Friday, December 20, 2013


Today is my birthday. I started this blog on my birthday, seven years ago. So every year I write a birthday post. 

I'm 44.

I've been seeing the number 44 around me all over the place lately. It's always something:44 when I look at the clock. My bill is $x.44 anywhere I'm shopping lately. The license plate of the car ahead of me is like a running stream of 4s. The email I click on was written 44 minutes ago, and has 44 words in it. It's grabbed my attention over and over again.

Here's the meaning of 44, from a lovely website called Angel Numbers. This is a quote from Joanne Walmsley, from whose website this is shared:


Number 44 carries the doubled vibrations of the number 4, making its energies and influences magnified.  Number 4 resonates with the attributes of support and stability, establishing solid foundations for the self and others, willpower and effort, ability and worthiness, hard work and achieving success, wholeness and inner-wisdom. Number 4 is associated with our passions and drive.

Angel Number 44 asks that you pay attention to your intuition and inner-wisdom as your connection with your angels and the angelic realm is very strong at this time.  You are encouraged to continue on your current path as your drive and determination will lead to success and fulfillment.

When the Angel Number 44 appears repeatedly, it is a message that you are being surrounded by helpful, loving angels who wish to bring you peace of mind and joy of heart.  The repeating Angel Number 44 indicates that you are being given support and encouragement along your path, and when faced with an obstacle, rest assured that your angels are most willing to assist. Be assured that solutions to any issues or problems will soon be revealed.

Angel Number 44 is a message that the angels and Archangels are with you, encouraging and guiding you.  They are offering you inner-strength and support to enable you to get the work done that you need to in order to attain and achieve your goals and aspirations.  They know and understand that you have been toiling diligently towards your goals, and encourage you to continue on your current path to achieve the success and results you desire.  Work with the angels to ensure success in all of your endeavours.

Angel Number 44 is a message that you have nothing to fear in regards to your life, work and Divine life purpose and soul mission.  The angels surround and support you, encouraging you to keep up the good work you have been doing. The angels and Archangels are always available for help and guidance  -  all you need to do is ask.

So, this is my year of 44. I like the idea of having a little extra support this year. One reason is that we moved to Maryland a couple months ago, after living in Ohio for...oh, all of our lives. So here, I'm starting over in terms of friends, contacts, business, and finding my way around. 

I do love the area, am meeting new people, and can now successfully navigate to a few places without my GPS. Progress!

Another reason I could use some support is that my new website launched a month ago, and I'm trying to make sure that people know about it. I'm learning marketing, OpenCart, and some coding on the fly - "fly-learning" always seems to be the way I operate. I have big ideas and I'm putting them into play at hyperspeed, trying not to trip over my own feet in the process. Angels, please help me not break anything as I go along!

I have a house in Cleveland (University Heights for anyone who is looking - here's the listing!) that I'd REALLY like to sell. This is a very good year for some extra angelic help!

But I also recognize how much support I'm already getting. Amazing, fast and surprising things have happened since we moved here. I've made friends with people who are just perfect in my life. I have teaching opportunities starting, and more manifesting. I have new ideas which are becoming reality. I have a sense of purpose and confidence that I'm moving in the right direction, despite the pressure to keep the momentum going. 

So, this year in particular, I'm going to make a practice daily of reaching out to my angel helpers to support me in doing all I'm meant to do to live my purpose. Whether little things, or big things, I know that I'm being helped and guided. 

And I'm very grateful to be in this place and time, with my amazing kids and supportive husband, and with the knowledge that my angels are with me. 

Please comment if you feel guided to add your thoughts.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Measuring Value

Last weekend, I was a vendor at the Victory of Light Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been a vendor at that expo (which happens twice a year) seven times now. I enjoy it. I have a booth in a high traffic, centrally located corner, and I teach a workshop. About 5,000 people come through during the weekend. I offer Reiki sessions, show and sell my books, cards, pendulums, give stone readings, and generally work my little energized butt off for two very full days. 

But, this year was different. I wasn't making the four hour drive from Cleveland, Ohio. I was coming from my new home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It's a much longer and complicated trip.

We (my friend and booth buddy, Ernie and I) were already signed up to attend when I found out we'd be moving. So, I decided to make the trip and see how it went. 

I found plane tickets that were reasonably priced, which took off from BWI and landed me in Columbus, Ohio. Ernie picked me up at the airport, had a quick lunch with Connie, my business partner with RAA, and we drove down, set up, worked the expo, and came back Sunday night to Columbus, stayed overnight at Connie's, and then Ernie took me back to the airport to fly to BWI. Then I drove the hour's drive back to Gaithersburg. And that's how things worked, travel-wise.

The expo was huge and busy. I barely had a voice left by Sunday evening. We met lots of people, shared lots of energy, and sold a fair amount of stuff. We came out ahead. 

