Sunday, July 28, 2013

Animals Like Reiki?!?

Animals can also benefit from Reiki! 


I participate in a Reiki Clinic at a local metaphysical shop and we had our first pet client at the last get together. It was amazing to watch him relax and enjoy the energy! When he had enough, he sat up. Try offering Reiki to animals at your local animal shelter!

For more information, please visit:  

"Approaching Animals With Reiki" by All Creatures Reiki.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How Should I Prepare for a Long Road Trip on a Harley?

Okay, so I admit it!  I really, REALLY do not know the answer to that question!  For me, our upcoming trip out West is going to be several "firsts" for me . . .

It will be:
  • the longest vacation I've ever had (three weeks)
  • the farthest I have ever gone away from home (2,000+ miles one way)
  • the most miles I have ever "logged" on a motorcycle
  • the lightest I have ever (EVER) packed for any trip

Okay, it's true . . . the last one really concerns me!  On a motorcycle, there is definitely limited space . . . no trunk for a suitcase!  And a vacation trip for three weeks for two people usually requires multiple pieces of luggage!  When planning for a trip like the one we are taking, you start to realize quickly that there are certain things of absolute necessity and other things are just going to have to be left behind!



We are camping, so there goes a HUGE chunk of space!  Must have a tent and sleeping bags!  We've managed to find some pretty "compact" camping equipment to put on the bike.  We'll pack two Chinook Sleeping bags that roll up to about the size of a bath towel.  (Oh gosh!  We've got to pack towels too . . . )  We don't have the mummy bag type, but traditional rectangular bags that we can zip together for a sleeping bag built for two!  ; )  Anyway, they're rated to 50 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so they're not going to protect us in an Arctic freeze!  But considering the entire United States is in a heat wave pushing 100 degrees, I'm sure we'll be fine!

The tent we got . . . well, I've got to admit . . . it's questionable!  HA!  We picked it up at a local outdoor shop . . . it's made specifically for backpacking so it's lightweight and compact.  Really, REALLY compact!  The sales associate set it up in the (very crowded) store and the first thing I thought was . . . there's NO WAY we'll fit in that thing!  Where's my stuff gonna go?  HA!  The footprint of the tent is probably smaller than the sleeping bag . . . and forget about standing up (max height is 36 inches)!   Anyway, we went with The North Face Meso Two-person tent . . . I'll let you know how THAT goes!  HA!  Good thing I'm not planning on packing much else!  At least we've got our shelter arranged . . . we'll be eating out so no need to worry about food . . . so what am I going to wear?

Yeah, I'm one of "those" girls!  HA!  And for the first time in my life EVER, when I say, "I don't have a thing to wear" . . . It'll actually be TRUE!  Well, I will have chaps, my helmet, a jacket, and my Harley boots!  An absolute must for safety on such a long bike trip!  Multiply that times two for my husband (we're riding together on his Harley) and that equals even less space!  Are you starting to see my dilemma?  We have two saddle bags and a tour pack on the back with a "luggage rack" (hahaha)!   Oh, and we've got to have rain gear also (pants and a jacket times two).

We will be staying in hotels along the way and also for the first week while we tour the Yellowstone National Park area.  After that, it's game on for roughing it!  The campground we're staying in will have showers (I'm hoping with air hand dryers . . . I mastered the art of drying my hair with a hand-dryer while camping earlier this year)!  It also has a HUGE swimming pool, so I must pack a swim suit and sunscreen!

I've managed to decide on my "bare minimum" wardrobe list:
  • two pair of jeans (the ones I'll be wearing and an extra pair)
  • two pair of shorts
  • a swim suit
  • three tank tops (takes up minimum space and at least I'll not be wearing the same shirt every other day!)
  • skivvies and socks
  • one pair of flip-flops
  • pajama shorts
  • a swim suit cover-up that conveniently looks like a dress  ; )

Thank goodness the campground has laundry facilities . . . and Purex makes a laundry product that is laundry detergent and fabric softener in a sheet (very compact and spill-proof)!

For toiletries, I'll be multi-purposing some of my goodies.  I've got hair half-way down my back, therefore I cannot possibly get by with trial-sized hair products.  So I've decided that I will use my shampoo as body wash, and my conditioner as shaving cream (it actually works well for that).  I've managed to streamline my make-up bag into smaller than pencil-case size by going with an au naturale look!  Lotion, mascara and Burt's Bees cherry lip balm for a hint of color!  Everything else I am taking is trial-sized to save space.   I've been collecting micro-sized everything I need to still "feel like a girl" while camping . . . I've been doing that for several months now.  Some things are just harder to find in small quantities!

