Sunday, January 31, 2010

Positive Energy and Wonderful People

Yesterday was fabulous. I had my second day of Reiki class and being surrounded by such a wonderful group of people and feeling the effects of our positive energy put me in a great mood. We spent the weekend bathing in healing and humor which really made up the best combination; after all, there is no better release than laughter and nothing brings people together or puts them at ease faster.

I’d like to share a few of my Reiki experiences, just a couple that made me realize how real it is, regardless of how intangible the concept. The first time I gave my little brother Reiki, he was just sitting in a chair watching the obnoxious show, SpongeBob Squarepants. While I prefer to receive Reiki in a more relaxing environment and close my eyes, it works anywhere, and some people are more comfortable the less spiritual the environment. Reiki is all about the receiver so I do what I can to put them at ease. All I did was a 15 minute seated treatment and he fell asleep – while sitting and watching cartoons. What’s more is he did not even realize he had nodded off until I told him he missed a butt joke. For an 11 year old with seemingly boundless energy to fall asleep and not laugh at a [hilarious…?] butt joke because of the energy flowing through my hands was amazing to me. There was no reason for him to doze off except the relaxation from Reiki.

Another time Reiki stretched into the tangible reality for me was when I was giving it to my younger sister. She, as a dancer and soccer star, has chronic hamstring problems and had just pulled a hamstring. We laid down to watch a movie, and I laid my hands on one of her legs. Normally my hands get warm when I do Reiki, which is how I feel the energy flowing. So I felt the energy and we just kept enjoying our movie (August Rush, fabulous film by the way!) until a few minutes later I switched to her pulled hamstring wherein the heat increased sharply. Instead of being a pleasant constant warmth, the heat was searing and almost painful as her pulled muscle pulled in the energy it needed to heal. Reiki does not necessarily take away pain or cure diseases, but it gives you what you need whether that is sleep, decreased anxiety, or decreased pain, and the energy will go where it needs to. I did her other hamstring as well and the heat was still strong, but much less intense. The fact that I could feel the difference between the types of pain in her legs from the intensity of the energy flowing floored me, and to this day remains the story I go to whenever I start to doubt myself.

The concept of energy healing is difficult to grasp, and I myself was skeptical before taking the class. Therefore you can imagine before I took the second class, I was again suspicious – how can Reiki be sent through time and space to my lovely sister in Paris when I am all the way back in Minneapolis? My professor and Reiki Master likened distance healing to prayer and good thoughts. Just as you might ask someone when their surgery or test is then tell them you’ll be thinking of them, or praying that someone feels better after having the flu, you can send Reiki. While this still leaves doubts, it makes the idea much more comprehensible.

In class we practiced distance Reiki first between ourselves, sending symbols back and forth. One side of the room would pick an area to send to while the other side just sat and waited to see what they would feel, then we talked about it and switched roles– very simple. The coolest time for me was when my partner sent me a symbol and I immediately felt a bright light exploding from my forehead and my eyes started twitching as if they were having a seizure. It was so powerful and unexpected, but sure enough she had sent the symbol to my Third Eye chakra which is located on your forehead. We were both shocked at the results: that she had clearly sent the symbol across the room and it worked, and that I felt it exactly where she sent it. It sounds crazy, I know, but that’s why I want to share these stories. I know some of this sounds ridiculous and I myself came in with so much skepticism, but experiencing these feelings makes me realize the power of Reiki is real.

I’d like to make a quick disclaimer about myself because if you do not know me, the stuff I’m saying may come off as pretentious or crazy, depending what I’m writing about. I know talking about chakras especially immediately puts people on their guard. I am actually a very grounded person (although I suppose any crazy person will tell you they are perfectly sane, so how much can you really trust anything I say?) who merely wants something more from life. I need to believe in a higher power and I need to believe in the existence of something besides the physical. While I try to write as closely to the way I would talk, I realize some of my voice gets lost that way, and perhaps my sense of humor will not translate through written word; many people do not understand my humor normally anyway. I am not pretentious unless it comes to coffee or tea – I am a hot beverage snob – and I am not loopy. Hopefully more of my self will come out as I continue writing. Already I have written twice in a week (it would have been two days in a row except I was so tired last night) so this is going well so far. For me. But how it is going for you and what you are getting out of this does not really affect me unless you feel the need to throw a rock at my head in an attempt to bring me back to reality, from which I strongly suggest you refrain. Either way, I am proud!

