Reiki Self-Practice, Interrupted

As a reiki practitioner and teacher, I always do my best to practice what I preach.  I encourage my students to have a regular self-practice.  I know from my own experience how valuable it is to take time every day, to clear my mind and listen to what my body is doing and what it needs.  I understand that this is often where my inner wisdom has its platform to come forward and give expression.

 Over the past several weeks, I had been experiencing a lot of stress often feeling like I didn’t have the time or energy for my usual reiki self-practice.  During this time, I began feeling pretty down on myself and old thinking and feeling patterns began resurfacing.  My inner critic had reclaimed its old territory.   My anxiety was through the roof; sleeping became difficult and my mood had become disheartened. 

The other day, I had a moment to breathe, ok actually, I may have been grasping for air, but I managed to give myself reiki for the first time in almost a month.  What came up for me, were the reiki principle’s, also known as the reiki precepts. 

            Just for today,

                        I will not be angry

                        I will not worry

                        I will do my work honestly

                        I will give gratitude for my many blessings

                        I will be kind to every living thing.

As you can see, they are very simple, but sometimes things are easier said than done.  I was aware that I had been worrying quite excessively; worrying about how well or not I have been doing with my work and my commitments, being a mother, a partner and the list goes on.  These worries quickly escalated into every facet of my life and then ultimately I ended up thinking and feeling that everything I do, say; everything I am, is not good enough.  This is my own self critic, my own personal thinking patterns that I have worked years to tame, and here they were rearing their ugliness causing doubt and fear at every level of my being.   It happened so quickly, luckily it didn’t last any longer than it did!

When I break these principles down, I am first met with, “Just for today,” and am immediately reminded that I only need to be in the present moment.  When I am fully IN and WITH the present moment, I have a better chance of truthfully evaluating what is actually going on in my life, my environment and the situation at hand.  Practicing reiki on myself, brings me into this moment, and the place within myself that I find objectivity, acknowledgement, accountability and truth.

Focusing on the third principle, “I will do my work honestly”, prompted questioning of my inner work and evaluation of just how honest I have been with my own self?  I realize, that contrary to my feelings over the prior weeks, that indeed I have done well; I HAVE done a really good job, in fact.  The mounting anxiety and irrational thinking were absolutely signs that I wasn’t taking good care of myself.  But, in actuality, those same signs were also realizations that prior to this past month, I had been taking really good care of myself.  I also realized that my tolerance for negative self-talk, self-doubt has grown less and less acceptable without even realizing it.   This awareness of personal growth and progress has offered me comfort and joy; something that I can really be grateful for.  I am brought back to my center and have regained balance.

The gentle flow of energy that reiki is, a simple practice of self-care, has rested powerfully within me, yet again!  I have recommitted to my daily self-practice and I invite you all to do the same.

Hilary Denton




Reiki: A Spiritual Path

Reiki is a simple process that often creates profound effects in one’s life.  There are as many benefits to receiving Reiki as there are reasons why you might want to try Reiki for yourself, or even learn Reiki.  The main purpose of Reiki is to promote a positive mind and healthy body in order to experience peace and joy. 


Reiki does not promise a quick fix to end disease in the body.  Often, the body is the last place that illness manifests, and reconditioning the mind and spirit will take more than one or two sessions to correct.  It takes time to make necessary lifestyle changes that will bring our thinking and emotional patterns into a state of harmony with our body while maintaining a spiritual focus.  And it takes practice!


While many people seek Reiki sessions because of illness or chronic pain, others look to Reiki when they are experiencing other kinds of strains in their lives.  Reiki is ideal for when you are experiencing a major life transition such as the loss of a loved one, a career change, location change, or healing after a break up and more. 


Maybe you feel a void in your life or are constantly unsatisfied but can’t put your finger on exactly why that is.  Reiki provides a stage for allowing us to become centered with our Soul’s path.  With Reiki, we are able to look within ourselves to find the answers that we’re searching for to guide our journey.  Taking the time to listen to our own self, learning our natural rhythms and cycles naturally brings us closer to our divine guidance creating a meaningful and purpose driven life. 


Some people prefer to receive individual sessions and others decide they want to learn Reiki for themselves.  People often choose to learn Reiki to either begin or deepen their healing journey.  The beauty of Reiki is that it meets you where you are.  There are no prerequisites to begin, just the desire and commitment to learning while being open to experiencing your own true self.  Reiki is not just for healers, it’s for everyone regardless of their background, education, age, or anything else.


Some of the greatest benefits to learning Reiki are confidence, self-love, courage, clarity and increased intuition.  The journey of Reiki is one of self-empowerment as you learn to become accountable for your thoughts, feelings, body, relationships, and actions.  Through this process a genuine love for yourself, others, and the planet naturally develops.  As we continue through this process, clarity and wisdom arise from within, supporting and guiding us.  Intuition is something all of us have that has been largely unconscious.  With a greater capacity to love and hear our own wisdom with clarity, we are able to awaken and recognize our intuition.  With enhanced intuition, we reinforce our ability to create a richer and fuller life.


Regardless of why someone comes to Reiki, whether it’s for a physical ailment, a desire to de-stress and relax, or to begin a spiritual journey, there are so many positive benefits to both receiving and learning Reiki.  Take some time for yourself to be with yourself. 

