When your teacher lives and loves what they teach

My best teachers have been those who live what they teach,

especially when it comes to skills that help you improve yourself, help you be a better person, help you grow, help you release stuff that no longer serves, and to learn skills you can use every day. To set energetic boundaries, to help live the life you want to live, to stop living patterns that you may be carrying for generations. I am blessed to have had many amazing teachers in my life teaching me these skills, my Tai Sophia teachers, yoga teachers, reiki teachers, intuitive teachers.… and I have been a teacher my whole career.

I am a teacher, I hold a brave space for you to grow and let go, and I am offering a lot more opportunities to learn amazing skills with me in 2018.

Join me in January- start your year off taking care of you- which will have a ripple effect! If you take Reclaim Your Space on the 6th, you will receive $25 off of A Spiritual Perspective on Addiction, or $50 off of Reiki 1.

Read more about these life changing classes in earlier blogs linked here.

 

Reiki and Energetic Boundaries

As Reiki 1 approaches in January, I am reflecting on what makes my Reiki classes unique and special. This is one of the reasons.

Luz de la Luna~ Reiki, Ancient Wisdom, Mindfulness Pratices

Why are boundaries important in Reiki?

Reiki attunement opens us to our deep intuition and energetic awareness, which can be powerful. While usually positive, these shifts in awareness can feel unfamiliar or unsettling for some people. Especially if we lack tools to help us ground ourselves in our own energy, practicing Reiki on clients can feel unstable. As I continue to teach Reiki, I hear more of this from students and other practitioners. I realize that it’s important for Reiki practitioners to have a collection of effective tools to support us when we are with clients so that we feel prepared and safe to be that open and sensitive. So, I now include these visualizations in my teaching as an added support for students and clients.

Energetic sensitive people or “empaths” can be overwhelmed after learning Reiki without these tools

For example, when I first started teaching Reiki, I had…

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Reiki + Postpartum Care

Postpartum Doula with Reiki

I am committed to sharing Reiki with postpartum moms and babies in their homes as part of my 4 hour postpartum visit because I have seen first hand the positive effects of bringing such a relaxing, grounding and healing energy modality into the homes of new mothers. I offer 4 hour visits which include an hour of Reiki and postpartum support.

Reiki is a spiritual healing practice for balancing energy that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. Reiki is pronounced ray-key. “Rei” means spiritual wisdom, and “ki” means life energy. “Ki” is also known as “prana” in Sanskrit, and modern science calls it “biofield energy.” Reiki moves energy in subtle yet powerful ways, bringing calm and relaxation, as well as dramatic shifts to the body, mind, and spirit. Trained Reiki practitioners provide Reiki, and you can also learn self Reiki techniques with the guidance of a trained Reiki practitioner like me. The postpartum time is a beautiful time to integrate Reiki and bring balance and peacefulness to your new family.

During a Reiki session, you are fully clothed, on a massage table and covered with a blanket. I move my hands over the body – hovering above the body and or gently touching. Reiki energy works in partnership with your energy to bring balance and grounding. I bring my intuitive practice to you and enjoy teaching simple visualization tools and self Reiki techniques for continuing to ground during and after our session.

Postpartum is a time of healing for mothers.  The energy balancing of Reiki allows the body’s innate healing wisdom to arise. Birth opens mothers physically and energetically which can feel vulnerable to new mothers, and a Reiki session can help provide a healthy energetic closing that focuses on her energetic boundaries. Reiki can also help you bond with baby because when you are calmer, it is easier to observe baby’s cues, and baby tends to be calmer with a calm caregiver!

Sometimes after birth, new mothers feel overwhelmed, jittery and as some mamas describe “buzzy.” The work of labor and birth, sleep changes, new rhythms and rituals of newborn care and feeding, as well as the energy in the home, birth center or hospital affect the new mother, baby and family. An in-home Reiki session helps to move and release energy that is “buzzing” by bringing your upper chakras’ energy down to your lower chakras, grounding you, bringing a feeling of calm, focus and relief of anxiety or nervousness that can arise.

In my experience working with families during their postpartum transition, I witness that an in-home Reiki session is the calm, grounding gift that every new mom and dad or partner deserves. The relaxation and calm it brings are just some of the benefits that help new parents transition into parenthood with more ease. Better sleep is almost always reported too!

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melissarichphotography.com

You can hire me (and learn more) for a 4-hour session on Mondays from 10am-2pm or through Sanctuary Healing Arts as part of your postpartum care package, on Tuesdays from 10am to 2pm.

“I wish every new mother and family could have Reiki in their home after birth! It is ideal for new mamas to have these moments of deep relaxation with Reiki in their early days and weeks together. Mamas say it’s easier to access their mothering intuition from this place,” says Michele Kolakowski, Sanctuary Doulas founder.

