Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Is Beauty?

 "What is beauty?  Why are some people more beautiful than others?  Is someone really more beautiful than someone else?  Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder?"

These were questions posed by my (very beautiful) teenage niece.   In a world where social media is the dominant means of communication and sharing of lives through photographs, I can honestly say I was not surprised to see her post these questions on Facebook.  So many people today post photographs that reveal their perceptions of what defines true beauty.  Many perceptions are based solely on outward physical appearance, and not on the inward beauty that a post such as hers reveals.  The mere fact that she is contemplating the definition of "beauty" is beautiful in itself.

Is beauty a model who reveals too much of his or her body for a price?  The audience is captured by seductive eyes, glorious hair, or a perfectly toned figure.  In youth, when in top physical condition, truly the human body is a work of art and has inspired many artists to photograph, paint or sculpt.  Is it beautiful to walk down the street and turn heads?  I say no.  True beauty is in the workings of the body, not in the appearance.  The true beauty is in the soul.

True beauty is in the one who reaches out a hand to help another.  One perfect example of beautiful that I can think of is Mother Teresa.  When one gazes upon her photograph, do they see an old woman?  Or do they see the countless lives she helped with her charity?  That, my friend is the definition of beautiful.

A quote from the diary of Mother Teresa, reveals the true beauty she had within:

Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then the comfort of Loreto [her former order] came to tempt me. 'You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again,' the Tempter kept on saying ... Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.
[Spink, Kathryn (1997). Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography. New York. Harper Collins, p.37]

What about Jesus Christ?  He surrounded Himself with the "social outcasts" of His time and offered them peace, hope and love.  He healed the sick, worked many miracles, and fed thousands.  He taught love and giving of oneself for others.  There was no way to photograph Him centuries ago, but when reading the scriptures that tell the stories of His life, one cannot help but see the beauty . . . His beauty is timeless!  John Chapter 1 gives us a picture of the beauty of the Christ:

In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.   The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
~John 1:4-5, NIV

Outward beauty fades with time . . . but the truly beautiful ones are the ones who are beautiful on the inside.  Compassion, kindness, charity, love, forgiveness and grace . . . that is what defines beautiful.  When someone possesses these qualities, it is reflected on the outside, no matter their age or outward "appearance" . . . these qualities make them beautiful.  The real blessing comes from finding something beautiful in everyone we meet, loving them the way God would want you to love them.  The way to do that is to let your light within you shine!  That, my sweet and beautiful niece, is the secret to life . . . to look for the beauty in all of God's creations and to love them.

Behold the true beauty within!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reiki and Animals

The Beauty of Reiki Can Be Bittersweet

I was attuned to Reiki I in August of 2012. During the class, my Reiki Master/Teacher told us it was possible to give Reiki to animals. In fact, even wild animals might come to us for Reiki. It seemed unbelievable at the time, but I was open to the idea. After all, if humans can benefit from Reiki, why not animals? I had no idea at the time what was about to happen to my family and me. The story I am about to tell is very painful for me. It is a testimony to the healing power of Reiki. Before I get into the story, I want to share some very positive and unusual moments I have had with Reiki since I was first attuned.

I have an elderly cat who suffers from arthritis. I first tried Reiki on her within a few weeks of being attuned. She resisted at first, and it seemed that Reiki was a little uncomfortable for her. So I started giving her short Reiki treatments on her head, and later moving down to her shoulders and hips where her arthritis seems to be concentrated. She now moves along a little easier, though she still has stiffness in her hips.

Soon after I began sharing Reiki with her, she started coming to me. She would jump up on the couch and lay in my lap. I placed my hands on her in the same sequence . . . first her head, then her shoulders, then her hips. When she had enough she would stand up, purr in my face and jump down off the couch to find a quiet place to nap. She still comes to me for Reiki treatments a few times a week.

One of my favorite places to sit is outside on the porch swing. I have spent many mornings drinking a cup of coffee and listening to the chirping of the birds. I go out there to soak up a little morning peace. I watch the birds and squirrels from a distance eating from the sunflower feeders. The back yard mornings are usually quite a busy breakfast time for all the critters!

One morning after I was attuned to Reiki I, a wren came and sat on the swing right beside me. My first thought was that I had been sitting there quietly for so long that the wren just didn’t notice that I was there. Perhaps sitting on the swing was also part of the little bird’s morning routine, and she just didn’t notice me… at least not until I was startled by her presence and she flew away. This happened a few times.

Then one morning I was outside going through my morning routine, and a male Blue Jay came and sat on the swing, right beside my head. He was less than a foot away from me. I was absolutely in awe! I just sat there quietly, and he stayed. I couldn’t believe it! In all my life, I have never been so close to any wild bird! I have decided that my Reiki Master/Teacher was correct. This has happened too often since my Reiki attunement to be coincidental.

