Since its humble beginnings on a mountaintop in Japan, Reiki has been adapted into varying cultural traditions across the world. In fact, it is estimated that there are over a hundred versions or expressions of Reiki. So, why are there so many forms of Reiki?
Well, that’s a little like asking, “Why are there so many forms of art?” Art has been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions, ideas, and individual passions. You could use the exact same definition for Reiki. Reiki is a vehicle for the expression of one’s own personal healing style and passion! Reiki is art!
Both Reiki and art are abilities that come naturally to some… and many practitioners of both Reiki and art find training is necessary to help them refine their endeavors and learn specialized skills that makes them more effective, productive, and even more passionate about their work.
If you, or someone you know, is a caregiver, it goes without saying that you could probably use more sleep. You are not alone! The statistics are staggering: there are approximately 43.5 million people in the United States who identify as caregivers!
Approximately 8.5 million of these primary caregivers are single mothers and 2.5 million are single fathers. These numbers don’t include the 1.7 million veterans who have returned home in the last ten years and who are now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or some form of depression—individuals who also need a great deal of support and care.
SWIHA graduate Shashirekha Banavar, affectionately called “Shashi” by friends and family, is described by those who know and love her as sophisticated, sassy, shy at first, sensitive, and super committed to whole food cuisine. Shashi lives in India, where for the past 30 years she has served as a lawyer and a consumer activist, written a book entitled Shashi’s Recipes – Authentic South Indian Vegetarian Dishes, and received the President’s Guide Award for top performing Girl Guides (similar to the Girl Scouts in the United States) from the President of India. Shashi is a superstar by many standards, although she will blush hearing it said!
As one of the first students to graduate from the online 750-hour Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner diplomas, Shashi actually flew to Tempe, Arizona, to attend the September 2017 Gifts and Graces event, where she was recognized as being a one of SWIHA’s Great Graduates! She easily gets the award for traveling the furthest to attend graduation on campus!
South Indian Cuisine,
intro to gong
Having recently completed a two and a half week assignment of being granny-nanny to my three youngest granddaughters (ages 10, 8 and 3 years old) while my daughter in-laws served in Africa, the words to the LEGOLAND theme song “Everything Is Awesome” will be forever etched in my brain. Nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards, the LEGO Movie song is infectious with its catchy rhythm; it’s difficult to not start shaking from side to side as if your body has turned into a little block-like-structure, bouncing around uncontrollably, when the words flow through your mind:
Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
Everything is awesome when you're living out a dream!
Was I living out a dream while spending 16 non-stop, action-packed, emotion-filled days dedicated to childcare… days which could easily be likened to one of the roller coasters at LEGOLAND, where we spent part of a week? Certainly… if this adventure was designed to assess and define the progression of my mindfulness practice!
How did I not lose my mind? By consciously and mindfully choosing to use as my sanity mantra the words, “Everything Is Awesome!”
Yoga Teacher Training,
Have you ever found yourself standing with your index finger pointed at the heavens, demanding an answer from the divine?
To be perfectly honest, I have! There have been times that I have looked up in total frustration, as if to say, “Could ya just give me a clue?” Other times, I can be found more gently pleading, “Oh come on… just give me a little sign! Help me to understand what I already know!”
If you’re wondering if there actually is a way to harness the energy of “wanting to know,” the answer is YES— and it’s called Spiritual Kinesiology! This practice is a form of muscle testing that will allow you to pretty clearly know what you believe deep within. It involves your right index finger–your pointer finger–which I refer to as the “god finger.” It is called the “god finger” because when we come to a crossroads where we really need to have clarity about something, many of us pray to God and look for divine signs of guidance and confirmation. Your index finger could just as easily be called the “divine finger” or the “finger of knowing.”
"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you're happy and you know it, and you're not afraid to show it, clap your hands!"
If you know these words, you've probably either been in Sunday school at some point in your life, been to one of my yoga classes, or you know my grandkids! This is one of my favorite theme songs…
And they are also the words that broke me wide open recently.
