Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaching in Person

I've been teaching local Reiki classes for the first time this month, and tonight my Kundalini Reiki class of eight wonderful students will receive their final attunement. I'm also teaching Reiki for Parents, and it's going very well.

I was nervous at the start, because all of my Reiki teaching, with the exception of one-on-one classes, has been remotely via my website. There have been over 200 students in the past year and a half, and that's a lot! I am confident and absolutely adore teaching Reiki. But facing a class full of people in a room was somehow a little daunting to me. It's funny too, because I'm a teacher, and have been teaching kids and teens various subjects for over 13 years. But a room full of adults? That felt different!

I took a leap. I trusted that all would be well, and that my teaching ability and passion for Reiki would support me in helping everyone understand and feel the energy. I had to decide how I would attune everyone, since I knew I could do it all at once by simple intention. Instead, I decided I would pass along the attunements individually to everyone in class (I touched each person on the shoulders, intending for him or her to be attuned as he or she intended to accept the attunement). Then I moved to the next person, and at the end, I sat at the table and felt the energy flowing between my hands as it continued working. After about 20 minutes, everyone opened up their eyes, having felt the attunement energy reach completion. Kundalini Reiki attunements don't have the ritualized aspects of Usui Reiki attunements, so no more is needed than simple intention for passing the attunements along. Once everyone had opened their eyes, each person spoke of his or her experience, and each person's was unique and yet powerful. I can't express how grateful I am for the ability to help open people to Reiki energy and that it works every time.

Everyone returned the next week with stories about helping other people with Reiki, or their pets, and one person even saw his plant improve after he gave it Reiki! Some of them had sent distance healing, and it was felt and the recipient felt better. It was really exciting to see how they had all started realizing the benefits of Reiki, and experienced the results for themselves.

Some of my students have been in touch with me via email in between classes, with questions, or to share their excitement about the power of Reiki. I love hearing from them.

So this has been a wonderful experience for me as well, and a learning experience too. I learned that I am capable of facing a class full of students, and giving the information about Reiki clearly, as well as passing on attunements in person. I learned that I can share my passion for teaching Reiki in person as well as via email, and it's equally well received. I shed my anxiety over teaching adults, and feel much more confident now.

I look forward to more opportunities to teach local Reiki classes and more distance students as well. I truly believe that everyone should learn Reiki because there are so many benefits and we all have this power inside us to tap into for our own healing and wellness. I am blessed and so very grateful for the opportunity to work with each person that gives me the chance.


Saturday, October 17, 2009


A few months back, I was approached by a woman who I had met on Twitter, Debbie Wilker. She had been suddenly diagnosed with cancer and wanted to learn Reiki. I chatted with her about it, and although she didn't have the money to pay for attunements, I attuned her to Kundalini Reiki through master level. I also put her in touch with my friend Bridget, who had healed her own cancer with energy healing and diet, and works with people diagnosed with cancer. Debbie had high hopes for beating this disease and was determined to stay positive and do all she could.

Debbie had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. I wanted to help her and had high hopes for her recovery because she was so driven to live. Debbie was 52 when she was diagnosed. She was an artist, author, mom, wife, and coach. Yes, I am speaking in the past tense. Debbie died three days ago. I found out today.

She had been in touch with me many times, each time telling me about her energy experiences with self healing, dreams, and asking questions about Reiki. I sent her Reiki healing many times. She was receiving help from many energy healers, and following lots of advice. She was also receiving conventional medical treatment. She was in and out of the hospital, and then hospice care.

I'm blogging about this today because Debbie's passing is in my thoughts. I know she wanted to live longer, that she didn't feel finished with her life's work. Being connected to a higher source of energy through Reiki is helpful, but it can't change the inevitability of an aggressive cancer, I guess. I'm sad over this, and it's a cold reminder that there are things we don't understand about life and death, no matter how strong our intentions to help ourselves or each other. I'm sure Debbie is at peace now, but her passing is hard for her family and friends. We know that she wanted to live longer, free of pain and disease, and able to continue with her plans. We miss her.

When people die before they have had their full lives, such as children, young mothers, or people in their prime, it can seem to be senseless. Why did this happen? It feels unfair and wrong. Some people try to explain it, but there are no explanations that satisfy those of us who feel no sense of understanding behind it. "God's ways are mysterious." "God has her reasons." Yada yada yada. Meanwhile, there is a great loss for those left behind, and leaves the nagging feeling that a life was cut short. It's sobering, and a reminder that we are all vulnerable in our own way too. Life is unpredictable and death is inevitable. It may not be the end, because our spirits are eternal, but each lifetime is precious and has something to accomplish and experiences to live. When it feels like one didn't get the full measure of this lifetime, it is confusing and hurts. I know I'm not the one to judge whether someone had their full lifetime or not, for what do I know anyway? But I know that Debbie didn't feel finished, and that is hard. I know she made peace with her dying at the end, and was more concerned for her family, because she emailed me about that. But the question of "why now" remains unanswered.

