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. I’m so happy for you! It’s wonderful that you’ve chosen to prioritize your wellbeing.

 

Maybe you are wondering…”What comes next?” In truth, your first session marks the beginning of a deep healing journey that may take days, weeks, months, or even years to fully integrate.

 

In this article, we explore what to expect after a Reiki treatment and the 7 most important self-care tips. By following these pointers, you’ll receive more benefit and accelerate the healing process.*

 

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 triggers a detoxification process. Water is essential for the detox process to happen safely and efficiently. For the next few days, pay attention to how much water you’re drinking and aim to double the amount you’d normally drink.

 

If you regularly drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks, now would be a great time to begin to wean yourself off them, as they negatively impact the body. Fortunately, there are many options available if you’re looking for substitutions. You can buy cold-pressed veggie juice or make your own raw juice at home. Sparkling (sugar-free) water is a great replacement for soda. Herbal teas are delicious and nourishing. And, if you love the taste of coffee (like me), you will love Teeccino, which is a delicious herbal drink that closely mimics the taste of your regular brew.
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2. Rest

 

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

 

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

 

In addition, I highly recommend disconnecting from technology for the rest of the day, as this will help your nervous system to decompress and relax. Yes, this means switching off your phone! (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. Sometimes, it may not feel so pleasant. My clients have reported a range of emotions. Some have said they felt 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 our emotions, which causes massive damage 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 time together! When I asked her if she was okay, she said, “Wow, I haven’t laughed like this in years! I so needed 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 Reiki 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 to 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.

 

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 especially love the teachings of 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 treatment, find out if your healer offers follow-up phone calls, texts, or supportive emails. Sometimes these services are included in the cost; sometimes they may be a bit extra.

 

6. Embrace detoxification symptoms

 

 When you receive Reiki healing, your body shifts into a higher frequency. When this happens, a detoxification process is often triggered; this is also known as the “healing crisis.”

 

Basically, this means your body is now shedding old toxins that do not resonate 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 old patterns and toxins, which are then coming to the surface to be released.

 

Be patient as the detox occurs. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water and 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, healing foods such as: leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, coconut oil, and high-quality proteins such as pine nuts, walnuts, mushrooms, tempeh, and avocados. You may also want to support your immune system with high-quality vitamin C.

 

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and typically last anywhere from 1 to 21 days. If your symptoms persist for more than a few days (and are severe), make an appointment with your nearest holistic health care provider. They can recommend further strategies to help expedite the detox process. In addition, they can double-check that you are indeed experiencing detox and not something else.

 

It’s important to note that if you try to numb your symptoms (for example, with alcohol or by using pain killers like Tylenol or over-the-counter cold medicine), then you will actually stall, negate, or totally reverse the healing process.

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It may be challenging to deal with the symptoms, yes, but your body knows what it is doing. Temporary discomfort is often a necessary part of the healing journey. Stick with it! Soon, you will feel better than you ever have before!

 

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 included a runny nose, achy joints, mood swings, moments of bliss and euphoria, intense crying, strange dreams, rashes, acne, fatigue, and nausea. It was difficult, but I persisted. After a few months, I made the commitment to train as  a Reiki practitioner, so I could 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 may have needs and wants that differ from your normal routine. For example, you might realize that you need 12 hours of sleep for a few weeks, or you might find that you suddenly are craving green beans with an intense passion! Many of my clients report an urge to spend more time in peaceful, quiet spaces or out in nature. Or, they suddenly have the drive to learn yoga or to exercise more.

 

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

 

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!
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*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 practitioner.

Finding Peace Behind the Thoughts

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“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there, buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” —Deepak Chopra

 

What does it mean to feel peace?

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Peace is defined as the state of tranquility or quiet within a community, such as freedom from civil disturbance.

Peace has also been defined as freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions.

 

I see the first definition as something external, something we cannot directly control. The second definition, however, is internal, that which we can control.

 

By working on yourself inwardly, you will inevitably produce results externally and those results can inspire others towards change. This is where it all starts. By looking inside first and then leading by example.

 

We can’t control our external experiences; we can’t control what other people do. But we can control our reactions to them.

 

We can be a leader for peace. We can lead by example.

 

By finding peace within ourselves, we show others the way.

 

If every person made it a priority to find a little bit more peace in their lives each day, the world would be a much different place. Instead of spreading fear, we would all be spreading love.

