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

Calm in the storm

IMG_20200220_133021246Tonight the Reiki Fellowship connected around the shared experience that is the ‘new normal’ in the Seattle area.

We talked about ways to maintain good health, including exercising at home or going for walks/runs/biking vs. going to the very public gym.  We commiserated over the mob mentality at Costco and other stores and how public transit, despite best efforts, didn’t seem like a great idea.

I have lead in-person healing circles for many decades, but this was my first online version.  It felt rich and supportive to connect to others who have meditative and healing practices to help ground and center despite times of crisis and uncertainty.  Connecting in this way is the key to prevent feeling isolated in such times.

Below is the meditation I wrote and read followed by sending healing energy to the health care and frontline workers, patients, families, friends, loved ones, co-workers and all those effected in our area.

We also sent healing energy out in the future into the next day and days ahead as more is revealed.

We’ll be back online next week, 3/11 7:30-8:30pm.  If you care to join, please do so here.  Password 010470

Calming Meditation (read to  the music of Shamanic Dream)

Take this time to center yourself and receive the calming benefits of working with your breath.

Inhale deeply and exhale all the way down and through your body to the tips of your toes.

Now, let’s do that again.  Deep inhale and then exhale all the way through.

Feel the strength of that breath.  It is always with you and supports you in all that you do.  Day in and day out.

The changes of the world happen around you and yet here, in this moment is your breath.  Even and flowing.  Feel it now.

Your are sustained and held by the breath.  Give yourself permission to receive this time to be refreshed, rejuvenated and restored in the abundance of ki now flowing through your system.

Ki, prana, chi flows through the breath.  As we take this journey, we receive the benefit of this healing energy through every molecule of our being.

So, let’s get comfortable and settle in as we imagine ourselves taking a walk on a beautiful sunny spring day, like today through a wooded park.

The air has a slight chill to it, but the sun makes your skin feel warm and your body relaxed.  As you approach the trees lining the edge of the park you feel yourself take a deeper breath and feel the support of mother nature all around you.

As you walk onto the earthen path,   you feel the forest ground underneath your feet and you enjoy the sounds of birds chirping in the distance.  Inhale the serenity you are starting to invite into all of your being.

In gratitude, you take a moment and pause,  perhaps envisioning yourself opening your arms all the way and taking a deep inhale as you enjoy the comfort of being.

You feel all the thoughts and worries you had melt away and in it’s place is the calm, cool quiet of this shaded wood.

As you continue to walk through the park you notice distant sounds of the city, passing cars, maybe even a lawn mower.  But you are not disturbed.  You are part of this city and it is part of you.  You find yourself acclimating to the background noise.

Take another deep breath, return to the sensation of being in the forest.  You feel the connection to both nature and to the community you are part of.  In this moment, you are healthy, well and grounded and can even take a deep breath further into your own sense of well being.

Through each breath, you bring healing ki into your cells and the systems of your body:  cardiovascular, respiratory, skeletal, nervous, lymph, reproductive and endocrine.

Each system responds by shining a different color with each breath you take.  Notice the various colors and textures with each breath.

Spend a few moments here inhaling healing ki into each system and notice what you notice.  Honor the pause here and be grateful for the effortless functioning of your body.

Now, in the next inhalation, take a full body scan from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and notice how you feel now within body and mind.

What’s different, what’s new, what’s still taking it’s time.

From this place you are now at, feel the centerdness within you and how present you are in the moment.

Remember this place when you need to feel the support and abundance of the healing energy all around you.  Take a few moments and inhale deeply.

Now, when you are ready, begin the process of returning back through the woods along the path.

When you reach the edge and are ready to return back from where you started, give thanks for taking this time.

You are healthy and well and full of light and the refreshing natural energy.

Give yourself time coming back at your own pace.  Perhaps first feeling your feet on the ground and your body in the chair you are seated in.

Next, take each arm and rub the tops of your arms and legs and slowly, slowly, come back to this space now.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst (includes photo)

 

 

 

 

Ancestral Healing Meditation

20190713_143325From our monthly 4th Reiki Circle last night.  We opened by calling in the energy of all the directions.  Then, I began the meditation:

Envision a great tree magnificently standing at the edge of a field.  As you approach it, you are humble to it’s enormous trunk and branches.  This tree is ancient and has been here a long, long time.

