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Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

I had a fun time with my son on Sunday. The weather was perfect; summer is such a beautiful season in Minnesota. Somehow my cares, worries, and burdens seem to melt away as I enjoy the warm summer sun and cool northern breeze. I spend so much of my time and energy advocating for the poor and oppressed and worrying about peace and all the greed and problems in the world. Taking a day playing outside with my son refreshes my soul from these burdens.

The Rose Garden

First we went to the rose garden. We looked at all the beautiful pink, reds, and goldens made even more vibrant by this record wet summer. I taught my son how to breathe in the fragrance of the roses, to slow down for a quiet moment and learn from the unpretentious gift of the flowers. The roses do not struggle and compete with each other in ego shows of pomp and beauty; each bloom is crafted by the hands of fairies and nature spirits guided by the love of the Creator. Each bloom contributes its own unique color and fragrance to create a rainbow garden of one. If only we humans learned to live in contentment and oneness like the flowers. Peace.

The Peace Garden

After the rose garden, we visited the peace garden. This was a timeless place of rocks and perennial flowers, standing strong through storms of nature, and the chaos of human destruction. The rocks, flowers, and trees stand in witness at the darkness of human behavior, and wait for the day when evil will end and the oppressed and the needy receive justice. In Isaiah 55, the prophet poetically spoke of the day when evil repents and the poor have all they need. Verse 12 (NIV):

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

The trees have hands, and voices. At the peace park, my son wanted a leaf. I taught him to ask the tree’s permission for the gift. We felt the tree’s pain and saw holes in its leaves. We laid our hands on the tree in a gentle exchange of Reiki. The breeze rustled through the leaves as the tree murmured its appreciation. The most poignant moment of the day came next as we walked to the peace crane memorial. This is a statue of a paper crane, in memory of a young Japanese girl who died of radiation cancer from the bombing of Hiroshima. Before she flew away from this earth, she folded hundreds of these cranes in a Japanese traditional wish for peace. My son is still too young to understand this tragedy, but we folded a crane together to add to the thousands of other wishes for world peace.

Vibrations In The Park

We left our wishes at the peace garden and headed to the park for a picnic and fun together. We took off our shoes and wiggled our toes in the cool grass and warm gravel. With feet bare, we could feel the vibrations of the earth. Good vibrations. Healing vibrations. We do not spend enough time barefoot outdoors in modern civilization. The earth is alive and constantly vibrating beneath our feet with spiritual frequencies that help us to ground and center our souls on this plane. Wearing shoes and hurrying from place to place dampens these vibrations. I enjoyed reconnecting with the earth with my son. I also enjoyed playing with my child. Play is imagination is the Spirit and is healing. We climbed ladders, went on an imaginary bus ride, and rode the swings. We ended our day with a healthy body-nourishing picnic lunch and soul-nourishing treat at the ice cream parlour. It was a wonderful day of child-like fun, learning, and healing. A day of smelling roses and touching the peace of heaven, the kingdom of Yeshua. Take time today,  friends,  to explore the beauty and vibrations that still exist in a world of pain and chaos. Embrace the park and the light.

Stories, Art, Imagination, Play

Stories, Art, Imagination, Play

What preschoolers teach us about Reiki

Amy, Amy, tell us a story!

I hear this plea many times a day from my preschool class. I love to sit with them at the lunch table, or in small group time, and tell stories together. Stories about rainbows and dragons, thunderstorms and trees, the fantastical and the everyday. Preschoolers do not yet have a firm line between the “real” and the “imaginary.” This is something we are taught as we grow older, by our parents, our culture, our school system, and our televisions and media.

Stories, along with music and art, are the heartbeat of human experience, a shared understanding composed with billions of words, notes, brush strokes. We all have something unique and beautiful to add, and children understand this innately. They create with joy and without fear.

Picasso once said,

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain one once he grows up

.

This is true of art, music, story telling, and, perhaps most importantly, it is true of spirituality. Small children are so close to heaven, some even remember being in heaven (even if that’s not what they call it). How else do they know about dragons, unicorns, mermaids? The most precious gift of children is creativity, and creativity comes from the Spirit.