Original blog posted November 13, 2007 at Sanctuary Healing Arts

The Magic of Reiki in the Fall

The Fall is my favorite time to teach Reiki classes- I teach them throughout the year, but there is something quite magical about introducing Reiki to my students in the fall, and this year Reiki 1 is “falling” on the weekend of the fall equinox. If you are on the fence to sign up or if Reiki is quietly calling to you, do it- register today .

The fall is the season of letting go- as the deciduous trees change colors and drop their leaves to the earth, there is a slowing down and letting go, a slow release and decay of what no longer serves, to nourish the earth and make room for new growth and new possibility. As I teach Reiki, I see this time and time again during the Reiki attunements- there is always a letting go of something for the student- and often times a clarity of what their next possibilities are.

Reiki 1 Fall equinox

As part of the letting go, it leaves room for the Reiki energy to be received, which is a transformative and life-changing time. This weekend is the perfect time if you are facing or in a transition, if you need to be more grounded, if you need a new tool for your toolbox for staying healthy and grounded in your body/mind/spirit. I am here to hold an amazing weekend for you- a weekend of nourishment, letting go, and renewal.

I don’t only teach Reiki 1, I share with you a variety of tools for grounding, setting energetic boundaries with other tools beyond Reiki, and a deep appreciation and connection with the energy of fall and the cycles of the seasons, and how we are connected to the energy of the seasons and Mother Earth.

 

Reiki Share- Too Woo or What?

After over four years of leading 5 Element Women’s Circles, I started co-leading monthly Reiki Circles (Reiki Shares) in March 2017. The power of meeting in a circle is amazing – each time, I see again how we are all connected to each other, to the earth, to the the cycles of the seasons. After any of these circles, I feel lighter and in awe. I notice a sense of release and recharge. I see how much power comes from being in a grounded, spritual, non-judgmental place where we share, support, and are supported by one another.

I know that joining a circle or a group can be intimidating, since it is unknown as to what exactly you are getting yourself into and how “woo” or grounded the group is. I would say that I am “woo”,  a word my friend, teacher and colleague, Stacia often uses  to describe how energy and intuitive work is perceived by people not familiar with or practiced in it. I bring this up because the unknown of how “woo” a new group that one is not familiar with is may create hesitation. This was me over a year ago when I first moved to Colorado. I learned about the Goddess Reiki Share led by Meg Sessions through a website, and I watched the website for months wondering exactly how “woo” this group was. As I reflect now, I realize I was also wondering how grounded the group was. I had attended a few weekend retreats and groups that were extremely “woo” and not energetically rooted, which left me drained and less grounded in my body.

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I am glad that I finally went to Meg’s Reiki Circle (in fact, I wish that I had gone months earlier) and I have attended it on a regular basis for over a year. I love her balance of woo and grounded. Meg inspired the format of the monthly Reiki share I now host, with my friend and colleague, Amy Stark with Stark Transformation. Our Reiki share is co-ed and it entails a circle element – we gather in a circle, share, set intentions, ground energy, and practice Reiki together. Amy and I are both former science teachers transformed into energy healers, and so beginners with questions are a natural fit for our skill sets and ways of teaching. We guide participants through grounding techniques and we answer questions about sharing Reiki with others. I say that we bring a great balance of “woo” and grounded authenticity.

The power of meeting on a monthly basis and building community through Reiki shares is a wonderful tool for self-care.  Our circle provides a way for each practitioner to not only raise their own energy vibration, but also set intention and release what no longer serves. My vision for holding this group is to give my Reiki students a place to practice Reiki, and also to invite other people attuned to Reiki, from beginners to Master Teachers, to come together to practice and share Reiki. Please join us, the first Monday of each month. Check here for the schedule, location, and pre-registration instructions.

Dancing with Anxiety: Medicinal Mushrooms and Creating Ease

I dance with anxiety as part of my life. I would have once said that I struggle with it, now I say that I understand my anxiety and have a giant toolbox to help dance with my anxiety.  I think I have all my life, though I didn’t recognize it as that until I was in my 30’s. I’m telling my story here with the hope that it will help you or someone you know. I struggled for so long, and now I have something that truly helps to lessen my anxiety.

In the past, anxiety would show up for me as a middle of the night wake up with heart racing, monkey mind churning about work, family, the grant I was writing or the lesson plan I didn’t have done yet. My breathing would be shallow, my tummy full of butterflies, and it would take awhile to fall back asleep. Anxiety can still show up as a tingling in my body, tension in my shoulders, heart rate increasing. Sometimes I will notice that I am frantically cleaning or organizing the kitchen. Anxiety shows up as not living in the present moment and worrying about the future regarding money and jobs- the butterflies, the tension in the neck and shoulders, they are real physical phenomena that are directly related to what I do to myself when I am anxious. I am grateful that I have never experienced anxiety, like many people do, that keeps me from functioning, driving, or working. I am grateful that I have always been a “functioning person living with anxiety” and I know that many people are suffering instead of dancing with it.