But I was left thinking about trying to decide if it was "worth it" to go this time. Here's what I was weighing:

  • Money-wise, I could have made about three times as much if I'd stayed here and taught a class to five students. It wouldn't have required travel, or the amount of "on time" that the expo demands. It would've been quieter, more intimate, and overall much easier than making the trip to the expo.
  • Marketing-wise, at the expo, I'm talking to a huge number of people, some of whom may end up being my student sometime this year. I'm directly giving Reiki to about 25 people, maybe more. I'm giving readings to somewhere around 40. And hundreds of people are taking my business cards and materials, with a possibility of following up. Those who buy my books may write a review, contact me, or recommend them to others. The impact has a high potential for residual value.
  • Then there are the intangibles. I gave Reiki to a lot of people. I talked about Reiki to even more people. I gave readings all weekend. Any of these people could get a favorable impression about Reiki (I hope so!) or hear the message that anyone can learn Reiki. Healing effects really can't be measured, nor can I track what will happen after the person experiences Reiki for the first time and then goes on with his life. Maybe he will go in a new direction. One pain-ridden, hunched-over person that I gave her first Reiki session to a few years ago at this exact expo went and found herself a Reiki practitioner, and started having weekly Reiki sessions. She became cancer-free in six months. She comes back every time to give me a hug. That's priceless.
So how can I measure the value of the money, time, energy, and impact? I can't. And there's the lesson. 

Just like in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," when the guy has no idea of the impact his life had on others until he is able to invisibly follow them after he had touched their lives in some way, we don't really know the impact that an act of kindness, a moment of listening closely, or a hug at the right time can create for someone. For us, it might be just a fleeting thing, easily forgotten. But for someone else, it can be the start of a turning point in their lives.

So, I've reminded myself that I'm always in the right place at the right time. If I just do my best in each situation, I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to do. 

I am grateful for that reminder. 
Happy Thanksgiving.   

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Beginnings

We've now lived in Gaithersburg, MD for six weeks. Partly, I've been feeling like I'm on an extended vacation from my home in Ohio. Part of me has been wondering when we're going home. But not in a sad way. I love this house. There's plenty of room for our family. It's very nice to have enough bathrooms, too! I love the new neighborhood, all of the amazing variety of cultures here. I'm even starting to get around - a little - without the GPS app on my phone. People I've met have been nice and welcoming. The kids are all adjusting really well to their new schools, and made the Honor Roll their first quarter.

My husband has gotten off to a great start in his new position. It's clearly the right decision for him, and for our family, to be here.

Although our house in University Heights hasn't sold yet, it's certainly ready for a family to move in and make it their new home.

Good things are happening with me, too. I've made a wonderful connection with Beatrice Ollier of The Center for Qi Gong, Meditation, Healing and Beyond, which it turns out, is about a mile from my house in a very thriving shopping district called The Kentlands. Being as open minded as she is, Beatrice has allowed me to teach Practical Reiki at her lovely studio, and even brought me two students. We've got a great symbiotic relationship - I'm helping her with her social media presence and marketing. She's recommending  me and letting me teach there. I've already taught a class there, and will teach another in January. We like each other a lot, too. 

And the biggest news so far is that, finally, my new website has launched. is completely redesigned from the bottom up, and looks totally new, modern, and different! We're having a free online launch party tomorrow (Thursday) night at 9 pm EST. It's a free class in Laughter Yoga, as well as festive giveaways and a party atmosphere. We figured, why not do something really fun, that includes learning, and celebrates the new site? I'd love to have a great big crowd, so please join us if you can make it! It's online, so wherever you are, you can be there from any computer or digital device that goes online. Please come!

I'm going to Ohio on Friday, to teach and share a booth with my expo buddy, Ernie Betz, at The Victory of Light Expo in Cincinnati. I'm looking forward to being back there (it's my seventh time). Though, in a way, it feels a little confusing to go from here (my home?) to there (my familiar Ohio territory), and then back here (home, Alice, home) again on Monday.

So, yeah, things are good, and I'm trying to get rooted in this new place, so that I can say or think "home" and my mind goes here, instead of Cleveland, Ohio. I know it takes time. But, I'm ready for that slightly confused part of me to officially move here too. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Every time, yep. Mercury Retrograde becomes the antagonist of my life, whether I try to avoid it (ha!), ignore it (impossible!), deny it (so delusional), or fight it (futile). 

And yet, it seems to land me facing the right direction, after sending me on wild goose chases, snafu chains, and break downs.

Here's the latest, and I'm almost ready to laugh about it. Almost. You may have an easier time. Laughing, that is.

Checks due to be received by me are late. That means, of course, that bills are going to be paid late. Except, oops, for those which were set for automatic withdrawal, and those will bounce. So, I decided to try to remedy the situation as fast as I could.

We moved from Ohio to Maryland at the beginning of this month, and our usual bank, which we used for the past 16 years, does not have a branch office in Maryland. We figured we could cope for a while by doing electronic banking and using bank machines. 

So, I took money out of my paypal account, (cash), for fast access, and went to deposit it into my checking account at an ATM. Hmm. This ATM doesn't offer a deposit option. Weird. I drove to another ATM. And then a third. Same problem.