I'm a real herbal-loving hippie, and I've packed up the "medicine cabinet" into my back-pack purse that I'll be carrying for the trip.  I used a weekly pill case to take a sampling of each herbal remedy I keep on hand for emergencies.  I've also packed a micro-sized first aid kit.  We're meeting up with a group of friends during the camping part of our trip and we'll pretty much be in the middle of nowhere.  So if anyone has a headache, indigestion, trouble sleeping, or a boo-boo . . . I'll have it covered!  I've packed up willow bark, papaya enzyme, valerian root and lots of bandages!  And of course, Reiki goes with me everywhere!

I'm so excited about our trip!  It truly is the adventure of a lifetime!  There's something very healing about having to eliminate un-necessary "necessities"!  We live in a world where everything we think we "need" is a gadget that we could actually live without.  It gives you a new perspective on the meaning of the word "necessities"!  When you have to minimize what you pack for a trip you start to realize that there are some things you could really live without and other things you absolutely MUST have . . . like cherry chapstick!   ; )

We also must have the camera and lots of memory cards!  Oh, and I am also taking an empty journal and a couple of pens!  I plan on sharing stories from our road trip!  : )

Collect teeny tiny stuff!
Willow🍃


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spiritual Abuse

Your silence will not protect you.  Audre Lorde.
The subject of spiritual abuse is something I have a great deal of difficulty discussing because of my own experience with it.  This form of abuse to me is quite possibly the most damaging form of abuse that someone can experience.  I say this because although mental, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse or neglect all have their own permanent scars . . . they affect mainly the body and the mind.  To me, spiritual abuse affects the soul and one's relationship with the Creator.  How much worse can it get than that?

The Ache for Home is in all of us . . .
the safe place we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Maya Angelo.


I have personally experienced every form of abuse at some point in my life.  By far, I must say the one I have had the most difficulty "sorting out" has been spiritual abuse.  It has been my greatest challenge thus far.

Spiritual or religious abuse, as defined by Wikipedia, is:

“. . . abuse administered under the guise of religion, including harassment or humiliation, possibly resulting in psychological trauma [and] may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends such as the abuse of a clerical position.” 
Another excellent definition I found online at "Micronesian Seminar" defines spiritual abuse as:
". . . a kind of abuse which damages the central core of who we are . . . leaves us spiritually discouraged and emotionally cut off from the healing love of God . . . the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining, or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment."
WOW! That’s a mouthful! Spiritual Abuse:
  • harasses
  • humiliates
  • causes psychological trauma
  • damages our central core
  • leaves us spiritually discouraged
  • deprives us from the healing love of God
  • denies us help and support
  • deprives us of spiritual empowerment
  • weakens
  • undermines
That's quite a list!  And every word is truth! Spiritual abuse does all things . . . and so much more.  I have compiled a list of key indicators that you may very well be a "victim" of spiritual abuse.

Key Indicators of Spiritual Abuse:
  • Involves someone in a position of spiritual authoritative power
  • Information is misrepresented in a dogmatic, legalistic, authoritative or unreasonable manner
  • Information presented relies solely on "tradition" and does not allow for individual experiences
  • Causes a distorted perception of the Creator and the world around you
  • Gut feeling that a spiritual boundary has been crossed
  • The relationship has a spiritual element involved, yet feels "toxic"
  • Outside "forces" seem to control your moods, thoughts or feelings
  • Your relationship with a spiritual figure results in an intentional dependency upon the "guru" instead of the Creator
It is very difficult for me to define spiritual abuse outside the realm of Christianity.  That is where I have had the most experience.  However, my goal is to address spiritual abuse from the viewpoint that you can be a victim of spiritual abuse in other spiritual areas of your life besides religion.  Anyone claiming to be a spiritual "guru" can potentially become a perpetrator of spiritual abuse.

The last few key indicators in the list touch on spiritual abuse from other spiritual practices beyond the scope of religious organizations.  What I am referring to here are curses, spells cast to cause harm, "energy vampires", "dream walkers", "remote viewing", and people who claim to be "energy healers" but use their gift to manipulate others.  It can and does happen.

A dear friend of mine recently had an experience with this from someone whom she thought was a friend.  Her "friend" claimed he sent one of his "guides" to find out stuff about her, all in the name of "helping" her in a dilemma.  The thing is he actually knew details about goings on at her house that she had not revealed to anyone!  And he was not given permission from her to help her in the first place!

She discussed her dilemma with him simply for the purpose of receiving advice from a friend, and he took it upon himself to spiritually intervene.  She is "sensitive", and actually felt a (dark) presence shortly after their conversation.  It took weeks for her to figure out the source of the dark presence.

Another example of non-Christian spiritual abuse would be an individual who has psychic gifts and uses their abilities to invade the privacy of others.  Not all who have "gifts" use them for a positive and healing purpose.  Anyone who has psychic gifts must develop a set of clearly defined boundaries, free from manipulation.

