#BeingReiki #1000DayChallenge—Day 419: Those Little Moments of Goodness

With all the violence and hate dialogue that surrounds us in the news, It’s easy to feel like the world is collapsing. Most of us are scared, angry and frustrated.

Yet there is also goodness going around.

People who find your wallet or give you a smile that makes your day better.

Do we notice them? Or do we let these moments go because we’re overwhelmed?

Are we filled with so much worry that we have no space left for anything else?

That’s why it’s so important to have a personal practice that allows us to let go of negative feelings and create space—space will make us feel lighter. Space will give us more clarity.  Space will allow us to move things around and keep tidying up until we are left only with what works for us.

It can be meditation, tai chi or yoga. For me, it’s Reiki practice. Every time I practice, I free some precious inches of space. When I get a session, I free even more—a precious gift in a crowded inner world.

What is your practice? What creates space in your life?

I would love to hear about it,

Love,

Nathalie

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 122: My Struggle with Power

—By Nathalie J.

I have an issue with power. Always had.

If I were a shrink I may guess the cause is that I'm the third sibling. Third siblings have little power when it comes to deciding what TV show to watch, where to go on weekends and what to eat for dinner. Most of the time, the only power we have is that of annoyance: to cry until we drive the whole family mad (I was particularly good at exercising this power by the way.)

Going back to power...

I've been reading Frans Stiene's latest book, The Inner Heart of Reiki, and enjoying the many layers and meanings of symbols. Especially CKR. I was never a lover of CKR. I did not grasp this idea of using it to "open chakras" and "put the power of the universe here or there." I'm somewhat of a minimalist and I like to keep my practice really simple. Using loads of symbols during a session would totally drive me out of my space of stillness and connection. It's a personal thing, probably based on my being slightly dyslexic. I am in no way criticizing other ways of practicing. 

"CKR is sometimes seen as an electric outlet where you plug yourself in order to practice."

But I really felt sort of upset that by calling it Power Symbol instead of by its mantra we may be depriving practitioners of the full beauty and depth of this symbol, of its qualities of grounding, of focus, of acceptance, of seeing things as they are. Of the internal work it ignites vs. seeing it like an electric outlet where you plug yourself in order to practice. 

I was ranting and ranting to myself until I started laughing. I was just angry at myself for not having done my work of digging a little deeper into my practice sooner. I could not fool myself and blame others anymore. After all, these past few weeks have been all about Seeing Things as They Are. And being ok with it. 

 

Photo credit: Napoleon in his Imperial Throne by French Painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1780-1867



 

Inspired by Reiki Practice: Letting Negative Feelings Fall Away

Anger, fear, anxiety, sadness and jealousy… As "good people," we are not supposed to feel these emotions. So we read, go shopping or indulge in food and drink to try and escape them.
Or we try to self-improve and ommmm our way out of them, with a “fix it now” attitude.

Why? In my case, I have this fixation that to be a a really spiritual person, I can’t feel negative things. Childish I know, but this thought is actually quite common.

After a few years of Reiki practice where non-judgment and non-labeling are paramount, I’ve become more accepting... and more real. It is not—after all—about having or not having these feelings; it’s about how we react to them. They are a source of energy and if accessed and harnessed correctly, they can actually work in our favor. 

How can we do that? Here are a few suggestions that worked for me:

  • FACE IT: The more we fight or run away from our negative feelings, the more power they have over us. Facing them is a scary thought, but once you do and see how short lived they are, it gets easier.
    Are you angry, scared or very sad? Sit on a chair, feet on the ground, with a straight back. Connect with the feeling. Observe where it’s located in your body. Breathe through it. Don’t try to reason it away, justify it or make it better. Feel the pain going through your body, feel how it peaks, cry if you need and then observe how… it fades away. Observe how your body feels lighter, how your thinking feels clearer. Celebrate with a warm cup of herbal tea!
     