I called my bank. The customer service person said that it's not possible to deposit a check at an ATM of a bank in a state that doesn't host this bank. I can take money out, but I can't put money in.  But, wait, I have an app that lets me scan a check. I just needed to get this cash into a check (and by the way, it had to be done within the hour or it wouldn't count for this business day's deposit). I asked if a money order would do. The guy said yes, that should work. Funny how that was my brilliant idea, not one suggested by the person who WORKS AT THE BANK. Whatever. Mkay. 

After visiting two gas stations that don't sell money orders, I proceed to a CVS, and miraculously have the exact amount of money in my wallet that's needed to purchase a money order. I do so. 

In my car now, I try to scan the money order into my phone's bank check deposit app. It can't get a good picture. After trying about six times, I go home. It's still 30 minutes from deadline. 

At home, I put the money order on my table and take a picture of it again. Every detail is clear. The app doesn't agree. After another half dozen tries, I call the bank. The tech support customer service person seems perplexed. I remind her of the time deadline and offer to read her every number, text or email a picture of the money order, or anything else. She says no to these options. I ask if the fact that the amount on the money order was printed in purple dot-matrix might be an issue. She says maybe. I offer to color it in with a pencil or pen. She says sure, try that. Again, my idea. 

I try that. It doesn't work. It also doesn't work for me to manually add a decimal. I kept the customer service person on the line through all of this, and now it's past seven o'clock. I still have the money that needs to go into my account, and this problem isn't solved. 

I also haven't made dinner yet.

She transfers me to someone else. That person tells me that, by the way, there are app deposit limits which happen to be less than my husband's upcoming paycheck. So that means that he won't be able, in any way other than US Mail, to deposit his check into our checking account in two days.

By now, the Universe has sent a very clear message that it's time to change to a local bank.  

The customer service person on the line suggests that I move funds from savings accounts into the checking account to cover the upcoming payments. Turns out that in some tiny little accounts I had started when my kids were babies, there was just enough to cover the payments that were being withdrawn. So I moved the funds. It only took another half hour of being on hold and shuffled around.

The money order is now put aside for deposit into a new checking account at a new bank.

So, as annoying as this process was, I consider it to be a good thing for these reasons:

  • I found out about the deposit limits before we actually tried to deposit my husband's paycheck on Friday.
  • I had enough money to cover the amount going out, once it was moved around.
  • I now have a money order for starting a new account at a different bank.
  • I got a VERY CLEAR SIGNAL from the Universe that it's time to put down roots here, and that includes income.

But that's not the end of the story, though it would be nice if it was. 

We went online last night to set up a new local checking account, since my husband is working all this week. It seemed to be smooth (why don't we learn that during Mercury Retrograde this is only an illusion?). I took my printed confirmation paper printout thingie to the local branch today, expecting to hand it over and get the two temporary debit cards for our new joint account, as well as deposit this money order into it. 

Not so easy.

We were told that we both need to go personally into a branch office. They need to do more identity verification there, before we get our new cards. And, until my husband does this too, we can't have a joint account. Wah. 

At lunch, my husband asked Siri (yeah, he asked an electronic device to guide him to a place during Mercury Retrograde. Yeah.) to take him to the nearest branch of this particular bank. Siri decided to give him an unwelcome and untimely tour of random sites in Washington, DC instead. 

So the new plan is for him to leave work as early as he can, and meet me at the local branch that's near our house. We'll do this thing together in person, and have a new account to use.

Yesterday, I did a Reiki exchange with my new friend David Gleekel, owner of The Reiki Center of Greater Washington. He told me during my session that I haven't put down roots yet. He could feel my energetic roots all curled up at the base of my feet. After the session, he checked them again and said they are uncurled. They're ready to accept that I live here.

In the end, we're getting the message. This is where we live now. This is where we make money, spend money (oh yes), and need our money to be. The flow of money is part of overall abundance. If we want to live and work here, our roots need to be here - money and abundance-wise too. 

So, with a centrifugal whirl by our friend (or not) Mercury Retrograde, we're being set on our feet again, right where we are now, and hopefully taking healthy root in this new place where we've been planted. 

By the way, I'm now available for appointments at Feja's Hair Design and Wellness Spa in Gaithersburg, MD (call for an appointment), and I have a Practical Reiki 1 & 2 Training coming up Nov. 9-10 at The Viva Center in Washington DC (Dupot Circle area) - registration is open. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

In My Face

A most amazing chain of events happened to me lately, starting with last week. It's so filled with "coincidences" that I had to blog about it, just to process and actually make the list that's blowing my mind.

As they say, "There are no coincidences." After reading this, you might just agree. I can't think of any better evidence that this could be true.

A week ago, my oldest daughter, Rayna, was wearing her Camp Wise tee-shirt to middle school gym class. Camp Wise is an overnight camp in the Cleveland area, where lots of kids go in the summer. 

Another girl noticed Rayna's shirt, and asked her, "Are you from Cleveland?" Rayna replied that yes, she is, and we just moved here. The girl, Hannah, said she had moved here from Cleveland ten years ago. And they started talking. Rayna came home and told me about it. I thought that was cool.

Well, shortly after Rayna came home from school that same day, a school secretary called to say that she had found Rayna's math binder in the Guidance Office, where Rayna had been keeping her too-large-for-a-locker backpack. Rayna exclaimed that she needed that folder for her homework, so I sent Rayna on her bike to go up to school and get it. Rayna cajoled her sister, Sari, into coming with her. 

