How to Prepare for a Reiki Session: 4 Tips

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Hooray! You’ve just scheduled a Reiki healing session. …Now what?

 

In this article, I will describe some simple things you can do in advance of your session. Doing these things will help you attain the maximum benefit for your time and money.

 

Please note: completing these four suggestions is optional. You will always receive healing by simply showing up to the session. However, these additional tips can help you dive even deeper into the miraculous power that is Reiki.

 

Please note: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a licensed medical practitioner or psychologist. This article does not constitute professional medical or psychological advice. I am simply sharing my personal opinion, based upon my years of serving as a minister and Reiki master.

 

 

  1. Journal about your intentions for the session.

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It helps to get very clear about why you are wanting the session. Are you hoping for a physical healing? An emotional release? Intuitive guidance? Are you feeling touch-deprived and simply wanting wholesome human contact? Are you feeling lost and craving spiritual re-connection? Are you simply curious and wanting to learn more about a method of healing?

 

Each day prior to your session, you can spend about 5-10 minutes writing in your journal, answering these questions. If you don’t enjoy writing, you can do some deep reflection by recording yourself speaking on video.

 

Through reflective journaling, you are imprinting powerful messages into your subconscious mind about what you would like to co-create with your practitioner and the Universe. You are clearing subconscious blockages. You are setting the stage.

 

If you take the time to do this journaling, you will enter your session lighter, clearer, and with more confidence in the process.

 

  1. Drink extra water.

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Beginning on the day you sign up for your session, please be mindful to drink extra water. By drinking extra water prior to the session, you are preparing your bodily system to more easily adapt to the healing transformations that will occur.

 

A good rule of thumb is to double the amount you are already drinking per day.

 

Consider drinking purified or spring water, as these are the absolute best for healing. Adding a bit of organic lemon juice will also boost your body’s internal cleansing processes.

 

 

  1. Wear comfortable clothing

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On the day of your session, select clothing that makes you feel relaxed, happy, warm and comfortable. Choose an outfit that is loose around the waistline, so you can breathe fully and easily. If possible, wear natural fibers such as pure cottons or silks.

 

By wearing comfortable clothing, you are signaling to the body-mind that you are allowing a deep relaxation to occur. This allowance is vital to the Reiki healing experience.

 

 

  1. Arrive to your session a bit early.

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If possible, arrive to your session at least ten minutes early. If you can arrive twenty minutes or even a half an hour early, that would be even better.

 

Once you arrive, if the weather is nice and the neighborhood is safe, it would be great to take a slow, meditative walk. With each step, notice the physical sensations of your body moving. Notice the colors of the trees and the landscape. Notice the sounds—are the birds chirping? Are the trees rustling in the breeze? Are there people laughing or talking? Notice the sights and the sounds. Breathe.

 

If the weather is not conducive or if the neighborhood doesn’t seem relaxing to you, then you can simply sit in your car (or find a soothing place nearby, such as a library or a quiet café) and spend a few minutes enjoying the peaceful quiet. Close your eyes and bring your attention to the physical sensation of your breath. Notice your belly and chest rising and falling. Notice the coolness of the air entering your nostrils. Notice the length and duration of your inhales and exhales. Notice everything you can about how it feels to breathe. Allow your mind to calm down and enter a state of simplicity.

 

One of the main purposes of Reiki is relaxation. By arriving a bit early, you give yourself enough time to begin that relaxation process yourself. If you can greet your practitioner with a little bit less tension in your body or with a little bit less mental noise, then your time spent in the healing room will be maximized. Your session will go deeper and be more profound—thanks to you, because you took the time to begin the healing process yourself. Bravo you!

 

In the end, Reiki is all about self-empowerment. There are so many ways that we can make our lives more peaceful, more joyful, more strong and more free. Reiki is one method among many that help us tap into the core of our true selves. Feeling and understanding that true self is what makes true healing possible.

 

♥♥♥

 

If you’d like to learn additional ways to prepare for a Reiki session, please check out my YouTube video on this topic.

 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Let us know how your Reiki session went!

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Center of Light: An Interview with Keith Anthony Blanchard

keith2Keith Anthony Blanchard is a best-selling author, radio show host, and all-around amazing human. I first met Keith a few years ago, when he interviewed me about my book Opening Love. At the time, I had no idea that our connection would flower into an inspiring friendship.

 

I love Keith. He is a teacher, dedicated to empowering people to live their joy and create from Spirit. He is a lightworker, helping to restore balance in a seemingly dark and chaotic world. He is a friend, on a mission of putting smiles into the hearts of all.

 

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to interview Keith at this particular juncture of change and tremendous growth. Keith is passionately working on his third book. In this interview, we’ll talk about the message of that book, as well as his views about enlightenment, love, and the cosmic awakening process.
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Keith, before we dive into talking about your next book and the awesome revelations you have to share, I’d like to go back a bit, and talk about your youth. When did you realize your life purpose was to be a spiritual guide? Can you talk about the first few years of your initial awakening?

