Smudging

Do you know that feeling of weight being lifted from your shoulders the first time you walk into a newly cleaned room?  All the toys are put away, no dirty socks or bowls to clutter the floor and surfaces.  The fresh scent of cleanliness clings to everything.  Your hard work has afforded you this peace and lightness!

Imagine if you could kick it up a notch.

Not only do our physical spaces need cleansing, our energetic spaces need cleansing as well!  Smudging is an excellent and accessible way to do just that.

Smudging is the act of burning incense, sage or palo santo in order to remove stagnant, negative or low vibrational energy.  Smudging helps to clear the air, freshen a room and move unwanted energy away.  Smudging is especially effective if the space is frequented by multiple people (ex: family members, clients, etc).

How do I smudge?  In the past I’ve been known to use incense and sage (both loose and in bundles, with and without other herbs). Currently I’m in love with Palo Santo.  Palo Santo is a tree native to Mexico and South America and has been used as a spiritual cleansing tool since the time of the Incas.  Go here to learn more. 

The first step (after physically cleaning the space) is to light your smudge stick.  Allow it to flame up and get a good ember started.  Frequently the smudge will naturally transition from flame to smoking.  If it doesn’t gently blow or shake the stick to extinguish the flame without extinguishing the ember.  Repeat as necessary throughout the cleansing process.

Once your smudge stick is putting off a strong stream of smoke,  take a moment to say a prayer, say a mantra or set an intention.  The intention should be simple, something like “cleanse and renew this space so that happiness and love can bloom here”.

After you are confident in your intention, begin cleansing yourself with the smoke.  Using your free-hand, a feather, a hand fan or other similar tool, “fluff” the smoke onto your head and face.  Continue fluffing the smoke down the front side of your body, return to the top and do the same on the back side of your body.  Don’t be too concerned that you can’t reach somewhere.  Again, INTENTION is the key here.  If you are preforming the cleansing with a partner, take turns cleansing each other.

Now that YOU are smudged, you may start with the room/space.  In a counterclockwise direction, waft the smoke into the top half every nook and cranny, all corners and sides.  On your second pass around the space, waft it into the bottom half.  During the third pass of the space, intend for the smoke to fill the whole room, floor to ceiling.

Once the room has been cleansed three times, say your intention/prayer/mantra again and close with the appropriate closing (amen/so mote it be/namaste/etc).  You may now extinguish the smudge stick our let it continue to burn out naturally.  Keep it safe from surfaces by resting in on/in an abalone shell insulated with salt or sand.

Congratulations, you now have a physically and energetically cleansed space.

The following is a list of useful tools for smudging.  If you are local to me (Stafford, VA), I can recommend a local metaphysical boutique to pick up your supplies.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know this shop existed when I began smudging so I found most of my initial supplies online.

Supply List

  • Sage, incense or palo santo sticks
  • Lighter
  • Abalone shell with salt or sand in the bottom
  • Large feather or hand fan

 

Can we talk about “mindfulness”…

Mindfulness…a practice? A lifestyle? A buzzword?  What the heck is mindfulness?

Well recently I’ve been traveling through some personal growth opportunities (read: growing pains).  Throughout this time, some themes keep popping up: self care, meditation, mindfulness.

We all know we need to spend more time on self-care, especially if you’re an empath, a mom, a business owner, a person who deals with mental health, a person who is a care-giver. *ding ding ding* That’s ME!  So let’s just set that one aside for a moment.

Moving on to meditation.  I recently watched a documentary that outlined some distinct differences between meditation newbies (me) and those who were advanced in their meditation practice.  Aside from the obvious “stress response”, there was an interesting “pain response” difference between those two groups.

This tells me that meditation changes our brains physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.  *Check* need to do more of that!

If you’re interested, check out “The Mind, Explained” on Netflix, the episode titled “Mindfulness”

So where does mindfulness fit into all this?

Mindfulness, in this context, is defined as:

a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

As much as I need to be practicing my meditation, right now in this growth period, I NEED to be focusing on MINDFULNESS even more.

This morning, as I was lying in bed with my darling children on either side of me, I began feeling tension, anxiety, frustration.  Not at them, by any means…it’s just a side effect of my situation.  So I turned to google to find a mindfulness exercise I could use that was appropriate to how I was feeling.

Some mindfulness exercises ask you to take notice of your surroundings or make note of gratitude/blessings.  But I knew I needed something more internal.  Something to address my emotional mindfulness that was causing physical manifestations.