It just so happens (here comes the flood)...that Hannah and her sisters and mom were at school when Rayna and Sari got there. They were all talking excitedly about Cleveland, and when Hannah's mom heard Rayna's last name, she said that she knows me from the same temple where I had worked, where she belonged before they moved here. She remembered me, and remembered that I had some notoriety there because I wrote the Apples to Apples: Jewish Edition games. Not only that, but she also knew a bunch of the same people that Rayna and Sari knew from school in Cleveland. She gave them a ride home with their bikes so she could say hi to me. 

We talked in my driveway, and she (her name is Kelly) invited my family to dinner Friday night (which was last night). She said she thinks her husband might know mine, because her husband, my husband, and I all went to the same elementary school. 

Last night, we went over to Kelly's house for dinner. The game of Jewish Geography (that's what it's called when Jewish people connect everyone they are mutually acquainted with) went on and on, of course. Most amazing of this was that Kelly's husband knows Evan's aunt and uncle, next door neighbors from his parents' house, and about a zillion other people that Evan or the both of us knew from school years and from living in the same area. And, also, our kids went to the same pediatrician (who is also my cousin). She has four kids, as do I. Her two youngest are in the same grades and school as my two oldest. Her older daughter does pet sitting (something we also needed to find for when we go on vacation in May, and if/when we visit Cleveland on a long weekend between now and then).

But there's more. 

During the course of conversation, Kelly said that she loves and has been to Lily Dale three times. I've taught in Lily Dale for the last two summers, and will teach there again summer of 2014!! The odds that the first person I "randomly" meet from Maryland is into holistic/metaphysical stuff, and has been to Lily Dale, are rare enough, let alone that I am sitting having dinner with this same person, and she knows me from living in Cleveland, and we went to the same temple...I mean, these are lottery winner odds. She also went upstairs, got her little bag of stones and a pendulum, and we played with those for a bit, while sharing stories of how we've found lost items using intuitive techniques.

And yes, there's even MORE!!

Kelly also told me about a metaphysical "church" around here that's having a healing service this Sunday, and I suggested that we go together. So she's going to pick me up, we're going to go there, and then get some lunch in Georgetown afterward. 

Mind blown. 

And I'm thinking back to how I had created goals for myself before moving here. One of the goals I'd put out to the Universe is to get acquainted with others who are into holistic work out here. How gorgeously generous of my Guides to arrange for me to meet Kelly, someone with ties to back home, and for her to be one of the people who will help me meet this goal.

Since writing my last post, I've also found a local place for my Reiki practice and have scheduled a Practical Reiki 1 & 2 Training at a lovely wellness center in DC. I also connected with the director of another Reiki organization, and we're having lunch together this coming week, and I joined a couple Meetups in the area. My new website will be launching at the end of next week, too. Things are moving, and they're happening easily, and in absolutely incredible ways!!

It's like the universe is saying YES, but not subtly. BIG, bold, and right up in my face!
So I totally had to share this with you.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Home for a Landing

Our new home
I'm writing to you now from our new home in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I just reread my previous post, where I was in a state of limbo, waiting for something solid to happen. Well, happily, it finally did. My husband did get that job offer, we did (after a more stressful and convoluted process than I had ever imagined) find a house to rent. We are almost fully unpacked, and everyone has started their new job and schools. 

I've begun the process of finding a new home base for my Reiki practice. Our new website is gearing up for launch, and lots is in the works. 

But I can finally breathe. I'm sitting at home. I can blog. I can produce my internet radio show, Reiki Talk, again. I can think about finally writing that book on distance healing that's been rattling around in my head for about six months. 

There are, I admit, a few loose ends still. We need to sell our house in Cleveland. I need to get a new practice started around here and schedule some local classes. But the pressure is greatly reduced, and things are coming together. Most of all, I finally have some control over the pace. 

Yeah, that's it. The pace. 

I like having the chance to reflect, plan, and take action - on my own time. Before, everything was rushed, hectic, and also there was this pressure as everything was hinging on something else. Now, I can make the calls, email the contacts, write, post, and stop if I want to - to breathe. 

I'm grateful today for being exactly where I am - in this nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with the chance to expand my teaching area, schedule my classes, and really just take a moment to breathe.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Driving with my head out the window

Ace Ventura
These past few weeks have been weird. As I sat here composing my post, I thought of a few metaphors for how I've been feeling.

One is the moment when Alice steps into the looking glass, yet isn't quite across yet. She is simultaneously in both worlds - her familiar home, and Wonderland. (Which is more Weirdland than Wonderland, anyway, right? I mean, it's more disconcerting than wondrous most of the story, especially that nasty queen!)

Another is the image of sticking my head into another dimension, while my body is still here, in my original one. I'm seeing all sorts of weird things, but I'm not fully in there with them. 

I named this post "Driving with my head out the window" because I guess that captures it best. It's not about just standing there looking back and forth, but it's also representing the idea of the motion of things whizzing by outside, but inside they feel still, despite the actual movement of both.