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Early in my life I considered becoming a Catholic priest. That didn’t last long—once my dad put an electric guitar in my hands, one Christmas. Still, throughout all the years of being a rocker, while my “God path” sat in the closet, somehow, I knew I would return to “it” to fulfill my mission on Earth as a Teacher of Truth.
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What happened was, I dated a girl for ten years. When she left the relationship, I was thrown into a tailspin of depression that was truly a hell. But the Grace bestowed upon me from many past lives of good karma was the beacon to move through my dark night of the soul. In this period, I sought God with such fervor that it cracked a door open to the Divine.
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One day when some residual depression came up, I wanted to finally be clear of it. So, I began to say a prayer to God. Over and over and over, for a month I said, “God, I need to hear Your Voice.” I was passionate, sincere, humble and vulnerable.
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One morning, after a gig at a casino the previous night, I was awakened out of my sleep by Spirit telling me that it was time to “Wake up!” Upon hearing the Voice, I was thrown into the Light and immediately began to have that Voice come sit inside of me and live.

 

When we first met, you interviewed me for your show, Center of Light RadioI really appreciated how open you were to learning about polyamory as a spiritual path—it’s quite a controversial topic for many! So many people don’t want to touch it—they’re too afraid or judgmental. I feel your radio show is this amazing, open, warm platform to discuss diverse spiritual views. That is a rare and beautiful thing.

Please talk to me about the inspiration for starting the show, and how it’s developed over the years to serve humanity’s awakening process.

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I started as a host because of a friend who had just interviewed me; I told him that I would like to interview him as a returned favor. Thinking it was going to end there, I got a call from another friend who had a radio show and needed a break from it. He asked me if I would take over for six weeks. I said, “Sure.” Six weeks later, he asked if I wanted to keep the show for myself. I had to think about it, but it didn’t take very long to get to a resounding: “Yes!”

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Though I ran with the show using the name he created (Searcher’s Roadmap), it didn’t feel like me. So, I asked him if he cared if I changed it. He told me, “Keith, it’s your show. Do what you want.” Center of Light Radio was born in that moment.
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But the real inspiration for Center of Light Radio was people. I love people! Sad people are my life and helping them transform is my bliss. I have come to Earth on a mission to initiate others’ baptism into the Light. This is what I will do ‘till I draw my last breath.
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Who are the spiritual teachers who have most influenced you?

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Jesus, Sai Baba, Swamjii Viswayogi, Buddha, Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks, Kryon, Deepak Chopra, and my sister who died many years ago of a condition that took her life at the age of 27. She was my greatest teacher of compassion.

 

What does “enlightenment” mean to you?

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To understand. Not only in the intellect, but in the bones, from the core of the Soul to the surface of the skin. When one lives in this kind of space and knowing, then the space of ongoing knowing widens. This is truly a remarkable arena to play in! When one walks through this gate and into the playground of Soul, the last leg of the journey home has been initiated.

 

Keith, you have a celebrated musical career in addition to your other talents. How does your music influence your writing?

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Great question!

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Music doesn’t, per se, influence my writing. It does something completely different to me. When I am at a gig, after about 5 songs into the set, when I get settled and take off my shoes, “IT” begins to happen.
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What is the “IT”? you may ask. OH, MY GOD! The “IT” is the place where everyone longs to be. My buddies and I have quite a few ways to describe that place: The Zone, Digging IN, Making A Sandwich, Talking To God. My point is, being in this “Zone” so many times has allowed me to shift into “IT” any time I want with mere intention. We can all get into that Zone and I am the guy that can show you how. It’s actually quite easy to do.

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I have learned over the years to simply be EVERYTHING. The universe is simple.

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What is the message of the book you’re writing?

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That no being or thing —NOTHING —has ever been created, nor will ever be created worthier of Infinite Grace than you.

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Understand that there is only ONE path to God, no matter your preferred religion, code, sect, doctrine or deity. God is Love. The path to God is everyone developing Love within themselves. There is no other path.

 

How do you personally feel about this message? What kinds of emotions and thoughts is it bringing up for you?

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It brings me immediately into the Zone just thinking about it. When one begins to touch the Face of God, a liberation of an Infinite magnitude begins to expand into one’s experience. I live in this Kingdom daily. It also reminds me of the work I have yet to do to fully integrate the consciousness of my Spirit back into the loving arms of my Divine Parent.

 

Do you have a sense of how this book will change your life? Of how this book will change the course of humanity?

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The book changes my life every day. Whenever I sit down to write, my life is being changed, making me a more rounded teacher and a more passionate Divine Lover.

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As far as how can the book change the course of humanity, the book points the way to becoming a transcended being. Here is a basic idea about how to start that process:

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Always looking inward and forward, one will continue to lift them Self above the noise that entices them into the fight…

You will no longer be bickering with your loved ones.

No more arguing about politics.

Counterpointing racism.

Fueling the fear of terrorism.

Warring with drama of the world.

In essence, you will no longer be fighting your Self!

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To go back to your question, a bit ago, about what emotions are coming up for me … The emotions of joy and gratitude I feel in this moment contain vast amounts of encrypted information. It is this wellspring from which I draw an outpouring of my heart as a gesture and love offering.

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The seemingly unreachable is reachable, and it requires nothing from you except watering the plant that is YOU! That’s the depth of letting go that I am bringing to light here.