We are living in a time in history at this moment where people are "awakening", and starting to acknowledge that we have spiritual "abilities".  The problem with those abilities is that mankind has not yet mastered the ability to "do no harm" to others.  Where spiritual abuse was previously thought to only happen within the realm of organized religion, we now need to consider the possibility that it can happen in other spiritual arenas as well.

I would be interested in what others have to say about other religions or spiritual practices . . . and would love to post some stories about your experiences or your understanding of spiritual abuse in other spiritual practices as well.  If you have a story you'd like to tell, contact me and share it.  If you'd like to remain anonymous, let me know and I will share your story under an "alias".

Autumn in Elizabethton © 2007

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Certified and Verified Reiki

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About a month ago I had the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson during a distance Reiki Session. Someone whom I follow online asked in public forum for Reiki, so I volunteered. Immediately, I got a response back requesting documented proof that I was indeed a Reiki Master. This was the first person to ever ask for "proof".

It was actually a legitimate request and an interesting point was made that I myself hadn't even thought about before. Should we trust just anyone to be used as an instrument to "heal" us? Are they truly "qualified"? This individual had a terrible first experience after requesting distance "Reiki" from someone who claimed to be a Reiki Master.

I cannot go into detail because of confidentiality, but trust me, it truly was horrible!  I was happy to send proof, so I took a snapshot of my certificate and sent it along with a link to my lineage.   It is so important to establish a rapport of trust between Reiki Practitioner and client, regardless of whether the Reiki session is in-person or distance.

This experience was actually an important lesson for me.  Your energy is not something to mess around with, and you should always be careful whom you allow in your personal "space".

Fortunately this individual was willing to give Reiki a second chance.  They could have just written Reiki off as something bad because of one negative experience with someone who claimed they had gone through the proper training.  This individual also could have created a lot of "negative press" about the practice of Reiki.

I received positive feedback from the first session, and this individual has actually become a regular client. Do not be afraid to ask your Reiki Practitioner, or any other energy healer, for documentation of their training.  It is perfectly acceptable to request this information.

Many Practitioners will have their certification posted in plain sight for in-person clients.  If you are requesting distance Reiki, you can still ask for documentation.  A traditionally trained Reiki Practitioner should be happy to provide proof of formal training.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Fascination With Rocks


As a little girl, I was always fascinated with the rocks in our back yard. My brother and I would spend hours digging roads into the clay banks, building cities of make-believe. Thus began my fascination with rocks. Even now as an adult, when I visit the old home place, I am amazed to find large chunks of gypsum lying on the surface of the ground that have been exposed after a day of rain. Sometimes I get lucky and find a piece of quartz, or a rock that is splattered with pyrite.

The beginning of my crystal collection started back in 1994 when a friend of mine gave me a piece of petrified wood from Colorado. The center vein of the piece glistens with a reflection like mother of pearl. On the surface, tiny crystals of topaz sparkle where the tree bark once grew. I have formed quite a collection of crystals and stones since then, each one with a story to tell.

In 2007, I was given a Lemurian Seed Crystal. A stranger approached me and said, “I believe this belongs to you”, and then handed me the crystal. At first I refused the gesture, because I knew I did not have it in my possession, and therefore I hadn’t lost it. But still, he insisted, placed the stone in my hand and walked away. Many of my crystal stories have a strange similarity to this one.

The reason I have chosen to tell you how these two pieces of my collection came to me is because of their effect. I have meditated with these two peculiar pieces placed together. The insight that was gained during this meditation time was profound. In my mind I was taken on a journey back through time. During my meditative travels, I witnessed many lifetimes as though I had been transported through a portal of historic events. It was fascinating!

I had never meditated with crystals before, though I had used them for other purposes. I have found over the years through my rockhounding quests, that crystals have long been believed to be “keepers” of secrets and useful for energetic healing. My first experience of meditation with crystals was a strange and beautiful journey into ages past and has long since been a source of peace and inspiration. It was as though I had been given the key to the journal of a soul.

Shop Crystals Now

Reiki for Military Veterans


Wonderful story of how Reiki Practitioners are reaching out in the community to assist Veterans with PTSD . . .

Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful work!


Please Visit:  "Hands to Hearts:  Bringing Reiki to US Military Veterans" by Midwest Reiki Community.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Love the Freedom of Adventure!

Today is Independence Day in the USA! 

And what a beautiful country I live in! 

This Summer, my husband and I are planning a trip out west on the Harley to see more of this lovely land which God has made!

It will be a new thing for me, because the farthest west I have been is Nashville, Tennessee (not too far from home).  It will also be the longest trip I have taken on the back of his motorcycle, so wish me luck!  I will be blogging about our adventure along the way and sharing photos with you, so watch for it on my blog in August.

