Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alice's Awakening

People often ask me how I got here, how I became a passionate Reiki teacher. Here's the story, and links to a number of posts written at the time of the events I've described here. Please enjoy.

When I was a kid, I wanted to feel special. Doesn’t everyone want to feel special, endowed with something that stands out, a reason for being here? I used to read lots of books about characters with psychic powers or special abilities, and wish I was like that. But, I wasn’t.

I grew up with a liberal Jewish upbringing. I attended Hebrew School, became Bat Mitzvah and continued attending religious school through High School. I remember wishing for some feeling that what I was doing had a purpose. I wanted to feel a connection with God or at least something outside myself during services, prayers, or any time at all. I never did.

I didn’t dislike being Jewish. I felt, and still feel, connected with a People, culture, history, land, language, religion and traditions. I even went on after college to study Judaism further and received a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies. But through all of this study and search, something remained elusive: a spiritual connection. I wanted something I could feel and be sure about. I was fascinated by, skeptical of, and a little envious of those who had "spiritual confidence" - utter faith and belief. For me, experience was the only way I was going to get to that point. The experience wasn't there for me.

I felt the most frustration during formal worship services. There are group and individual prayers, standing, sitting, singing and reading in Hebrew. I knew them all, but nothing gave me the feeling I craved. I was seeking a certainty of something more, something beyond this existence. I would leave services feeling frustrated. I wondered why I had come, what others were getting out of the experience. I think I drove my husband kinda nuts with asking him what he got out of the experience. His answers didn't help me. He wasn't struggling the same way as I was.

When I was pregnant with my youngest child, a parent at my kids’ school asked me if I’d like to learn Reiki. I had no idea what that was. She explained that Reiki is an energy healing technique that could be helpful for reducing pregnancy discomforts. She had my attention, and I figured, “Why not?” I came to her house, where she taught me Usui Reiki level 1, and gave me my first attunement.

I was underwhelmed, but faithfully did my Reiki self healings throughout my pregnancy, and sometimes gave my infant daughter Reiki after she was born. When she was a year and a half old, I asked that same parent if there was more to Reiki than what I had learned. She said absolutely and asked if I would like to learn level 2. I agreed.

My level 2 Reiki attunement changed everything. As soon as my teacher attuned me to level 2, my hands began to tingle. When I deliberately thought “Reiki,” my hands tingled and warmed in response. When I put them on or above myself or someone else, the resulting sense of relaxation, warmth and peace were undeniable. My teacher taught me distance healing as well. Here was the defining moment of my spiritual awakening.

This was what I had been searching for as long as I could remember: a tangible response to spiritual energy. Learning Reiki created my spiritual connection. I began offering distance healing weekly to two friends, and their physical and emotional health improvements were amazing. One of my friends had a deep fear of medical procedures, and a health issue that was terrifying her. The Reiki healings helped her release this over time, and she became calmer. It turned out she didn't need the procedure she was expecting, as the issue had healed. The other friend was having physical therapy, and over the course of time, she experienced great improvements and didn't need to continue the therapy. I was amazed, delighted, and felt completely inspired. My friends were too, and both of them went on to learn Reiki for themselves.

This was more than a physical-spiritual connection now, this was the magic power I desired in my youth; a purpose for my existence. I had been transformed from a mere mortal to someone with healing power. Three months later, I became a Reiki Master Teacher.

I knew that if I could learn to do this, anyone could. It became my mission to teach others what’s right inside us all. I find great joy, satisfaction and validation in seeing others find their spiritual connection as I did, and knowing that they go on to pass this knowledge to others.

Every day, I receive emails from my students telling me how amazed they are at the way Reiki has improved their lives. Many of them go on to teach others, join the Distance Healing Network, and share this amazing energy with their family, friends, and those who need it. This keeps me going, reminds me daily of the power and reality of this connection to energy, and the immense power that everyone has within if they care to find it. It has become my purpose to help people discover this, and I've never felt so fulfilled, motivated, and grateful.

Love and gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this journey so far, and all who will join me yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Trickle or a Gush - Intuitive Development

One of the things I do for people is intuitive development mentoring. I would like to say outright that I am not the most intuitive person I know. Not at all. I'll also tell you that I was not born psychic, and I never had any sort of childhood intuitive abilities. I have never seen a ghost, spirit, guide, angel, or UFO. Many people who I mentor have much higher developed intuitive abilities than I do. They see visions, symbols, colors, angels, hear messages, are empathic, and more. So what the heck makes me qualified to mentor anyone in intuitive development? It's a great question. I've asked myself the same thing dozens of times. I think I started doing intuitive development mentoring before I knew the answer.

Maybe that fact in itself is part of the answer.

