Being a Healer in an Age of Unity

Danes form Ring of Peace around Copenhagen synagogue

As a helper and healer in the world, we are sensitive people, to both emotions and to the world we live in. The effects of the recent attacks on Paris and the mass shootings in the US have shaken a bit of my own confidence in humanity and for a world based on peace, rather than violence.
I see this same emotional angst in many of the clients I serve. When I first went into private practice, it was in the year before 9/11. After that fateful day, I saw firsthand how clients were dealing not just with their own issues but with this greater problem, terrorism, now brought front and center into their psyche.
Then, of course, there were all the wars we became involved in. I continued in my service work as counselor, Reiki practitioner and teacher to the public at large, but I felt a greater calling to offer help to those who were on the frontline.
That lead me to approach the Veterans Administration to offer Reiki classes and sessions to veterans, as the war(s) to come I forsaw having many soldiers returning needing deep healing. My colleague Michael Emanuel and I taught many veterans throughout the years and this year we received actual funding for veterans to pursue Reiki practitioner or master training.
It’s an accomplishment that came out of wanting to help heal a bruised and battered world.
This time around, with the rise of Daesh, the Syrian crisis, the bickering and posturing of politicians over what to do, I’m feeling a calling to global healing work again.
I am not a historian or a politician. I am a teacher and a healer, so those are the skills and abilities I continue to offer.
The vision for this global healing work is still forming. Like my experience with the veterans, it continues to evolve.
I was going to title this blog ‘Being a Healer in the Age of Terror’, but realized that the word ‘terror’ just reinforces itself. A key to dealing with the tragedies that occur in the world is to find a sense of unity. Reiki circles offer such a sense, a possible project could be organizing a day of Reiki circles across the country. Any volunteers? But I have other ideas just beneath the surface, and will give space for them to come forward. It all starts with a thought, then it can turn into a vision then it can become reality.
But I welcome thoughts and opinions on how you might see healing work being of service during this next evolution in the Age of Unity.

Image credit COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – MARCH 14: People of different faiths form a peace ring outside the synagogue where a Jewish security guard was shot last month in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 14, 2015. (Photo by Recep Yasar /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Happiness for having life post-9/11

fountainsflowersToday we remember 13 years ago the incredible tragedy of 9/11.  I found this photo of the memorial that overtook Seattle Center in the days that followed.  It was one of the most powerful healing events for our community I have ever been part of.  There was a tangible connectedness of people to support our collective grief.  We came together to honor the victims and to make a statement that we, like so many other cities and towns across the US that we would never forget this day.

Each year, I’ve had my own way creating a memorial, and offering prayers and light to the deceased and to the world effected by that day.

The work I have done with veterans, in teaching them Reiki, was created by that tragedy.  I knew that soldiers would come back from the war we were engaging in with many issues, and that Reiki could help provide a way to help heal and help reconnect a fractured soul.

I’m happy to be alive on this 13th anniversary, I’m happy to be able to provide healing to many people through my work.  Because we are 3000 miles away from NYC, most people I work with haven’t been directly effected by 9/11, but the magnitude of it, does often trigger grief responses, of lost loved ones, lost lives, lost plans.

Giving space for the grief allows it to heal through time.  And focusing on life, and the celebration of it provides balm to the wounds effected by tragedy.

Eileen Dey 2014Photo credit

Moving forward on 9/12: The next ten years

So, we’ve all learned and changed a lot since that fateful day.  After attending a vigil yesterday, I’m left with the question, what will the next ten years bring?

What do you want to see happen in the U.S. and in your own life as we move forward?

I continue to be committed to promoting peace in the world through the medium of Reiki.  But I’m also aware that some changes will occur in how I manage that effort.

I can see myself over this next decade doing more writing and speaking and less one-on-one work with students and clients.  Spreading the word and the light through larger channels.

Just as before, I am aware of the Reiki saying ‘that which does not serve you will fall away’.  So, those structures that are limiting will transition.  Those alliances that are weights rather than bolsters of support will be released so that the thoughts and visions to inspire can continue to do so.

I know the U.S. will always have a presence in the Middle East, but my hope is for a more peaceful and secular society to emerge in the countries we have been at war with.

My hope is also for Americans to find their own balance in life through a restructure of the economy and purpose.

As the new World Trade Center rises over Manhattan, a new era of possibilities awaits.

I tend to see the glass as half full, so I am filled with promise rather than despair.  Sure, life will through each and every one of us challenges, but how we react to them will determine the course we are to take.

I’d like the history books to record the era of 9/12/11 on as the ‘Optimism Decade’.  I hold that intention and look into the future one day at a time.


How my life changed after 9/11

Like everyone reminiscing this week, I remember where I was when I heard the news.  I was living in the University District of Seattle and my friend Tom called me and in a panic told me to turn on the TV.  He was telling me America was under attack.  My initial thought was, ‘No, this can’t be, what’s Tom talking about?’.

And then, like a lot of people, I was glued to my TV for hours.  Having grown up just 15 miles outside of NYC the cityscape skyline was always present as were those two towers.  As a child, I went on field trips into and up them.  As an adult I had an interview there as well.

And watching them fall, I had a visceral reaction to what was happening to all the people in them and around the world.

I finally left the house that day and walked down the street amazed that life in Seattle was still functioning normally.  I heard the president’s broadcast on a radio in a store.  I wrote my thoughts to soothe myself.

The next day, I went down to Seattle Center with many others, in solemn remembrance, and found other healing circles in which to offer prayers.  I even lugged my Reiki table onto the Greenlake park nearby and made a sign:  “Peace starts within–free Reiki sessions”.

As the months passed, the clients I saw were grieving a collective grief.  The whole nation was.  I went back to Ground Zero a few months later as part of my own process.

My desire to keep providing Reiki to the world only increased.  I approached the veteran’s center because as a counselor I knew the soldiers we were sending to war would be returning with trauma that Reiki could assist in managing.

My own relationship at the time began to go through changes.  My ex-husband became more introverted and focused on writing.  Our worldviews for peace and education were similar but the way in which we handled our changing world was one factor in our relationship coming to an end.

Now it’s 10 years later.  The economy is in peril.  A lot of lives have been lost, and yet, somehow as humans we all keep on keeping on.

I think many Americans have become less naive, I know me, one of them.  But I’ve always tried not to ‘live in fear’ but to celebrate life instead.  And with that, I continue my healing mission.  The world will always need it.  With that, I can find a sense of stability through all the change that has occurred and always will.


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