Tragically, our American school system is moving further and further away from teaching and encouraging the arts, and with it imagination, creation, and the spiritual. I’m not talking about religious indoctrination, but about the spiritual part, the Holy Spirit Reiki energy, that lives in the soul of each human being and connects us to each other in a rainbow of diversity, and to the hidden secrets of the unseen. The arts open this world. Math and science, of the kind taught to the Test, close it off. There is a true beauty to math and science, a striving to understand the world, but this artistic math and science doesn’t score as well on tests.

This is the way we teach math and science in preschool. We don’t use worksheets and standardized tests. We use play. Play is imagination. Play is the work of children, but it should also be the work of adults. If adults played more, our world would be kinder, would advance spiritually and socially. Play is Reiki is healing.

Children also understand healing. They will tell you that scraped knees require “magical” band aids and bumped heads an ice pack, but they know that the secret is in the caring. When mommy kisses the owie, or I, the teacher, apply the band aid with concern, it is the love that heals. Kids know that we are all social creatures at our core. Kids embrace, adults separate.

Remember, embrace, coax out your inner preschooler, friends. Find healing through play and imagination (have you ever noticed the “magic” in “imagination”?). Take joy in this day and in your journey. Peace and light to you.

Memorial Day: Reiki for the victims

Memorial Day: Reiki for the victims

“Eve of Destruction” is a 1960’s protest song written by PF Sloan and made famous by singer Barry McGuire. The lyrics refer to 1960’s issues of fighting against communism and for civil rights, but I think the words are as poignant and true on this Memorial Day, 2014, as ever. Here is the last verse of the song:

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
but when your return, it’s the same old place,
the poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
you can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
hate your next-door-neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
and you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

azlyrics.com

Here is a link to a You Tube video of Barry McGuire performing the song.

I am particularly taken by “hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace.” This is a giant problem in our world, particularly in America. We forget our oneness, our responsibility to love and care for our neighbor as Jesus showed us. Yet, as a Christian religious culture, we say grace in the name of Jesus when we bless our meals. Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? If we keep down this path of hatred and divisiveness, eventually we will meet our destruction as a planet.

On this Memorial Day, I am thinking about my neighbors, the poor soldiers who have given their bodies and their lives in fighting rich men’s wars for rich men’s definitions of freedom. Their pain is my pain. I am sending Reiki healing energy to the injured soldiers and their families, and to the families who have experienced the ultimate loss: a fallen father or mother, sister or brother, or child. The earth trembles with the pain, injustice, and destruction of war.

I also memorialize and send Reiki to the hurting victims and soldiers of our American culture and societal wars:

  • The young woman who lost her baby in the war on the poor because her boss made her choose between her pregnancy and her job.
  • The Muslim victims of terror when their mosque is graffitied and defaced by the “armies of God” in a Christian town.
  • The progressive Christians who are slandered, excommunicated, and driven out of town in the war on liberalism by fundamental churches.
  • The homosexual teenagers cast out on the street by their intolerant families in the war for “traditional values,” and who face bullying and hopelessness that drive them to suicide.
  • The people wrongly imprisoned for minor offenses or no offense at all because of the unjust, imperfect war on drugs and war on crime.
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    Cloud of Witnesses

    Cloud of Witnesses

    There are spiritual beings all around us. Although we can’t see them, they are cheering us on the journey, weeping when we weep, laughing when we laugh. They can bring us great healing, and joy if we learn to communicate with them.

    The writer of Hebrews in the Bible tells us of a great cloud of witnesses, surrounding us and cheering us on to the finish line (Hebrews 12:1). These are people who have crossed the veil before us: our relatives, beloved friends, faithful saints and leaders of all religious and spiritual traditions who know the joys at the end. There are also crowds of angels and other spirit beings who may never have journeyed on this physical plane, but they encourage and help to guide the spiritual seekers on earth.

    I grew up in a tradition in which it was “evil” to set up altars honoring the deceased or to talk to the dead at all. Generally, this is taboo in this hyper-scientific American (white, Protestant Christian) culture, where spiritual encounters are explained by physics or neuroscience, and children are discouraged from believing in imaginary friends. But I am seeing signs of hope with an increase in paranormal movies and psychic documentaries, with increased public conversation about life beyond the grave, and with the blossoming interest in spirituality and answers beyond the simple black-and-white, heaven-and-hell teachings of the church.

