Went to my aunt's 85th birthday party in Connecticut.
Best parts: hearing her stories, playing with kids and balloons, A's joy in her glittery new sandals, passing out bags of flower seeds from my garden, hot coffee and homemade cookies, and the sun. Sitting in the sun in Aunt Lois' driveway drinking coffee, surrounded by family and flowers: forsythia, trillium, and dandelions. Kids running, laughing, and jumping into the hammock. Old photo albums and maps. Hugs and open hearts. Reiki attunements among garnet-studded boulders. Auntie HM and cousin S with new sandals: silky mauve flowers for HM, zippy spiky glitter for S. Spring sunshine. Cousins from NYC, Sacramento, Boston, and Memphis. Peaceful walk in dinosaur park and the beauty of the Connecticut River. Big soft feather bed at the Sheraton.
On those complicated loopy 4-lane 65 mile per hour freeways I drive like a Concord bus driver: middle lane, 70 mph. Steady. Wall to wall cars, tin cans with people inside, hurtling forward on strips of asphalt; I keep my bubble of safety. I let people cut in front of me, I leave plenty of room. Merge. I stay calm and feel generous.
Yeah, did that for 5 hours going down to Connecticut. Well, I took lots of breaks. Stopped and enjoyed the sunshine. Took me only 3 1/2 hours coming home: just one quick BR break. I drove like a bus driver.
After feeling discouraged about my research for months, received 3 strong messages from the Universe today: continue the research! Ok, I get it, thanks!
One message came from a co-worker. We'd been trying to connect for weeks. She works at Yale (Yale!), publishes, and does research. I wanted to discuss research and publishing. Today she stopped by my office and we had a nice long chat about both. Very helpful.
Second message came from a hospital administrator. He told me that he's aware of me and my research. He supports integrative medicine. Research and publishing is the way to disseminate the information, he told me.
Third: an email from a respected Reiki researcher. My students frequently cite her work. We have mutual friends... we exchanged several emails. I requested her assistance and she agreed to help me!
You know what this means? Means I really have to finish up my research quarterly report, due April 1. Means I have to stop writing in my blog and get to work.
Sum it up? Hope, faith, communication, and hard work will help me achieve my goals of universal love and connection.
Pennacook Falls: I was scared driving over the bridge. Stopped at Boivin Park to look at the water and sculptures. I stood near the "Danger" sign and felt the immense power of the water: rain and snow melt. Water lapped into hollows and climbed up tree trunks. Water dropped and bounced back up, the spray a hundred feet into the air and visible a half mile away.
The shore is granite and quartz. There are iron sculptures and a marble Muskie memorial. In front of me: falls. To my right: falls. To my left, an arched green bridge and downtown. Behind me: tall Paul Bunyan offering an axe.
I was doing my usual Reiki class with my usual Reiki talk and PowerPoint. I talked about history, ethics, principles, and practice.
We did a relaxation exercise, and then I showed them the self-Reiki hand positions. "Them?" you ask. Oh, right. Oncology nurses. They were the them.
Only, something weird happened. Instead of quietly going thru the hand positions, I felt compelled to narrate. I didn't think about it, it just came out of my mouth: this running commentary.
It went like this. Eyes: "Your eyes need Reiki. All that computer time."
Ears. "Block out all that noise and listen to yourself."
Jaw. "Relax. Stop talking and listen."
Throat. "Speak your truth. Be kind."
Heart. "Open your heart."
Belly. "Feel your feelings.'
I say this despite the lingering (2 weeks!) cold I caught from kids.Yeah, 2 days after taking students to a day care I came down with a cold. As did 3/4 of the students. Enough already, my intention is health. Go away, rhinovirus.
I say this because our nation is in mourning again. Boston, you know.
During dark days we look to children for laughter, inspiration, joy, and hope.
