Building the Light Within

For the last few days, I’ve been pondering on why we are so hard on ourselves.
We do it because we want to be better, feel better, live better. But by being hard on ourselves, we focus on what we perceive as our “negative” qualities, mistakes or “areas of improvement.”
We try to become more positive by spending hours hashing and rehashing the negative.
How can we achieve balance in this way?
We can’t. 
By definition, we would need to have equal parts of positive and negative to achieve balance. Which means both nurturing our positive, bright side, but also accepting our “dark” side. Coming to a truce if you will. 
Many of us won’t give ourselves “permission” to enjoy anything unless we achieve an X-amount of things. And when we achieve what's in the list, we don’t reward ourselves. We come up with an even more demanding list.
No wonder we are anxious and exhausted.
In traditional Japanese Reiki practice, you meditate to build the light inside you. The joy, the happiness, the contentment, and the gratefulness. By feeding your inner light, you dispel the darkness. 
You don’t need to practice Reiki to do that.
As the spring light builds up with each passing day, start building your inner light as well. Appreciate the good things, the funny things, even the quirky things that make you… you.
Love,
Nathalie
PS: Ready to become lighter? A Reiki session can help. Check out its many benefits!
Reiki Mentorship: Learned Reiki 1 or 2 and struggling with your practice? I now offer mentorship via skype or in person if you live in NYC. Drop me a line and we can chat about it!

How to prepare for a Distant Reiki Session

Here is what to do when it comes to our Distant #Reiki sessions.

  • 1—Choose a quiet place, where you won't be interrupted.
     
  • 2—Take the volume off your phone, turn off TVs and computers.
     
  • 3—You can lower the light, light a candle, or play some relaxing music if you like.
     
  • 4—I'll text you at the start of the session. You can either lie down comfortably on a bed/sofa or sit on a chair with your feet planted on the floor. 
     
  • 5—Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths to bring some awareness to your body. Then breathe normally. Set the intention to receive whatever is needed at this time to enable your healing process. 
     
  • 6—Do not try "too hard" to relax or "feel" the session. Observe your thoughts and let them go. Distant sessions are more subtle than hands-on sessions, but by no means less powerful. 
     
  • 7—If you feel like laughing, smiling, crying, go ahead. Reiki is all about reconnecting with emotions so we can process them, release them or benefit from them.
     
  • 8—I will be texting you approx. 10 minutes after the session is over. Stay a few more minutes in your quiet space—note any difference, any idea or feeling that comes up. 
     
  • 9—Some people like to jot down their experience on paper. In my experience, this is a good idea. Many of the thoughts or feelings that come may be very fleeting. 
     
  • 10—Afterwards, you may want to drink a couple  glasses of water more than you usually do to keep you well hydrated. To benefit most from the session, avoid drinking alcohol or going to crowded places for a few hours. 

And remember, I'm always happy to answer any question you may have before or after the session! 

Namaste!

 

Photo credit: Heaven's Rain from Elizabeth James.

#BeingReiki: #1000DayChallenge—Day 9: Back to Basics

—By Nathalie J.

As part of the requirements for my Level 3 certificate, I’m to observe a Reiki Level 1 training, which is given in 3 classes over 21 days.

During the classes, I am not allowed to talk, do any of the exercises or socialize much. I am supposed to observe in silence (a challenge in itself) as a group of ten very different people go from having very little idea about what is a Reiki practice to discovering the power of their own hands to relax their body and quiet their minds.

The transformation of their attitude and the glow in their faces was beautiful to see. It was a gift in itself. But more importantly, reconnecting with the simplicity of basic hands on self-treatment, observe its power, was a great reminder that Reiki practice is not about levels— it’s about practice. 

Namasté!

Being Reiki: #1000DayChallenge — Day 3: Rediscovering CKR

When I took my Reiki Level 2 class five years ago, I was taught all 3 symbols in one hour. A lot of emphasis was placed on CKR as the "power symbol," which works as a “switch” that helps to instantly increase the practitioner’s ability to channel energy and concentrates it on the required purpose. You wanted to accelerate healing? CKR. You wanted to rid your house of bad energies? CKR in every corner. There was nothing that CKR could not do.