    Cultural conversations with the cloud of witnesses

    Many cultures around the world, even some American cultures, do embrace the spiritual and peek into the veil separating the seen from the unseen. The Japanese set up beautiful altars to honor their deceased. Mexicans celebrate and converse with their ancestors during Dia De Los Muertos. American Indians talk to the spirits and use soul retrieval to help the deceased to cross over. African-Americans share ghost stories and folk mythologies full of truth. Mystic Catholics pray to saints for guidance. All of these methods are ways to communicate with, and receive love and encouragement from, the cloud of witnesses. Of course, I am greatly generalizing here, and every person has an individual view of spirituality, but I am also exploring the big cultural ideas.

    What does it mean to be encouraged by the cloud of witnesses?

    Encouragement: take courage, find strength on the journey.

    Sometimes the evils, hatred, and greed in this world cause me to tremble in fear and lose my grasp on happiness. But I have learned to talk to the unseen beings surrounding me. They tell me jokes and stories, remind me of my mission and destiny on earth, and help me to remember my home full of love on the other side.

    As an empath, when I hear a story of someone abused or the innocent jailed and caged, I feel intense emotion, even to the point of physical sickness. Because of this, I can get too wrapped up in earthly concerns of justice and pain. My cloud of witnesses whispers to me and remind me that karma will always be fulfilled, and I can only change myself, and hopefully help to lift up a few people in my small corner of the world. I really hope that my writing can make some small difference. Ultimately, I cannot save or change a world that does not want to be changed.

    Instead, I can focus on the reward, the homecoming at the end of my journey. My spiritual friends tell stories of wild, trippy dimensions of ultimate bliss and fun. They describe giant feasts of food more delectable than the grandest dinner on earth. They tell me about houses made out of light, and one giant community made out of love. That is a dream worth living for!

    Namaste, friends. In the future, I will talk more about heaven, the cloud of witnesses, and the spectacular spirit beings I have met. For today, look inside. Listen to the whispers of your loved ones who have passed on. Embrace their joy and embrace the journey of light and love.

    Finding Joy in Life

    Finding Joy in Life

    Saturday was a fun day. The beautiful spring weather, warm and sunny, was so welcome after the brutal arctic winter we just endured. I took my son over to the preschool, and we had a fun time making a fairy garden. My son enjoyed meeting many new friends, my week day preschool students. I really love being a preschool teacher, especially at my new job with its low ratios and high joy. I wish there was room for my son to attend, but at least full wait lists show the quality of the place and how fortunate I am to work there.

    But even in the midst of all this sunshine, the storm clouds still crowd my mind. The other teachers and parents were talking about their houses, churches, date nights with their spouses, school districts and homework for their children, all the middle class conversations and concerns with which I grew up, the life I thought I would have before my illusion of a safe, secure world was shattered.

    It is hard not to be jealous when I overhear mothers able to stay at home, in their new house, because their husband makes such a nice salary as a pastor. My security, my housing, my dreams were all robbed and shattered by the church. I humble my heart and reflect on my spiritual journey, and the rebirth from the ashes.

    I understand that everyone has their own private battles and healing journey. But I don’t understand why so many people care so little about, or at least don’t pay much attention to, the pain of others. Why do people worry about getting their children into the most desirable school district, or scoring that mortgage for the biggest house, or think it is a catastrophe that their spare car needs some brake work, when others outside that middle class bubble are desperately searching for a job, any job, or  working full time and still starving in the hunger of poverty, shivering in the cold of homelessness, dying in front of a hospital door closed by lack of insurance, and facing police violence and false imprisonment just for the crime of being poor?

    Some religious and new age followers would say we cannot compare one person’s journey to another’s, but the problem with that statement is this: the people who never have to worry about poverty, hunger, and false imprisonment are contributing to the system of injustice by their silence. Because of this silence, the wheels of pain keep turning.

    But in this pain, there is also great wisdom. I have learned more about life, human nature, and spirituality in my struggles and oppression than I ever could fathom when I was child in the silent privilege of white middle class America.