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Until recently, I have lived my life always trying to figure things out. Finally, it dawned upon me, “Ah … Keith, in all of this ‘trying to find your way,’ have you found your way? Why not toss it in the trash and be done; for it is all nonsense and will not grant you access into the magical space that lies just beyond logical thought.” Realizing this, a portal to the Divine has opened and has been expanding ever since.

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The bliss, glory and peace that is happening in my life right now is immeasurable. It is from this space the Divine Comedy and that Poetic Light shines and expresses itself into Being. am that Being. You are that Being. We are that Being. That is the gig — Being!

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So, I guess that question becomes,“How do let it all go to the depth that you have, Keith?” I can’t tell you with mere words how to do that. Instead, let me inspire you to find your own way as you witness who I am, how I feel, what I experience and what it is doing not only to me, but to others with whom I come in contact.

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Divine sparks are firing up all around me. It is Spiritual Law! As I live in the Light of Truth, Truth’s Light illuminates everything, everywhere I look. This perspective of mine or anyone’s is what will change the course of humanity.

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This same Holy Fire once ignited within you, will be the end of all of your misery and suffering. Please, my dear friends, take this motivational match, strike it and burn! Burn with the effulgence of ten-thousand suns. Engulf those around you as I do and illuminate your world, universe and Divinity.

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What I want to leave you with is this: Within the center of your chest is a stargate . . . an opening to the Golden Door entering the Kingdom of Forever. Once you cross the bridge to the Soul, beautiful things will begin to happen through, to, and for you. You will then become aware of your connection to the Christ, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, your loved ones, and everything else of which you were never separated.

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Remember, expanding into your birthright is not an arduous task! It is simple. Be easy on yourself. So much so that, you are willing to lose everything to gain your Self.

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In all love, as your brother, meet me in that Light, and in the Garden of the Soul, as Divine Children, we will play . . . FOREVER!
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What is love?

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Acceptance – Allowance – Appreciation!

Anya is Love.

 

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Like the flower who bears no honey,

I stumble like a drunk—

pitiful, yearning,

totally ignorant of my radiant color.

Purples, pinks, greens—

when form meets taste,

the dance begins.

Reds, yellows, whites—when sound meets light,

desire materializes.

 

Oh Merciful Lord,

Oh life-giving Swami,

I cannot dance one more day

In the darkness

Without your love.

 

I must forget who I am

and revert back to dust.

I must remember.

I must forget.

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Dragonflies and Flesh

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The sun is the
moon
tonight.
Daughter of all stars.

A blue clearing pervades the sky,
taking names
(persuading even
the bottom of these clear blue lakes)

We’re covered with mist, my dear.
We’ve covered in kisses.
This is the moment—
this is the moment
the door swings open.

We can finally finally sing.

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Co-Evolution

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In the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, there is the philosophy and practice of the tantric consort relationship. Rarely, remarkably, in a flash of miraculous lightning, a person appears in our lives who is so perfectly suited to us that all others pale in comparison. When we meet this partner, this dear sacred consort, we must recognize all that this relationship asks of us. We must bow before it, surrender.
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The practice of tantric consort is a lifelong practice. It is blissful, sublime, yet incredibly challenging. It is nothing less than a path to enlightenment. If we are blessed to have met such a person and if we have the courage to surrender to the transformative power of this relationship—to all that it can teach us and to all that it can change within us—then there is the possibility for a real merging of souls to occur. There is now not two people, but one. In this sacred togetherness, the notion of a separate self, or a separate ego, drops away. In its place is pure unity and love.
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In the following poem, Alistair J. Kraft dives into the waters of such an all-encompassing, unifying love. Kraft asks us, as readers, to drop our defenses, recognizing that some bonds are more powerful than our individual will to resist … some bonds thrust us into pure being. Some bonds, some paths, we have no choice but to follow.
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I hope you enjoy this beautiful poem.
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–Anya Light
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♥♥

 

CO-EVOLUTION

 

There is a pathway into

my heart that only you

are shaped to follow, forged

by the sum total of our lives,

experiences, bringing us inexorably

inevitably

fatefully to each other’s arms we co-

evolved to fit together with a

blinding perfection, heart to

heart, soul to

soul and from that we both

find a place to call home, someone

to touch those places no one else

is shaped to reach in our depths.

Of all the possible lovers in a life

this is your home in my soul, only I

am this home in yours.

 

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Alistair J. Kraft is a poet, author, professor, part-time pagan, and animal lover based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He spends his spare time contemplating social justice, comedy, and how cute his rescue animals are. He can be found on Facebook at Alistair J. Kraft, or on Instagram and Twitter @poetofcats

Feeling Safety: A Guided Meditation

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This is a guided meditation for when we are struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts.

 

The underlying cause of anxiety and negative thinking are false beliefs. These false beliefs are fear-based. Quite simply, we don’t feel safe in the present moment. We don’t feel safe in our bodies. We feel that, just around the corner, there is probably a menace, a terrible awful thing that is about to happen—and so we stay on guard.

 

This is where anxiety comes from. This is where worried, dark thoughts come from, as the brain tries to save itself by imagining and planning for worst-case scenarios.

 

This meditation, “Feeling Safety” is very simple. We can practice anywhere, anytime. We can do it during a meeting at work. We can do it while you’re with your children or at the grocery store. It can be done with our eyes open and while we are standing or moving.