I think it all goes back to two things. First, I am a regular person. As I said, no natural psychic abilities, nothing particularly connected about me from the start. Nope. But I have been a seeker. I always wanted a spiritual connection. Then I learned Reiki. Boom. Things changed. When I say things changed, I don't mean it in an offhanded way. I mean...THINGS CHANGED! Developing a spiritual connection is a huge awakening. Because of Reiki, I have a physical reaction to spiritual energy. Something invisible is there, and I can feel it, tell it what to do, and it goes and does it. Seriously, that is major. Reiki took me, a spiritually disconnected regular kind of person, and showed me a dimension of life that I never knew was there. It was like stepping into color from black and white. The inspiration of this change in me taught me that others like me, regular people, could also experience the difference. I figured if I could do it, anyone could. So my journey started with Reiki.

But it didn't stop there.

I practiced Reiki every day. I found reasons to call the energy all day long. I gave Reiki to my plants, food, my kids, my parents, sent distance Reiki to friends, and joined the Distance Healing Network so I'd have more people to give Reiki to. I began to notice that the more I connected with energy, the more I was able to sense - my intuition was growing. I could tell where a person needed healing; if the person had pain or emotional issues, illness or trauma. I started to get a sense of it. I talked to others, found teachers, received attunements to help grow these connections. If you've read older entries in my blog (or you go back and have a look), you'll be able to follow all of this as it happened.

I realized that I could also help people do this. I wanted to be able to show people the way into the world of color. I started teaching Reiki. People emailed me with questions about how to sense energy, and I would give answers from my own experience. I came to realize that distance healing was something I had grown very comfortable doing, with validating results. I wanted to show people that they could do that too. So I started mentoring distance healing and put together an ebook of what I learned, in order to help others get as comfortable with distance healing as I am. The more I learned and discovered I could do, the more I wanted to show people so they could learn it too.

That brings me to the other reason I mentor intuitive development:

I'm a teacher. It's who I am. I have an ability to explain and show people how to understand things, and it works for this. I take each student from where they are, and show them how to get where they want to be. Often, ironically, they bring more to the table than I ever had. People are different, after all. Sometimes people come to me with experiences with angels, guides, or spirits, but they want to learn more about distance healing. I'm happy to give them the tools I use that make distance healing successful for me. Whatever they come with doesn't really matter as much as helping them reach the goals they have set for themselves. That's what I focus on - bridging the gap.

Along with being a teacher is something that I feel is one of my own intuitive gifts that has developed. I can get a sense of how to help a person achieve what they want to learn. I listen to (ok, more accurately, I read about) what the person's goals are. Sometimes the person tells me about what's challenging about reaching his/her goals. I quiet my thoughts. I get a feel for what the person said, and then I get an idea of how to move forward. I tell them. Sometimes this involves creating a curriculum of exercises to develop an ability. Sometimes it may mean suggesting an attunement designed to open the awareness of that particular area. Other times, it may mean sending healing to whatever is blocking the progress. Whatever it is, I seem to have an answer that makes sense and helps the person be successful.

My own intuitive growth has been a trickle, rather than a gush. I have seen some of my students experience an intuitive gush after Kundalini Reiki attunements. Suddenly, someone can channel information, or is seeing angels, feeling new and exciting sensations. I love it when people embrace these sudden gifts. Sometimes people become ungrounded or overwhelmed, and I help them adjust. No matter how fast or slowly one's intuition has developed, I think an important thing is to look back and see over time just how much growth and change has actually happened. This blog has been valuable for me in terms of doing that.

Always, though, intuitive development is a process. It may be a trickle, a gush, or some combination. But it happens when and how the person is ready and open to receiving it. And that may be the most important lesson of all.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Weight of the Word

In my other professional life, I write content and rules for games. Board games, mostly - social party games involving cards, questions, and friendly competition. I learned through having this kind of job that every word is important. Words for cards, questions and rules must be chosen carefully in order to be clear about how to play the game, and the meaning of each question. I really notice when I come across a game with poorly written rules or cards.

When I was in graduate school, I used to take Biblical text study courses. Studying Torah (Bible) is another very detailed word-based discipline. Every word is thought to be significant, and we would often debate why one word may have been chosen over another, and read about what the great Rabbinic commentators' thoughts were about these choices. Detailed text study gave me a profound respect for the process of choosing words carefully.

When I learned Reiki, I became fascinated with the studies of Masaro Emotu. He determined that words have energy. Positive energy and negative energy are emitted by spoken and written words. The words absorb the intention in which they are spoken or written and emit that energy to others, water, or where the words are directed. Emotu's experiments with water are truly inspiring. Some of them involved writing the word "Peace" on a piece of paper and affixing it to a container of water, and writing the words "You Fool" on another piece of paper affixed to a different container of water. The water came from the same original source. After a few hours, droplets of the water were quickly frozen and examined under a microscope. The water with the word "Peace" had grown beautiful detailed crystals. The water with the words "You Fool" had disjointed, chaotic pieces of broken crystals, and a muddy appearance. Other words were also used, such as "Hope," "Thank You," "Despair," and "War," with similar and predictable results. You can learn more about Emotu's various experiments with water here. What moves me the most is considering the implications that this experiment shows of how our word choices can affect others. Our bodies, the air we breathe, and our environment are all permeated with water. If energy, whether via words, music, or Reiki, make profound and measurable changes to that water, consider how that concept could become a means of making a positive change. Our words, thoughts, and intentions are at work improving the quality of water that is within others and the world, bringing about healing, beauty, and love. We are so much more powerful than we realize!