    No matter how great the pain, there is also joy. I take joy in the happiness of my son. I take joy in my new preschool job, so full of light, peace, and children’s laughter. I take joy in romantic nights with my husband framed with beautiful music and the excitement of a spring thunderstorm in the background.

    The Buddha taught us that peace is found within our soul, never in our outward circumstance. This is true, and I want to focus more on the joy in my life. At the same time, I want to be a light worker in this dark world, helping others to escape the prisons of the System, and not breaking a bruised reed, as Yeshua taught us. To quote Simon and Garfunkel, I want to disturb the sound of silence and learn the words written on the subway walls and tenement halls. Break the System by breaking the silence.

    Friend, if you are struggling today, look for the joy in your life, even if it only feels as small as a shimmer of light catching the dust, as fragile as a spider web in a gale. Embrace the Holy Spirit wisdom in the midst of your hardship. If you are experiencing a time of prosperity and abundance, examine your life to see if there is any way you are silently contributing to the pain of another, and find the courage to raise your voice.

    Joy in the journey, and mindfulness of others, is the path of Holy Spirit Reiki, and holiness.

    Happy Mother’s Day and Pain of Rejection

    Happy Mother’s Day and Pain of Rejection

    All holidays can be tough for people who have experienced abuse, neglect, or rejection by their own parents, the people who are supposed to love them the most. Of course our parents are only human, they will make mistakes in raising us, and in navigating the sometimes strange tides of adult child to parent relationship. Neither family relationships, nor life itself, rarely resemble the idyllic world of a Hallmark movie. But there are some parents who commit true evil toward their children. Remembering the rejection of a mother can be particularly painful on the Mother’s Day holiday.

    My own family was filled with chaos and secrets as I grew up. My father had a violent temper, and made liberal use of “spare the rod, spoil the child,” in order to beat (“grow”) us into godliness. My mother supported him and stood silently by, although she rarely raised her own hand to us.

    There were also good times, tender conversations with my mother, and contemplative fishing trips with my father. These joyful waters never calmed completely, though, as the constant threat of another storm always loomed on the horizon. Even as a young child, my parents would argue with me and put me down over my liberal ideas of environmentalism, collectivism, feminism, and oneness. I was raised strictly evangelical fundamental, but my spirit rebelled against this from birth. At times I overrode my heart and tried my hardest to use fundie talk, and convert all my friends to Christianity, to earn my parent’s admiration. Even then, I felt like I never fit into my family, and, deep in my heart, I often questioned my parent’s love for me.

    Many years later, after a painful excommunication by my church (my safety network of friends), unemployed, despite my master’s degree, because of a crap economy, homeless after exhausting all of my savings and credit cards, with a helpless toddler in my arms, my husband and I went back to my parents, asking for help. They said we were headed to hell for our “new age” views, we were in league with the devil, and God was judging us. After another religious argument they kicked us out the door and said they never wanted to speak to us again.

    My tears fell.

    My tears fell as Christian love died.

    My tears fell as parental love died.

    The pain of rejection was far worse than the pain of homelessness and the fear of the future. But the Holy Spirit spoke tender words to me in her healing grace. YHWH guided us to Minnesota in his wisdom. I found work and we have begun to rebuild our life.

    The pain and sadness still linger, especially as so many people today on Mother’s Day are talking about the joy of their mother and how mothers forever love the children they carried, no matter what. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Today I am just finding joy in being a mother to my own son, and I know that, no matter where his life journey takes him, I will always love him.

    If you, friend, are struggling today with memories of a mother’s rejection, or abuse, I feel your pain. I am sending healing Reiki out into the world to help soothe these wounds. Feel and acknowledge the pain, but embrace Life. Feel free to share your story in the comments, or contact me for a healing appointment.

    Find joy in the journey.

    Happy Mother’s Day.

    Spring and the Sparrow

    Spring and the Sparrow

    Spring is here in Minnesota. The mountains of white snow are melting into brown puddles of mush, splashed by passing cars. Brave green grass pushes through the litter of brown leaves left buried by autumn snow. Birds chirp in the trees, and I even heard a few early frogs singing their spring tune. Signs of new life surround me, so welcome after this cold, challenging winter.

