Category Archives: Healer

warrior wednesday

How did your week go, trying to incorporate my five tips into finding more happiness and fun into your schedule? Were any new activities more exciting than you expected? Were there challenges trying to find time, or any pushback from your family and friends about trying to make time for yourself?

On Wednesday night, I created a relaxing environment by lighting my favorite vanilla candle, I dimmed my lights and played soft jazz music in the background (since I live in NYC there were a few sirens as well).

Looking over my lengthy list (see below) it isn’t surprising that I wasn’t able to accomplish everything. Although I was able to find time to work on my blog and business, I missed out on my evening meditation practice, Qi Gong only happened once, and I wasn’t able to make yoga on Saturday morning due to a splitting headache.

Missing activities that reduce stress and increase creativity impacted my week more than expected. I was more tightly wound than usual when last-minute projects rolled in and I had to figure out other ways to tap into “the zone” since I didn’t make it to the gym (my temple for creativity) during the week.

Being perfect isn’t the objective; making time for yourself and having fun is. This is a work in progress. We’re all a work in progress. Good luck with the week ahead and drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing.

xoxo. B

Activities planned for the week:
• Meditation: 2x a day
• Dinner plans with friends: 1x
• 7-hours of sleep: 7x
• Qi Gong: 3x
• Yoga: 1x
• Work on my blog: 2x
• Work on my business: 1x
• Go to the gym: 4x

What I accomplished:
• Meditation: 1x a day
• Dinner plans with friends: 1x
• 7-hours or more of sleep: 4x
• Qi Gong: 1x
• Worked on my blog: 1x
• Worked on my business: 1x
• Gym: 1x

cold hands, warm heart

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Joanna polled students to see who had physical responses while performing Reiki. Were anyone’s hands vibrating or getting warm?

I thought, Why wasn’t I feeling anything? Joanna confided in us that, when she was a student, it had taken longer for her than her classmates to start feeling or seeing anything. I had faith it would happen for me soon.

Throughout the month-long break in December, I worked on getting my certification for Reiki Levels 1 and 2. During the holiday season, with many people away, I enlisted the help of friends.

Chair sessions are part of the certification for Level 1. I found a quiet spot in an area of the office with low traffic and large comfy chairs. I wondered what people thought as I would walk by with a different person each day; it made me chuckle each time.

One friend had crackling energy in her head, while another had energy that flowed smoothly. One of my friends had energy so strong that I wasn’t quite sure I could contain it. It was all very exciting, and fun.

My craziest chair session ever involved a Reiki Master. As we stood several feet apart, before the session began, a current of energy ran from her head to mine. Her body was electric, particularly her feet.

We were given a protocol to follow for table sessions as part of certification for Level 2. I decided to do sessions after hours either in my office or an adjacent conference room, because of the glass walls neither had the privacy I would require.

I transformed the space into an oasis: soothing music, lavender eyeshades, a comfy table, a fleece blanket, and pillows. I wanted the experience to be as relaxing as possible.

I was honored to give many friends their first Reiki session, and we all had a blast. Many fell asleep. Some even snored. I could feel energy surge in a few, while in others it just flowed along. Everyone felt soothed afterwards, and they volunteered to help me with future certifications.

I completed certification for Levels 1 and 2 before the Master Program began the first weekend in January. I felt great going into that weekend.

During our first clinic, we were instructed to tap into our intuition rather than the protocol from Level 2. As a graphic designer, I know how to go into “the zone” when I’m blocked. So I started applying the same technique to Reiki. Once I removed expectations and trusted my instinct, my gifts slowly started to reveal themselves.

I approached a table session with my friend Rachel with an open mind and heart. As I allowed myself to be guided around her body, I released any expectations for the session.

I normally have ice-cold hands, but as I lightly placed them on Rachel, they slowly started heating up on certain parts of her body. My arms began to sweat and I feared I would burn her skin. As I was “pulled” around her body, I couldn’t move in certain spots until her energy was moving freely; it was fascinating and encouraging.

Each session ends with a Q&A with your partner. Rachel commented on the heat from my hands as well as my uncanny ability to find areas of stiffness resulting from previous injuries. I was truly a vessel, and ecstatic that my gifts were finally emerging.

open mind, open heart

Multi color pastel(crayon) pencils for children(kids) used for d

In addition to Joanna, there were five teaching assistants rotating in and out of our classes. I loved hearing about their journeys, fears, and how Reiki transformed their lives. They were a consistent presence, and I asked a million questions throughout each weekend.

We were Joanna’s rainbow class, and she predicted we would gel quickly.

It felt like a social experiment, sharing experiences with people so different from myself. I learned to be open-minded, to refrain from snap judgments.

It was an eclectic group, 28 in total, ranging in age from 22-74. Some of their occupations included: yoga instructors, nurses, a psychologist, even a fashionista. I learned something from everyone.