I regularly give healings with and teach a method of Reiki called Kundalini Reiki. I absolutely love this Reiki for its powerful and direct way to connect with the energy. It involves no symbols; needs no hand positions. You intend for the energy to affect an issue, person, or goal, and it flows. For me, it works instantly, and it seems to do the same for my students. When I'm teaching Kundalini Reiki, I use a manual. I did not write this manual, but found it after exhaustive research on the Internet. It's not the one I was given when I learned Kundalini Reiki. Let me explain.

Kundalini Reiki is a variant of the "original" Reiki, Usui Reiki Ryoho. It was channeled and developed by Ole Gabrielsen, and English is his second language. As well, he wrote the manual for someone who was already familiar with Reiki, probably Usui Reiki, someone who understands the basic concepts of calling in (or activating) energy, distance healing, and what energy healing is about. Therefore, these things are not covered much in the manual. I was fine learning from the manual provided, as I already was at Master/Teacher level of Usui Reiki when I took up Kundalini Reiki. However, I was interested in finding a more explanatory and better organized manual when I decided to teach this method of Reiki. I began my research.

I found another manual that had the addition of a Table of Contents, and some revised explanations for some of the healings, while retaining most of the original content. This was the best one I found and it was the one I started using for teaching. It's still not as explanatory as I would like.

The more experience I have teaching Kundalini Reiki, the more I find myself writing longer and longer emails to supplement this manual when I send the manual to my students. This is because even this manual is not very well written. Some of the explanations are incomplete, the wording is unclear, and I've found that it can be downright confusing in many places! As their teacher, I like to give my students the best chance for understanding what they will learn. My deep love and respect for this Reiki system drives me to keep teaching it, despite the challenges of working with the manual and trying to explain via email what it should say instead of what it does say. Even so, it's frustrating at times!

I know that I need to, and will, write a new and improved Kundalini Reiki manual. I owe it to my students, and I know that they, in turn, will find it useful when they want to teach Kundalini Reiki to others. When I do, I will mindfully select each and every word. I know that words have weight, energy, connotations, and divulge important information. I also know that the manual I write will be passed along to future generations of Reiki students who can benefit from learning this amazing Reiki modality by having a manual that is worthy of the method. I also think that a manual needs to respect the person reading it, meeting that person where he is and taking him to a place of deep and complete understanding of the method. It's a challenging task, and necessary.

Completing a new Kundalini Reiki manual is on my short list of priorities.

Meanwhile, I will continue to offer as complete guidance as I am capable of, and I appreciate my students' willingness to see the value in the method beyond the quality of the materials currently available. My individual attention and complete email support are key components of my teaching methods.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Reiki for Parents is in Session!

This week I started teaching Reiki for Parents to my first group of students. In preparing to do so, I wrote a manual. This was an interesting process for me, as it naturally forced me to examine the way I use Reiki in my parenting, and decide how I wanted to organize the course.

I ended up breaking down the uses for Reiki into children's age groups, such as how to use Reiki for infants, toddlers, children and teens. I also made a list of general ways to use Reiki to help with parenting, such as clearing negative energy from a room after an argument, grounding oneself and one's child, and giving Reiki to your child at bedtime.

I added a section with exercises to practice channeling the Reiki energy in order to incorporate it into a daily way of life, rather than something to set time aside for. These included adding Reiki to a hug, sending Reiki to improve a problematic situation, and giving Reiki to a bump or bruise to help it stop hurting.

As most students will be receiving Kundalini Reiki attunements, I also included healings and uses for Reiki broken down by Kundalini Reiki level.

Finally, I put in some important things to remember about Reiki, including how to explain Reiki to a child, what to expect to feel or not feel during Reiki, and how to ground one's energy. I added a section about attuning children, and some helpful suggestions for how children can use Reiki to empower themselves to cope with life's challenges.

It was an educational experience for me to organize my thinking about showing parents the value and methods to incorporate Reiki into their parenting. While I feel certain that there will be revisions as the course develops, I also feel confident in bringing this manual to my new students.

If anyone would like to join the Reiki for Parents course, I am accepting a few more students. Enrollment is limited so I can provide close guidance through the course, which takes 3-4 weeks to complete.

You can find out more and sign up here through the link on my website.

In other news, I had a very nice interview with psychic Betsy Balega on her radio show. I've posted the player on the left hand column so you can listen to the recorded show.

Also, I've added a Corporate and Personal Wellness section to my website. I am pleased to be partnering with my friend Fred Krazeise, a massage therapist and Reiki Master Teacher, on speaking to people in the workplace about wellness and energy healing. You can find out more here.

If you have not tried or experienced the benefits that Reiki can bring to your life, I encourage you to contact me. Experience Reiki and then learn it for yourself. The ways in which Reiki can improve your life are unlimited and profound.