    Is it spring in your life, too, friend? Whatever challenges you have been facing, you can look forward to a spring of healing. Spread your arms and your heart wide open like a child dancing shameless in the light, or a flower reaching toward the warmth and life of the sun. Like a sparrow starting a new life.

    Let me tell you a story.

    * * *

    Three cracks.

    Three large cracks created a delicate spider web pattern over a white egg speckled with brown. The mother sparrow fluffed her wing over the egg and sang a low, soft song, “Hurry up, my Iittle one. Hurry up and come out.”

    Four other little chicks crowded each other around the nest. They opened their orange beaks, far too large for their small, naked bodies, wide for food. Their loud chirping broke the silence of the cool spring morning. The mother bird pushed the last egg further from their pushing, bobbing heads.

    “Have patience little ones. Have patience. Your sister is still coming.”

    Another crack broke the egg. Then a small, black beak pushed its way through the hole.

    “Come on out, Peasy. You can do it.” The mother bird touched her beak to the baby’s beak.

    With one final push and crack, Peasy tumbled out of her egg. Even though her eyes were closed, she turned her head toward the light of the golden sun. She snuggled close to her mother’s warm feathers as she wondered at the new world she found outside this egg. Would it be like the dreams of her long sleep in the safety of her shell?

    The young spring passed by in a flurry of eating and growing. Peasy’s father and mother took turns finding food and keeping their five babies warm. Peasy’s brothers and sisters made noise all day long.

    “Give me the big worm!”

    “Look at my new feathers! They are the softest and most beautiful in the world!”

    “Look at my big, strong feet. I’ll be able to climb higher in the trees than anyone else!”

    They bickered and grew fat and crowded the nest as they looked over the edge to the ground far below.

    All but Peasy. She didn’t care about eating the biggest worms or having the most beautiful feathers. She loved to stare at the sky all day, watching the clouds change shape in the gentle breezes. When the clouds turned gray and opened into silver rain, Peasy opened her beak to drink in Mother Earth’s blessings while her brothers and sisters fussed over their damp feathers. It was true that the other baby sparrows were growing in beauty, while Peasy remained small and plain, but she grew in Wisdom, in understanding earth’s deep mysteries.

    Peasy started each morning by chirping with the flowers that sprang up in the cheerful sunshine.

    “Good morning daffodil! Good morning violet and daisy and pansy!”

    “Good morning, Peasy,” they sang back. “It’s a beautiful morning! We love the darkened clouds and rain, we love the bright or dappled sun. Under the Creator’s generous bounty, we all live and love as One.”

    The spring rains changed into long days of warm summer sun. The trees stretched their branches toward the sky, soaking in the light and growing strong.

    “Enjoy the energy and life of summer,” the old oak tree would tell Peasy. “Grow strong, little one, for the days wiIl not be long forever. The Creator has given us our days of work and play, but also our days of rest. There are many seasons in the great cycle of life. Soon the time of darkness and rest will come.”

    One hot summer afternoon, the mother bird came to the nest with a huge brown worm. “Eat up, my dears. You need energy. Today you are going to learn to fly!”

    The young birds  jumped from the nest one by one. They hopped in the grass and flapped their wings, excited as they lifted their bodies a few inches off the ground.

    Their father went out to look for more food. Their mother kept watch nearby, but the heat of the hazy humid afternoon, and the exhaustion of raising her brood, lulled her into sleepiness. The young sparrows kept up their constant chatter.

    “Look at me! I’m so big and strong!”

    “I will be the most beautiful bird flying in the whole sky!”

    “I will fly so fast that no one will be able to keep up with me!”

    As their proud boasts rang through the sky, a red hawk lighted into a nearby tree, watching their attempts with amusement. “Hmm, one of those foolish birds would make a nice snack.”

    The trees rustled their leaves as loudly as they could in warning. The young birds kept up their games, not noticing the trees or anything else outside themselves as usual.

    Peasy was busy talking to a small green caterpillar. “I’m so plain, so slow, so ugly,” he whispered and shook his whiskered head. “What purpose do I serve in this world?”