 

My friend and fellow yoga colleague, Erin, wrote a wonderful article about arming our future generations with the gift of peace in an effort to derail the mass shooting epidemic in schools. She thinks bringing yoga and meditation into schools will solve this problem. I think this is a brilliant idea and perhaps a way that awakening is supposed to spread.

 

Finding peace and serenity amongst your busy life can seem impossible, but all you have to do is be still. Find a comfortable seat and just be still. To protect the mind from wandering thoughts you can use a mantra or a hand mudra.


In meditation, you can connect with the peaceful space behind the thoughts … because you are the thinker and not the thought.


How do we know this? We know this because each of us is able to observe our own thoughts. In that way, there is a subject/object relationship.

 

You cannot be your thoughts because you are the one observing them.

 

The book, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, explains this concept very well. He teaches how you are essentially stuck in your head with a roommate—a roommate that never leaves and often gives you bad advice!

 

According to Singer, most of the time we are listening to this roommate inside our head, reacting to their every word. However, he reminds us that we don’t have to react to this voice.

 

It is so liberating and empowering to observe thoughts and just let them be. Not reacting in any way gives you more awareness.

 

To find the peaceful space behind the thoughts, we must practice meditation.

 

When we sit down to meditate, we might be confronted with our monkey mind … but fear not, because if you notice your monkey mind, you are already gaining a sense of peace.

 

The act of observation ceases the fluctuations of the mind and brings us that much closer to our true self. I like to use the mantra “let go” in my meditations. As I inhale, I mentally say “let” and as I exhale, I mentally say “go”.

 

My wish for this world is that everyone learns how to access the peace within. It is simply buried behind the thoughts.

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When you find this place, please share it with others.

 

Let us paint the world with peace!

 

Michelle

Michelle Ostermyer is fascinated by introspection. She chooses to explore her life through yoga and meditation practices. Her life purpose is to teach others what she learns. Check out her website at www.belleyogi.com

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11 Ways to Raise Your Frequency

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A high frequency is a state of being where life feels fun, happy, carefree, creative, peaceful, and joyful. Life just seems to flow.

 

Striving to attain a high frequency state is not selfish. It is, in fact, good for the whole planet. When we are enjoying a high frequency state, we are feeling a sense of unity, a sense of oneness—thus, we are not only feeling loving towards ourselves, but we are also filled with love and compassion for everyone else, too.

 

Ever notice how happy people tend to be generous with others? That’s because people with overflowing, happy hearts have so much to share. When even one person is able to reach a high frequency, everyone around them benefits.

 

My friends, here is a list of 11 ways you can quickly raise yourself into a higher frequency in your day-to-day life.

 

I can personally attest to the amazing power of all these practices, as they have radically helped me shift my own consciousness from that of a depressed, nervous, traumatized person to someone who radiates peace and joy, and who now coaches others how to do the same.

 

  1. Eat high vibrational foods.

 

This is so important—and delicious! High vibe foods include raw fruits/veggies, nuts, seeds, healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil, and gluten-free whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa. Whenever possible, eat organic and eat local.

 

These types of foods I just mentioned have a higher ratio of life force energy. These foods help us to feel physically good, and also to spiritually awaken.

 

  1. “Just for today, do not worry.”

 

This is one of the core Reiki principles. Every day when we wake up, we can remind ourselves that, just for today, we will not waste any of our precious life force energy in the act of worrying. There’s no sense in stressing about tomorrow, because tomorrow doesn’t exist right now! Rather, what exists right now is our chance to enjoy the adventure of life. So why waste it stressing?

 

  1. Enjoy the signs and synchronicities of life.

 

When we notice a repeating pattern of numbers or when we cross paths with a certain animal over and over, we can stop and ask ourselves: What is the deeper meaning here? What is the Universe trying to tell me? What is the special message?

 

  1. Meditate every day.

 

Meditation is just as important to our wellbeing as brushing our teeth or exercising. When we meditate, we tap into our infinite nature of being. We begin to touch that mystical I AM presence. We slowly lose our (false) sense of separateness, and, as our mind calms, we develop an unshakable inner peace.