Thankfully, I quickly came across this exercise on PsychCentral.com

STOP.

  1. Stand up and breathe. Feel your connection to the earth.
  2. Tune in to your body. Lower your gaze. Scan your body and notice physical sensations or emotions. Discharge any unpleasant sensations, emotions or feelings on the out breath. Notice any pleasant ones and let them fill you up on the in breath.
  3. Observe. Lift your eyes and take in your surroundings. Observe something in your environment that is pleasant and be grateful for it and its beauty.
  4. Possibility. Ask yourself what is possible or what is new or what is a forward step.

If you find yourself being reactive, try the following steps:
Pause and take one to three big breaths.
Say “step back.” ( You don’t have to physically step back, you can just do it in your mind.)
Say “clear head.”
Say “calm body.”
Breathe again. Say “relax,” “melt” or “ease.”

In that same documentary I mentioned earlier, there was a section on mindfulness (surprise!).  A monk described his challenges with anxiety.  Through mindfulness, he was able to separate himself from his anxious responses and reactions, he observed the anxiety as a neutral party then “made friends” with the anxiety.  It didn’t cause the anxiety to disappear, but it did allow the man to live more fully in his experiences having a better understanding and handle on his anxiety.

Have you ever heard the quote “Give it to God” or something similar?  I have just realized, for me “mindfulness” and “Give it to God” are the same thing!  This realization made me feel amazing!  I now have a tool in my toolbox that feeds my soul and my body! I’m super enthused to use it…often.

This practice will not alleviate me from my anxiety, depression or growing pains.  But, hopefully, it will give me a better prospective and stronger personal skills to live my best life.  

Now please excuse me, I need to STOP and then get some self-care Reiki flowing to help me ground, recenter and elevate! 

Crystals & Gemstones

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

Today’s blog comes from guest writer, Yelisa R. Read more about Yelisa at the bottom of this article.

How can a person learn more about Crystals?

You’re reading this, so you’re on the right track as my advice for all those who wish to learn more about crystals is to read a lot about them, and trust your intuition on which ones feel right for you.  Most crystals have similar properties, and others have properties that manifest differently for different people so there is always more to learn about them. 

How can I benefit the most from crystals?

As individuals, we have our conscious and subconscious mind. The latter is where we open or close ourselves to energy.  Wanting crystal healing consciously isn’t enough.  Setting intentions to bring both the subconscious and the conscious mind into alignment is what I have found yields best results in any type of energy healing. 

Intention setting will be a personal ritual allowing you to find that place within where you can consciously tap into your subconscious.  It will be very individual for each person, so read and find out what others do, and make it your own.

Having the help and support of crystals is important and beneficial but you have to understand that you cannot make them responsible of your own life.  This is why setting intentions is so important; and ultimately, you have to take the necessary actions that commune with your intentions.

Photo by Emily Bauman on Unsplash

How does Energy Work?

Energy vibrates at different levels.  What you feel as good energy is high vibrational energy and what you feel as bad/negative energy is energy that vibrates at a lower level that might be condensed or not (this condensation is also what creates energy blockages).  So the same way tuning forks end up vibrating at the same frequency, so do people around other people.  Energy flows through our body so when there’s a blockage, that free flow is interrupted. 

Natural stones vibrate at a high vibrational level and there are some that have the ability to transmute low vibrational energy into high vibrational energy.  When you wear crystals, these help you vibrate at their level but they also pick up pollution from the environment and from your own energy.  This is why frequent cleansing is very important.

Disclaimer

I am not a physician and the information in this article is not to be taken as medical information nor used to replace medical treatment.    Crystals are a spiritual aid and you are ultimately responsible of taking the actions needed to change your own life.

About Yelisa

I have been interested in crystals and stones ever since I was 14.  I had the luxury of growing up with a mom that was always open to any type of learning that could make us a better person.  I learned Tai chi, astrology, about crystals and their properties, about chakras, meditation and many other self-help and holistic healing techniques.  My favorites always were crystals and meditation.  As a young teenager, I started making jewelry and was able to make it a side business while I worked in a traditional career environment. Through a meditation group, I was introduced to Reiki.  In 2010 I became a mom and felt I wanted to be more present in my daughter’s life. There was not much time leftover after being a full time Stay at Home Mom.  So I learned to prioritize my passion. I combined Reiki, Crystals and Jewelry and found a way to help others live and experience the amazing benefit of Reiki Imbued crystal Jewelry and opened my online shop at www.SerenitByYeli.com.