“If you’re happy and you know it…”
At our household, we sing all of the verses and variations! “If you're happy and you know it… stomp your feet, say AMEN, scratch your head, rub your belly, pretend you’re jelly!” And we often run through all of the emotions of the Pixar movie Inside Out: Joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and many more, often resulting in hold-your-belly laughter!
After a particular round of singing, laughing, and hilarious antics, one of my granddaughters spontaneously said to me, "What’s gay, Granny? What does gay mean?"
Yoga Teacher Training,
the just be love project,
trauma sensitive bodywork
For anyone older than about 18 to 20 years old, the mere mention of September 11, 2001, evokes visceral memories of the day the twin towers fell in New York City. Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of this heartbreaking event, and when asked to remember where they were on that day, most people have an almost automatic reflex, causing them to hold their breath and flit back to the memories buried within their emotional awareness. What is this universal emotion we are experiencing in recalling tragedy? Vulnerability!
No matter how old you were, the crack in the cosmic egg which occurred that day caused an entire nation to feel vulnerable. Something shifted in all of us, and that shift may still be affecting how we show up in the world today.
Shortly after SWIHA was founded, a guest massage instructor came to our modest campus to offer training on a technique known as “positional release therapy.” In this type of therapy, the body is positioned in strategic ways so as to release the muscles and tension stored from past injuries, accidents, and traumas. Within the first few hours of the workshop, one of the students had a reaction to the position in which her body had been placed. She began to cry and then shake; finally, her left hand involuntarily contorted into a claw-like cramp. The guest instructor (who had over 20 years of experience) stood by in confusion, looking as if he had never seen an emotional release before. Immediately stepping up to the table, I offered the student a guided visualization, taking her to a “safe place” and instructing her to concentrate on slowing her breath to calm her mind.
As the guest instructor look on incredulously, he commented, “In all my years, I have never had THAT happen on my table!” Luckily, I had the grace to not say what I was thinking, which was: “And you never will… because you don’t know how to ‘hold space’ for others!” Even if I had shared what I was thinking, this instructor probably wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about.
Cranial Massage Therapist,
There is an old adage which states, "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be."
There is no truer definition of surrender than freely letting something go forever with no attachment to it (whatever “it” is) coming back— while still being open to the miracle that it might. Surrender is not giving up; it’s releasing control or attachment to what you want, fully believing there is a higher, greater purpose for whatever happens. This process can be considered a walk in faith!
As strange and trite as it might sound, my recent stay in “Facebook jail” truly taught me valuable life coaching lessons in the art of surrender. As shared in a previous blog, Facebook disabled my personal account with no explanation other than to say that my account had been deemed a security risk and that no further explanation could (or would) be given. Now I realize that it is truly a “first-world problem” to have a Facebook account disabled. You might be thinking, “Come on, KC, there are much more important things to think about, let alone spend precious time praying about!” This is true, and the experience has been humbling and illuminating. In fact, as a result of being in “Facebook jail,” I truly have experienced a walk in faith. The following are the life coaching steps I took and will continue to take in the future:
Yoga Teacher Training,
Yoga Off the Mat,
Pain and Suffering,
Ever have those times when everything seems to go wrong? Your computer crashes, you quarrel or argue with people in your life over small and nonsensical things, flights are delayed or cancelled, plans change without warning, and even Facebook seems to be against you? Chances are you are smack dab in the middle of a Mercury retrograde!
Our most recent retrograde started on August 12th–marking the third time Mercury has gone retrograde in 2017—and isn’t scheduled to end until Labor Day! So what exactly happens when Mercury goes retrograde? SWIHA Great Graduate Danielle Warford explains in one of her compelling blog posts on The Wild Feminine:
“It’s a time where the planet Mercury, for a three week period, appears to be moving backwards in the sky. Star-gazers have been watching this for millennia. The effects of a retrograde are universal, it seems, and if you begin to look at patterns of your life up against a calendar of retrogrades, you may find a pattern along with your frustrations.”
“Side effects” of this particular alignment—or misalignment—of the planets usually include glitches and misunderstandings in our communication and relationships that create a sense of unpredictability. In fact, even our electronic devices can have a tendency to go a bit haywire during this time!
highly sensitive person,