I've been "training" for the ride for the past few months . . . taking day trips on the Harley to build myself up for the adventure.  Last Sunday we took an eight-hour and nearly 300 mile ride through the countryside in Virginia in an attempt to "toughen" me up!  We rode on a section of highway called "The Dragon" along US Highway 129 that runs through Tennessee and North Carolina.  This "roller coaster" of asphalt has 318 curves in 11 miles!  (http://www.tailofthedragon.com/)

What FUN!



I had my cell-phone camera out on the back of the bike taking snapshots of the scenery along the way.  Look Mom! NO Hands!  Gotta love centrifugal force!  It was a little "light-weight" training though, as our goal is to travel about 2,000 miles in 3 days (that's about 700 miles per day) to reach our first destination at Yellowstone National Park (http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm).

Yellowstone reaches into Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, and it is a long, LONG way from home!

I'm sure by the time we get there I'll be pretty sore!  Good thing I'll be taking a good stock of Willow Bark and Valerian, along with some capsaicin cream for sore muscles!  I've been stocking up my medicine bag to take along the journey for a while now . . . gotta be prepared!  And Reiki goes with me wherever I go, no matter what terrain I set out to conquer!

Watch my blog to see where else we end up!


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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are YOU Living with a Super Hero?

How can you tell? 

 . . . It's not THAT hard, really!  : )

So here ya' go . . .

10 Tell-tale Signs that YOU are Living with a Super Hero:


  • They have at least one "superpower"
  • They have a cool ride
  • They just "know" when something's up
  • They have rescued at least one damsel in distress
  • They almost always have a chick who's a journalist (or at least one with attitude!)
  • They disappear for hours
  • They have an unlimited supply of strength
  • They save people's lives
  • They have Super Hero clothes
  • They wear colored underwear   ; )

If the person you're living with has as at least some of these qualities . . . You're probably living with a Super Hero!

Okay . . . I'm sure you're wondering what THAT was all about!

I've been trying to convince my husband for weeks now that he truly is my Super Hero.  We have this little game we play where we take turns complementing each other . . . the trick is to come up with something new!

I must admit that when it comes to "Pet Names", he is a bit more creative than I AM.  He usually comes up with something that absolutely melts my heart and I am speechless!

That's one of his "superpowers" . . .

. . . the ability to melt "stuff" with just a word!



As for the cool ride . . . well, he rides a Harley, and he still has the car that he drove on our first date twenty-something years ago.  The car only comes out for "special occasions", and . . .

It's kept in a "secret place" hidden from plain sight . . .

. . . that definitely qualifies him for the "cool ride"!

(Actually, we are taking a "Super Hero Get Away" cross-country on the Harley soon, so watch my blog for our photo journal of the trip!  And please say a prayer for me and my back-side!)

Now back to the Super Hero qualifications . . .

He's also a Fireman/EMT, and has actually saved a few lives . . .

. . . so there's the Super Hero clothes!

I know you're probably thinking . . .

I've been in love with him since I was fourteen and hoping that one day the "timing" would be right for us (that's almost ahem thirty years!  Hmmm. . . maybe that makes ME a Super Hero!)  Anyway, he's always been my Hero!  In two years or twenty  years . . .  it won't matter . . . I'll still see him that way!I'll spare you the rest of the details, but the point of all this is:

It doesn't hurt to look at the one you love as a "Super Hero".  I think too many people in relationships take the AWESOME-ness of their significant other for granted.  It takes a lot to be able to live in harmony with people . . . and just because you view someone as a "Super Hero" doesn't make them invincible!

It is easy to notice the little things that aggravate (like leaving the seat up . . . thank goodness my Hero doesn't do that!  It's not fun to "fall in" during the middle of the night!)  But we all have bad days, no matter how hard we try to stay in a positive "OM".

At the end of the day, do the little things REALLY matter in the grand scheme of life?  We've all got our baggage, and if we don't . . . that means perhaps we haven't lived yet!  We cannot go through this life without picking up at least a little baggage!

My husband carries my baggage with Super Hero strength and grace.  I have heard it said that it takes a strong man to love a "broken woman".  Well, it takes an even stronger man to help her unpack, pick up the pieces and help her put her-SELF back together!

When he and I first started dating, I was a wreck!  If you have followed my blog for very long then you are well aware of how far I have come.  My husband has supported all of my efforts to find healing . . . from the beginning of my journey with Reiki, to the place where I have become able to share my story on my blog.  And he has stood by me through the all the tears I've cried during the hours and hours of writing my book.

It takes a lot to "put it all out there" in hopes that it might help someone else.  And I think it takes a lot to stand behind someone and offer love and moral support when they want to speak out against abuse and injustice.  I absolutely have the best support system with my Super Hero, and there is not a doubt in my mind that God has orchestrated the beautiful melody that has become our life together!

Love a hero!
Willow🍃

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