 

The meditation brings a feeling of peace, ease, and safety because it draws our attention away from the vicious loop of negative thinking. It places our attention squarely on three simple things: hands, feet, and mantra.

 

Through this meditation, we replace the negative thinking with a positive truth that will instill confidence to return to our daily life. Understanding that we are, ultimately, safe and protected within the home of our bodies gives us a sense of ease and confidence. The fact that our bodies are firmly rooted to the Earth through our feet is a metaphor for what is true on a spiritual level: we are always connected, we are always safe.

 

As with any meditation, please make this your own. Feel free to add your own elements, and/or skip parts of this meditation that don’t make sense for you. Play with it. Feel it out. Take what works, and discard the rest.

 

Step One

Acknowledge that you are feeling anxious and having negative thoughts. In your mind say, “Okay, now I will do the Feeling Safety Meditation.”

 

Step Two

Begin to gently tap your fingertips against the palms of your hands. You can start with your left hand. Simply observe the sensation of it—the physical sensations of your fingertips tapping against the palm of your hand. Are your fingers hot? Cold? Sweaty? Sticky? Is the skin of your palm soft or rough? Are your joints flexible or stiff? Is the movement fast or slow? Are there sounds? Are your nails sharp? Simply notice, on a physical level, how it all feels. After you’ve done this with your left hand, repeat the same process with your right hand. Do this for a few minutes.

 

Step Three

In unison, with both hands simultaneously, tap your fingertips against your palms. Try to coordinate the movement so that both hands are perfectly in tune.

 

Step Four

While continuing to tap your fingertips against your palms, repeat the mantra: “I am home in my body. I am safe in my body.” If you are with others, you can say the mantra silently in your mind. If you are alone, you can say it out loud. Say this mantra as many times as you need to until you begin to feel calmer and more peaceful.

 

Step Five

Now stop tapping your fingertips against your palms. Begin to gently tap your feet against the ground. If you are in public amongst others, this can be a very subtle thing—just a very light tapping will do. If you are alone, you can tap more forcefully, if you wish. You could even stomp on the ground, feeling the vibration rise up through your leg. As you tap or stomp your feet, continue to the say the mantra “I am home in my body. I am safe in my body.” Do this as many times as you wish until you feel better and ready to continue your day.

♥♥♥

 

How did this meditation go for you, dear ones? I’ve love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

How to Hold Space for Someone: 4 Tips for Facilitating an Awakening Environment

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As a life coach and energy healer, my job is to hold space. At core, my job is not really to give advice or to say wise words. In reality, the deepest, most healing aspect of what I do is to hold space for other people.

 

But what does it mean to hold space?

 

To hold space is to create an environment that is supportive for healing and spiritual awakening. (In reality, healing and spiritual awakening are one and the same.) To hold space is to act as a clear mirror for the other person: to nurture the process of the other person courageously looking within.

 

When one looks within, one discovers the intuition and wisdom that is already there.

 

Indeed, to hold space is to trust that the other person knows best—knows how to heal herself, knows how to change, knows how to grow, knows what to do. Holding space is a radical act of faith in the harmony of the Universe. Holding space is a radical act of generosity and of love.

 

When I first heard about the importance of holding space for another human being, I assumed it was easier than it really was. Yet, over the years, I’ve discovered that holding space can be quite challenging

 

Why is it challenging?

 

It is challenging because it requires a loosening of the ego. It requires cultivating an aura of non-judgment, non-reactivity. It requires compassion and unconditional love.

 

Holding this kind of sacred space, this kind of loving awareness is the ultimate gift. It is the ultimate healing force.

 

With this in mind, here are four tips for how to hold space for another person. You can use these strategies both in your professional healing practice or in your personal life with friends and family.

 

  1. Make peace with silence

 

There will be moments in your meeting when silence naturally arises. This is ok.

 

Don’t feel like you have to fill up every moment with speaking. There may be moments when the other person wants to stare out the window and gather their thoughts. Or maybe there are moments when you are both at a loss for words, overcome by tears and strong emotions.
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Don’t rush to fill the silence. Simply allow the silence to be another participant in the unfolding scene. Welcome the silence as a friend.

 

  1. Your whole world is that person

 

In our fast-paced, hectic society, when you give the gift of total attention, you are giving a priceless gift.

 

When you hold space for someone, you dedicate yourself fully.

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For the time being, your whole worldis that person. Your whole entire universe. Nothing else matters; nothing else exists.

 

When a person comes to you seeking solace or guidance (regardless of whether that person is a friend, family member, neighbor, client, or coworker), what they really want is to feel is that they matter. What the other person ultimately wants—whether they are consciously aware of it or not—is to feel your total attention on them. They want to feel that you are truly there with them.

 

When you hold sacred space, it’s not the time to think about yourself or your own issues. Be “all in” with that other person. Be utterly devoted, like a lover.

 

 

  1. Be like a child

 

Holding space is sacred and precious because it requires a (temporary) dropping of egoic boundaries.

 

When we hold space for someone, we find the courage to temporarily set aside our own separate, individual self—our own wants, desires, opinions, storyline, and beliefs. In order to hold space, we must be like a newborn baby: fresh into the world, without preconceived notions about what is right or wrong, possible or impossible. We must be simple, innocent, curious, open-hearted, sweet, and gentle.

