This morning, as I was enjoying my coffee, the fire alarm started blaring in the hallway in my condo. I looked in the hallway expecting the usual false alarm, but instead saw a haze of smoke and neighbours trying to figure out the source.
The fire department had been called and I could already hear the sirens from the nearby station (Can I just give a heartfelt shout out to the Calgary Fire Department! So grateful!). I launched into emergency mode and gathered the items that were important in that instant. My pet parrot, Mango, our laptops and cables, the baby pictures, purse, keys, jacket, Reiki class bag. Called my husband to pick me up. Son, safely at school.
I was operating on adrenaline and yet oddly clear headed. The whole time I kept hearing, “That is replaceable. You are not.” Even those things that we think we cannot live without are really nothing compared to our own wellbeing. I took relatively few things with me and I would have taken even fewer if the smoke was any worse.
In the end, it was mostly just smoke, with no damage at all to my unit. But in the middle of it all, and, thankfully, no real world fire experience, it prompted a genuine fear response. The kind of boost of adrenaline that allows you to get away from danger.
After we were allowed to return, after the carbon monoxide levels had returned to low levels, I acknowledged that I was still reeling from the rush. Knowing what I do about the nature of stress, I wanted to return to my normal state as soon as I could.
I put on some essential oil blends that I made for each of the Reiki symbols and I texted and few of my practitioner peeps to ask for some distance Reiki. I told them my intention, “All is well. I am irreplaceable. I am loved.”, and I settled myself in to receive a session. Several people immediately responded and I felt the energy flowing and releasing. After about an hour of resting and receiving Reiki I felt back to normal.
More than that, I felt the energy healing old injuries and moments in the past where I also had a flood of adrenaline in my system.
So, as always I have a new appreciation for Reiki. Every session and every experience has something new to teach me.
I am so much more than my possessions. I am rich in the relationships I have with amazing people. I am grateful for the kind and capable firefighters that are just a few blocks away. I am immensely grateful for my family and all of my many, many blessings.
The clearest lessons are often unplanned.
Travelling is wonderful. The challenge of the journey creates a present, mindfulness that sharpens your experience.
The trick is to keep the same attentiveness in your day to day life that you would if you knew that you only had two weeks left on the vacation clock. Ticking away.
The truth is… you don’t really know. You don’t know how long your journey to earth will be. There is no guarantee of an old age.
Rather than freak out or forget this concept – seek the middle road – stay attentive, open, learning, witnessesing, absorbing, savour all of life and truly live.
The fifth Reiki Ideal is “Be kind to your neighbour and every living thing“. Often I find that people in my classes do not need any help in being kind and compassionate to others. They offer their love and support and time to anyone and everyone. Except one. Themselves.
There is something about being kind to ourselves where we stumble and fall short. Our kind and loving nature is externally focused. By focusing outside of the self, it is far more likely that we come to expect that external conditions will satisfy our inner needs. We vacate our own emotional house, so to speak, and leave its care and maintenance to others.
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
I recently went through our vast music collection. I wanted to put together a few songs that lifted my heart and made my toes tap. Maybe even a few that make me shimmy and shake. I put together an Uplift Mix. What a lovely meandering through my past. Each song reminded me of where I was when I was listening to them, but also how far I have come.
Pump up the volume – M/A/R/R/S
I could remember the best moments of my life, the saddest moments, and everything inbetween. Some songs have always been there for me. My favorite is Little Wing, by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s song. It always seems to release whatever emotion is within me. If I am sad, his licks are so terribly mournful; if I am happy, each phrase is more joyful than the last. This one song has got me through so many things in life. Just music. Simply listening to one song. It changes everything. It heals.
Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
I encourage you to dust off those old vinyl jackets, scan through your collection, and make yourself a modern day mixtape of your favorites. It is transformative!
Rest in peace is a blessing we say for our dearly departed, but I have begun to ponder its deeper meaning. I have weathered my share of grieving in the past few years and I will be on my way to another funeral for a family member in the next few days. We wish them peace. But I often wonder if we are really the ones in need of peace. Nothing brings you face to face with your mortality faster than a funeral. The person that has passed is on the other side, in the world of Spirit, so they have already got what we are yearning for, peace in the heart.
I often say to my students to take their own good advice they offer to another. So, as I stand here in my physical world, I reach toward a place of stillness within my own heart and mind. In the very centre, there is a deep and vast well of peace. It is spacious and expansive, nurturing and healing.
Death teaches us how to live. I think the sole goal of a successful life is to have a huge funeral with standing room only. In the end, it is not our accomplishments, titles, or possessions that matter, it is the number of hearts we have uplifted and lives we have touched. So today I choose to think a thought of peace and listen to the still voice of wisdom that lives in my heart.
Disbelief. Grief. Worry. Sadness. Helplessness.
These are just a few of the emotions I felt watching the waters of the Bow and Elbow Rivers rise rapidly over the last few days.
How rapidly? Like nothing we have ever seen in recent history.
My scientist’s brain leapt to the data and I saw some staggering hydrographs showing how fast the rivers were increasing.
Being nice is not the same as being compassionate or spiritual. The best lesson for anyone on a sacred journey to enlightenment is to learn how and when to say no.
When we say yes to please others, and hopelessly overcommit ourselves, we actually are saying no. We don’t realize that when we say yes to the frivolous, we are saying no to the real. Our dreams, our hearts, our dearest loved ones are the ones we say no to, when we say yes to busy-ness, compulsive pleasing, and inauthentic authority figures.
Saying no is scary. It had me terrified for a very long time. I had to eventually realize that I was the authority in my own life. Only I know what is best for me. Learning to say no in a firm, clear and loving way is a skill I had to learn.
I study my friends who have mastered it the way others study art or cooking. I collect examples of how to elegantly say no. A scrapbook of beautiful boundaries. I see each memory of a beautiful no as wonderful moment of ‘yes’. I know that when my friends tell me no they are saying yes to a deeper part of themselves. For that I am grateful.
If all pain caused by another only happens because they themselves are in pain, then there is no end the chain of blame. There is also little use in travelling far down that route. Blaming is not fixing.
Compassion is the route I pick when I hear about something terrible in the news. Having a compassionate attitude has helped me to stay positive and focus on solutions to issues I see in the world.
I am relishing this spring. So many things are coming together. There are sprouts of green all around me. It is a traditional time for clearing house.
I am swept along in the energy of the season.
Happily, I am letting go. But even more I am happily making room for good to flow in.
I love creating sacred spaces. I have a sense of what enhances the energy of a space and how much simple shifts make big differences. My plan is to transform every room in our small house into sacred space.
It all started with a discussion with my husband about what to do with the piles of paper on the kitchen table, which doubles as our desk. He said that our table is sacred. It really is the heart of a home. We bought a small bonsai ficus for a centre piece and we both make the effort to clear it off daily and have dinner together.
From there the energy has expanded to other areas and we are slowly shifting many things in our living spaces and our lives. It is a wonderful intertwining of inner changes creating outer changes, which create more inner changes.