In many areas of my life, I'm feeling like this. 

First, my business, Reiki Awakening Academy. Lots is in the works, in progress, right now. Among them, a new website is being developed. It's VASTLY different from the current one, and also a whole lot better. I'm waiting for the coding to be finished, and then I'll have loads of work to upload the real content instead of the placeholders that are there now. We are also planning a full school year of classes, trainings, and retreats. But the school year hasn't really started yet. So all of this momentum is happening behind the scenes (that's the outside the window part), while inside the car, everything seems like it's just sitting here waiting to get somewhere. 

Next, my home life. My husband, Evan, has spent most of the summer interviewing for a very big position 350 miles away. This organization recruited him, quite "out of the blue" but not really, as it happened just a few days after he tried a manifestation exercise that I taught him. More interestingly, it is the same position he interviewed for four years ago, and back then, he was suddenly passed over when they hired an internal candidate. This job was a fantastic fit for his education, experience and skill set, and the level of position and salary sounded perfect for us. It was surprising and a little jarring at the time that (seemingly at the last minute), he didn't get the offer. Turns out that if he had been offered the job then, it would have been absolutely wrong for our family. Shortly after he didn't get the position, his mom got sick. We were very much needed here, and if we had moved, it would have been impossible for us to stay. We spent the next eight months caring for her. And then she passed. And we had to settle her estate, sell her house, and readjust our lives. It took time. 

Back to this summer, when as I mentioned, Evan was suddenly contacted by that very same organization, saying that the same position is open again, asking if he would consider applying for it. Only this time, he went through the whole interview process, and was called and told that they are putting together an offer for him. They had said they were going to make the offer last week. But then they called and said their finance committee would be on a retreat for the week, so the offer won't happen until Aug. 21. We don't know what the offer will be, or if the (we assume) relocation package will be enough to make this possible for us. 

I get that same world-rushing-by-while-I-sit-and-wait feeling when I think of all the ways this could play out, along with figuring out what to do about our house, a new place to live, school systems for the kids, a new Reiki practice location for me, and the timing of it all. It's impossible to really plan until we know about the offer. So, until Wednesday, or possibly a few days later after negotiations, my head is out the window trying to catch a glimpse of the world of potential, while my body is here, getting the kids ready for the start of school next week in their current school. 

Finally, those I work with - my business partner, and my Naturopath, both incredibly intuitive people (to say the least). I went to see my Naturopath last week to get some advice and energy work for a small but irritating health issue. She helped me with it, and then we were chatting about computers. She told me about how she gets overwhelmed by electromagnetic energy, like being in the Verizon store. She could always see energy, and it certainly helps her in her work. I can't, and I could stand in the Verizon store all day without noticing the energetic difference. I listen to her and it's like sticking my head into the looking glass while the rest of my body stays put. I feel like I'm somehow missing something by not being as sensitive as she is to the energies all around me.

My business partner emailed me yesterday. She had a surreal (to me) experience of being in and out of her body most of yesterday, being visited by spirits, Guides, and getting "downloads" of new books to write. She grounded again last night and "returned" to a more earthly state of living in her body. But honestly, she's like the Mad Hatter (not crazy - no implication intended there!), and I'm in Wonderland when I read about her experiences. I am that Alice, looking around and feeling out of my element when faced with things like this. I can only look - these experiences are out of my realm. They are, though, common enough for her, as she has been astral traveling since being a child. 

So here I am in a sort of limbo. I do my thing - I am good at giving Reiki. I'm pretty awesome at teaching Reiki. I can give some insightful Angel Card readings. I have a sensible business savvy. Inside my calm little car, I am used to the way things are. 

But I'm feeling like intense things are whizzing all around just outside of me in my little world, and I can guess about them, hear about them, learn about them, but they aren't taking me with them to experience them personally. While it's just a matter of time - just a few more days - for Evan's situation to work out, and a matter of weeks for my website to be ready, new programs to be launching, and classes to begin again, my imagination and desire to be moving (rather than waiting) are far ahead, whizzing around in an unsettled pattern.

And when it comes to the people I'm working with, I don't know if I'll ever be able to really visit their worlds as they see them. It bothers me a little. I remind myself that they both have had a lifetime of that natural intuitive gift that I only started finding in myself and working towards five years ago. Logically, I know that perhaps, in time, with continued work on my own development, I could sense something of what they experience, when it's right for me. And, that is ok.

But for now, I'm feeling like I'm driving with my head out the window. Inside the car, I feel the sensation of barely moving. I'm enclosed in my little space. But my head, outside the window, is getting a bigger, wilder reminder that what I experience inside my space is only a fraction of what is really happening.

How do you ride through your life right now? Will we see each other on the road, our hair whipping about wildly in the wind?

Are you near the looking glass? Do you know it's there? Have you stepped inside?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Madness

This is my children's second week of summer break from school. None of them are going to summer camp, so they are home with me. It's also the week of the Summer Solstice, Super Moon, and the start of Mercury Retrograde. 

