Calming down

enlightenmentPracticing Reiki:

We all have the ability to channel Universal energy.  Formal training increases our capacity.  The flow of ki travels through our meridian and chakra system (energetic pathways) and assists in bringing our bodies and minds back into balance.

Take time to do this practice each day and it will assist in calming and balancing your nervous and immune systems.

If working with a guided meditation is more helpful, feel free to check out some I have recorded over the years.

Now, begin:

  1. Give yourself permission to receive this energy.  If working on others, ask them if they give themselves permission to receive.
  2. Notice the pace of your breathing or the other person’s breathing.  Become more centered.
  3. Connect with Earth and Sky energies.
  4. You are a conduit for the energy.  It comes through you, not from you. Realize the concept of “Not my will, but thy will be done” or ‘this is greater than me’ (because it is).
  5. Using your hands, bring them to areas of the body where there is discomfort, tension over the eyes, the shoulders, heart, and gut.  Reiki is also used as a preventative and not just on areas of pain.  Further training follows the chakra system of the body.
  6. Hold hands over each area for 1-3 minutes.  Remember, there is no wrong or right, there just is Reiki.  Honor the pause.
  7. After giving yourself or others a session, smooth out their field and bring your hands back together so that palms are touching each other.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Passing time with Reiki

0806111344Using the Story of Usui as a Model

For the next 21 days consider Usui’s story as it relates to your life.  Set aside morning and evening contemplation time and space to reflect on the following and give yourself Reiki and/or meditation.  Note insights in a special journal, using the ‘signposts’ on this page as prompters as your progress.

Day

  1. Dedication “Giri”
  2. The Power of Commitment
  3. Willing to Put in the Effort
  4. Worthy of Respect
  5. Determination, Patience
  6. What you Least Expect It
  7. Look Deeply, Intuit, Explore
  8. Mentors and Mentoring
  9. Always Possibility
  10. Fathoming Different Meanings
  11. Student of Self
  12. Trusting the Process
  13. Pure Potential
  14. Focused Attention
  15. Enlightened Understanding
  16. Place of Pure Joy
  17. Manifest a Transformation
  18. Ancient Wisdom
  19. New “Ladders:
  20. Beyond the Apparent
  21. Awakening

 

Taken from One Degree Beyond:  A Reiki Journey Into Energy Medicine

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Embracing Fear

Jumping over abyss“Fear is the darkroom in which your negatives develop.”  I saw that statement on a billboard in San Francisco over 25 years ago.  It’s a good reminder to me then and now to keep my fears in check and to not give them overwhelming attention.

This has been a challenge, to say the least, over the last two weeks as the epidemic became a pandemic and mandatory measures of social distancing have been put into place throughout Seattle and many parts of the world.

This weekend has felt like giving time and space for all the dust to settle with that rapid change and with the settling, the fear has also started to even out.

I miss my weekly Reiki groups and workshops.  The ability to swim in healing energy with like-minded community has been such a touchstone of my life.

Having the online group twice a week has been a good substitute.  Like a lot of things in this new normal, it will have to suffice for now.

I’ve found it immensely helpful to tap into online support groups, not just the one I facilitate, but others in both the recovery and Second Life communities.  My next foray might even be dipping my toes back into the virtual reality communities that exist, I have done that in the past and have found that it’s not just gamers that get together in VR.  So there are many groups out there that are not in-person, that can be found and joined.

That gives me, an introverted extrovert both hope and some places to land.

Today I was photographed and interviewed by journalists for a piece they are doing for The Guardian publication.  I’ll post it when it’s out, but my take-away from the experience was that in this time of uncertainty, even journalists are interested in a story of an online space that can offer support and healing.  Super excited to see how it all ends up looking.

In the meantime, doing the relaxation meditation tonight was extra grounding, which will be needed in this next week.  I took a break from the news and social media for half a day, and just returning to it I see that several states are shutting restaurants and bars.  Oh boy.  Adjusting to the change again.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

Cultivate Best Practices

IMG_20200308_124432205_BURST000_COVER_TOP‘We need to prepare for a marathon’ one of my clients, who works in public health, shared with me thinking about the months ahead.

It already feels like we have been enduring, as Seattle and it’s residents lived 90 days without sun over the winter.  The pattern finally started to break only in mid-February.