  • GROUND IT: When we feel fear or anger, it’s almost like the feeling takes over our head: our thoughts spiral away, we become hyper excited and do things we may not be proud of afterwards.
    Time to get grounded. Whenever negative feelings take over your thinking, sit down in a chair, feet firmly planted on the ground with a straight back. Locate the feeling in your body (probably in your upper torso, neck or head area). Imagine it has a color and a word that describes it. Stay with it for just a few seconds. Then start dragging it down. If it’s in your head, lower it to your heart and observe how it feels there. Then lower it to your solar plexus. Observe the difference. Lower it once more, this time to a couple inches below the navel. Observe how it has lost most of its high, crazy vibration and it’s settling down. Keep your attention to the navel area, inhale and then exhale the feeling (with its color and name) to the earth through your root chakra. Breathe deeply and freely. And voilá!
    *During this exercise it’s important not to react to your feelings and leave the chair. Stay with it, no matter what.
     
  • SHAKE IT OUT: This one is pretty easy and pretty effective. The idea is to release the excess energy caused by stress and anxiety to regain your balance. Stand up, feet hip distance apart. Shake your right leg, then your left leg. Now shake your right arm, your left arm and then both arms together. Shake your head at the same time. Fold down, letting your torso swing while you shake your arms, shoulders and hands. Then stop, breathe deeply in and out. On the second inhale, come up to a standing position. How does that feel? A lot better, right?

I'm always experimenting on ways to connect and process feelings and ideas. If you have any modality or tip on how to do it, I would love to hear about it in the comment section :-)

Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, and a Reiki Master/Practitioner based in New York City. You can reach her at natjaspar@mac.com

 

Photo credit: "Outre Songer" by Argentine surrealist painter Leonor Fini (1907-1996).

 

Cuando llega el otoño las plantas van al rescate

Después del verano toca afrontar los cambios de estación. A veces no son fáciles de sobrellevar y es importante saber que las plantas nos pueden ayudar con esa adaptación.

La entrada al otoño es una época ideal para preparar nuestras defensas para el invierno, así que plantas como la Equinácea (Echinacea angustifolia) o la Uña de gato (Uncaria tomentosa) están súper indicadas para ello. 

Otro grupo de plantas ideales para mantener el equilibrio durante el otoño incluyen el romero (Rosmarinus officinalis),  el tomillo (Thymus vulgaris), el ginseng (Panax ginseng) o el Eleuterococo (Eleutherococcus senticosus).   

Y para aquellos que sientan los cambios de temperatura en sus articulaciones más rápido que un meteorólogo, la planta indicada para sus dolores articulares es el harpagofito (Harpagophytum procumbens). ¡Cuidado de no exceder la dosis!

Las plantas os pueden ayudar muchísimo, pero no olvidéis consultar con vuestro médico antes de tomarlas. 

 

Basada en Madrid, España, Eva Miquel se especializa en crear remedios naturales simples y seguros para balancear y energizar el organismo. La puedes contactar via evamn@hotmail.com. 

 

Healing the Rupture Within: Coming Together—Body, Heart & Soul—for Fall

The Cherokee have a story that inspired me many years ago.  Unlike the dominant culture, the Cherokee and many other indigenous cultures believe that everything is interconnected.  The story talks about the origin of our suffering, our disconnection from ourselves and other forms of life, which began when our heart and shadow became ruptured, similar to the plot in “The Dark Crystal”, which is one of my favorite renditions of this concept.  The goal, is to weave these parts of ourselves back together.  Not only did this rupture separate parts of ourselves, it also created a wound in the middle of our chest.  Many try to fill the wound with shopping, work, drugs, sex, alcohol or the pursuit of power, which we know does not work.  We must heal the wound, not fill it.  To do this we must cultivate mind, spirit and body by knowing ourselves... our darkness, our light, strengths and weaknesses, our ego.  The Eleusinian Mysteries, a sacred rite held in ancient Greece to the Goddess Demeter used herbs to alter the consciousness of the initiates.  According to Plato, the core teachings of these mysteries were, “Know Thyself” and “Nothing in Excess.”  These teachings are helpful to us even today, so many thousands of years later.