    “Every Creature, no matter how big or small, plain or spectacular, has a place on the earth. The Creator takes joy in all of us.” Peasy looked up at the sky. “Besides,” she said, eyes bright. “Have you ever seen a butterfly?”

    Just then she noticed the rustling of the trees. “Danger, danger,” she felt their silent shouts.

    She looked up just in time to see the hawk swoop down from the tree, sharp claws pointed right at her siblings. Peasy ran and spread her wings in protection over her sister. The hawk caught  Peasy’s wing with his talon.

    Just then thunder roared in the sky, the flash summer thunderstorm drowning out the hawk’s shriek. The clouds darkened the sky and poured humid rain as the hawk flew away to shelter.

    The young birds huddled together at the base of a tree, too wet and too scared to attempt a flight back up to their nest. They put their bodies around Peasy, her wing hanging malshaped and useless at her side. They were shaking.

    “Peasy, I’m sorry.”

    “Peasy, are you ok?”

    The thunder and commotion woke up their mother and she ran over to her brood. “Peasy, Peasy, my little baby,” she cried.

    She snuggled Peasy under her soft wings and Peasy fell into a pained sleep, dreaming of hawks, danger, coldness, and cruelty in a dark world. She dreamed of ego and pain washed away, and the world restored to beauty and healing  in a great flood of tears of the Creator.

    Summer sun gave way to a cascade of colorful fall leaves. All of Peasy’s brothers and sisters could fly and they went off all day, exploring the sky and searching for food. Peasy’s wing hung at a sharp angle from her body, useless for flight. But as she gazed up at the clouds she could hear the whispers of the Creator. “I love you Peasy. I see your pain, and I see your sacrifice. Take joy, little one, I sent you to earth for love and you are doing a great job.”

    Peasy marveled as the flowers changed around her. The dandelion heads grew furry and then bald as the wind blew their seeds to wait in the earth for the next spring.

    The sunflower grew tall and its petals surrounded a new globe of black and white seeds. She said, “Peasy, I give you my seeds. Save them for a dark day.”

    “Thank you, Ms. Sunflower.” Peasy gathered the seeds that fell to the ground. She found a small hole in the old oak tree where she stored the seeds.

    Peasy also found a safe refuge from the cold in that oak tree as the icy hands of winter shook the leaves off the trees and cast a white blanket on the ground. Food grew scare. Peasy shared her seeds with her family. When those ran low, the sparrows began to panic. But Peasy knew that even in the snowiest, darkest winter the Father would provide.

    One morning Peasy found worms in the hole. The oak shivered and sighed in the cold wind.

    “Are you ok, Mr. Tree?” Peasy chirped.

    “Yes, Peasy, my days have been long and my body grows old. My spirit is ready to fly and be free.”

    Peasy bowed her head in reverence and sadness.

    “Peasy, don’t be troubled. The all-wise Creator has created this cycle of life and rebirth for all. There is joy to be found in even the darkest of realms, but I have lived my fullness and I am ready to see the kingdom.”

    The tree breathed out his spirit and Peasy was filled with a strange warmth. ”Thank you, great teacher. I’ll see you again someday, ” she whispered.

    The worms multiplied and kept Peasy and her family fed until the spring sun dawned once again on a new crop of life.

    ***

    Has the cruelty of the world broken your wings and dreams? Just remember that no matter how long the winter seems to drag on, no matter the pain and heartache of this realm, spring’s sun is only a breath away, and the Creator always holds you in loving hands.

    Matthew 10:29-31
    New International Version (NIV)
    29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    Patience for the Better

    Patience for the Better

    Be patient, things will change for the better.

    Good things come to those who Believe, better things come to those who are Patient, and the best Things come to those who Don’t Give Up. Zig Ziglar

    My life is a little topsy-turvy right now. I wrote a poem about this in my last blog post. I just experienced a dramatic job loss, a sudden burning of all that I had built over the past year, at the hands of a boss who had given up compassion and care and turned to greed and concern only for The Bottom Line. Her betrayal takes the breath from my emotions and my body. But she cannot touch the breath of God which sustains my spirit body. I may explain more of this story later, but I am learning to exhale and leave it to the hands of our benevolent and all-wise Creator.