Today’s presidential declaration of a national emergency will be very beneficial and assist us and the rest of the US during the weeks to come.  My concern is that we need to have the stamina to go the distance this is going to require.

So, how to do that?  I’ve been telling my clients for the past week they have to find ways to lower the stress levels in their everyday lives.  Lowering stress increases resilience.  Resilience is needed for the endurance required to go this distance.  I recorded a guided meditation album to assist in cultivating these qualities.

This is the time to practice Reiki, meditation, yoga, go for walks, read books, journal, do puzzles, binge watch programs and movies, do arts and crafts, etc.

If you are an extrovert and like to be around people, this is time to get more comfortable with online platforms that permit virtual meetings.

There are places where you can volunteer to organize and distribute breakfasts and lunches for the kids who are now staying home from school.

One client said she was considering getting  an additional pet.  Another said she was going to do some solo camping.  Another said she was supporting local businesses by purchasing gift certificates and ordering delivery.

Do what you can do to fill your well.  Tune out the news and/or your internet connection for a period of time.  Stay informed but not to the detriment of your mental health.

Some ski resorts said they are still open.  Check and see what is feasible for you, your budget and also your own risk.

This is the time to cultivate good sleeping, eating and exercising habits.

And please reach out to friends, family and neighbors, by phone or email.  Having social support will be the net to hold you in the coming weeks.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst and Photo

 

 

Keeping sane keeping compartments

91Gph1pFN4L._AC_SX466_We are living in an extraordinary time.  Even if the pandemic is not in your city (yet) you are affected by it in some way.

I’ve found as a counselor working with my clients, that even in the best of circumstances, underlying conditions like anxiety and depression are difficult to manage.

Add in an extra external stress and it can be the tipping point.

I’ve been advising clients to manage their stress as best as they can and to think of self-care practices they can do each day that will be sustainable during this time of dramatic change.

I think one practice might be compartmentalizing.  It can be a useful short-term strategy to navigate the tide of anxiety.

I emphasize short-term strategy because at some point, when the crisis subsides, one can begin to properly process more deeply the effects and feelings of the prolonged stress.

There also may be periods within the crisis where one can process as well.

So how do you begin to compartmentalize this experience?  I like to think of it like a filing system that you can imagine in your mind.

Start with the first folder: “Coronavirus Epidemic”.  Just putting it into a folder usually feels a bit better, something is now there that can ‘hold’ it for the moment.

Maybe underneath it you start to build sub-folders  like ‘Stats of cases’ ‘Local government actions’ ‘Department of Health advice’ as well as more personal sub-folders like ‘How does this effect me?’ ‘How does this effect my family?’ ‘How does this effect work?’ ‘How does this effect travel?’.

Then sub-folders underneath those sub-folders to spell out more options like the following:

Coronavirus Epidemic—How does it effect me?—I am healthy—I maintain my health—i.e. exercise, eat well, sleep well, maintain social networks.

But then you get to that last one, ‘social networks’ to help maintain health and then you start to deal with a government suggesting social distancing and abstaining from gatherings.  But this doesn’t have to feel like a wall.

I encourage you to create another folder, entitled something like ‘Creative solutions’.  So when you end up reaching an obstacle in your filing system, you can put ideas into this folder that may lead to solutions.

I recommend to all my clients to utilize both social media and online support groups and meetups for additional social support.  For those on a path of sobriety, you can find an extensive list of online 12 step support groups: https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/

Meetup is offering some of it’s groups online also.  If you know of others, please leave comments and share.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst and photo credit

Another perspective

I’ve been watching Dr. Campbell over the last week and found his perspective very enlightening and helpful in making sense of how the virus has been playing out in the US and the world at large.

I want to introduce you to him if you haven’t met before:

Hello Everyone, My name is John Campbell and I am a retired Nurse Teacher and A and E nurse based in England. I also do some teaching in Asia and Africa when time permits. These videos are to help students to learn the background to all forms of health care. My PhD focused on the development of open learning resources for nurses nationally and internationally.

LinkedIn profile, https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dr-john-campbell-5256223b

And the number is…

s-l300Since last week, my daily habits have changed significantly, including looking at the statistics of newly infected COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

Each morning, with my coffee in hand, I read the daily counts of infected and other news updates on what other part of the infrastructure has been effected.