KAVA
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant native to Polynesia and Oceana and is traditionally used by Polynesians in their Kava ceremonies.  The importance is not only in the plant, but in the ceremony itself.  In the gathering of community, in sharing space and ingesting the plant as part of a group.  We are slowly reviving these traditions in our dominant culture of ‘individualism.’  I believe this is an integral part of reconnecting with our selves.
Kava relaxes the muscles, reduces stress and relieves anxiety; providing a deep feeling of relaxation without feeling tired.  This allows the mind to be open and can facilitate meditation.  

Modern Preparation:
4 tsps dried root to 8 oz. hot water; simmer 15 minutes; carefully pour in a blender and mix until completely liquid; steep 1 hour.  

Contraindications:
Use roots from plants that are 4 years + only. Not for excessive use and not to be combined with alcohol or medications.  Not to be used for people with Parkinson's.


MUGWORT
Mugwort (Artemisia argyi) is a common weed that grows in temperate zones throughout the world.  Usually called the dreaming herb, this plant stimulates active dreaming. You can prepare as a tea, but also prepare smudge sticks of the fresh plant to cleanse the air in your home and invite connection with the spiritual world. Mugwort tastes a little bitter so feel free to combine it with honey, organic roses, cinnamon or any of your favorite flavors.  

Prepare tea:
3-4 tsps. dried leaves to 24 ozs. of hot water. Steep 30-40 minutes. Drink at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.

Smudge sticks:
Respectfully harvest fresh herb. Allow to dry upside down for one day. Combine about 4-6 stalks and wrap tightly with cotton string, securing at 4 inch intervals before proceeding. Let dry one more day before cutting just above 4 inch mark. Allow to dry for another 5-7 days before burning.

Contraindications:
Pregnancy; people with sensitive skin should use gloves when harvesting. Do not exceed dosage as may cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
 

HAWTHORN
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycanthoides) is one of the best heart herbs. Not only does it work on a physical level by restoring healthy functions of the heart such as irregular heart beat, mitral valve prolapse and ischemic heart diseases to name a few, it also lowers blood pressure (a risk factor for heart attack) and LDL and VLDL cholesterol. Traditional use also includes opening the heart center.  We hold our stories within our bodies and our heart can unknowingly hold our grief, sadness and depression. To know ourselves is to bring those pieces back home and deepen our connection to heart and shadow, spirit, body and mind.

Preparation:
8 tsps. dried berries to 24 oz. hot water, steep 1-2 hours, drink 3 cups daily. The flowers can also be used in combination with berries by adding 10 tsps. flowers and steeping for half hour.

Contraindications:
Cardiac medications, especially Digoxin.


Lauraine Velez is an experienced clinical herbalist who trained at the David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies. She uses Traditional Chinese Medicine along with Western, Ayurvedic, Middle Eastern and Cherokee herbal traditions. She's the founder of Apothecratic Oath.

Photo credit: "Carrefour D'hecate" by Argentine surrealist painter Leonor Fini (1907-1996).

#BeingReiki #1000DayChallenge—Day 90: Sharing Love in Mexico City

—By Nathalie J.

Until now I had only practiced Reiki professionally in New York. It's the world's most diverse city but there is a common tread to the majority of its citizens: going inwards and spirituality are not always a priority. 
Many people have a tough time valuing the work we do as Reiki practitioners and paying our fee. They find it expensive and prefer spending the money on a nice dinner or a few drinks—which is totally valid.
During the 10 days I've been offering Reiki sessions in Mexico City, my experience has been the opposite. Sessions may be in pesos and adjusted to local income, but they still represent a very good dinner at an expensive restaurant or groceries for a few days. Here, however, most people prefer to skip the dinner and go for the session.
And they skip more than one dinner: They get their own session and then get sessions for the people they love: their moms, their aunts or friends who can't afford it at the moment. Their support to their loved ones is in itself the most healing part of the process.
Everything may not be perfect in Mexico, but the warmth of heart and feelings is just beautiful to witness. 
Feeling absolutely grateful for the chance to practice in lovely Ciudad de Mexico. 