A Chance To Take A Breath

‘Ahhhh’… I’ve just returned home from a most revitalizing massage.

My life has been plagued with stress and difficulty lately. My family has been affected by the government shut down. Holiday ramp up, roll out and wear down has taken its toll. My business is keeping me busier! My children are growing, experiencing and having more snow days off from school than I’d prefer.

My stress level has been off the chart. My anxiety has gotten the better of me more than once. And my depression has reared its ugly head.

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

I’ve been thru some stuff recently but today’s massage gave me a moment to take a breath, left me feeling lighter, so much more relaxed and clearer headed.

My cup has been run dry but my dear friend Katie (www.ACelticTouch.com) has truly helped me put a few drops back in. She has given me an opportunity to escape the out of control carnival ride that my mind has put me on…at least temporarily – and sometimes that exctly the right place to start.

Thank you Katie!

So much of my self talk recently has been very unhelpful and today helped to reinforce the idea that I can reach outside of myself for self-care needs and that I need to do it more often; because, if it’s not on the calendar, It’s probably NOT happening.

More about Katie & A Celtic Touch

Kathryn Pender, LMT
Certified Massage Therapist
kathryn@aceltictouch.com
540-300-2626
www.ACelticTouch.com
Facebook.com/ACelticTouchSpa
offers online booking for Swedish massage, Cupping, Medical massage, Aromatherapy, Hot Stone, and much more!

Of My Own Heart

This evening I convinced my 8 year-old son to hop up on my reiki table. “Convince” is too strong a word. I offered him the opportunity and he JUMPED at it. The boy has been raised on reiki and is no stranger to the mystic power of energy healing. But this session was different from previous times.

Little sis had to get in on the action too.

In the past, I’ve offered him reiki when he was sick, injured or just settling into bed.  A very casual and quick affair. Today, he got to come down to my reiki room and lie on the warm table like a “real” reiki client. He listened to the soothing music and smelled the essential oils in the air.

I did a short visualization with him, the one I almost always use with my clients. He connected with the supportive earth energy immediately and the reiki energy passed unhindered into his small but strong body.

I immedietly picked up on some friend drama at school, some communication difficulties and was led into a deeper, sadder experience I wasn’t expecting to touch.

My dear boy has a sad place in his heart. A feeling of not being enough. A feeling that I can all too well relate to.  It wasn’t something we were ready to discuss yet, so I simply cranked up the reiki and let the divine energy do its thing.

I am now inspired to commit more time to giving each of my children more reiki. That doesn’t always have to look like a “table session”. I do have the knowledge and ability to do it “distantly”. This means I can send them healing anytime, anyplace and don’t necessarily have to put my hands on them.

Reiki is literally divinely guided universal life force energy and all that it needs is the opportunity to work. It’s guaranteed to do no harm and always work to the recipient’s highest good. So all I need to do is tune in, set an intention and let it flow. My children will benefit. I will benefit. My community and universe will benefit. I see no wrong there!

My New Reiki Room

As of January 2018 I have a brand new space set up in my home dedicated to Reiki!

 

Surrounded by warm wood tones, dimmed lights, the flickering of candles and the scent of essential oils the space is an oasis from the every-day hustle and bustle.  This is a sanctuary of healing and relaxation.

 

Because I use the space exclusively for Reiki sessions multiple times a week it has built up an eddy of Reiki energy that you can feel when you settle into it.  as Joao Antao Marques states in an article titled “The Sacredness of a Reiki Space”, “Personally I consider my Reiki room as a sacred space and prepare it accordingly.”

 

 

My preparation includes:

  • a grounding and gratitude meditation
  • energetic cleansing of the space, table, tools and myself
  • selecting relaxing music and essential oils to support my client’s needs
  • setting a specific intention for the space and the Reiki session
  • inviting spirit guides meaningful to my client to be a part of the session

My sacred Reiki space is prepared for every client, every time.  Creating a space that is unique to you each time you come into my Reiki room will allow you to relax more and be even more open to the transformative Reiki energy.

Vitality Reiki Launches New Website

Vitality Reiki has launched a new website.  This site has been designed to better serve clients and to disseminate information to a greater audience.

 

 

New features include a brief history of the linage of Usui Reiki, a new contact form for requesting information or appointments and a news section to share interesting and relevant news and announcements regarding Reiki and/or Vitality Reiki.

 

I hope you find this site easy to navigate.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to use the contact page.