 

For most of us in society, we have been trained to use our intellect as the dominant tool for processing our reality. The intellect (the ego), unfortunately, does not know how hold space. Rather, what holds space is the heart—and the quality of the heart is childlike innocence.

 

  1. Recognize that holding space for someone else is facilitating your own awakening process

 

When we commit ourselves to the practice of holding space for another human being, what we actually also do is facilitate our own awakening.

 

Holding space is like meditation. When we hold space, we become clear. We become pure.

 

When we intentionally step out of the constrictions of our ego, the more that the flavor of enlightenment permeates every cell of our body. The more we act as a clear, open mirror for someone, the less gunk we have in the way of our own awakening.

 

Holding space is a gift you give … and it is also a gift you receive.

♥♥

Dear friends, I’d love to hear your stories.

When was the last time you held space for someone? What did it feel like to hold space? What was scary about it? Exciting about it? Please comment below, so we can all learn together.

How to Deeply Rest on Your Days Off

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A day off from work is a beautiful thing. This is our time. It’s our time to play, relax, reflect, meditate and rest. It’s our chance to regain balance.

 

In my life coaching sessions, I have encountered clients who, again and again, have difficulty with fully relaxing on their days off.

 

At first glance, this might seem preposterous. Why would it be difficult to relax? Shouldn’t it be easy to rest?

 

Well … no. In our fast-paced Western culture, we have not been trained in the art of relaxation. Instead, we have been trained to work, work, work, do, do, do.

 

Our media gives us subtle (and not-so-subtle!) messages about how noble it is to stress out and overwork. It tells us how we must achieve and succeed in order to be a worthy member of society. It tells us that we must be constantly be thinking, planning and analyzing.

 

In recent years, the concept of “self-care” has become a buzzword. But, ironically, the fact that this seems like such a “new” concept is testament to how truly off-balance our culture has become.

 

So many of us are glued to our phones. We are texting at red lights. We are surfing the web during meals. We are always connected, always “on.” Our calendars are full. Busyness has become a social norm.

 

But … is this the best way to live?

 

In my experience, the happiest, most deeply fulfilled people are the ones who know how to take a break. They know how to harness the deeply healing power of rest. They are able to give themselves the gift of a full recharge. They know the power of meditation.

 

In my own life, when I began to make the transition toward prioritizing rest and meditation, a whole new world opened up. I began to heal a number of pervasive chronic illnesses. I began to value my own innate worthiness as a human being. No longer was I dependent upon notions of constant busyness or outward “success” as a benchmark of my own intrinsic value. No. Rather, I began to feel, truly feel, how I am perfect exactly the way I am.

 

I began to appreciate myself for simply being.

 

Diving into the sweet waters of rest is deeply transformative. It will change your life in innumerable ways. It will make you healthier and happier. It will help you to be a more generous and compassionate person.

 

Why?

 

Only once your own cup is overflowing, can you share with others.

 

Only once your own battery is fully recharged, can you help others plug in.

 

Indeed, rest is not optional. It is crucial for a balanced, socially-responsible, happy life.

 

In the remainder of this post, I will offer you three tips for ways you can deeply recharge on your days off. In truth, this list could have hundreds of points (I find this subject so fascinating!) … but, for now, just to get you started, we’ll begin with three. Please comment below if you’d like to see future posts on this topic, and I’d be happy to share more ideas with you.

 

  1. Enter a meditative state for the day.

This does not mean that you need to sit for three hours in the lotus position or chant mantras all day. Rather, this is simply a mindset you can adopt.

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When you wake up in the morning on your day off, set a clear intention. Set the intention to view the entire day as a time of peaceful meditation. Remind yourself that this day is for you: for your personal upliftment, for your personal healing, for your personal growth.

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In the morning, remind yourself that you intend to be as present as possible throughout the day.

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As the day unfolds, continually return, again and again, back to the now moment. Move your body slowly, with tenderness and grace.

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Notice the feeling of breath. And notice the sensory impressions:

  • What does your food taste like?
  • What are the smells wafting into your nose?
  • What are the sounds from your window?
  • How does this bath or shower feel upon your skin?
  • How does the soft fur of your dog or cat feel on your fingers?

 

When you are in a meditative state, you are the observer. You are the witness. You notice, but you don’t judge as “good” or “bad.” You don’t analyze. You simply feel. You simply witness. You are not planning for the future or thinking about the past. You are here now.

 

  1. Give yourself a rest from screens.

 

Technology and social media are beautiful tools. They help us connect. They help us collaborate.

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However, technology and social media also have a shadow side.

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We can easily become addicted to our screens, to our social media. We can become unwittingly chained to them.

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Do you find yourself checking your email or Facebook messages multiple times throughout the day? Do you find yourself looking at your phone when you’re in line at the grocery store or bank?

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Too often, continual exposure to screens can create a feeling of restlessness and agitation.

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Yet, it is possible to find balance. It is possible to harness the incredibly awesome power of screens, but also have harmony and peace in our lives.

