What to do in the face of acts of Violence

We recently experienced still more mass shootings and loss of life, hopes and dreams.  Besides remembering to give yourself, another Reiki colleague, friend or family a Reiki session, you can send Reiki to ‘support all those impacted by the shootings/acts of violence’.  We may think of the victim, his or her family members, the survivors, the first responders…but so many more of us may be impacted in ways that we can’t imagine.  Even yesterday when I was meeting with a friend and giving her some Reiki, I asked about how her husband who was a former police officer was coping; she said that he couldn’t even talk about it.  Folks are hurting deeply and needing the comfort and healing from Reiki.  As Reiki practitioners this is something that we can do.

Reiki and Mother’s Day

My 6 top recommendations for Mother’s Day:

  1.  If you are Reiki trained and a ‘Mother’ (even to a 4 legged furry baby), do some extra Reiki on yourself including your heart chakra to celebrate yourself on this Mother’s Day
  2. If your Mom is still alive and geographically close by, do some Reiki on her as a gift of gratitude for her giving you life
  3. If your Mom lives a distance away or has passed, consider sending her some Reiki and bring Mindfulness to how it feels to connect using the loving energy of Reiki
  4. Consider offering Reiki to a Mother who may be a neighbor or even a person in a Nursing Home who does not have any of her children nearby
  5. Send Reiki to your relationship with your Mother…your Grandmother…Great grandmother who are all part of your precious lineage as a woman
  6. Gift your Mother (or special Mother you know and love) with a certificate for a Reiki session or Reiki class with a RMT–                                                                  Bonus recommendation from one of my students:  have a little fun today!

Persistence and Resilience

Since I have only been volunteering at PACC for less than 6 months, I am still learning so much; just like teaching a Reiki class or giving a Reiki session to human clients, one needs to be Mindful about what is unique in each situation.

This week I was saddened to see or learn about a few older dogs whom had been adopted out during the holiday season and returned; it hurt my heart for these precious lives to have found hope and a new home..only to be disappointed and returned.  Perhaps the cat didn’t get  along with the new dog…or there were questions about how this new member of the family would do with the children.  I remember back to my own experience after adopting Kiki 6+ years ago; he was difficult in many ways especially when he ate thru 3 couches, some curtains, part of a wooden rocking chair leg, mail, etc. He was also very reactive to all the rabbits in our neighborhood and would stand up on his hind legs whenever he saw a rabbit!  Despite all of this, he was ours and there was no question about returning him; we were family and needed to learn how to best work with his behaviors…helping him to be the best Kiki Drozdoff possible!  He no longer reacts to rabbits nor eats furniture!  He does occasionally take a piece of mail as a joke…and definitely thinks that he is the neighborhood protector from coyotes.

We have so many precious dogs at PACC who deserve a loving home and will definitely enrich your lives.  Be persistent with your love, positive expectations and reinforcement; be resilient and unless there are dire circumstances, don’t give up!

Don’t be Deceived by those Eyes!

When I go to PACC each week, there are so many wonderful dogs competing for my attention; each one tries to express it’s individuality whether by barking, sitting for me, using non verbal communication…including ‘those eyes’.  I am usually excellent at assessing which dog might benefit and welcome me for some massage, Reiki and hopefully good company.

Last week my heart responded to ‘those eyes’ that were sad,  inviting and hopeful.  I had read on the board that this dog could be a bit ‘shy’ (which is often my favorite to work with)…and might pull getting back into the kennel.  I decided to take this big girl out to a play area and I could see that her main focus was on how to escape if the opportunity presented itself; after a little time together I decided that she wasn’t getting that much benefit and decided to take her back to her kennel.  Getting her in wasn’t bad but when I tried to exit, she pushed past me and was soon running throughout the pods as if she was in a marathon.  I kept running after her…and she kept running away from me. Other dogs were barking and there wasn’t anyone to initially assist me.  Finally I trapped her by a gate…and asked a young man to accompany us back to her kennel.

So…what did I learn???? don’t get taken by those eyes!  wear a whistle!  be mindful of these animals who are new at PACC and may be having adjustment issues.  After all this excitement, I was ready to hold, love and Reiki some 2 month old heeler pups!

‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and Reiki

Many of us may remember studying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Yesterday at PACC where I volunteer, I was reflecting on that as I worked with one dog who wanted lots of affection (kisses, Reiki, massage and hugs) and another whom had apparently been so deprived of sufficient nutrition, that he just wanted me to keep feeding him treats/biscuits.

If we are Reiki trained and working on someone else, what is their hierarchy of needs?  Is it to feel safe? emotionally comforted? physically soothed?  or a variety of other needs?  As always, take a thorough intake with your client about their intention for the session as well as any history of trauma and loss.  Quiet your own mind and be the channel for healing energy, light and wisdom to flow thru you .  And…as Mrs. Takata would say:  ‘let your hands teach you’!

Random Acts of Kindness

Today at PACC someone offered me a ‘random act of kindness’.  I was working with a small dog in his kennel doing Reiki and massage (also supporting healing over an area that had staples from a surgery)…and  a staff person by accident locked me in after putting in food for this dog.  From the inside, I could not exit and no one was around.  I was all ready to leave for the day…and kept shouting ‘hello!!!!’ while trying not to disturb all the dogs in that area.  No one responded and many staff wear ear plugs so it felt as tho’ I was shouting in a vacuum.   Finally another volunteer found me and let me out.  I gave her a Ben’s Bells certificate of Kindness when I got back to the office.