 

Photo credit: Las Dos Fridas by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).

#BeingReiki #1000DayChallenge—Day 76: Be Humble

—By Nathalie J.

“Humility” was a big thing when I was growing up. My family pride itself in being humble.
Yes, this sounds contradictory.
And it is.
Because being humble, for us, meant thinking we were smarter and better than the rest, but we would never say so aloud. We will self-deprecate ourselves in the hopes we would be contradicted. And if someone didn’t…well…let’s say this person would not be “welcome” for a while (forever.)
Yesterday I was meditating on this precept, and it felt so different and light than my psychological history could surmise. Humility was the act to accept the need to practice every day, the understanding that “spirituality” is about daily efforts. A road that all of us can travel.  And the more we talk about the road, the more we think we advance and remain in place. The more we walk, slowly and sometimes painfully, the more we truly advance.
I am a talker. I love talking. Doing… always been a little harder. But yesterday practice was so humbling in a good way, so honest and beautiful that—for once—words alone just won’t cut it. 

#BeingReiki: #1000DayChallenge — Day 41: About Respecting Other People's Space

Lately I've been really into the concept of holding healing spaces. I wrote a note inspired by it for our bi-monthly newsletter and I've been practicing with many friends, holding the space so they can do their own work.

I love how supportive yet respectful it is as a concept. You are there. Helping. Without invading. Without influencing. Respecting. Just being.

It's—in my opinion—the same space from which it will be ideal for me to give hands-on session. I'm not there 100% yet. There is still a part of me that wants to help, get involved and make sure positive shifts happen.

Last week, however, it became evident that this issue has nothing to do with Reiki practice but with family conditioning. My family is the kind of over-zealous helpers that overflow with constant advice. They come to your house and reorganize it the way they think it should be. If you feel down one day, they won't relent until they've talked you, pampered you or fed you out of your funk. Because they love you and "know better." In fact, they smother you in love and support until you run away (5000 thousand miles to be exact.)

During last week's visit, however, I was not smothered. I was shocked. Seeing them competing to help and pamper me, made me see how much like them I am. How I tend to hover over people to make sure they're feeling 100% fine. How I spend hours doing things for people who may just be happier if I left them alone.

Thus probably my interest in holding healing spaces. Hopefully a technique I will master in my practice... and in life.

And meanwhile, friends": cut me some slack!

Any tips are super welcome! You can leave them in the comments section or mail them at nat [@] mac [dot] com.

 

Photo credit: "La danse," by French Painter Henry Matisse.

 

#Being Reiki: #1000DayChallenge — Day 24: On growing roots

—By Nathalie J.

I have been working on "grounding" for the last few days.
As you may recall, I'm an air person who fears the constrains of grounding.

However, I've come to internalize that without proper grounding, you can't really have a strong practice—self-doubt and external criticism would constantly make you feel off center. 

To my surprise I'm finding my grounding meditations fascinating... and even enlightening.

As an example: during one meditation I was visualizing these amazing roots borrowing deep into the earth to get nutrients and stability... and then an image popped out: I felt the ground responded to the energy and that these virtual roots helped the earth keep its integrity, its place in the whole and its life—reminding me of the #Reiki principle, "There are no givers, gift or receivers."

Now I'm actually excited to keep on going. 

If you have a lovely grounding modality, don't be shy! Share it! I would love to experiment more  in this area. 

Thx and namaste!