Jeff, a middle-aged man, was painfully shy and self-conscious about his glass eye. But he didn’t let his disability stop him from pursing his dreams, often driving hours to class. I loved his dry and witty sense of humor.

Sara, a 30-year-old nanny, first came to class angry and cried, often leaving the room. As she became honest about her inner struggles, her anger was slowly replaced with happiness. Everyone was rooting for her.

Cathy, 74 years old, had a passion for nutrition and self-care. She brought recipes, and mentioned my poor posture on numerous occasions. The importance of enough sleep was another of her hot topics. Cathy was a vessel of information.

I met three amazing, gifted women who would become life-long friends. Rachel focused me on prioritizing my personal life. Catherine encouraged exploring other modalities. Michelle advocated going with the current, not against it.

When we performed group Reiki sessions together, there was something familiar, as though we’d done it together, before. Perhaps in another lifetime? It was a powerful experience.

It was a snowy Sunday, during a table clinic in class, while I was practicing on a friend, when one of my gifts was revealed to me.

a fact-finding mission

opencenterMy reading over the phone with Gina provided me with more detail. That not only was Reiki part of my new path, but also that I had been a healer in a previous life. I know, totally crazy! Over the years I have become more open-minded to the workings of the Universe, and I accepted what Gina told me wholeheartedly.

That night I went online and looked up Reiki schools in Manhattan, and came across an accredited one at the Open Center. Because I was new to this, I felt an accredited program would give me structure. And hopefully I would meet like-minded folks whom I could connect with as I began this journey.

I asked the Universe to send me “obvious” signs that I was on the right path. I was also thinking of booking another spa trip to Arizona. The next morning I ran into a friend of mine at work who said, “I could really use a Reiki treatment,” and then she mentioned the name of the spa in Arizona.  I stood there, speechless. In my life up till then, I’d met three Reiki Masters and each of them spoke about the Universe sending signs. I knew I was on the right path, and away to the spa I went.

The morning of Reiki 1, I woke up with a cold and felt awful. In a way it was a blessing because I had no stress when I walked into class, really the unknown. I then met Joanna, who ran the program, and instantly I knew she was the perfect teacher for me. She was warm and funny, but also quite serious when she needed to be.

During class, Joanna explained that Reiki tends to bring stuff up, so we shouldn’t be surprised if we wound up getting sick after that weekend. I was sick with multiple sinus infections for the next three months.

Change is hard, and for me—as much as I try to embrace it—I find it can be scary at times. For me, and, I think, for anyone. Throughout the weekends of Level 1 followed by Level 2 a few months later, I was uncomfortable and more than a little scared of the unknown. In the past I have quit things too early, but I was determined to follow this through. This was very much out of my comfort zone, this was very different from my life in Corporate America.

I did make friends and did find in the class the sympathetic and open-minded people I’d been hoping to meet. With diligence, good humor, and zeal, over the next few months I achieved my certification in Reiki Levels 1 and 2. I was extremely excited and I couldn’t wait to begin Level 3, which was supposed to be a very different experience and last four months instead of just one weekend for each level.

My journey of becoming Reiki had truly started.

a fortuitous encounter

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As you get older you start to wonder, “What is my purpose?” 

About two years ago that question kept popping up for me and I began my quest for answers. I started by asking friends what they thought their purpose was. Could that purpose be aligned with your passion? Could you have your cake and eat it too?

As I became more spiritual, more doors were unlocking for me. New people kept crossing my path with different questions for me. What brings you joy? What act of kindness have you practiced today? How would you get out of your comfort zone, and what would that look like?

While I was searching for answers I was still living a life on autopilot, under a veil of grey. My life consisted of: exercising before work, going to work, dinner plans after work, watching TV before bed.

I did experience intermittent periods of vibrant color on my annual spa trips to Arizona. During these trips I signed up for sessions with Shaman and Reiki Masters, dance classes, rock climbing. Basically, anything out of my comfort zone. I was fully engaged in any and all conversations and enjoyed quality time by myself sketching or journaling. I met people who were like-minded and looking for a higher purpose, an inward connection they had forgotten all about.

Many of these trips were life changing. But I just couldn’t figure out how to translate that energy/excitement into my life at home.

Then, on a hot Sunday last August, I went to a Psychic Fair on Long Island. I arrived early, eager, and signed up for several services. The hotel’s ballroom, where the event took place, was bustling with inquisitive people who had questions and were searching out answers. People like myself. At the center of the room were the Reiki Masters. In booths around the room’s edges were Tarot Readers, Numerologists, and Psychics.

When I sat down with Gina for a 15-minute psychic reading, little did I know that my life would take a permanent course correction.

After handing Gina my bracelet (she asked for a personal item) she wanted to know if I was a Reiki practitioner. I said, “No. Why?” Gina said, “Because I can easily see you teaching and practicing Reiki.” I started laughing, because it was completely foreign to me and yet it totally made sense.

I needed to learn more about what Reiki was exactly, and began my search the very next day.