Increased testing of the population in Seattle has begun.  UW School of Medicine has established a drive-through testing center in their parking garage on campus.  The governor has said that the university has used genetic modeling to show the likelihood at least 1000 cases in the state.

This isn’t just limited to long-term care facilities.  As the numbers come in, we are headed into serious measures that will impact our city and state.

Enjoy the freedoms you have now, they will change significantly with the infected case numbers being confirmed.  And..they will be coming in this week.

I am copying this news update by Daniel Bookman from this evening’s Seattle Times for you to read.  Specifically open the chart (‘shared’ link highlighted in red).  Italy has just done the 5th level of action in closing their country.

Seattle area official outlines potential next steps in coronavirus response

Seattle area public-health officials are “at the ready” to start ordering involuntary isolation and quarantines and are considering cancellation of major public events, with information coming soon, a top official said Monday.

Patty Hayes, director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, outlined potential next steps in the area’s effort to slow the spread of the virus at a Seattle City Council meeting and said officials are talking about what to do.

Hayes shared a Washington State Department of Health chart that listed five levels of actions that officials could take. Gov. Jay Inslee hinted at the ongoing discussions Sunday on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” saying the state’s response could involve “reducing the number of social activities that are going on.”

Although King County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced less than two weeks ago, the area’s response already has ratcheted through Level 1 and Level 2.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

What’s Next?

whats-next240x400With northern Italy now putting 16 million of their people in quarantine the US and more specifically, Seattle, where I live, is asking ‘what’s next?’.

Since starting an online Coronavirus support group/healing circle last week, residents of King County have been joining me and sharing their own personal experiences.  It’s been helpful to hear we aren’t alone in how our communities are responding to the crisis.

Coming together like this does help in reducing the sense of being isolated at a time when we will be encountering more restrictions of social interaction and gatherings in the weeks to come.

Our leaders in government have only offered recommendations rather than mandatory measures, but today there has been hinting that these initiatives will be coming to pass.

If you take a moment and do a little self-educating of how this virus has spread infects it’s hosts and you’ll see that in order to help defeat it’s spread, containment, including quarantine, is imperative.

Is it too late for that in Seattle?  It remains to be seen.  This next week we will hear about more cases and more deaths.

As several people in our online virtual groups have mentioned, just dealing with the daily news reports is anxiety producing.

So I talked about my last blog of being proactive rather than reactive.  If we are aware of how a virus spreads, and also that cases and deaths will continue, when we hear reports about it, we will be less surprised and shocked.

Also, if we can continue to monitor ourselves, taking care of our health, getting enough sleep, boosting our immunity with vitamins, fresh fruits and fresh air, we really are doing as much as we possibly can.

I recommend following the advice from the Department of Health to avoid large groups of people, especially inside buildings or when close together at events.  I feel that whether you have health complications or are healthy it is probably a good idea for everyone at this time.  You can be a carrier for the virus and not even know it.

This weekend I went out to the nearby mountains as well as to a museum in town.

I observed plenty of fellow Seattlites and Washingtonians taking time to be outside as the weather became a bit sunnier today.  I saw them out at the farmers markets and on the nearby ski slopes.  I noticed only a dozen or so people within the Asian Art museum itself, but many were walking around the grounds outside.   It seemed to met people kept their distances from each other (the 6 feet recommended?).  It wasn’t awkward, but it was apparent.

Perhaps if and when measures are enacted to limit indoor gatherings, the outdoors will become our sanctuary and haven as it is already for so many of us.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo Credit

Be Proactive

The-Things-We-Forget-Being-Proactive-And-Not-Reactive-1020x510If we aren’t being proactive we will continue to be reactive to all the stories in the media about Coronavirus.

I feel it’s important to know the facts of what is actually occurring, not the sensationalism of what is being slickly presented on some media outlets.

So I scoured the web for trustworthy sources of information of this epidemic from different points of view.  Below is what I’ve been able to pull together.  I caution the reader that some of what you read below may be alarming, but I want you to be aware of what I am seeing both as a practical and intuitive person.

This is epidemic is only just beginning.

According to this scientist interviewed by CBS, there are silent carriers who aren’t displaying symptoms as well as those that are coughing and being ill.  The epidemiologist interviewed here estimates that 40-70% of the world population will be infected.  He steadfastly predicts several million will die.

It’s not just the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions who will get sick and/or die.  Other ages can become infected to.  The percentages effected are shown here.

