Wednesday, December 30, 2015

a cup of tea

according to Thich Nhat Hanh, attention reminds my mind that I have a body. Attention is mindfulness: peace, joy, & concentration. Pay attention to your breathing or to drinking a cup of tea. Smile, drink tea, find joy.

source: Shambala Sun, Jan 2016, p. 57.

is it OK to send distance Reiki when I have a cold?

not a trick question. Not a joke. Always wondered. I hesitate to send Reiki if I'm sick or feel off-center; I like to be my best self when I share Reiki with others. That's one reason Reiki inspires me to be as healthy as I can be. I want to be my healthiest best self because I believe I'm part of this process of sharing Reiki. I believe that as a nurse, and a Reiki practitioner, I interact energetically with my clients.

I don't see myself as merely a pipe or a vessel.
I'm alive.
My attention alters the energy.
I interact with the energy and with my clients.

Do you agree?

Or do you believe that sharing Reiki is a passive process? Sure, I step back, take my ego out. Get into the flow. Relax and just be. Detach from the outcome. Check, got it, been there, done that. But then. Then I disappear? If my energy has nothing to do with Reiki, then why can't a student get attuned from a book or online? Isn't Reiki alchemy? The magic of connection and love, also known as universal life force energy; isn't my energy a small part of the magic? Or perhaps you believe that the practitioner is completely insignificant.

Researchers know that observation alters the outcome. Just being there changes the situation. Attention affects results: the Hawthorne effect, the observer effect. Can we generalize this to Reiki?

When I get a psychic reading, I know that the information is filtered through the medium's life experiences and education. The medium interprets visions through the context of her life. She uses her own language to express what she sees and knows. The information comes through, but is altered by the medium, the channel.

When I'm on the table at a Share, I can discern differences in energy of the various practitioners. I can feel energy. Your energy feels different from hers, from hers, from his. Yet everyone is sharing Reiki. So if it's passive, if we're pipes, individually insignificant, and we're all sharing Reiki, why does one person's energy feel different from another's?

Anyway. When I send, I like to send from my best self. That's why I eat nutritious food, sleep well, and exercise. That's why I meditate, do self-Reiki, and practice yoga. That's why I work on my social relationships. I want to be healthy. I want to send from my peaceful centered self. Same with sharing, or hands-on. I want to be my best healthiest self, a clear channel for Reiki. A therapeutic presence for another person.

Reiki does no harm. So I'm sure it will not harm anyone if I send when I have a cold. I don't imagine that I'm sending germs, or giving someone an etheric virus.

So this is the part that confuses me. I hesitate to send when I'm ill. Why? Not sure. Trying to figure it out. Why the hesitation? I wonder if I should send if it's not my best. I worry that I'll somehow knock an ion off it's axis or something weirdly quantum like that, even though just for today I will not worry. And a little Reiki is better than no Reiki. Still, that one wonky ion. I worry that if it's not my best then it's not good enough. I imagine that if I'm sick I'll warp the energy.

I worry too much, obviously. And ask too many questions.

I did a quick poll among other practitioners and no one else seems to feel the way I do. Outlier.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Principles and practice

Principles are the foundation of Reiki: living the principles facilitates connection to source, is a path to enlightenment.

Hands-on (with others) is a blissful merging into the flow, sharing the experience of the energy, and hopefully an inducement to others to become  students of Reiki.

These are the principles I learned from my teachers: 
Just for today, do not anger. 
Do not worry.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders. 
Earn your living honestly, in a way that benefits others. 
Respect all living things; everything is alive.

These are the principles, as rewritten by some of my students. I love this update.

Just for today:
Have faith.
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders. 
Earn your living honestly, in a way that benefits others. 
Respect all living things; everything is alive. Be grateful.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

August from My Desk

My favorite poem.

August from My Desk – Roland Flint 

It is hot today, dry enough for cutting grain, 
and I am drifting back to North Dakota 
where butterflies are all gone brown with wheat dust. 

And where some boy, 
red-faced, sweating, chafed, 
too young to be dying this way 
steers a laborious, self-propelled combine, 
and dreams of cities, and blizzards— 
and airplanes. 

With the white silk scarf of his sleeve 
he shines and shines his goggles, 
he checks his meters, checks his flaps, 
screams contact at his dreamless father, 
and, engines roaring, 
he pulls back the stick 

and hurtles into the sun. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Laryngitis x 4 days. I can whisper, but when I try to speak I squeak and wheeze. I sound like Chewbacca.

How can I order home heating oil? Go grocery or Christmas shopping? Volunteer at the cancer center? Go to holiday parties?  I can't do any of those things. I can't speak. Oh, and I have all the usual cold symptoms too: coughing, sneezing, sinus stuff. Usual life is cancelled or postponed.

