I Forgive You

“I forgive you.”

Next to “I love you”, I believe that these are the three most powerful words which can change lives, create hope where there was none, to be an immeasurable blessing that could be considered miraculous.  In the last few months, I have seen the grace that appears when forgiveness is granted, I have felt my own heart heal and grow stronger….and softer.

As children, we were taught to say “I’m sorry” when we did something wrong, and if it didn’t come to us right away, we were prompted, “now say you’re sorry….”  For a very long time, I believed that this was the toughest part about being a responsible adult, to be able to apologize without prompting,  and really mean it.  But now I’m not so sure….

Reiki practitioners recite these 5 Reiki precepts (or guidelines) daily:

     ” Just for today, I will not anger.

       Just for today, I will not worry.

       Just for today, I will be grateful.

       Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

       Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.”

I would love to add one more precept…. “Just for today, I will offer forgiveness to every one and every thing.”

I am sure that everyone can think of many occasions where we have been slighted, or wronged, or insulted and there was no apology issued.  Depending on the circumstances, sometimes it can be relatively easy to brush off these “injustices”.   Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in his book “The Four Agreements” to not take things personally.  Let’s face it, there are many times when our feelings are hurt because we DO take it personally.

But what if we can’t forgive?  What if time goes by and instead of diminishing, our hurt ego/heart/feelings start to fester or develop some scar tissue?  And what if even more time goes by and we revisit that hurt, rip off that scar tissue and hurt some more?

Ever since our daughter’s accident a year and a half ago, I now truly believe in miracles.  I no longer accept the word “impossible”.   I know in my heart that EVERYTHING is possible, even if it’s beyond my wildest expectations.

So when a close family member appeared back in my life, “out of the blue”, I was able to chalk up another one on the Miracle Board.  So many emotions, but most importantly, so much gratitude for this second chance.  Any resentment and hurt feelings vanished into thin air, and we were able to create some wonderful new memories together, an opportunity I never imagined I would have.  More importantly, all was forgiven.

And yet, there were family members who could not forget their hurt feelings, or forgive, including the family member who came back.  Despite all my attempts to hold space for a reconciliation, they would not – or could not – find it in themselves to forgive.  And in the end, that caused me much sorrow and sadness.  I saw the lost opportunity to heal and to move on.  It pained me to see people I love deeply struggle with their ability to forgive.  I knew that this chance was a gift, and was so frustrated to see any hope of healing fade away….

forgiveness

Reiki has been a huge part of my life the last 5 years, and I am grateful for how much I have grown and changed since embracing the concept of unconditional love.

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

When we love unconditionally, without exception or exemptions, when we are filled with gratitude for each day, forgiveness comes much more easily.  Do I still struggle occasionally?  Of course I do.  I’m human.  But I now have tools to help me.  My Reiki practice has taught me that when I return to the Source and ask to be filled with Divine energy (ie. Love)  even the toughest challenges are conquerable. When our hearts are filled with love, there is no room for anything else.

In addition, I now use my essential oils to support these emotional struggles.  They have been incredibly effective, and I will be forever grateful to my friend, Mary, for introducing me to doTERRA.  The Forgive Blend, as well as Console and Peace, are always the oils I turn to when I need some extra help.

Some people say that life is short, that we shouldn’t waste it by being angry or hurt.  I say that life is a journey and a lesson.  We need to be grateful for every single day and when we have the chance to grow, we should embrace the opportunity, despite the temporary discomfort.  The reward is greater than we can ever imagine.

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” – George MacDonald

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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

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.