Today I played with a 3-year-old boy. Initially shy, my supply of office toys won him over. He especially liked the Spider Man disc shooter. The spiky ball with multi-colored flashing interior lights was also a hit. "Do it again!" he kept saying. So we did.
Do it again. Do love, laughter, and play again. And again. Hope for the future.
Sunday sun, surf, and sleet. The sun sent out a ray after hiding for a dreary week. I headed for the coast.
Found a park I like, on a point in the bay. Low tide. I walked on the sandy beach, looked long at the mud flats, and decided to let my shoes get muddy. Old shoes.
The mud was covered with yellow seaweed. Random holes, like Mexican cenotes, dropped down exposing layers of mud and clay, rims adorned with bumpy yellow tendrils of seaweed. Flat bottoms displayed driftwood and broken shells.
More shells in cracks of rocks, where seagulls fed.
The rocks were multi-colored: gray, yellow, orange, and pink with stripy lines of milky quartz.
I walked on the seaweed, mud, and rocks. The sun was obscured by blobby clouds and it was windy. I was glad for my wool socks, scarf, sweatshirt, and puffy nylon vest.
It started to rain, so I headed back to the car. Suddenly I was in a sleety squall, pelted by icy shards and doused with cold drops.
Now I'm warming up in a coffee shop. The sun is out again. Couples in pretty weekend clothes are bustling by with big bags, trying to get to every store in this shopping mecca of coastal Maine.
Some definitions. Alternative: instead of, or a rejection of western biomedicine. Complimentary: free. Complementary: along with. Integrative: merge together. Pretty sure that if you suddenly experience bowel obstruction, you're going to want western biomedicine. A bowel obstruction is excruciatingly painful and is frequently resolved with relatively simple surgery. For sure you'll want some Reiki before, during, and after surgery. Let's integrate.
A former student, now a friend, made me shortbread cookies, liberally doused with powdered sugar.
I was eating one this morning. Working online, nibbling cookies. Was I eager for the sugar or avidly engaged in an intellectual conundrum?
The cookie exploded. Powdered sugar arced and landed on my clothes and glasses. My fingers were poised as if still holding the cookie, likewise covered with white dust. My mind remained online: reading and writing; face glued to computer. Mind engaged, body frozen. Sugared.
The Chairman of the Board walked in to my office. Oh, hello.
I want to haul cement blocks, bark mulch, soil, and plants. I want to watch the leaves emerge and the robins build nests. I want sun, wind, and warm drizzle. Seeds, bulbs, and perennials. Tulips and lilac blossoms.
I remember a child, perhaps a son, perhaps not. He hated transition. Wherever he was, that's where he wanted to be. No where else.
When it was time to move on, he cried and howled. I tried explaining. Described the new locale and why we had to move. OK, he was 2 years old. Explanations were useless. So I would pick him up and plop him, howling, into his car seat and off we'd go.
But I feel for the guy. Feel the same way. Transitions are traumatic.
Right now I'm moving from spring semester to summer. I was teaching 5 classes, now 3. I said goodbye to students. I'm in the office more. I have a cold.
I find myself getting irritated over small things. I'm inflexible. Smells, attitudes, and noises bother me. I feel far from center. It's transition. Time to meditate, do self-Reiki, spend time alone or with people who nourish me. Time in nature. Time to move: twist, stretch, hike, dig, and haul.
Much discussion of insomnia at Reiki practice session tonight.
Our first Reiki practice session. It's open to the public- mostly intended for our local clients and Reiki students. There were 8 of us tonight. Someone asked about insomnia.
People offered solutions, including: increase activity during the day, journal before bed, and listen to music. No one suggested Ambien, melatonin, or chamomile tea. Self-Reiki, of course.
One Reiki master offered this suggestion: a mix of Sufi breathing and visualization with self-Reiki. He said he starts with self-Reiki at the crown chakra, inhales and exhales through his mouth, and visualizes Earth. He breathes 8 times. He moves his hands down through the chakras, breathing and visualizing fire, water, and air.