Now that I have shared the positive side of my experience with Reiki and animals, I will get to the real story . . .

Over the past several years I was in a marriage in which I was isolated from my family, my friends . . . well pretty much the entire world. I had no idea what news had transpired in the world during that time. Emotionally and physically I was a wreck. I hadn’t driven a car in three years; I had no access to money, and I had been walking on a cane for a few years. I had not been in the sun for six years.

I think the only thing that kept me sane were my pets. When I had no one else to talk to, no one else to love or be loved by, I had my pets. When I finally made the decision to get out of the abusive situation I was in, I had to leave behind all my animals, except for one. She was absolutely the sweetest soul I had ever known.

She was born “defective”. Her parents both weighed about 15 pounds, and were about a foot tall from paw to shoulder. She only grew to two pounds adult weight, and was about six inches from paw to shoulder. Her bony little legs were about as big around as a pencil. Honestly, she should never have survived . . . but she did. And she was great company. She was very loyal, and defended me when the opportunity arose. She alerted me whenever she heard a suspicious noise . . . but was usually quiet otherwise…except for the howling! She howled like a little wolf!

She was very intelligent, to have been born “challenged” like she was. She was well trained and well behaved. She loved giving and receiving affection. She even got along well with other animals . . . especially cats! She loved cats! And she absolutely loved the outdoors. She would run through the yard with such a sense of freedom . . . as fast as her little legs would carry her fragile body!

Over the past few weeks she went downhill fast. She started having accidents. Her appetite had gone from ravishing to nothing. I tried several different types of pet food to stimulate her appetite, but nothing worked. My spunky little friend had gone from playful to sleepy in just a few days.

I took her to the vet where she was hospitalized for three days. He ran several tests and found out that she was in renal failure and had problems with her heart valves. It was likely congenital. Her kidneys had either quit producing or perhaps never produced the hormone required to make red blood cells and she needed a blood transfusion. Because of her size this was going to be more like a surgical process, and would only temporarily fix the problem . . . maybe even for just a few days. If the transfusion even worked, she would have to have monthly or even weekly transfusions. She would also have to have weekly shots of the hormone she was lacking, and it might not even work. Regardless of the treatment possibilities, her diagnosis was progressive and terminal. Even with aggressive treatment, she only had a few months, maybe even a few weeks. There was nothing more the vet could do.

It was a tough decision to have to make. She had been my best friend from the day she was born. I decided I could not put her through aggressive therapy that would do nothing for her in the end except make her weak, and keep her at the vet clinic more than she was home, only to give her a few more weeks or months. I wanted more time with her of course, but she was tired and she was ready to go.

I asked the vet if I could bring her home for the night. I had decided that if she made it through the night I would return her the next day to have her put to sleep. I have never had to do this with a pet before. It was a tough decision. The vet was very concerned about letting her come home. He knew that because of the type of diagnosis she had, her passing could be very painful and drawn out for her, and very emotional for me. With tears in his eyes, he offered his personal telephone number so I could call him if things got too tough for her or for me, and he would meet me back at the clinic to ease her suffering. He was very apprehensive about letting her come home, because he felt she would not make it through the night. I could feel his pain as he rubbed her head and told her to hang on through the night, and he would see her tomorrow.

I knew we would not be back . . . she was too weak.

Sylvia was very dear to my soul and was there for me as my only friend when I had no one else. I just could not bring myself to leave my devoted friend alone in her moment of need. I brought her home and I sat on the couch with her curled up in my lap. She stayed wrapped in the towel the vet had provided to carry her home. She was wearing a pet diaper, as she was too weak to make the trip outside. She had only been home about an hour when she let out the worst cry I have ever heard. It sent us all into tears, because we knew she was in pain. I began to feel perhaps I had made a mistake in bringing her home. She had been such a devoted friend; I just didn’t want her to die in a cage alone.

I changed her wet diaper, and immediately started Reiki. I laid my hands on her, wrapping one hand around her ribcage and the other around her low back and stomach. The Reiki immediately began to flow, and this is how we sat for the rest of the night. She did not resist at all. She would occasionally shift her position, and I would move my hands to another location temporarily. I could feel the Reiki flow, increasing and decreasing throughout the next five hours.

Other than the one cry she had let out five hours earlier, she did not suffer. I had to change her diaper a few more times after that painful moment. She rested quietly in my lap, occasionally looking up at me, and looking around at the family when someone would talk to her.

In her final moments, she looked up at me, yawned and stretched, like she always did before she fell asleep. She laid her head down and took her last breath. She left us quietly and resting comfortably. I am so thankful that she did not suffer, as the vet had feared. I had read that Reiki could make passing on a more peaceful experience, but I had no idea that Reiki could allow my beloved Sylvia to be at home in her final moments, surrounded by those who love her, where she could leave us peacefully.