    I had two job interviews in the last week, and both invited me back to second interviews, so my chances of getting a new job are strong. The Better is coming. I am just waiting for the confirming phone call. But the waiting can be so torturous.

    Two quotes came to me today to help me on the journey of uncertainty. Be patient, things will change for the better. This is a cell phone wallpaper I found reminding me to practice patience as I embrace the unknown Better. Even as the last Minnesota snow storms dump on us, I feel the trees releasing energy, buds eager, but patient, to break open at the ends of tender new twigs. I need to learn wisdom from the patience of the trees, as the spiritual season in my life changes from winter to spring. There may be one last snow storm yet, but YHWH, my loving provider, is plowing a path for me through the deep white. The colors and life of spring will always come. No matter how black and deep the winter, the Better will always come.

    Good things come to those who Believe, better things come to those who are Patient, and the best Things come to those who Don’t Give Up.

    This quote, by author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, also talks about patience in waiting for the the Better. But Believe is another key word here. I have taken a Reiki healing journey of belief over the last five years. I have hurled my body off the cliff and waited for the angels to catch me in a faith-dance with the Creator. It strikes me that this is the second temptation with which the devil tortured Yeshua, but I think there is a secret lesson; in his hidden and lonely learning years, Yeshua had already mastered this lesson, to let go and be caught by the hands of blind faith. The devil was mocking him and mocking the provision of God.

    And so the great tempter tempts me. He tempts me to give into worry and crawl back to the slavery of Egypt. God is my provider, but the tempter tells me that the job is my provider and I am a fool. But I will believe, and I won’t give up, and I will wait for God’s best things to come for me.

    I leave winter behind me and turn my face toward the spring.

    It will be a spring of healing. I have walked through a valley, a winter of my soul, and I am emerging on the other side with a more developed, more profound understanding of Reiki. A bandaid can never replace surgery for cancer, and Reiki will never take root in a soul that has not been plowed and planted by trials.

    If you are experiencing hardships, a dark winter, my friend, look deep and practice patience as you wait for the Divine healing and the Better.

    Photo used freely, courtesy of appelcline on sxc.hu

    The Empty Room

    Photo used freely, courtesy of iprole on sxc.hu
    Photo used freely, courtesy of iprole on sxc.hu

    I just quit my day job at the preschool where I have worked for the last year. The situation became very suffocating, and I have better opportunities ahead of me. Here are my feelings.

    The Empty Room

    I look upon the empty room,
    A room exhaling silence
                 memories
                 of child voices

    The room sees
    Eyes pour over lesson plans.
    All the educational demands.
    A told B and B told C
    about the spontaneous ecstasy,
    the momentary lessons be
    of childhood wonder.

    The room measures
    Tick-tock hours measured by
    laughs and tears and fears and smiles.
    Days that measure, dress themselves
    in colors of artwork upon the shelves
    in water play in yellow sun
    in raking red-gold leaves that run
    with tiny footprints in the white.

    The room sighs
    Teachers silenced by harsh demands.
    Take the pain upon their hands.
    Fix the room, scream the theme
    do the project, the curriculum means
    but don’t you dare stay on the scene
    just a minute late.

    The room cries
    Children sob the rules they dread.
    Don’t make a mess, stay on your bed,
    don’t put that bucket on your head,
    too much noise behind the door,
    be always ready for the Tour.

    The room hurts
    Teachers broken under stress
    contradicting rules, duress.
    Mental wounds leak out their bodies
    while trying, trying, trying hardly
    able to do it all and not get hurt
    again.

    The room suffocates
    I. Can’t. Breathe.

    The walls of the room come closing in,
    exhaling sickness, a volcano explosion.
    Struggling to inhale the stale air,
    the room echoes the silent terror.

    The room dies
    I. Quit.

    Two words fill the empty room
    I turn my back, I leave alone.
    I must hide all the memories saved
    to bury them in my mind’s grave.
    I leave the room to the hands of God.
    And breathe a prayer for my beloved
    children.