What I realize is that So. Many. People. Have. Anxiety. And, yet, it is not freely talked about. Western medicine treats it with drugs, which include so many potential harmful side-effects. Often these drugs are not even created and tested for anxiety, they are covering up the root cause and can cause side-effects that are far worse than the anxiety itself. I have observed this first hand, watching my husband be treated for years for anxiety with a variety of pharmaceutical drugs with terrible side-effects (so bad he has sworn to never take one ever again). Taking medicine for anxiety does not necessarily provide tools for navigating anxious thought patterns or the effects of anxiety. (I do recognize that some people do find support with these types of drugs.)

0012_CalmI have an enormous toolbox full of tools I gathered over the years with many self-care practices that help me with anxiety. These tools include: meditation, yoga nidra, reiki, yoga, acupuncture, exercise, eating right, sleep, energy work, essential oils and supplements. I have tried numerous supplements and herbal remedies. In the past, I have taken giant handfuls of pills per day, including supplements, Chinese or Western herbs and, honestly, I did not ever notice dramatic effects. Inevitably, after a solid month or two of taking handfuls of pills, I would stop because it was just not a sustainable practice for me. I tried this many times spanning a decade, trying a new handful of supplements, going through the same cycle of no dramatic effects and not keeping up with the practice because I found it didn’t make much of a difference one way or another.

In May 2015, I started taking the Alphay lingzhi mushroom blend Calm and I have found the ONE supplement that has helped with my anxiety. I don’t want to say that it is a “magic pill” because there isn’t that, right? The wonderful part about this “magic pill”  is that there are NOT potential harmful side-effects, and Lingzhi mushrooms are adaptogens, so they are supporting the entire body/mind/spirit, not harming in any way. Taking these capsules is now an added daily practice that I cannot go without. Like exercise, meditation, and energy work, taking the Calm blend is one of the practices that keep me grounded, peaceful and with  very infrequent and manageable anxiety. It has been almost 2 years now of regularly taking Calm or another blend of Alphay’s lingzhi capsules, and the positive effects are improved sleep, no more waking up in the middle of the night with major anxiety, and a general overall sense of calmer well-being. I notice when I forget to take my Alphay supplements, like when I traveled and my shipment arrived the day after I departed. A week later without the mushrooms, I had a day of rapid heart rate, shallow breathing and racing thoughts, even after numerous meditations throughout the day.  Using lingzhi is a daily practice I will continue for the rest of my life. Especially knowing the benefits of this mushroom, I don’t know how I could not keep integrating it into my life. If you are dancing (or suffering) with anxiety in your life, let’s talk- and let’s get you some Calm so you can see (and dance) for yourself.

Crazy, Love, Survival & Healing

Recently, I listened to an interview with Alain de Botton on the On Being podcast, he spoke about the true hard work of love and relationships. The host, Krista Tippet, introduced him saying he speaks and writes about how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than what is right or wrong about our partner. She continued to state the question that Botton says should be the first date question, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this.” I highly recommend you listen to this interview after reading this.

Listening to this interview brought clarity to me as I am not only starting to blog about my journey of being married to my love, a man who struggles with anxiety, depression and in recovery from addiction, but also I am preparing to teach a class, A Perspective on Addiction.  In this class, we will be sharing the tools I have learned and used while being in love with, married to, and parents with, someone with the disease of addiction.

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Love

When I think about the question “How are you crazy?” Looking back over 13 years ago when we fell in love, I probably could have identified that he was the crazy one because he was in recovery from alcoholism. I definitely would not have, at that time, pointed to myself as the crazy one, who thought I could and would fix this man. A true codependent, a perfectionist, a bit of a control freak, I had many ways of being crazy (and still do, I’m human!)

I have had so much anxiety about sharing our story, as there is a lot of judgment, misunderstanding, secrecy, and denial around this disease. I notice, that denial especially shows up in how addiction affects entire families- generations really, as wherever there is addiction it effects everyone even if they are not aware. Listening to this interview though, as de Botton spoke of love and relationships and the need to work on ourselves, I completely related. I have to thank my husband for the past 13 years of quite an incredible journey of growth, heartbreak, change, and healing. I have grown so much, learned new ways of living and being in relationship with him (and everyone else in my life), and I am grateful and hopeful I can pass along these tools to my stepson and daughter, as well as to students and clients. Join me and Stacia Synnestvedt, The Meditating Mama, on February 25th for A Perspective on Addiction to gain some tools to help you navigate and heal the craziness of loving in this addicted world we live in.