 

  1. Be intentional about the media you consume and the messages to which you are exposed.

 

As children, we are exposed to dense networks of conditioning. This conditioning keeps us (temporarily) trapped in old-paradigm patterns of fear and control. Schools, governments, television, mainstream music…all of these are tools for lower frequency beliefs to confuse us and cause us to forget who we truly are.

 

The lower frequency beliefs would have us believe that we are not worthy unless we have a fancy car or have “achieved” certain things, such as a having a “successful” career, a huge house, marriage, and children. Question these beliefs.

 

You are infinite consciousness! You are immortal Spirit! You are a soul, temporarily residing in human form!

 

Instead of consuming the old-paradigm media, instead seek out nourishing media such as books written by meditation teachers or music composed by mystics and yogis. As you decide which books to read, what music to listen to, and what films to watch… ask yourself: What seems to be the intention of this author or artist? Does this media intend to uplift my Spirit? Does this media help me to feel my intrinsic worth as a human being?  Does this media make me feel happy or peaceful? Does this media help me remember who I truly am—or does this media simply serve to numb or distract me?

 

Intend to surround yourself with only positive messages of love that will uplift your frequency.

 

  1. Periodically unplug from screens.

 

When we are constantly attached to social media, our phones, and email…we are attuning ourselves to a ridiculously fast-paced rhythm of life that is not conducive to a high frequency.

 

When my clients come and see me complaining of stress, I recommend a very powerful (and sometimes seemingly quite scary!) plan of action … I recommend that they take one day per week for a “screen-free day.”

 

A screen-free day is where you chill out, slow down the pace, and detox from screens. Why? By doing so, your nervous system relaxes and your frequency rises.

On these special screen-free days, I recommend you spend a lot of time out in nature and doing things that are nourishing for your body and soul, such as exercising, cleaning your home, cooking delicious healthy foods, or spending time with loved ones.

 

  1. “Just for today, do not anger.”

 

This is another one of the core Reiki principles. This principle reminds us to avoid taking out our anger on other people. Of course, as human beings, anger will sometimes naturally arise within ourselves. That is OK—but the question is: Can we not let it overcome us and cause us to lash out?

 

When you feel yourself getting triggered into anger, take a few moments and simply focus your attention on your breath. Step away from the person or situation that is triggering you, and take a walk outside or simply go into another room. Focus your attention on the physical sensations of breathing, and allow yourself to calm down. Simply observe the feeling of anger rising and then falling away.

 

  1. Spend time communing with plants and animals.

 

The natural world is a veritable feast of high vibrational enjoyment! Being around plants and animals raises our frequency because these lovely creatures give us permission to let go of all of our stressful human mind-worries. Nature allows us to be peaceful, playful, and totally in-the-moment.

 

Whenever possible, surround yourself with the beauty of the natural world. Being in nature is such a simple yet potent medicine. I always tell my clients: “A barefoot walk in the park is the best antidepressant you will ever take!”

 

  1. Move your body!

 

The most important thing is to choose physical activity that feels fun for you. Too many people drag themselves to the gym in a kind of grim “I should” attitude.

 

I personally love to dance. I do it as often as I can. Dancing allows my inner child to come out and play—and my waistline is slimming down as a nice side effect! When we move our bodies, we allow stagnant energies to be released, thus resulting in a higher vibrational state.

 

  1. Interact in public spaces with a sense of service.

 

If you are a highly sensitive person, you probably sometimes dread going to energetically dense/chaotic public spaces such as grocery stores, doctors’ offices, banks, bars, malls, or crowded sports events. Indeed, places where lots of people congregate tend to feel overwhelming or upsetting for those of us who are sensitive.


You do not, however, need to be at the mercy of these unpleasant sensations! You can rise above. It’s all about shifting your mindset.

When you are required to enter a public space, view it with a sense of service. If you know how to do energy work, send waves of healing energy into the room and send silent blessings to each person you see. Or you can visualize a soothing bubble of golden light around yourself—a bubble that expands outwards to protect you, and also radiates outward to uplift those who are present around you.

 

When you visit public spaces, instead of feeling fear, you can use this opportunity to serve your fellow humans. You can understand that your very presence is a gift. No one else may consciously appreciate it—but that’s OK. You don’t need praise. Being able to rise above the negativity and feel a high frequency amidst the chaos is reward enough!

 

 

  1. Look into the mirror every day and say to yourself: “I love you.”

 

When you talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend, you are raising your frequency. You are finding the Beloved within.
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