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I invite you to try an experiment during your next day off. Flip off your phone, computers, and all communication gadgets. Unhook yourself from the demands of screen-communication. Free yourself.

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After you unhook, take your phone-less self to the park. Enjoy the movement of your legs and arms. Enjoy the sun on your face or the chill in the air. Enjoy the wildness of the birds, squirrels, deer, or whatever local animals are presenting themselves to you. Notice the flowers. Breathe deeply.

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Notice any sensations that come up within you. And then breathe deeply some more.

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My dear sweet friends, we live in an overly-stressed, overly-stimulated culture. While our screens do help us to carry out vital professional and social functions in our day-to-day lives, they can also massively stress out our nervous system.

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In my own life, I take one day per week to rest from screens. I call this my “unplug day” or my “screen-free day.” Remember in the movie The Matrix when Keanu Reeves literally unplugged himself from the cords that were feeding on his life? This idea of taking a break from technology is a similar thing.

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When we have the courage to unplug ourselves from our communication devices, even for just a few hours, we are recharging our own internal energy systems. We are giving ourselves freedom, and allowing ourselves a deep rest.

 

  1. Cook your meals at home.

 

At first, this advice might seem counterintuitive. Isn’t cooking work? Well, that entirely depends upon how you view it.

 

I agree with my Zen friends: cooking can be a wonderful form of meditation.

 

Cooking is a very grounding, physical activity. We are very much in our bodies when we cook: chopping, stirring, smelling, tasting. We are of the Earth. We are here now, fully present.

 

When we are cooking, it helps to release all notions of whether the final outcome will taste good or bad. (This is especially helpful advice if you are a novice cook!) Simply view the whole cooking experience as an adventure … mix a little of this, a little of that … browse a recipe or two online … ask someone you love to help out… etc. Just have fun! Play!

 

If you can view your cooking experience as a living art form that you can eat, then the energy of relaxation and meditation will enter the molecules of the food. And … who knows? You just might surprise yourself. You just might you’ve fixed yourself an amazing meal.

 

Let’s Learn Together

Dear friends, I could probably write a whole book on this topic—but for now, I hope these three tips are helpful for you. As always, if you’d like to hear more on this topic, please let me know!

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For those of my readers who already know the joy of rest, I’d love to hear from you. What relaxation strategies do you enjoy on your days off? What self-care or meditation techniques work for you? How do you heal your body and mind? How do you regain balance? Please comment below, so we can all learn together. Thanks!

A Smile in My Heart: Enjoying the Journey of Now

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Reaching My Long-Awaited Goal

 

I recently reached a milestone.

 

For years, I’ve craved solitude. I’ve wanted to live alone.

 

This wanting has taken a few years to manifest from heart’s desire into physical reality. First, I’ve had a lot of financial blockages I’ve had to clear. Second, dealing with the psychological after-effects of a devastating illness (that almost killed me) has been a rather slow and complicated process. My task has been to heal layers and layers of trauma.

 

It hasn’t been easy. The self-healing work I’ve undergone has been, at times, quite rough and tumultuous. There were months when I felt stuck and frustrated, feeling like I’d never reach my goal.

 

But … now … I’ve finally reached my goal! I live alone!

 

About a month ago, I moved into a charming, cozy little apartment, on the banks of my favorite river on the planet, the mighty Maumee, the largest river to feed into the Great Lakes.

 

As I sip my tea and type to you this morning, I take a look around me. No roommate. No partner for support. Just me.

 

Just me.

 

This milestone is a deeply spiritual one. I’ve known, deep inside, the importance of this step to the “story of Anya.”

 

Living alone gives me the space and time I need for inner reflection. It gives me more silence. Less distractions. More time to meditate. More time to chant and pray. More space to discover the subtle truths of my nature.

 

This is a glorious time for learning.

 

 

Dissatisfaction with Success

 

A few nights ago, as I was washing the dishes, I found myself asking the question: “What’s next?” My mind was visualizing a chain of thoughts: selling all my belongings, hitting the road, getting on a plane, visiting ashrams, or maybe going to visit a loved one in England. My heart started pounding with excitement and anticipation.

 

But … wait a minute!! All the boxes haven’t even been unpacked yet—and my mind is already planning the next thing!!??

 

I’ve finally reached my long-awaited goal—and already I’m dissatisfied??!!

 

Instead of savoring and celebrating this milestone in my life, my mind is already a chaotic jumble of “what ifs” and “what next” questions. My mind wants to know what is ahead of this step.

 

Sigh.

 

This, my friends, is a prime example of the endless suffering of the monkey mind. Once one desire is attained, another one pops up in its place. Once one wish is granted, twelve more begin formulating.

 

In addition to over-planning, the mind loves to second-guess and doubt.

 

In the past few days, I’ve observed my monkey mind doubting whether living alone is “emotionally healthy” and wondering if perhaps I’ve wanted to live alone as a form of spiritual bypassing.

 

As I’m walking, a thought comes: “I wonder if I’ll ever get married again?” As I’m eating, a thought comes: “What if you get old and sick and no one is there to take care of you?” As I’m doing yoga, a thought comes: “You are selfish because you haven’t had children.” As I’m bathing, a thought comes: “You’re living a greedy life; you should really be living a life of service in an ashram or monastery.”