Of course the question is, how do we respond to others with random acts of kindness.  With our ‘Reiki eyes’, do we send strangers positive messages of caring and support? Do we respond to a stranger in need and when appropriate offer to give some Reiki if desired?  Bring Mindfulness to your day and you will begin to recognize all the opportunities to offer these delicious acts of kindness that help to shape our world into a more compassionate place.

Reflections from a ‘Dog Whisperer’ RMT

As you may know from prior posts, I have been volunteering at PACC weekly doing Reiki and Massage (and walking the dogs) whenever I am in town; after being away from PACC for nearly a month due to a fabulous trip to Indonesia/Bali, I was very excited to get back to these precious dogs of all sizes, breeds and time in the shelter while awaiting hopefully adoption by their forever families.  When it started to rain and lightening, I decided that it was time to get inside and focus on Reiki and massage instead of giving a few additional dogs their morning walk (and a little massage if open to it).  Since many of the dogs in the Pod were above the level that I am presently eligible to go directly into their kennel, I again took a pillow and chose whichever dog was calling for more TLC (or had notations stating that he/she might be shy or very scared or stressed).  Sitting across from a 1 1/2 y.o. who had only been there for a month who would barely make contact with me and sat in the back of her kettle, I began sending Reiki thru my hands, eyes and heart while chanting the Karuna symbols Zona Krya Halu Harth; she slowly would peep out at me until she felt safe enough to eat a biscuit and later allow me to touch her thru the cage.  I later worked individually with another 5 dogs or so…but wanted to reach them all so I chanted loud enough allowing the positive vibrations to bring healing to each.  It was an exquisite day for me…and hopefully for them too.  For any ART or RMT students who want to work with animals, this is another reason to take your Karuna training!

Doing a Distant Session from a Close Proximity

Every week that I volunteer at PACC, there is some new wonderful lesson or experience to share.  I asked my Volunteer coordinator to confirm that it was okay for me to go into a kennel with a dog whose color rating was a ‘blue’ instead of a ‘green’ that I am eligible to work with.  One dog in particular had been referred by other volunteers as a special needs girl who would benefit from extra massage/Reiki and TLC.  I was told that due to liability issues, I could not yet work directly with blue or orange graded dogs in their kennels but instead could get a pillow and sit outside the kennels sending Reiki to them.  I of course made my initial contact thru my heart and eyes and soon added on my voice telling her/him that I loved them.  I sat perhaps for 15 minutes each time directing Reiki with my hands thru each kennel cage.  I added on some Karuna chanting, Metta and even a little Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. One little gal relaxed so much that she began to eat her breakfast and to drink some water.  I was tickled to learn that she was adopted a day or two later…and was so glad to be part of her healing.  In terms of humans, sometimes one can be in the room with another human and it is best to send Reiki; to give an example, years ago a precious older Reiki group member and client had her husband in ICU for 4 months.  She tried to work on him with hands on but would get very fatigued standing on her feet; I encouraged her to sit near his bed and send Reiki to him.  By being mindful of the special circumstances, she respected her own needs as well as honoring his.

Taking Care of Business

I am having a glorious time volunteering at PAC doing Reiki and Massage on such precious dogs waiting for forever homes!  If you are thinking of adopting, come by and meet some of these wonderful animals…and maybe your new member of your family.

On 9/12, I was doing massage and Reiki in the kennel of a dog I had worked on before; I used my eyes and heart to reach out to those in kennels across from me and tell them that I ‘loved them’ over and over again.  They took in the positive energy and quieted down.  One in particular, Jimmy Chew gave me the most soulful eyes and asked to be next.  I looked at the assignment board and saw that this lovely 12 y.o hadn’t been walked yet.  I took him outside and he took care of business 3x.  I almost decided to do Reiki outside but listened to his desire to walk around and smell whatever attracted him; this was his time to use and not my agenda.  Once back in his kennel, he was ready for some extra loving with massage and Reiki.  I was then gifted with kisses and he gave me his paw spontaneously many times as if to express much gratitude and friendship.

So..what does this have to do with our adult Reiki practice? We may have our own agenda for a session, but we need to assess what initial ‘business’ needs to be done first.  Has the client filled out the intake and consent forms and know what to expect during the session?  Do you know if there are special needs or prior traumas? Has your person been given water and a chance to go to the toilet?  Once on the table, have you done byosen scanning? You are forming a supportive and therapeutic relationship as well as making sure the environment is comfortable. Once you have taken care of business, Reiki will be your guide and the experience will be memorable for you both.

Don’t Judge a Book by the Cover…or Dog by his Looks!

I have recently begun volunteering at Pima Animal Control with the intention of doing Reiki on dogs and possibly cats; part of the requirement is to first take a Basic Dog handling class and then volunteer walking the dogs.

Today was Session #2; I had been thrilled with my experience during my first day last week especially when I went thru the whole process successfully (no dog got away from me and one even requested Reiki) without a mentor! Today when I was choosing my last day to walk, I signed up for Ludwig, a 7 .o who probably was pretty anxious to get out of the kennel by 9:30 or so to finally relieve himself.  When I first saw him, I just didn’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling…with eye secretions and a plastic head collar/protector…and an unsure attitude of me being his walker.  Well, just like we can’t judge a book by the cover…or a dog by his looks…Ludwig turned out to be quite a sweetie; after a reasonably short walk due to the heat, he laid down on the floor back in the shelter pod…and was breathing a bit heavy.  Then he raised his leg and asked for Reiki for quite some time to help him to feel more rebalanced; I even got a thank you kiss after finally getting him back into his crate.

So….remember that even if a client you are working with appears different than yourself in some manner/appearance, life style, etc., as long as you feel safe, let Reiki be the connection that brings together humanity, peace and healing.