening” plug-ins, scented candles and laundry products.  I suggest you include the lavender, but leave out the others. (Read to the end to find out why…)

“Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils for improving and maintaining health and beauty” – the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, and are even mentioned in the Bible ( ie. frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, sandalwood, fir)  All over the world, indigenous and ancient healers used them to heal not only physical ailments, but also to improve emotional and spiritual states.  Essential oils may have multiple properties and uses (antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, or anti-inflammatory).   Each oil is uniquely capable of being recognized and assimilated by our bodies and cells, because they are naturally occurring in Nature, not synthesized in a laboratory.lavender

Recently, I have been studying the profound healing effect they can have on our emotional and spiritual health.  Most of us are familiar with the soothing, relaxing effect of lavender.  Although it is also incredibly valuable for topical skin issues, most people love to use it as a sleep aid.  Sprigs of lavender, or lavender-filled sachets and lavender oil diffused are all helpful to relieving tension and promoting restful sleep.

Inhaling essential oils is a quick, very efficient way of using them.  There is an instant flow of the molecules through your olfactory nerves, tsmello your brain, where they can then impact the rest of your body.  Within a few minutes, you feel the results.  Some examples are peppermint making us feel more alert, citrus oils (lemon or orange) cheering and lifting our mood, to florals such as rose and lavender, which can soothe and nurture us.  My favourite way of diffusing oils is with my water-diffuser.  Several drops of oil are placed into water, and the oil is dispersed through the water molecules via a fine mist.  (The molecules of essential oil are available in the air for up to 3 hours afterwards!)  I also like to put a drop of oil into my palms, rub together and inhale deeply…..mmmmmm.  And lastly, the oil can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied to various strategic points on the body (wrists, back of neck, over the heart).

At this point you may be wondering, what does this have to do with Reiki?

Reiki is a modality which helps us feel better by relaxing and de-stressing us.  I look at the essential oils as extra “tools” to help facilitate your healing process.  Let’s say, for instance, that you have recently experienced profound grief.  Reiki may help by balancing the heart chakra, but there are also wonderful oils that can help ease this emotional pain, such as bergamot, rose and geranium.   Different people will respond to different oils, which is why I am so excited about a new “emotions” kit of essential oil blends that I have recently started using.  These blends have been formulated using the single oils that can best support specific emotional needs.

I am now offering the opportunity to include these blends in your Reiki treatment.  Whether you need help with motivation, Essential oil with orange peelgrief and consolation, to bring back passion (not just for relationships, but for your life projects), to cheer you up,  or to help bring peace of mind or forgiveness, I have a blend just for you!  Your Reiki session will start with a chat to identify where you may need some support, and then you will be given the oil to inhale, so that it can start working in your body.  After the full Reiki session, you will then receive a rollerball dispenser with the diluted oil to take home with you to use as needed.

Now as for those  laundry sheets and detergents…. Did you know that many of these products contain harmful chemicals and skin irritants?  How does one create a “Mountain Breeze”, lol?  Read more, and maybe you’ll change your mind about having these in your home!  The same goes for many popular air fresheners…  I’d rather use pure essential oils and make my own cleaners and fresheners, and offer “make and take” classes to show you how to do the same.

I invite you to come for a Reiki session and try out some essential oils.  Even if you can’t put a finger on how you feel, together we can figure it out and get you started on feeling better.  You can get more information on booking an appointment here.  Namaste!

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…”

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.