As you approach, you offer a blessing to this great tree of cornmeal or tobacco.

With your hands folded in Gasho, you ask the tree for permission to enter into the earth realm, beneath the ground, down deep where it’s roots are connected to healing mother Earth.

The tree permits you to begin entering down deep into the earth, into the depths where the traces of your ancestors have lived and now lie.  Their mortal remains now part of the Earth.

I invite you to call upon the ancestor line you may be working with or feel most connected to-on your mother’s or father’s side or perhaps a spiritual lineage, such as that of the Reiki founders.

All those who have gone before are connected to you and now you to them.

They have had their own challenges when they were alive, and now have much wisdom to pass along to you.  Their experiences have taught the how to navigate the world with more ease.

I invite you to be open to the wisdom they have to share with you and also to ask any questions you might have for them to hold and reflect on.

As you connect to these ancestors, always ensure they are bright light.

Let yourself receive this guidance now.  Not forcing anything, but naturally allowing what needs to unfold to do so.

Ancestors often communicate in symbols colors or feelings, so notice what you notice if you attentions is drawn to any of these areas.

Give yourself permission to receive this wisdom.

I will play the drum for several minutes to allow any additional information that might need to come through. (Drum beat for 3 minutes)

Now, coming back to your breath, to your body in the chair, your feet on the ground, notice where you are now in body and mind.

Take your time coming back.  Rub the tops of your arms and legs and take a stretch if you need to.

Take this experience into the Reiki sessions we will now share in.

(We concluded the circle with giving each other Reiki sessions and closed each of the directions).

If you’d like to join us, we hold ancestor Reiki circles every 4th Wednesday, 7-9pm Georgetown Reiki Circle, 5701 3rd Ave S.  www.reikitrainingprogram.com

Copyright 2019 Eileen Dey Wurst, M.A, LMHC text and photo.

 

 

Seattle Brought the Party!

Over the weekend, several Reiki Fellowship members and myself attended the 35th annual NW Reiki Gathering in Breitenbush, OR.  It was the first time our group had attended.

Spread out over 4 days, over 90 participants came from around the world to connect, learn and exchange healing energy and ideas.  The founders of this gathering were from the Reiki Alliance, an organization set up by the Reiki grandmaster Hawayo Takata ( who was trained in the lineage of Reiki system founder Sensei Usui).

This traditional aspect of the Reiki Alliance permeated the gathering.  Timed hand placements,  Reiki performed in silence, emphasis on the Reiki precepts, and much acknowledgement to the past lineage bearers consumed the program.

Our Reiki Fellowship is a hybrid of Reiki Alliance principles and non-traditional techniques.  We were welcomed to the gathering, but felt cautious and discerning eyes watching us for the first days we were there.

lovelyI am grateful to our community, because were were a source of support during the early days of acclimating to an organization that was in the middle of changing (the recent leader had passed away and a new representative had just been elected).

The speakers chosen for this gathering, 3 men, actually were a hybrid of old and new school Reiki in their beliefs. Because this panel was male dominated, it was off-putting to many of the women and representatives of the LGBTQ community present.

But I suppose, all the different challenges that occupied this gathering, also permitted stronger bonds amongst community members to occur.

Our group met and exchanged information with almost everyone who had attended.  They now know about the only licensed vocational school of Reiki in the PNW, The Reiki Training Program and our work with hospice and veterans.

beautygalsOne of the highlights for me was on the last night of the gathering.  They held an 80’s themed dance party (and you know I love the 80’s!).  All our our group was out on the dance floor, being silly, having fun, dancing with one of the speakers and making a lot of people put aside beliefs for a moment and just bond through the medium of dance.

One of the participants came up to us afterward and said ‘Seattle brought the party!’.

Bringing joy and light has been our way each time the Reiki Fellowship has gathered.  It appears we have accomplished that mission!

We’ll continue on with our work in the world in Puget Sound, where our home base and community is.  Next year, we all agreed to resume our regularly scheduled summer retreat.  Stay tuned for details and in the meantime….

Always walk in your own integrity, your light will shine forth evermore!

Copyright Eileen Dey Wurst 2019

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