In Loving Memory of Sylvia
February 14, 2009-October 17, 2012 @ 11:57 p.m.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why I Write . . .

About So Many "Different" Healing Concepts

I grew up in a small town with traditional Christian ideas.  I was born into a Christian family with Christian parents.  Their ideas were very rigid and strict, and left no room for my active imagination.   It was their way or no way. This applied not only to beliefs but to actions as well.  The problem with their rigidity was found in the fact that I was born to ask "why" . . . to evaluate, to think and to form my own ideas.  But it wasn't until things started "happening" to me that I realized the "why" in asking why.

The first thing I would like to say is I am very, VERY "Christian" . . . by definition only.   A "Christian" is one who follows the Christ.  And what did Christ teach? He taught forgiveness, love for God and love for mankind.  He taught freedom from the original commandments through Love. Of course that doesn't mean you should break them . . . what it means is that by loving God first, then loving mankind you will automatically keep God's commandments.

Christ taught us to "do unto others" and to "turn the other cheek".  He taught us not to judge, and to surround ourselves with those who need to see God through us.  He taught us that one day we would do greater things than even He did through faith and through the actions of the Spirit of God within us.  He taught us to become vessels through which God can work and that our highest form of obedience is in what God speaks for us to do.  I am obedient to God (well as much as humanly possible anyway), but I am not "obedient" to the doctrines of man.   I do not "conform" to the ideas of the founding forefathers of modern "Christian" doctrines. Quite frankly, most of the verses used to support some of those "doctrines" have been misinterpreted by the ones who formed those doctrines to complete their own agendas, but that is a topic for another day.

So why am I so fascinated with Reiki, shamanic ideology, crystals and the like?  Because I needed it to heal.  It's just that simple.   I asked God for help and this was the answer.  Maybe it's because I am by nature a creature who asks "why" so much, that I want to evaluate, to think and to understand the "why" and the science behind the action.  God knows who I am, and God knows that I was created this way . . . to ask "why" and to have a deeper understanding of the inner workings which produce the outward results of spiritual healing.  I am a curious creature.

It does not matter what you call it, be it "Reiki" or "Shamanism" or "Crystal Healing" . . . it is all energetic medicine.  It all works to effectively heal the soul of man. God is the one Who does the healing, but God chooses to use mankind as effective vessels to do so.  Whether you go to a Physician, a Chiropractor, an Acupuncturist, an Herbalist, a Massage Therapist, a Reiki Practitioner, a Shaman or a Priest for prayer . . . God is the One Who heals.  Where do you think all that knowledge comes from?  It comes from the One Who created us!

Why Reiki?

Reiki is literally translated from words, "rei" and "ki". "Rei" is "Spirit" or "God-breathed" or "soul"; and "ki" is "life-force" or "energy".  It is simply a Japanese word given to describe the "why" of what was happening during the founder's epiphany of how to heal.  He asked God and was given an answer. He laid his hands on people and they were healed . . . not by him but by the God-breathed life force energy that flowed through him.   Sometimes they were literally and physically healed, sometimes they were "energetically" or spiritually healed . . . but they were healed.

What About Shamans?

What does a Shaman do anyway?  A Shaman has an unbelievable working knowledge of the invisible world of Spirit.  It takes years to be a Shaman. Actually "shamans" typically do not call themselves as such, rather the community gives them the name.  The Shaman works within the realm of the invisible to get visible results.  A Shaman works to heal the soul (which cannot literally be seen by most) within this invisible world and the healing that takes place can be seen by all.

One thing a Shaman does is rid the body of "negative attachments".   Sounds "vaguely" familiar to me. I believe they were called "demons" in the Good Book.  There was a man who was living among the tombs who called himself "Legion", because he had many "demons".  Everyone could see the isolated and violent, naked life he was living, but no one could see why.  Yeshua cast them out (removed them), and this man was able to live a normal life and leave his violent life of self-mutilation behind.  Yeshua removed the (multiple) negative entities, the man was healed and people knew it.  After he was healed, the man was asked to go tell his family what had happened . . . to be a witness to the healing power of God.

What About Crystals?

The Bible mentions the use of crystals in the Breastplate of Righteousness worn by the Levitical Priesthood of the Old Testament. These crystals were worn as a representation of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. No further use is mentioned other than the symbolic representation of the Twelve Tribes. It is theoretically possible that there was a purpose in the use of these particular stones.  Why did God instruct the Priest to wear them?  I am currently working on a study of these stones, their historical significance and their metaphysical properties.  Watch for the article on my blog post, as am still working on the study.

Here's what God instructed for the Breastplate of Righteousness:
And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be
set in gold in their enclosings.  Exodus 28:15-20, KJV.