    I think upon the empty preschool room,
    A room exhaling silence
                 memories
                 of voices of pain
                 spiritual death

    The Bus Stop

    The Bus Stop

    She sat on the corner of the bench, fidgeting nervously as she waited for the bus.

    I was a graduate student, studying music. I had left my car at home that afternoon and taken the bus to school for the week’s masterclass.

    I had performed from the bottom of my heart. But the masterclass teacher had ripped apart my performance, picking at the length of my eighth notes and the sloppy edges of my articulation. Tiny details, but enough to make or break someone in the cutthroat world of classical music. And he should know. He was renowned in the music world, he had performed big gigs with big orchestras. My dream. Or was it? Now I found myself at the bus stop, warm tears threatening to overflow my eyes onto my cold cheeks in the brisk Michigan autumn.

    “Details, Amy, details. Practice more. Technique. Your musicality is great, we can feel the emotions in your music, but details. You’ll never make it without the technical details.” The words echoed through my head like a hammer smashing and splintering glass. The glass of my psyche, which I always willed to turn to steel. They always told me I was too sensitive. Words of the masterclass teacher, words of many of my other professors throughout my high school and college musical years. I wanted to quit. I wanted to run away. I wanted to leave my clarinet case right there at the bus stop and run home, or run somewhere else, run anywhere. Run until the pain would stop.

    I noticed the woman sitting next to me. She looked sad, too, another soul lost in the sea of broken dreams. I breathed deeply and said a small prayer for her. Reiki. I did not know much about energy healing at that time, but I knew the power of prayer.

    A minute later, a bus showed up. Not my bus, but the woman stood up to talk to the driver. “Where is bus 75 tonight?” she asked.

    “Sorry, ma’am, that bus came by fifteen minutes ago.”

    “Oh, no, is there another bus to Haslett tonight?”

    “No, ma’am, sorry.”

    “OK,” she said and limped back to the bench. I hadn’t noticed the limp at first. I had been too self-absorbed in my own thoughts. Compassion and regret flooded over me. What should I care about stupid master classes and eighth notes when a fellow human being was suffering right in front of me?

    “Are you OK?” I asked, timidly. I am an introvert by nature, so I struggle to start conversations with strangers.

    “Oh, yeah,” she shrugged. “I just gotta get to Haslett. I guess I’ll have to walk again.”

    “It’s such a cold night. Can I give you a ride?”

    “You have a car? What are you doing at the bus stop?”

    I shrugged. “I like to take the bus sometimes, but I do have my car at home. Here comes bus 84. Let’s take the bus back to my place, and I’ll give you a ride.”

    “You sure?” She looked at me incredulously. I could tell that she was a woman not used to favors. Maybe her dark skin, her heavy weight, her stooped shoulders which betrayed years of poverty and hardship, worked against her in this rich college town. But why? Didn’t we talk in college about systems of oppression? Weren’t college students known for caring tremendously, radically fighting the System? Did I care enough?

    “Yeah,” I said. “I’m sure. Let’s get out of the cold. My name is Amy.”

    “My name is J.” she said.

    I gave her a ride home that night, and we eventually became great friends. I prayed over her aching knees and other joints, her body groaning under the mental anguish of unrelenting poverty and discrimination. She told me of her struggles to get a job, her struggles to raise her children, and her dark journey of depression when social services took her children away because she could not maintain housing. I cried as she told me of undergoing knee surgery and then being released from the hospital to the street. I could only imagine her pain, but, in sharing the burden, she looked a little happier, a little lighter.

    This is true Reiki healing. This is Holy Spirit healing. Yeshua came to seek and to save the least of these, and J. is his best friend. Reiki is holy, and the holy is intricately tied with social justice. I couldn’t pull J out of poverty, give her a better place to live, but I could offer a listening ear, compassion, Reiki.

    This is the story of the Good Samaritan. Help everyone you can in any way you can, one hurting individual at a time. Open your eyes to the pain around you, my friends. I know that it can be hard to see others when your own pain is so overwhelming. I certainly struggle with this. But Reiki is a journey as much as it is a healing modality. Let’s link arms on this journey and carry the light of the Holy Spirit into the darkest of places.

    Photo used freely, courtesy of that guy A on sxc.hu

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