What am I looking for?

This blog post about what food is not is exactly what I needed to hear.

I've been giving food a lot of credit lately for lots of different things, mainly hiding emotions, or causing me to be one way or another.

After reading that post, however I'm reminded that food is nourishment. That's it! It's the fuel my body needs to run on. Any resulting emotion that seemingly comes *from* the food is purely psychological. Food can't do that, only I can.

I know I have an addiction to food, and it's something that tortures me left and right—when I allow it. I'm hoping to be able to ask myself "what am I looking for" before stuffing my face with anything I know to lack the nutrients and health by body needs from a food.

Food = fuel.

I've been eating a lot more heavy, grainy, nutty foods lately and I've convinced myself that it has to do with the changing seasons, and changing life. I've allowed it, because it seems to be the way it is, and whenever I resist I get cranky and crazy and unpleasant to be around. Plus, resisting food has never been easy for me.

That post on Choosing Raw was really inspiring to me. It made me WANT to eat healthier. It made me WANT to eat pears for lunch. It helped me realize how much power I was letting food have over me. I want to take that power back.

My body needs carbohydrate calories from fresh fruits, and enzymes from raw foods, and water, and love.

A bagel with peanut butter doesn't give me any of that. What does a bagel and peanut butter give me? A heavy stomach, a foggy mind, a general feeling of slug that seems to drain the energy from my body while digesting. Where's the fuel there? There is none. NONE I SAY!

kansha shite

I've been working on incorporating the five Reiki principles more into my daily life. Right now, gratitude seems to be the most prominent of the five. Perhaps because it needed the most work.

On the drive into work this morning, I turned on my i-pod, and it just began playing whatever it wanted. Sometimes it does this. I accept it and just think of it as the universe telling me what it wants me to hear, rather than my selecting what to listen too. This morning it wanted me to listen to a zencast podcast by Gil Fronsdal about Gratitude.

I have a lot to be grateful for each day—I believe we all do. There are the obvious things like the food we eat, our friends, family and pets, and the roof we have over our heads. It's important to acknowledge these things, and express our thanks for them, even if it's only to ourselves. The act of thankfulness can bring inner peace and calmness while allowing us to be with the act of thanking while it's happening. I'm learning to practice this more and more each day. Every moment brings something to be thankful for.

But what about the less pleasant aspects of our lives like, having to work a 9-5 job, or an argument, or when something doesn't go the way we anticipate, or a tragedy? It's often easy to be so wrapped up in the drama of something, that we forget to take a step back and view the situation from the larger point of view. Many times an unpleasant event can open doors to something new and wonderful. We may not always see that right away, especially if we're wrapped up in the drama. But if we can pull ourselves away from the drama for long enough to think of the situation as a gift, with its wonder and beauty yet to unfold, we can bring more peace and acceptance to what has happened.

How do we pull ourselves away from the drama?
I tend to bring myself into the moment by breathing and witnessing where there is tension in my body. Our bodies are always in the moment—here and now. They can never be in the past or future. This makes them the perfect tool for bringing ourselves into the truth of what is happening right now, and can allow us to experience what-is rather than the what-if thoughts that may be flowing through our minds.

The tension that can arise in our bodies can often be a distracting way to deny or reject what's happening. By watching the responses and reactions in our bodies, it's often easier to relax and accept more of what we're experiencing.

Today I'm thankful for:
• the fresh fruits and veggies provided with love by the earth
• clean drinking water
• warm clothes and heat
• the changing leaves and cool autumn weather
• the emotional challenges presented by friends and family
• Reiki
• the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, touch and feel
• intuition and faith

What are you thankful for?

Life's funny way

What do I want to do with Reiki? I've asked myself this question a few times since my attunement, and I keep coming back to animals. Animals are so innocent, pure-hearted, and don't force expectations and attachments like people do.

I'm really hesitant to work with people, because so many of us subconsciously concentrate on the messenger rather than the message—an "I point at the moon, they look at my finger" sort of thing. Throughout my life I have been hesitant about being too open with people, because they always seem to attach themselves to me, then form expectations. And that stresses me out. So, animals seem to be a better match for me.

In reading more and more about animals and reiki, I've been seeing a lot of information about animal communicators. Wouldn't that be great—to be able to communicate to our furry friends? I've been looking into how one can improve one's ability to do this. Supposedly, we're all born with the ability, but it is suppressed when we're young.

During my Reiki attunement class, Starr mentioned something to me, that I've been keeping in the back of my mind. I'm unsure what it means, and I'm trying not to set any meaning in stone. Because how would I ever really know if it was true? I'm keeping open about it. She said that there is a collie-looking dog around me, a spirit dog—brown, black and white. I can think of two dogs who may fit that description. One is my mom's dog, a Sheltie named Shellie. The other is my friend's dog Icarus. He's a German Shepard, Collie mix. Both are brown, black and white. Or maybe it's neither of them... Who knows.

Anyway. I had been stuck on the idea that I wouldn't be able to work with animals until I received my level 2 attunement. That may be true, as many animals are uncomfortable with hands-on healing, so distance healing may be ideal for those animals. But I'm not sure I still need Level 2 to be able to hone my animal talking abilities. I'm sure I can begin to work on that where I am now.