People in Debbie's life may still feel her presence, and she may still be around in spirit. Perhaps she will visit her husband and son in their dreams or visions. I hope that she can, and it will bring them comfort.

The medical profession has a long way to go with curing cancer, and the current treatment is painful and difficult for those who have it. One day I hope there will be better answers.

I wish I could have done more to make a difference.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Surrender

I've noticed lately that many people are blogging and tweeting about surrender. What is surrender, though? Is it giving up? Is it shrugging your shoulders and admitting that we have no control over the events which will come at us moment by moment? Is it having faith? All of these options sound difficult from where I'm standing, and some of them don't sound like a good way to live.

Let's talk about the first thing I mentioned - giving up. That couldn't be a good thing. It implies a feeling of hopelessness - like there's nothing I can do so why try? If one who is without a job gives up, there is no job search, there is just wallowing in misery. I don't think this is the way to go.

Then there's the "shrugging one's shoulders and admitting one isn't in control" method. Saying "this is out of my hands" is difficult for one who likes to make things happen with action. But there comes a time when one has done all she can and the rest is waiting. I think when one gets to this point, it takes patience to get through it. Patience is my lesson these days, and the Universe is handing me abundant opportunities to practice. Is this a good form of surrender? Well, I think it's part of the process, so whether it's good or bad to shrug and give in, it is probably necessary.

So then there's having faith. This is the next step, after shrugging, I think. This is the part for me takes a lot of effort, but many people advocate this. Just believe that everything will turn out for the best. The Universe, Source, Powers that Be, has your best interest in mind and is steering the world in the right direction for you. Things will work out. That's a common phrase people say to reassure themselves when things seem out of their hands. How does one go about having faith? Is it a decision? Is it an effort? I think that for me, it's both.

Deciding that I'll take the attitude of "I've done all I can, so now I'll wait" is part of it. The rest is letting go of worry that things will go this way or that way, or not work out after all the effort put in. That's the faith part, and it's also surrender in action. The act of surrender is giving up the worry - just letting it go and staying in this moment, not the place of "what if."

It's easy for me to think of all of the possible outcomes of the situation and what I would do to handle each. That's the control freak in me, I think. It also puts me in a place of anxious waiting, rather than calm. One would think that planning for every possible outcome would make me feel secure, and I know that's why I try to do it. But actually, it makes me live on the edge of my seat, waiting to see which outcome seems to be materializing so I can jump into action.

Things in my life have been in flux lately as my husband attends some important job interviews which may lead to us moving out of state. Moving is a big deal, as I've mentioned, but I'm not against the idea. It just involves rising to the occasion and taking care of a lot of details, including a period of time where my husband would move ahead of us and I'd be in charge of all of our day to day business with the kids, school, meals, cleaning, and selling the house. Breathe, Alice, breathe! Okay, I'm breathing.

So this idea of "surrender" is a tough one for me, as is patience, while we wait to see what will transpire. It's good - getting a job is a good thing - for sure. But it's also possible to get lost in the details, and the wondering how we'll manage to accomplish it. I reassure myself that people do this, even with big families such as ours, and we can too. That's a kind of faith/ surrender too I suppose.

There is also Reiki. Of course, Reiki! I can send Reiki to the intention for the best possible outcome for our family, and knowing that positive energy is flowing in that direction is reassuring in itself. In fact, the more I do this, the more I feel I'm doing something that makes a difference, and that feels pretty good.

I'm breathing, grounding, and doing all I can to stay in the moment instead of going to that place of "what if" and "how will I do such-and-such" and man, what an effort! I never knew surrender could be so much work. Nobody talks about how much work surrender actually is, and instead people say that they make the decision to "let it go" and poof! they feel so much better instantly. For me, it's a process. I constantly remind myself to breathe. I often bring myself back to the present. It's an ongoing thing. My mind is like a toddler who is intent on having her way. I have to be the mom who goes over and repeatedly picks her up and brings her back to this room. Then a few seconds later, off she goes again!

But I know also that there is an end in sight. There will be a decision, a resolution, soon, and I'll be able to make lists of what needs to be done and get organized. In many ways, that will be a relief. In others, it will be overwhelming. For now, the list has one thing on it: wait. That in itself is hard enough. Later, the list will have many things, but at the end of the day, whatever I've gotten done is progress, and I can be okay with that.

So this blog post is about How to Surrender, and the recipe includes shrugs, faith, breathing, Reiki, and of course, patience. No surprises there, right? Tell me something, is surrender a struggle for you too? Do you have a different recipe?