I'm stuck at home. I did a 1000 piece puzzle, read the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan novel series (4 books), mended a dress, spun alpaca fleece, read spiritual articles, wrapped Christmas presents, ordered presents online, watched a movie, and cleaned. I rested. I drank fluids continually: water and herbal tea. I took ibuprofen, echinacea, and elderberry. As good as Silver Lining Playbook, the movie, is; I like the book even more. Watched it, read it. Did laundry, wrote Christmas cards, listened to the radio.

Tomorrow I will drink water and herbal tea. I'll read a book, spin, and rest. I'll try to speak. Maybe tomorrow I'll sound like C-3PO.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


My grandson likes to converse. He's 1.75 years old. We were hanging out, just talking. He doesn't have an abundance of words, speakwise, but he understands a lot.  I started to tell him about the endocrine system. He stuck a foot in my lap and wiggled his toes, wanting "This little piggy went to market..." instead. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

eggy friends

It was her idea, so of course he went along with it. He loves her. 16 of them.

The chicks, multicolored balls of down, had their own room and a light bulb for heat. No dogs allowed. I feel like I was there, I remember seeing them, but when would that have been? Perhaps it was photos and descriptions.

They grew up. He named them all, calls them his girls, his ladies. Built a coop and moved them outside. Tends them. They come running when they see him, greet him when he gets home from work. Sometimes one extremely strong adventurous lady flies out, but can't get herself back in. She runs to him and he lifts and drops her back home.

The first eggs were gelatinous. The next ones had shells, but were tiny. Now the ladies lay big fine eggs. Mostly brown shells, some green.

Sometimes I buy them lunch: my excellent friends, not the ladies. I buy lunch and my friends bring me extra eggs and we don't keep track of who owes who but I'm pretty sure I'm luckiest.

Friday, December 11, 2015

b resting face

Have you seen that popular YouTube video, Resting B Face? Or maybe it's B Resting Face.

Anyway. I show it to nursing students every year. Tell them part of being a great nurse is being able to communicate compassion. Tell them if they have RBF they can overcome it with learned behaviors.

Noticed a trend this semester. Identified an association. Realized that most of these young women with RBF have been medicated since childhood, medicated for ADD, ADHD, or depression. Now they have flat affects, expressionless outside, but highly sensitive inside. Interesting, right? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

hot metal tools

Went for a trim. You know, for the hair on my head.  Take off an inch. Keep the same style, or not, I don't really care and I leave that to the professionals.

She came at me with a hot metal tool. I cringed. "Ceramic," she sternly informed me. She disapproved of my hair: parted in the middle, curving in on one side and fluffing out on the other. So she straightened it, pulled it, burned it, flattened it, cut it. Voila.

It did look good. Sleek, sharp, blunt, straight, chic. It won't ever look like that again, unfortunately, as I'm more of a wash & done kind of person. It did look good. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Do you

see people's energy? I do sometimes. See, hear, and feel it. One person I know has loud jangling sharp yellow and brown cacophonous energy. All odd angles and sharp edges. Overpowering, like a Kandinsky painting. I can't hear when she's near. 

Some have warm heart energy: slow, peaceful, accepting, listening, & loving. They sing Earth songs and listen to the wind. Spending time in their energy is like being in a garden where flowers grow and bloom. Monet.

Water-Lilies 24 - Claude Oscar Monet -

Saturday, December 5, 2015


I went happily to a work holiday party. I had my gift and my grapes: a modest gift to swap and grapes for the potluck. I had a special beautiful hand-made plate.

Grapes are easy: just wash and arrange. It's what I bring when I can't find the time for something more elaborate. Thanksgiving I made three pumpkin cheesecakes and one pumpkin pie in a chocolate crust. Took me days to make them. I roasted a sugar pumpkin and a buttercup squash. Cooled, pureed, mixed, baked, cooled.

I didn't have days. I usually work 50+ hours/week. I brought grapes. Unfortunately not organic.

Arrived. The door was locked. Huh? I waited, called, no answer. Finally someone came to open the door. She seemed harried.

Arrived at the lobby. People rushed by and glanced, making quick shallow smiles. People seemed busy.

I wandered to the kitchen to wash and arrange the grapes. Set down my bags and coat. There were many people in the kitchen: stirring, setting out food and plates. No one spoke to me. I went to the sink to wash the grapes and heard someone say, "Well I would if she'd get out of the way." I looked back and two people were staring at me. People seemed annoyed.

I set the plate of grapes with the rest of the food, gathered my bags and coat and prepared to leave. As I started for the door my friend D walked in. I don't know what my face looked like, but she asked, "What's the matter?'

"I'm leaving."

"Why? Oh wait, I know, I feel it too. C'mon, let's go do some Reiki."

Reiki time. Afterwards I felt washed and aired out in the sunshine.

"You're an empath," she told me. All those people were stressed and you felt it. That's all. It's hard to be in crowds, and even harder when you feel their stress."

Empath? Oh. I thought I was an anemone.

Friday, December 4, 2015



drink: water
song: breezes, birdsong, waves
sound: grandson's voice
flower: peony
stone: amethyst