5 Simple Ways to Honor Your Breasts (and Your Body)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while there may be some controversy around wearing pink, this month about YOU, whether you have breast cancer or not. (Men, I’m looking at you too.)


Cancer isn’t predictable and it isn’t pretty, but here are a few simple ways to take care of yourself and honor your breasts.


Lead by Example

Perform monthly self breast exams, get knowledgeable about your body, and schedule regular mammograms. Make sure you schedule a clinical breast exam with your primary care physician, too. Set a good example for the loved ones around you by incorporating healthy practices. This can include, starting a garden, eating as organic as possible, exercising regularly, and packing healthy lunches for your kids.


Talk to Your Family and Friends

Teach your children about self care and good breast health. Tell them about the health risks that come with smoking and alcohol. Talk with your kids, siblings, parents and grandparents about your family’s health history. Consider talking to your sister, mom, or best friend about getting a mammogram - or go together!


Give a Meaningful Gift

Go out of your way to show someone you care. If someone close to you is struggling with cancer, offer to get their groceries, bake them a casserole, take them to a doctor’s appointment, or just be there for them when they need it. A gift doesn’t have to involve money or the purchase of a material item. A sentimental trinket is nice, but having compassion and showing care for someone going through something really difficult is worth so much more.


Get Involved

Consider raising money for a good cause, attending a local event, or starting your own fundraiser during the month of October. Plan a breast health workshop or class in your school, organization, or community. Get involved and make a difference.


Take Care of Yourself

Put in the effort to take care of yourself and this goes beyond eating right. Of course, it’s good to avoid processed foods, but also make sure you are exercising and curbing any habits that negatively affect your health. Replace them with good ones. Turn your 10 minute smoke break into a 10 minute walk break. Avoid staying up to late and try hitting the sack even 20 minutes earlier. Change your monthly Girl’s Night into a Girl’s Spa Day and get a reiki session.


It’s all about little changes to make small steps toward health. Breast health goes beyond routine breast exams, it starts with the food you eat and getting outdoors to everything in between.


Reiki and the Road to Recovery

September is national substance abuse recovery month.  It is safe to say that this country has been experiencing a substance abuse crisis for some time.  The state that I write from, Vermont, is certainly experiencing an epidemic with opioid addiction.  However, it isn’t just illegal drugs causing this problem, there is also rampant misuse of prescribed medications causing both addiction and dependency.  Addiction doesn’t just affect those who use drugs and alcohol; it affects their loved ones and the greater community.  While there are mainstream treatments, both successful and sometimes not so much, for people trying to become sober, there are also other effective supports for people as they begin their journey of recovery that are less often talked about and utilized.  Reiki and mindfulness are practices that can significantly help people suffering from substance abuse.


Practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, and Reiki are some examples of additional approaches to traditional treatment for substance abuse therapy.  As for Reiki, there are several ways in which it can be useful.  Those in early recovery often are experiencing significant distress in their body due to withdrawal symptoms; Reiki can help make those feelings more tolerable.   Reiki encourages the body to rid itself of toxins and assists the body to self-heal faster.


Those in early recovery often experience intense anxiety and are often on an emotional roller coaster.  Anger, uncertainty, fear, guilt, hopelessness, and shame are usually the main feeling experiences during the first few months in recovery.  The relaxation benefit of Reiki can reduce the risk of relapse during this highly emotional time and help the individual learn new coping strategies crucial for the success of living a new way of being.


Sleep disturbances are often another symptom of early recovery.  Insomnia and lack of sleep can lead to poor mental health and difficulty with emotional regulation.  Good sleep is fundamental for the body’s ability to heal and to function properly in the daily world.  Reiki is often said to be beneficial for normalizing healthy sleep patterns.


Self-esteem and self-worth are issues inherently tied in with people who suffer from substance abuse addiction.  Reiki can target issues in one’s past that are repetitively causing problems in the present.  Reiki can help one feel at peace in their own skin aiding value and meaning to one’s life experience.  Reiki can encourage moving forward in life versus continually living in the past.  


Spirituality is a traditional component of 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.  Those in early recovery often have a feeling that their higher power has left or forgotten them, or is non-existence.  Reiki can aid one’s understanding of their relationship to spirituality and a higher power without rigid religious beliefs. 


Unfortunately, addiction does not just affect an individual, it affects that person’s friends, family and otherwise loved ones.  It is often tragic and heartbreaking for all those who care for the afflicted individual.  Supporting those loved ones is extremely important!  Finding the necessary emotional and mental support reinforces the inner strength necessary to carry on when dealing with a loved one suffering with addiction.  Reiki can help one lose their emotional attachment while still embracing the active addict/alcoholic with love.  It promotes wellbeing for caregivers as well as loved ones!


This article isn’t meant to encourage Reiki as a replacement for necessary medical treatment.  However, this article is meant to encourage you to think about additional, alternative methods to addiction recovery.  In my opinion, all recovery options should be explored, embraced and shared.  If you have further questions or comments regarding Reiki and addiction/recovery, please leave them in the comments section below and I will do my best to respond promptly.


Hilary Denton