If anything I say does present you with questions however, I strongly urge you to ask them. I am always willing to perform a Reiki treatment if you are curious. Just let me know and offer me a bottle of wine or some cheese as part of the necessary energy exchange. I do not require monetary payment, but Reiki is most effective when you want it and give something in return. I am also glad to send you Reiki if you are having a particularly bad day or just need to relax for a test. Or perhaps you, like my mom, wake up every hour throughout the night. I sent her Reiki two days ago and she slept all night until my dad woke her up getting ready in the morning. I love talking about Reiki and have many more stories to share and would love to create more. As for now I shall continue to bask in the positive energy I was embalmed with this weekend and let my cat reap the benefits of my desire to practice.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here we GO!!!!

People have been suggesting I start a blog because I am apparently a very interesting person. While I'm not sure how accurate that is, I do have things I'd like to share, and I also hope to learn something about myself through blogging. I have tried [numerous times] to write in a journal or diary, and I think the most I have lasted is two days, therefore if I manage to keep this up at all I will consider it a success regardless of whether anyone else gets something from my words. What kept me from starting a blog was I could not think of what my overarching subject would be, but I decided today that I have the most to say about my feminist and gender studies views, and my current quest for spirituality. That's where I'm coming from, and hopefully this entry will serve as an introduction.

Today I took the level II Reiki class and spent 8 hours in the lovely Mayo Meditation Room enjoying stained glass windows and positive thoughts. For those of you who do not want to take the time to Wiki/Google that crazy word, Reiki is a form of hands-on energy healing (on second thought maybe you should Google it...) wherein, if nothing else, the receiver feels relaxed. After taking the first level last March, I have done Reiki on myself (and Neko, my lovely cat) nearly every day. I use it to get rid of headaches, stomach pain, anxiety, and before I go to sleep to get more relaxed. The second level allows for distance healing so now I can send these good feelings to my dear roommate and sister in France, or my friends a few blocks away; I feel limitless!

Learning about Reiki has made me realize something is lacking in my spiritual life. To find something to fill this void I am looking into meditation, studying the chakra system, and trying out different churches when I can find the time to do so. Unfortunately being a full-time student leaves little time for self-reflection, and clearly my body is starved for me-time. As I commence on the 21-day cleanse that accompanies the Reiki attunement process, I plan to be more aware of myself on all four levels of healing: physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. While my body flushes out the toxins that have been building up since last spring, I will adjust my life to find a greater balance.

Now as for the feminist introduction. I began thinking critically about gender several years go as a college freshmen after taking the course, Politics of Sex which looked at the intersections of race, class, power, and gender. Since then I have studied the inequalities between men and women and the social construction of gender becoming enraged and frustrated. However I feel the first step towards change is education, and I realize not everybody has been exposed to queer and feminist theory, and the majority of the population has never thought about gender. Hopefully I can pose some of my questions and views here and they raise questions for everyone else. Whether you agree with me or not does not make much of a difference, but as long as you think about what I say (because I certainly do not want anyone to take my word as truth) to form your own opinion, I will be content. Either way, right now I am taking 3 women's classes, Gender Labor and Politics, the Deviance of Femininity, and Women in Modern America, and it gives me a lot to think about.

While this may be construed as a side-note, it is an important part of my passion for women’s studies: my greatest pet peeve is opinions without reason. By this I mean someone believing something simply because that is what their parents taught them or they heard it from a friend or a teacher or whatever. Don’t be lazy and do a little research to make an informed opinion that is your own. If you do not believe in evolution or are pro-life, I want a reason besides the Bible; the Enlightenment happened centuries ago and opinions demand some reason and rationale. I have no problem with your opinions opposing mine as long as you have reasons. I require thoughtfulness! --- BTW I do not believe evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive because the Bible is not meant to be taken literally, and I am pro-choice because while I would never get an abortion myself, I support a woman’s reproductive rights.

It’s time for bed because I have class tomorrow (yes, on a Saturday) at 9am. I know this entry is kind of rough, but give me a little while to get into it and establish myself, all that jazz… Thank you all for putting up with my rambling, I feel like I wrote for a while but didn't really say anything, but perhaps that is what happens at the beginning. What do I know, I don't blog.