I knew that my schedule would need to change with theirs. I knew that I'd need to adjust my times for work to add in time for playing with the kids and getting them out of the house. I've done this before, and found a way to shift rhythms. I knew that I'd miss my more extended work time, alone at home while the kids were at school, or being able to freely schedule local Reiki healings during the daytime hours. This summer, though, there's been a different and rather unexpected part of my routine that I'm missing. 


My four kids have lots of energy, as kids usually do. And we are very active together. We've gone to the park, playground, pool, bike riding, and every day's been different. So I'm also more tired at the end of the day than I had been during the school year. 

The other night, around 11:15 pm when every kid was finally in bed, quiet, and I was sitting downstairs, I's quiet. At that moment, I felt a sense of relief come over me. I think I'm suffering from sensory overload. It's been hard to concentrate when I'm trying to get some quick work done in the mornings before we leave for our day time activity. My attention is different, more scattered. The sudden recognition of quiet was so surprisingly welcome to me, that I realized it was the biggest missing piece of my summer. For a moment, I just sat there and let the silence soothe me. 

I wanted to enjoy it fully somehow. I wanted to meditate maybe, or to get some work done with the chance to apply undivided attention to it. Instead, after 5 minutes, I was so tired that I had to just, reluctantly, go to bed.

I have big plans this summer. I am writing a new book. (If When I can find the time and attention to get back to it, that is!) I'm getting my school website overhauled and completely redesigned. I've had a catalog made for the programs and courses we're offering. I'm teaching in Cleveland, Columbus and Lily Dale, NY (twice!), and helping to lead a retreat. Add to that hiring teachers and planning events for the coming school year, and it becomes a lot. Then add keeping four kids occupied enough to avoid fighting and messing up the house, and it's quite a challenge!

I've come to the conclusion that quiet time is not only rare and valuable, it's necessary. It's necessary for my peace of mind, productivity, and emotional balance. Now I need to figure out when and how to schedule it into my day.

Wish me luck.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Practical Meditation...Not

One of the things I love most about Reiki, and most intuitive skills, is that they can be learned easily. Some methods seem deliberately complicated, with structure and ritual injected to help a person feel secure ("Just tell me what to DO"). But I like things unplugged and simple, and find that I'm thrilled when they work that way. That's why I wrote my book Practical Reiki. Simplicity, along with understanding the underpinnings of how things work, these are my favorite ways to learn, and my favorite things to teach.

Along those lines, I've been trying to find a practical, simple way to learn to effectively meditate. I've studied and tried some different methods. I've purchased and tried out a headset that displays my brain waves, and shows me if I've hit the "zone" of delta or theta waves- the ones indicating meditation states. I've tried 5 minute meditations, humming, staring, visualizing, counting breaths, using beads, emptying my mind, listening to binaural tones, listening to Deepak Chopra's series, guided meditations, unguided meditations, and haven't yet stuck with anything. 

I asked myself why I haven't felt successful yet. I think it's because I keep having the same issue of my mind wandering. Or falling asleep. Or sometimes I feel more frustrated than peaceful. So I try something else until I hit the same sorts of snags. 

I'm blessed to be in Florida for a few days with my parents and my sisters. Big thanks to my husband, Evan, for encouraging me to go when I had the chance. I don't have very many opportunities to see my sisters, who live in different far away states. So this wonderful opportunity is a very rare blessing and I'm so happy to be here. 

Being away has given me the chance to read more. I brought along a really good book, How to Meditate, a guide to self-discovery by Lawrence LeShan. It's immensely readable, and I like his sense of humor too. I'm learning something very important from this book - there are no shortcuts. Meditation is work. It just is. It needs to be done consistently, and it's common to hit snags. You still have to keep doing it. Some days will be good, some will be not good. It doesn't mean to stop or try something new. LeShan offers many different methods, with clear explanations of the purpose and approach (emotional, intellectual, and other categories) of each. He advocates for choosing one that seems to fit your style now, not what you want it to be. Then you are advised to work with the style daily for at least three weeks before deciding if you like it or not. 

LeShan says that meditation is work. Period. There are no shortcuts, and if you're looking for enlightenment or psychic experiences, then you're basically doing it wrong. While one might, from time to time, experience some intuitive experiences (flashes of light, psychic phenomena), they are to be enjoyed for the moment, and then you get back to the work of meditating. If they are your reason for meditating, you are meditating for the wrong reason, and you'll lose your progress in both areas should they become your focus.

While I am wishing that there was a quick, practical approach, and I also do teach about doing mini meditations during the day (such as taking 3-5 slow deep breaths while washing the hands or at a red light), I understand that meditation is really more than that. There doesn't seem to be a quick way to get there. It is work. But the benefits make it worthwhile if you can stick it out.

Up to now, I've been a lazy meditator. I know, though, that there are benefits to following through. I've seen the results in my friends who are very intuitive. They credit meditation with the increase in their intuitive abilities. That's what I want to achieve as well. Not during meditation, but during my regular intuitive work. 

