Honor the Pause

img_20200630_195429882Each one of us has had their own experience with the last five months.  On this beautiful summer morning, I am ‘honoring the pause’ to reflect what’s taken place in my little world and giving space for what may occur over the fall and winter.

It was February when I began watching with regularity YouTube videos out of China on what they were experiencing in Wuhan.  Our national news or officials were not reporting about this.

In a panic, I met with a colleague of mine just to touch base and ask was I being paranoid about being concerned.

We met at a quintessential Seattle coffee shop, C&P in West Seattle.  It’s still one of my favorite spots to go to.  The independently owned shop is located in a converted house that has couches and dining room tables spread throughout.  Every week there would be live music, or poetry, or open mic.  It was one of the last places emerging artists could come.

I can easily put myself back there, on the couch, next to my colleague, asking about what she knew about the virus. I remember the casual atmosphere of the coffee shop and the ease with which people moved about.  That moment in time seems flash frozen, as does the world in which we had met.

I remember sharing my feelings of being quite anxious and having the thought, “All this will change”.

Our meeting was reassuring not in that I had nothing to worry about, but that someone with whom I have great respect confirmed what I had been concerned about.  My response was to enjoy the time remaining before the inevitable came to pass.

Until the order to stay at home came in March, my partner Richard and I went to museums, parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, places we knew would be closing in just a matter of time.  It was a bittersweet diversion.  I cried a lot of the time, watching people unaware of what was to come.

I cried off and on each week until about July.  As a psychotherapist, holding space for my clients, going through similar emotional experiences, I reached a low point I have never experienced before.  I contemplated a complete career change at one point.  To help me through those dark weeds I started my own therapy at the lowest of lows.    That began to help me see a way through.  I also brought more of my existing supports into my world.

From the beginning, I offered virtual Reiki circles, at first daily, now several times a week.  My Reiki community was and is such an incredible gift to myself and the planet.

I also reached out to my cousins, aunts and uncles more than I ever had in prior years.  I still maintain regular contact with my family spread out all across the US.

My love of art took awhile to return.  I dabbled back in to the clay art I had once had such a passion for.  I’ve been painting all the exterior surfaces of my house on my time off.

I ‘mastered’ leading Zoom groups and sessions and now when I do see the occasional masked client in person THAT feels strange.  Such an odd shift.

As the summer came on more socially distanced  nature walks, talks, energy meditations and eating outside has occurred.  All have helped my mood, my vision, my relationships with others.

But now, as the blackberries become overripe, I start to think about how to maintain all this support, activity and focus going into the more internal parts of the year.  When the colder and wetter weather has us retreat within.

I hope more organized testing takes place so that it becomes as ‘normal’ as temperature checks.  There is an organization, Testing for America, which is comprised of scientists and business people to permanently and safely reopen schools, businesses and the US economy by providing affordable, accessible and frequent testing and screening.  It’s definitely a start.

Just as embarking on this journey back in March was a complete unknown, the future ahead is uncharted.

If I have learned anything that has helped me navigate this far, I’d have to say what has helped me are:

  1. Practicing Mindfulness through Reiki and meditation.
  2. Watching something comedic as often as possible
  3. Making space for and reaching out to friends, family and community several times each week
  4. Engaging in some creative/artistic pursuit several times a week
  5. Exercising in some fashion every day
  6. Taking Naps
  7. Eating a little chocolate every day
  8. Getting a pedicure (with a mask and face shield on), shutting off the phone and zoning out in the massage chair
  9. Look at something else besides the news when I first wake up
  10. Practice the safety protocols as recommended

What will you be doing as the weather turns colder?

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Reiki at the Zoo

e39911ce473e98622e68861405da7615Animals, whether wild or domestic, are instinctual, intuitive and quite sensitive to the healing energy of Reiki.  This was extremely apparent on a recent trip I took to the zoo.  I recommend such a ‘field trip’ to any Reiki practitioner to further their awareness and connection, both to their practice and as an offering to the majestic creatures that live amongst us.

My recommendation is wearing a jacket or sweatshirt that has pockets on both sides you can put your hands into and direct energy outward.  Not that you couldn’t project Reiki with your hands open, but if you do, remember, you will be as much of a spectacle as the other exhibits there.  I call this form of practice ‘incognito Reiki’.

Then, find an exhibit that isn’t attracting a lot of attention.  Usually this would be one in which no apparent animal is ‘seen’.  They might be laying the grass or finding shelter behind a bush.  In my case, I found an exhibit on whooping cranes.  The tall grasses and pond layout was tranquil to look at, and I had the whole view to myself in the middle of busy day at the zoo.

As soon as I began connecting with Reiki flow the cranes made loud squawks from amidst their camouflage in the grasses.  It was stunning.  Then their curious heads peeked up at me, maybe 20 feet away.

I asked them in my mind if it was alright for them to receive Reiki, got a positive answer, and continued to send.  They both came out of the grass and into the open, a bit closer to me, watching.

Their sounds started to draw onlookers, but with my Reiki hands in my pockets, I just continued to send in a meditative mindset.  Then another curious side-effect occurred.

Onlookers started sitting near me, including children, that just moments before were yelling and screaming down the path.  They sat and stared at the the cranes, smiling toward me and they too started to calm down.  So, we all were having our own little Reiki circle in this pocket of the zoo!

After twenty minutes, I moved along to another exhibit, the path lead me into a bird aviary.  I began sending my Reiki incognito again.  Soon, many birds were landing near the bench I was seated on, and onlookers again, calmed down and took in the amazing colors and variety of life around us.

My last exhibit was to try a more popular one, that of the apes.  I initially stood off on the side, just sending Reiki out of my pockets and holding space for healing.  This was more challenging, because onlookers like to make comments, taunts and are fascinated looking into the ancestral face of apes.  I wasn’t attached at results, but what I did notice was that a meditative air started to infuse the exhibit after several minutes, one more of respect than the prior off-handed comments people had been making.

I think it’s a good reminder, to be respectful and mindful at the zoo.  To give back to these animals who’s lives are on display for us as the public to admire.  I highly recommend Reiki at the Zoo.

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey

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