The thing is I am a little bit like Al Gore: I dramatize things with amazing facility. So CKR became almost like a SuperMan kind of power in my head, which ended up being... a turn off. Childish I know, but We were not thought the importance of daily practice and meditating on the symbols.

When my life struggles were not instantly solved, no matter how many CKR I drew in the air, on paper and even in the mirror, I used it less and less. 

Through the years, my practice improved a lot. In great part by practicing simply and with respect at Reiki Clinics like the one at the JCC in Manhattan. I focused on letting my hands do the work and establishing a solid daily practice. Symbols didn't play a big role anymore... until I started my Reiki 3 class.

One of the first requirements was to read Frans Stiene's book The Japanese Art of Reiki. His description of the symbols are so inspiring, it created a desire to bring them back into my practice. Our teacher Deborah taught us simple meditations to understand each symbol's unique energy and how to incorporate it in yourself (Check them out at the end of the post!). Yet CKR—despite it's earthiness, grounding and accepting qualities—was a challenge to me. 

As a writer, I live in my head most of the time. The idea of grounding felt constraining. Almost anti-creative (as you can see I am not always the most perceptive person). So I binged on the 4th symbol, and avoided CKR like the plague, even though I started forgetting things everywhere and feeling a little to "airy."

The other day I was in a beautiful garden full of wild plants. They felt so alive it was almost like you could see them growing, moving, multiplying. And then it hit me: how stupid could I be thinking grounding and earthiness limit creativity? Earth is where life and all ideas get their nourishment to manifest. Their root to grow and prosper. It never constrains. On the contrary, it supports life without judging: weed, roses, deadly bugs or dutiful ants. 

And just like that I opened the door to CKR—to start discovering its nurturing energy of acceptance which dissolves anger and keeps things in perspective; its grounding effect that dissolves fears and worry.

If you have not meditated lately on CKR I invite you to give it a few minutes this week. Here are some tips that helped me get started:

1) Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Place your non-dominant hand on your hara and draw the symbol in the air with your dominant hand (using the palm). Say its name 3 times and bring the dominant hand to the hara (on top of the non-dominant one). Just breath for a few minutes and feel CKR's energy with your whole body.

2) Sit comfortably with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Draw CKR on a piece of paper. Place your dominant hand on top of it, say its name 3 times. Breathe deeply and feel the symbols' energy. 

3) If you are more auditory than visual, try chanting the symbol. You can download its chanting sounds here. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, hands to your side, take a purifying breath and get chanting. Start with 2 to 3 minutes per day and add time each time you feel ready. 

 

Photo credit: Nikolai Shevchuk

 

We have been trained to avoid #fear, to hide it under other feelings or shop it away, drink it away and even Rx-it away. The thing with fear is that the more we hide from it, the bigger it grows. This week try to make friends with your fears. Let them come up, don't fight them, just observe them. It's amazing how quickly they subside, like a wave (ok, sort of a scary one), letting you ebb into #calmness and #acceptance. If you have a #Reiki practice, try meditating on the first symbol, and notice the small changes: the grounding, the acceptance... and let us know how it goes.

Create the space and it will come

Sometimes we talk about something we want to do for so long, we get it out of our system and never do it.
But others, we go for it overzealously, with a full checklist of steps and goals that leaves us exhausted. We work at it 24/7. We push the door so hard in order to open it, and yet it remains locked.
What we seldom do is create the space in our lives for the thing we want to come, to happen.
An empty space in our calendar and our soul.
A space of quiet, of emptiness and calm.
A void that by law of nature has to be filled.
Today in your #Reiki practice connect with this space, feel it. Acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Feel content to leave it as it is. Do not try to fill it or control it. For it is the space where your hopes and dreams can finally start to grow.

Image: http://jamesturrell.com/