 

These questions and doubts are mind-made ghosts. They are fear-based.

 

When I sit in the clear light of peace and presence, after a meditation or during a Reiki session, I am one hundred percent sure that I have made the right choice to live alone—that this step is, in fact, a crucial part of my destiny.

 

 

 

From Planning to Patience

 

My spiritual awakening began while I was in graduate school. At the time, I was a classic Type A personality: a total overachiever, planner, competitive control-freak. My mind and my logical reasoning abilities were the crown jewel of my existence. I prided myself on my ability to strategize and get what I wanted from other people.

 

Indeed, back then I had every step of my life mapped out, with an array of contingency plans and alternate routes for “just in case.” I was the queen of planning, the queen of analysis … and, also, the queen of constant  stress.

 

Now, fast forward ten years. What is my life like today?

 

Living life now is much more from the heart than from the head. I feel into the moments of life rather than analyze them rationally. I use my intuition as my guide to discover what’s right for me.

 

The experience of watching my mind rush ahead into the future during these past few days has been a humbling experience. The overly-intellectual tendency to plan and always be looking ahead is obviously still very much alive within me.

 

And, yet, it’s been so important not to judge myself. I’ve been giving myself compassion for having these thoughts. I’ve been having patience with myself for wanting to plan.

 

 

Returning to Gratitude

 

I do not want to be angry at my mind—for my mind is simply doing what it’s been designed to do! Indeed, the mind is a brilliant machine whose purpose is to calculate risk and weigh options.

 

What I want for my life is to forgive my mind and enjoy the journey. To truly be here now. I want to commune with God here in this apartment, savoring each lesson that this chapter in my life offers. I want to dive deeply into the stillness and peace of this space—my own private little meditation cave—and discover the quiet truths herein.

 

Whatever step I take next is simply not important. Maybe I’ll get married again; maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll join an ashram; maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll have children; maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ve live alone for the rest of my life; maybe I won’t.

 

The next step doesn’t matter. In fact, on a certain level, the steps after this one do not even exist! Past, present, and future are limited concepts of the limited human brain. On an ultimate level, on the spiritual level, all that is real is the timelessness that I sense now as I type these words to you. I am in the flow. I have no worries, no questions about my future. All that exists are the click of these keys, and the chirp of robins outside my window.

 

I am peaceful; I am happy; I am alone and loving it.

 

Indeed, gratitude fills my being. I have this new wonderful space, this new beautiful home.

 

I have a smile in my heart.

What Should I Do After a Reiki Session? 7 Tips for Aftercare

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So, you’ve just experienced your first Reiki healing session. Awesome! It’s so wonderful that you’ve chosen to prioritize your wellbeing. I’m so happy for you!

 

In truth, the session is just the beginning of the healing process. The session begins a very deep healing journey that takes days, weeks, months, or even years to fully integrate.

 

With that in mind, here are 7 empowering self-care tips you can implement after your session has concluded. By following these tips, you will get more benefit from your session.

 

Please note: I am not a medical doctor; I am not a licensed medical practitioner or psychologist. This article does not constitute professional medical or psychological advice. I am simply sharing my personal opinion, based upon my years of serving as a minister and Reiki master.

 

1. Drink lots of water

 

If you heed only one of these tips, I hope it’s this one. It’s the most important.

 

Simply put, a Reiki session is an energetic upgrade. The more upgraded your system is, the more water it will require to optimally function.

 

Now that you’ve had a Reiki session, your body will require more water. For the next few days, pay attention to how much water you’re drinking, and aim to double the amount of water you normally drink.

 

If you normally drink soda or caffeinated drinks, now would be a great time to begin to wean yourself away from these beverages, as they have major negative effects upon the body. There are so many other options. You can buy cold-pressed veggie juice. Sparkly (sugar-free) water is a great substitute for soda. Herbal tea is delicious and nourishing. If you love the taste of coffee (like me), you will love Teeccino.

 

2. Rest

 

After your Reiki session, it’s important to slow down.

 

If possible, schedule your Reiki session at a time where you’ll have the rest of the day off to relax or sleep. It’s important not to push yourself too hard after the session, because your body will probably want to rest. (This is true in 99% of the cases I’ve seen… although, I have seen, once in a great while, a client who leaves a session totally fired up, bursting with fire and energy and only needs two hours of sleep that night. As in all things, this advice is simply a guideline, not a strict rule.)

 

Also, I highly recommend that you switch off your phone for the rest of the day and disconnect from technology, as this will help your nervous system to decompress and relax. (Don’t worry—everyone is busy with their own lives … they’ll be just fine if you’re unreachable for a little while.)

 

The first few days after a Reiki session are crucial, as your immune system is being strengthened and your body is finding balance. So, be kind to yourself. Be slow. Be gentle. Get lots of rest.

 

3. Let your emotions flow

 

A Reiki session can often trigger deep emotional healing. This experience may feel pleasant or feel not-so-pleasant while it’s happening. Many of my clients have reported feeling unusually happy, giddy, spacey, anxious, fearful, angry, furious, sad, or depressed after a session. No matter whether the emotions are seemingly “positive” or “negative”, it’s important that you simply allow them to be exactly as they are, without judgment.