One thing that I really loved in his book is this quote - it's not about meditating, but about letting your experience teach you what's true. This idea is something that I teach ALL of my students, in every class. 
"In the Kalama Sutra, a statement attributed to the Buddha states: 'Do not believe on the strength of traditions even if they have been held in honour for many generations and in many places; do not believe anything because many people speak of it; do not believe on the strength of sagas of old times; do not believe that which you have yourself imagined, thinking a god has inspired you. Believe nothing which depends only on the authority of your masters or of priests. After investigation, believe that which you yourself have tested and found reasonable, and which is for your good and that of others.'"
Surprisingly (to me), he talks with some measure of disdain about chakras and energy work in this book, saying that they are basically fake. I kinda laugh at that, because I really disagree. But he's a science guy, and so I guess I understand. 

LeShan also wrote another book that I'm reading this trip. It's called The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist.  In it, he gets fascinated with energy healing, including distance healing, and after doing a lot of research, he determines what psychic healers "do", and he trained himself how to do it. Then he experimented with seeing if it would work. I love that he did this. I mean, he trained himself how to be a psychic healer (his term), and let his experience teach him if it would work. 

That's my approach to learning intuitive skills - to try and see, and keep experimenting until there are enough consistent results for me to believe it's working. I seriously love that he did this. 

So because he and I seem to have this approach in common, I'm going to give meditation a try again, and follow his suggestions. I'll keep you posted.

Now I'm going to enjoy my last day on the beach for this trip! 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Immortal, but not Infallible

A week ago I got sick with a virus. While this isn't a big deal for most people, especially given that there are lots and lots of illnesses going around, and the weather has been cold for the season (Spring IS supposed to be here, right?), it's a big deal for me.

It's a big deal because I haven't been sick in six years. Until this.

I wasn't just a little sniffly. I was sick in a pretty powerful way. Like spending two days in bed. Body aches, fever, rash, the whole nine yards. I felt awful.

I guess the body has a way of making you slow down, even when you don't want to.

I joked that I'm not immortal anymore. But that's not true, now is it? We're all immortal. I forgot for a second there.

What I'm not, though, is infallible. I can get sick, even if I don't do it very often. Why did I get sick this time? I'm not sure. But instead of wondering why, I'm turning to gratitude. I'm grateful for: the healing mechanisms in my body that helped me recover, my friends who sent me healing energy, my naturopath who advised me well, and most of all, my husband, who took care of the kids so I could rest. I'm also grateful for the long time that I enjoyed powerful health, and for the upcoming six (or more) years of health ahead before the next time!

May we all be in good health, and if not, may we find that our recovery process gives us more reasons to be grateful for our support systems, inside and out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tiny and Huge

I've been thinking lately about the paradox of being. Doesn't that sound philosophical?

What I mean is that on the one hand, I've learned a lot about Reiki in the past five years or so. I've taught lots of people around the world, and aim to teach many, many more how to access this powerful, yet simple connection to healing, growth, and balance. I've written two books, and published a set of cards (and an app!). I started a school

Yet, every day, I am acutely aware of how much more there is that I don't know yet. There are levels of intuitive sensitivity that I have not reached. There is a vast sea of knowledge that I have barely absorbed a drop of in all this time. 

I feel as if I've followed a spark, and it led me into a sky full of stars. Yet this one spark has given me so much that it can't be measured and I haven't reached the fullness of it yet. It's overwhelming to consider sometimes. 

Here's what I mean...

  • I'm a "big voice" for Reiki. Yet what I know is so very tiny compared to what there is to learn. 
  • Here we are on this planet, each of us unique, and yet even our planet (which seems huge to our perspective), is a tiny droplet in a sea of universal vastness. 
  • Our bodies are complex, powerful interactive machines, yet inside us, between the tiny bits of atomic matter, is mostly space. 
Big, and yet so very small. I know lots of people have pondered this. I'm not presenting a new idea here. 

Lately, I've felt the need to grow more, and I've decided that 2013 is a year for self-development and growth. Opportunities are presenting themselves to me, and I'm saying yes. It's pretty cool.

I have no idea what will come next in my growth, but I'm trying to prepare myself to house new knowledge and intuitive abilities. I want to make my energy a "fertile" place. 

So I've been meditating more. That's new, as my readers know, and also challenging for me. To assist me in finding the "most effective" meditation technique for me, I have some cool tools. Among them is a Neurosky Mindwave Mobile headset, which can measure and track my different brainwaves, and an app called Transcend that keeps track of how often I manage to access those theta and delta (meditation level) brainwaves, and how long I sustain them in my meditation period. Having these tools gives me the chance to try different things and learn about myself. For instance, I am testing whether staring at a candle is better than closing my eyes. And whether listening to music is better than silence, humming OM, or listening to a binaural mp3. I'm using this to test whether visualizing myself floating, counting breaths, or keeping my mind as quiet as possible helps to create the most effective meditation method for me. It's a learning process. 

I've noticed that since I started meditating more often, I'm more frequently calm in the face of drama. My kids, for instance, get angry or upset about something, and instead of getting swept away in it myself, I'm staying calmer without effort. I also noticed that my energy work feels stronger to me - meaning that the tingles in my hand feel stronger. I know that's a signal of intuitive growth, and I'm telling the Universe to keep it coming. 