There is a stunning parallel to the gemstones worn in the Breastplate of Righteousness and the gemstones that make up the structure of the Heavenly City:

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.  Revelation 21:19-20, KJV.

What if the Healing Doesn't Work?

So why doesn't it work sometimes?   It certainly isn't the healer's fault.  The healer has nothing to do with it, because all healers are vessels through which God works whether they know it or not.  God's Spirit is like the wind, it blows where it wishes.  It cannot be seen, but it can be heard and felt, and you know when it's been there.  Sometimes the answer to healing is "no," or "not yet".

Remember Paul and his "thorn of the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)?  Three times he asked to be healed and he was denied.  Why?  Because he needed a "buffer" to control his ego, that's why.   So sometimes when we want healing and don't get it, it's because there's a life lesson involved.  Maybe we need to slow down, maybe we need to check our "ego".  Ask God what the lesson is in your "thorn of the flesh" (your illness).  Maybe God is trying to teach us something, or maybe it's just our time to go.   Perhaps we've done all we can in this lifetime and it's time to go Home.

Seek to Understand.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Archangel Meditation to Cut Ties With Your Past

When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.  Ralph Ellison.

Many individuals have a painful past filled with hurt or disappointment.  We tend to hold on to that pain and for whatever reason we have difficulty "moving on".  Many of us cannot move past that which has brought us pain.  It may be due to lack of forgiveness, and often times we find that forgiving is not the same as forgetting.

This is particularly true for abuse survivors.  And in many ways, they still remain victims.  They re-live the trauma often weekly, sometimes daily, and almost always nightly in their dreams.  Many "outsiders" wonder why they just can't move on.

Why do survivors still live in constant fear even when the threat is gone?  Perhaps they just have not made a conscious effort or set their intention to "cut ties" with the past. Could it really be that simple?  Is there a way to take a step toward the direction of healing?

The truth is, there is no magical or instantaneous cure for past hurts.  We can not simply make a vanishing cream to make it all disappear.  But we can be proactive in the healing process.  We can make ourselves a promise to do whatever it takes to let go and love others and ourselves . . . and follow through!

Source: Chaos

There is a simple "ritual" or meditation to cut the ties with the ones in your past who've hurt you.  It works with the idea that when we get close to someone, we "connect" with them.  Not just figuratively, we LITERALLY connect with them on a spiritual level.  We are bonded with them on an energetic level and the energy exchange "pulls at our heart-strings" so to speak until we (or they) let go.

The invisible rope is called an ethereal cord, and these cords connect us with those whom we allow into our personal or intimate space.  We don't do it consciously, and although some may feel it intuitively, many individuals are completely unaware of this intimate energetic connection.

To perform this cord-cutting meditation you must ask from a place of love and not out of anger, bitterness or resentment.  This can be a hard thing to do when we have been hurt.  If you have not done so, confirm verbally to the universe that you forgive the individual(s) and release yourself from the grip of your past.  There is no need to name the individuals or events.  This is an exercise in letting go, not re-living!

Begin your meditation by proclaiming your intention for the highest good.  Your intention should be not only to set yourself free, but to set the other individual(s) free as well.  Verbally speak from the heart your own version of the prayer below:

I ask Archangel Michael (the Protector) to cut all unhealthy energetic cords for me:

  • all the ones that are keeping me tied to the negative parts of my past
  • all the ones that are draining me and keeping me there
  • all the ones that are keeping me from moving on
I ask that I am guided and protected as I form boundaries for healthy, loving relationships from this moment forward.
Include any specific or extra areas you are intuitively guided to address.  Trust the process and understand that you are being released from the bondage of past hurts.  Healthy, loving relational connections will be left intact and connected.

When performing this meditation, be aware of the various emotions or sensations you may experience:

  • Strange or unusual physical sensations such as tugging or pulling
  • Waves of feelings or strong emotions such as sadness and joy
  • Awareness of energetic shifts or feeling lighter
  • Flashes of memories as they are released

Do not be surprised if you experience a flash of memories. You may experience images in your mind of people from the past, people who have hurt you over the years.  Do not be surprised by the image "line-up" even if it includes not only the those who've hurt you but others as well!  Let them go, and allow loving and healthy connections to be re-established with personal boundaries in place.

I have heard stories from friends who have performed this ritual about their own personal experiences.  One particular story stood out to me.  This individual described a particularly gnawing twitch right in the center of her back.  The first thing I though of was the phrase, "stabbed in the back," like when you have been betrayed.  The sensation passed, as the meditation was completed.

Remember:   During your meditation, simply trust the process.  Afterward, express gratitude for the ability to let go and set healthy boundaries.  As you move forward, remain aware that you are no longer "tied" to your past.  Be aware that you only participate in healthy relationships.  Feel your freedom!