 

When you freely allow yourself to feel (without repressing the emotions and without judging any emotions as good or bad), then you allow healing at a very deep level. Most of us have been taught by society to stifle certain emotions. To repress and stifle emotions is very damaging in the long-run. Men have been especially wounded in this regard, as, in many cultures, they have been taught not to cry.

 

After your Reiki session, if you feel like you want to cry… then that is the very best thing that you can do! Please cry! If you feel like beating up a pillow with rage, then do so. Let it all out! If you feel like laughing—then please do! (Interestingly, I once worked with a woman who laughed hysterically during our whole Reiki session! When I asked her if she was okay, she said, “Wow, I haven’t laughed like this in years! I so need this!”)

 

The important thing to keep in mind is that if you have any intense mood swings after the session, this is your system’s natural way of finding balance.

 

If the mood swings seem dark or scary, please do not get angry or frustrated with yourself for having these feelings. In fact, the best thing you can do at this time is to give yourself a hug and say “I love you” to all the parts of you—including the shadowy, scary parts. Those parts are part of you, too. Just as a mother loves her child when he is being “naughty,” so too can we learn to love ourselves all the time, unconditionally.

 

 

4. Be patient and observant

 

Sometimes the results from a Reiki session are not immediately apparent. It may take a few weeks or even a few months before you can really perceive all that has shifted.

 

It’s important not to get lost in impatience, doubt, or self-criticism. Healing happens on its own schedule. The only steps we can take are to follow these aftercare tips, and be patient.

 

Remember to be as kind to yourself as possible. Don’t worry if the desired changes don’t immediately show up in your reality … they will, sooner or later.

 

5. Do your research and ask questions

 

After a session, you may suddenly find that you have a million questions about how Reiki works, particularly if you’ve had an intense session.

 

There’s nothing wrong with satisfying the mind’s natural desire for learning! There are plenty of amazing Reiki books, blogs, and videos out there. I particularly love teachings by Diane Stein, Frans Stiene, and Shalandra Abbey. You can also read all the Reiki posts here on this blog.

 

If you have any concerns or questions after your session, find out if your healer offers follow-up phone calls, texts, or supportive emails. Sometimes these will be included in the session cost, or sometimes you may have to pay a bit extra.

 

6. Embrace detoxification symptoms

 

 When you receive an energy healing, your body shifts to a higher frequency. When this happens, a detoxification process is often triggered.

 

This detox process is sometimes also known as a “healing crisis.”

 

Basically, what this means is that your body is now shedding old toxins that are not resonant with the new higher frequency.

 

If a detox process happens to you, please, my friend, have no fear! This is actually a very positive sign to your overall healing journey.

 

When you are detoxing, you may experience a runny nose, sneezing, soreness, headaches, joint or muscular pain, fatigue, acne, rashes, extra mucus, or even fever and diarrhea. This is simply your body cleansing itself of the old toxins. All the old patterns and energy are simply coming to the surface to be released.

 

Be patient as the detox occurs. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water and also fresh raw vegetable juice. (If you don’t have your own juicer, you can buy cold-pressed juices at your local grocery store.) Drinking lots of healthy fluids will help flush the toxins from your body and speed up the cleansing process.

 

During this crucial detox time, it’s a good idea to eat organic whole grains and high-quality protein such as pine nuts, walnuts, and avocados. And you can support your immune system with high-quality vitamin C.

 

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. If the symptoms persist for more than a few days and are severe, make an appointment with your nearest holistic health care provider so they can recommend further strategies to help expedite your detox process and also double-check that yes, this is indeed a detox process (and not something else).

 

It’s important to note that if you try to numb your symptoms (such as using pain killers like Tylenol or over-the-counter cold medicine), then you will actually stall, negate, or totally reverse the healing process. It may be challenging to deal with the symptoms, yes, but your body knows what it is doing … and pain/discomfort is often a necessary part of the healing journey. Stick with it! Soon, you will feel better than you ever have before!

 

Typically, a detoxification process lasts no longer than 21 days.

 

If you are suffering from a chronic illness, you may want to invest in weekly Reiki sessions. When I began my healing journey about 7 years ago, I received a healing session at least once a week for a few months. This was necessary to jumpstart my process of detoxification, which for me was quite intense—including rashes, acne, fatigue, and nausea. After a few months, I made the commitment to become a Reiki practitioner myself, so that I could stop relying solely on other practitioners and give myself healing treatments every day.

 

7. Embrace the changes

 

My clients repeatedly report that they feel “different” after a Reiki session.

 

When you receive a healing, your intuition is heightened and your normal stress-response is calmed.

 

After your first Reiki session, you might have different needs and wants than normal. For example, you might realize that you need 12 hours of sleep the night after a Reiki session, or you might find that you suddenly are craving green beans with an intense passion!

 

Another example of a sudden shift is having a new repulsion against things you normally enjoy. One of the most common effects after a session is being unable to enjoy alcohol, meats, or processed foods.

 

Many of my clients report suddenly having an urge to spend more time in peaceful quiet spaces or out in nature. Or they suddenly have the intuition to learn yoga or do more exercise.

 

The important thing is to listen to yourself and give yourself permission to find out what feels good for you.

 

Enjoy the journey, my friend!