This pandemic is with us for next several months at least (no guarantee it will ebb in the summer months) and it most likely will be worse before it gets better.  This essay from Financial Times gives and overview of where we are headed.

So, even if you caught the virus and it was mild and you recovered, it may have helped your immunity toward that strain, but not necessarily for next years flu season.  It might mutate.   Even if you had no symptoms, you might be a carrier and may pass it on towards others and keep contributing to it’s transmission.

And, this is an RNA virus which means it does mutate more frequently.  There are two forms of the virus right now going on during the epidemic.  Luckily the version that has infected most of the world outside China is the milder form.

But the lack of being proactive by the governments and inhabitants of the countries effected keeps insuring it will continue to effect the population.

Looking back at the epidemic of 1918, there are several similarities of how that flu effected the population when they were congregated in groups and how the virus traveled around the country and world.  It’s a good comparison of study.

So despite all of that seemingly depressing news, there are some things we can do to lessen the impact right now.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Don’t get stressed. Hah!  I say that while living in the epicenter of a pandemic.  Seriously, find ways to take your mind off the situation for awhile.  Practice self-care.  Receive a Reiki session to boost your immune system and get a lymphocyte revitalization!

Seriously, stress weakens your immune system and if you are stressed you are more vulnerable to disease of any kind.

  1. Don’t go out into a crowd.

Minimize your risk of getting infected.  Even if you don’t display symptoms, there are others walking around right now who are carriers or who are symptomatic.  This means you might be more isolated, but this is where tapping into virtual community can be beneficial.

  1. Practice recommended hygiene methods

Listen to what authorities are saying about washing hands, using sanitizer, staying home if you are sick, social distancing etc.    As time goes on we will learn more about the virus and other ways to protect ourselves.

There is a newly published document by the EPA of lists of cleaning products approved to fight coronavirus.

  1. Be prepared

Have extra supplies and resources to support yourself or a loved one at home for 14 days.

If you look at the statistics again, you or someone you love may be at risk for the virus.

You or they may need to stay at home if infected and that means not leaving the house.

The world at large is already changing and will continue to over the next few weeks as the epidemic numbers increase.  Minimize risk where you can.

Be proactive not reactive.

 

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

 

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The small town returns

tmg-article_default_mobileFinishing out this first week of living at the center of this epidemic, it was apparent to me how many details of living in a metropolitan area had dramatically changed.

When I added up the several tens of thousands of employees of all the major tech companies in Seattle that had been requested by their employers to work from home, I calculated that probably over 150,000 people were most definitely not on the road ways, on the sidewalks or in the stores.  That’s the population of a small town.

I’ve read some articles calling Seattle a ‘ghost town’ but that’s not accurate.  What I see driving and walking around Seattle reminds me of what it looked like when I moved here back in 1999.  You only had a little traffic during rush hours, but otherwise, you got around the city pretty efficiently.

Back then, there was still a ‘small town’ aspect to the city.

That aspect seems to have returned.  There seems to be several small towns existing right now:  Virtual and In-person

The virtual small town of Seattle are those 150K+ people working from home.  Many of those who work in technology are no stranger to doing their work virtually, it’s a familiar place.  Not just workers but students are now also part of this, as several universities also switched all their classes from in-person to online.

The in-person small town of Seattle are all those people that continue to work in retail, public transit, or services like the health care systems still functioning that don’t have the option or don’t want to go virtual.

Those that are still meeting in-person are continuing to  interact with each other, but with modifications like the yoga teachers I know who continues to hold smaller public classes (taking away shared props and mats) or the therapists who still meet with their clients in office, stocked full of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.

I went out to the shopping mall for an hour just to see what that was like on a Friday night.  I found it sparse, but not empty.  Going through Sears, my partner Richard and I nearly had the store to ourselves.  I counted 8 people (including the clerks).  A few shoppers were wearing face masks.  I was happy to see people doing the ordinary browsing and shopping.  I’m happy people are still living their lives despite the extraordinary circumstances of this epidemic.

Each day, we are all making decisions whether to be more restrictive in our interactions and gatherings, how much or if we chose to wash our hands and whether or not we should start to prepare for this as our way of being for the rest of the month.

Tonight I’m left with the thought that despite the adversity of the week, life carries on.  Thank goodness for that.  We’ll need that strength and determination in the weeks ahead.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo credit

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