#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

 

7 Kick-Ass Life Advice from Young Women Entrepreneurs

—by Nathalie Jaspar

When I visualize a spiritual master, I tend to imagine someone living a quiet life of meditation and teaching—a yoga or a Reiki master. I never expected that some of the most kick-ass life advice I’ve heard lately would come from the lips of two young women entrepreneur at a Women 2.0 event in New York: Cathy Han, CEO and co-founder of 42 Technologies and Kelly Peeler, Founder and CEO of NextGenVest. Here is some of the wisdom they shared* when asked what life lessons they learned while launching their companies. Enjoy!

1)    No excuses (Cathy): Stop saying you are too young, too busy, or too poor. That you need another class, another year, another partner. If you want to do something, go ahead and do it.

2)    Don’t be an asshole (Kelly): You can’t do everything by yourself; you will need help and a network of people. And for that to happen, you can’t be an asshole.

3)    Being busy doesn’t mean you are progressing (Cathy): When you are always busy, you don’t leave space for things to happen: a last minute meeting that can bring you new connections or the mental space for an idea to grow. Always create space for the things you want or need so they can come into your life. For that you need to prioritize: Have a huge to do list? Pick the 3 things you want to do that day. Pick three coffee shops and do one thing in each: this helps you focus on each and helps creating a feeling of movement.

4)    Say thank you (Kelly): A lot of people ask for help, but very few say thank you. When you say thank you, it goes a long way.

5)    Know how you operate (Kelly): Are you a morning person or a night person? Do you work best in blocks of a few hours or taking more breaks? When do you need to eat? How much exercise you need…? Acknowledge how you operate and build your work schedule around it.

6)    Be uncomfortable (Cathy): Feeling uncomfortable means you are stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new. It means you are challenging yourself. And that’s what it's all is about.

7)    Embrace difference (Kelly): You are a woman or an ethnic minority? Thrive in that difference: it’s your biggest advantage. It’s what will make people remember you.

 

—Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, a group of professional Reiki practitioners supported by life coaches, clinical herbalists and yoga teachers in New York City and Miami. 

*I was so immersed into their speech that I didn’t think or recording, but I tried to keep it as close to the meaning as was possible.

 

5 ways deep BREATHING can benefit your Reiki sessions

My lungs and I spent many years battling: I had asthma as a child and smoked in my 20s. When I practiced yoga, I was the person in the room who teachers addressed when they said, "Remember to breathe!"
When I started practicing Reiki, this changed. First, during my meditation practice—I had to work with my breath to build qi, which then translated into my sessions. Being aware of my breath really transformed my practice. How? 

1) Being one with my breath keeps me centered. No more, "Is this the right position? Is the person feeling it? What does that sensation in my left hand means? Is this a weird place to put my hand?" When you are one with your breath, it's almost like white noise: you create a peaceful space in which doubts have a tougher time disrupting your session. 

2) Clearer boundaries. When you are aware of your breath, it's easier to maintain healthy boundaries between client and practitioner, reducing (and with practice) eliminating that feeling of being drained or exhausted after a session. (Keeping your eyes open is also key!)

3) No labeling. When practicing a Reiki session, you follow the sensations but are not supposed to label or judge them. When you are busy breathing with awareness, it's a lot easier to let go of that instinct to classify.

4) Your session becomes more intense (in a good way). In many spiritual practices, breathing builds life energy (prana/chi/qi). The same happens in Reiki, where the ki part stands for life force. Try taking a deep breath all the way into your diaphragm/hara and then exhale slowly through your mouth: feel what happens to your hands. Notice the difference? That's what I mean.

5) Breathing keeps the little Napoleon inside at bay. During my practice, especially at the beginning, I had this little Napoleon that would pop out (hey, I was born in Europe.) He would say stuff like, "Way to go, girl, you are good, look how warm your hands are!" The shame I felt after these thoughts was so intense it disrupted my whole practice. I tried fighting my inner Napoleon, but it only made him sneakier. Breathing, however, brought calm and acceptance. As soon as he starts talking, I breathe deeply and remain centered in the now and connected to the right kind of oneness. 

 

Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, a group of professional Reiki practitioners supported by life coaches, clinical herbalists and yoga teachers in New York City and Miami.