Drop by drop, the new knowledge will come. And I'll share it with my students (and blog about it here of course too) as it does. 

And drop by drop, I may grow a little bit. But I still know how small I am at the same time. 

Being as small as we all are, though, the coolest thing is this - we are all connected to the absolute HUGENESS of EVERYTHING. Oops, I think I shouted that.  All of our knowledge, experiences, thoughts, emotions, and molecules of our body, are part of the giant, flowing, interacting and changing sea of all that is. The energy that I share, and help others share, can bring that light into this vastness, and make a difference. Thinking about this is reassuring, and also helps me feel that I can be significant for all of my tininess. We all can.

Ready? Let's make some waves.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Pain in the Process

Since August, I've been part of a holistic healing team providing energy and other holistic support for the nicest woman, Lisa. I was asked, along with my good friend and Quantum-Touch practitioner, Ernie Betz, to be part of a team to help her. We all volunteer on various days at 11 am, and go to her house to offer our services. Lisa is 44 years old. She has four children the same ages as mine. She has a doctorate in nursing and worked in a hospital. Her kids are home schooled. She has stage four cancer in her breast and hip bone, and the medical doctors gave up.

Ernie and I have been seeing Lisa weekly on Fridays since August. When we first went, she was very frail, in a hospital bed, and had been unable to even sit up for five weeks. We didn't know if we'd be seeing her the next week or hearing of her passing. Two weeks later, she was sitting and had more energy. Each week, there were more improvements - miraculous and exciting. Most of the summer, she was getting physical therapy to walk again, and the hospital bed disappeared into the attic. She was dressing herself, could stand, and was getting around in a wheel chair. We would talk about her feelings and her progress for about half an hour, and share energy healing the second half. We laughed and shared stories about parenting, healing, and all kinds of things. I attuned her and her husband to Reiki and she read my book. I also shared other books with her, and we gave her healing stones. I've never been part of such an incredible process.

They are a beautiful family. A couple weeks ago, I even brought my kids to play with theirs, and they had a blast, all getting along and really having fun together.

For the past month, though, she has started to have setbacks. She's been having trouble breathing, swelling in the feet and legs, less energy, and difficulty sleeping. They've tried adjusting things including diet, herbal supplements, aromatherapy, homeopathics, etc. Nothing seems to be making a difference.

I have to admit I am having a hard time.

Intellectually, and as a teacher and Reiki practitioner, I know my role. My role is to provide energy. I offer support. The rest is not up to me. It never was. The good, the bad, any results at all are not mine. My feelings are totally incidental to the process. I need to just be grateful for the opportunity to serve. And I am. So very much so that I can't describe the endless depth of it.

But today, she seemed barely there. She hardly spoke. She fell asleep a little. She held a couple ice chips in her mouth to counter the dryness of struggling to breathe despite the oxygen tube just inside her nose. She asked us to help her receive the energy, because she couldn't feel it today.

Her husband is the sweetest, most attentive, positive person I've ever met. Their family has lots of support - meals brought in, people helping with the daily necessity of living, parenting, chores and bills. He has not left her side in weeks.

I am having a hard time.

"I have no right to have a hard time," my snarky voice says. "I'm coming home to a healthy family. I'm healthy. I leave after the hour or two I'm there and go back to my life."

But this experience brings up memories of sitting with my mother-in-law during her final three days as she floated in and out and struggled to breathe. I felt helpless then. I feel helpless now. I know, yes, that the energy I'm providing and my presence is helping. But she is so young. She's my age. Her kids are my kids' ages. This seems so wrong. "Not that I have the right to judge what's wrong or right for another," my snarky voice chimes in. "Yeah, I know," I answer. But it sucks. It's too familiar and I don't want it to be.

I'm also acutely aware that if the healing team hadn't been there, she very likely wouldn't have shared the Fall, much less Christmas or New Year's with her family. And I am grateful for that time. But couldn't all of our combined effort have done MORE? Did I miss something? Was there ANYTHING else we could have done to help? I just don't know.

I don't even know if I'll be able to see her again next week. The thought is like a punch in the gut, as aware as I've been this whole time that it's always been a possibility. Is it even possible that she could have a second turnaround? I just don't know. And, I remind myself, it isn't up to me.

Part of this role is being able to let go of expectations and just be present. That is healing and that is helping. Any agenda, expectations, hopes, celebrations or disappointments just don't belong in the equation. THIS IS HARD!! It's hard because I love them. It's hard because I care and I DO want her to recover; how can I not want this? What kind of person would I be if I was totally detached?

I went back and read my posts I had written (linked above) when we were with my mother-in-law during her final days. It helps to read the comments and also revisit my thoughts and feelings about life, dying, and coping.

I guess that part of life is being aware of the wholeness of it all-- The whole process: beginning and end, living, learning, and also moving on. When it comes to passing, first we do this as a witness, and eventually it's our turn. The best we can do is to just be present in every moment, for every moment we're given, and experience it. That's what life is - the experience.

Thank you for allowing me to share. All of you who read this blog are part of this shared experience.
If you would, please send a thought, prayer, or a stream of healing energy to Lisa's family and all who care for her.