I have to admit, there's been a little grieving since I decided to hold off on going to Level 2. It was something I had really been looking forward to, and I am a little sad that it won't be as soon as I was anticipating. I went through a phase yesterday wondering if I should just let go of Reiki all-together. But I am now appreciating Level 1 more for what it is, rather than just a stepping stone to Level 2.

Around 4AM I awoke with a terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE ache in my abdomen, near my third chakra. I'm calling it a gas bubble, for lack of any other understanding of what it might have been. I was in and out of the restroom for hours. Each time I stood up, and wandered away from the bed, it hurt and hurt until I laid back into bed. Reiki brought me momentary feelings of peace throughout the morning. I held my hands over the area that hurt, sometimes the gas bubble felt as if it was shifting. I'd follow it with my hands, following the painful feelings. After a little while, the pain would subside and I'd fall back to sleep. About an hour later I'd awaken from the pain again and the cycle would continue. Around 10AM I was able to fall asleep and STAY asleep until about 2PM. I feel as though I got through this pretty quickly, and relatively painlessly compared to a similar experience I had months ago. I'm really thankful to have the Reiki to have helped me through it.

So, what inspired me to write this blog post?
I'm feeling a bit better, so I thought to check one of my e-mail accounts. I get these daily e-mails from Care2, and sometimes I read them, sometimes I don't. This morning's subject line read: "Sex and Alzheimer's, Fermenting Vegetables at Home, If Animals Could Talk -- your custom newsletter". While the first 2 topics aren't of much interest to me, when I read "If Animals Could Talk" I was intrigued.

I scrolled down the page to find it, and opened it up. Look what I saw. 

Did that give you chills? I got them. After reading through the article, I really began thinking of how the universe speaks to us. It's through messages like these. I really feel that this is a sort of inspiring message that I'm thinking down the right path, and that I should pursue learning how to speak with animals, and share Reiki with them.

Exploring horizontally.

James has been having a little bit of a hard time adjusting to my venturing into Reiki. I understand how something spiritually new can be frightening and daunting to some.

He often speaks of a spiritually metaphorical fence. There are two sides to this fence, and on each side we can be close to or far away from the fence. On either side, the further we are from the fence, the less we can relate to the people on the other side. He tends to stay near the fence once he's on a new side of it, in order to relate his new experiences to those on the other side… to help them to understand how to continue moving forward.

I however, don't often think to stay near the fence, and often notice myself wandering further and further away from the fence out of curiosity without really being aware of how my wandering may hurt or confuse those by the fence, especially those who want to stay near me and relate to my experiences.

I think I do this because of my faith, and trust in spirituality. I know deep down in my heart that Spirit and the spirit world won't harm me in any way that I can't deal with—that all things handed to me are working toward the highest goal for mySelf. If I become hurt, it's because I get stuck someplace, and I need to wiggle and move around, figuring out what it is that's sticking me until I understand it and break free from its grasp. But that that doesn't hurt me. It's a lesson learned, not something I resent or am bitter about.

So, because of this trust, I feel I can wander freely, deeper and deeper away from the fence. But for the sake of those I love, who aren't yet on this side of the metaphorical fence, or are not in a place where they're ready to venture far from it, I'm choosing to linger where I am for longer to more deeply understand where I'm at, and to help James to understand it also. I feel we will both grow from my staying put. Well, "staying put" isn't really the right term... it's more like staying vertically where I am, but maintaining exploration horizontally—giving myself the opportunity to see things I may miss if I progress too quickly.

I decided to become attuned to Reiki to help people—mainly the people I love. If my choosing to advance and change too quickly does just the opposite of help, then I'd better re-evaluate my plan. For now, I'll enjoy all that Level 1 Usui has blessed me with, and be patient for another, more perfect time when Level 2 calls my name.

yoga and reiki

I went to yoga this morning for the first time since Reiki entered my life, and I was amazed at what it felt like. I arrived to class 10 minutes earlier and gave myself a mini chakra cleansing before going into class. I sat in meditation until Lorraine entered. I asked my guides to be with me and help to make today's practice perfect for what I need right now, and I blessed each of the other students.

During the class I felt light and joyful—playful and mischievous. Such a difference from the heavy, serious me who's been practicing recently.

With each passing day, the reiki seems to become more noticeable and stronger—more easily recognized and usable. I was listening to a Sons of the Law of One podcast this morning, and I became inspired to eventually get to Master/Teacher to help Reiki spread throughout the world. There are many people who I know who would benefit greatly from an attunement, but who cannot afford it, or are in fear of working with a stranger. My MOM wants to learn how to do it. Can you believe that? When I was working on my sister, she FELT the energy and it totally blew her mind. She was so excited about the idea of using something like that to help heal my step-father. We all know he could use it, and my mom and sister would all benefit too.

I just love the idea of being able to attune others—to bring this gift into other peoples lives. It really is a gift. I feel humbled and honored for having received it. I'm more aware, more open, more at peace than I've ever been with myself.

Anyway... I'm rambling about Reiki. It's all I can think about these days.
I hope you have a fantastically, glowing, beautiful day.
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