Friday, October 29, 2010

A Time to Give

I have for the better part of 4 years now been self employed.  And of that time I have spent a large portion worrying about finances, wondering how to attract clientele, stressing because nothing seemed to be going my way and struggling with the responsibilities that come with networking and marketing myself as a healer.

Over the past 2 months I have come to realize something very, very important.  That my "business" is not going to flourish just because I have a website, or kick ass brochures or pretty, eye catching business cards.

My "business" is going to flourish because I put my heart and soul into it.

This seems obvious right?

It wasn't to me.

When I look around at the business industry, I see exactly what they want me to see.  The businesses with the big ads on tv, the best marketing campaigns and the ones that spend the most money on advertising seem to do the best.  Therefore, I felt the need to spend every penny I had (which wasn't much) on promoting my "business".  There is a business mentality that you feel you need to follow when you are self employed.  You know the sayings "you need to spend money to make money", "you gotta be one step ahead of the competition".  Those types of things.

side note:  I am putting the word "business" in quotations because I'm not seeing what I do as a "business" anymore.  I am seeing it as a lifestyle choice. 

When I placed emphasis on making money and bringing in business I was miserable and unproductive, constantly feeling like a failure if there was no response.  Which, (no matter how much self promoting I did) sent the wrong energetic message to potential clients and sent them away from me instead of towards me.

Now, when I think of myself as a healer by choice, not by necessity there is a lighter feeling.  And the ideas flow much more freely now that I'm not putting added stress on myself to maintain an unfair standard.

I have recently been guided to give away much of what I have to offer.

As you may have read in another post, this week was Reiki Awareness Week and I treated people to Reiki in exchange for a free will donation (meaning they were free to give a donation or not give a donation).

I have also been guided to offer complimentary Reiki treatments to cancer patients for the month of November.  I wish I would have thought of this last month during cancer awareness month, I suppose it's better to be late than never to offer it at all.

I have created my own calendars, filled with artwork and famous quotes that I will be selling, a quarter of the proceeds will go to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

And I recently held a Reiki awareness evening for free so that I could bring much needed education to my community.

I guess what I am saying is, if you're like me and you've tried everything to build your business, you've spent large amounts of money getting started and haven't seen any progress.  You might want to consider a different approach, if your calendar has holes in it where appointments could be booked, and you lack the clients to fill that space, offer your services for a discounted price or for free.  Or book in a free information seminar to get the word out about what you can offer to your community.

It feels way better to do this than to sit around wondering what on earth your doing wrong and in the end those good feelings are way more beneficial to the rest of the world than the negative ones.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reiki, Reiki, Reiki

This week I am offering full 1 hour Reiki healing treatments to anyone wishing to give this "alternative" healing practice a try in exchange for a donation of your choice.

I believe that if we want things to change in this world, than we need to step up and encourage these changes to happen.

Lately I've noticed a tremendous lack of awareness about "alternative" healing practices.  In the area where I live there is practically a Reiki practitioner living in every other house, yet no one seems to really know what it is or what it can do for them.

My Reiki practice has brought me so much joy and success, that I have become quite passionate about sharing my experiences with others and encouraging them to become educated in the choices they have when it comes to their physical, mental and spiritual health.

There are many different modalities that you can take part in.  Each one with a specific technique, yet delivering the same level of care for those who seek a better way of finding balance in their life.

Taking that first step and trying something new can open you up to some profound learning and healing.

You are worth at least a first step.  Aren't you?

Jennifer is a Reiki Master Teacher and is committed to helping you become more aware of this ancient healing practice.  Feel free to send her a message to book your "donation only" Reiki treatment, or ask any questions you may have about this practice.

PS - I'm also holding a Reiki Awareness Evening, Wednesday, October 27 @ 7pm if you care to join us to learn about all things Reiki!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Simply the Best!

I believe I've been to this place before and was too busy with life to stop and notice.

This week it seemed I had no choice but to stop & notice.  It felt like the most bliss filled space I've ever been.

You know the feeling you get when you sit in your new car for the first time, taking in the feel and smell of it. 

How about when your kids come down the stairs on Christmas morning, eyes alight with anticipation and joy. 

Or when your boyfriend of 2 years gets down on one knee and pulls a ring box out of his jacket pocket.

You know; the heart fluttery, love filled, smile on your face, nothing can bring you down feelings.

That's been my week.

More than once this week I found myself doing the "jump around the kitchen with my arms pumping up and down in the air, squealing "yes, yes, yes!" dance.

It didn't seem to start off that way though.

The week began with us making the decision to put our year old puppy to sleep because she had a brain tumour.  If you read my blog that day you already know that it didn't turn out to be the grief filled momen I had anticipated, it actually turned into a moment filled with a sense of love and peacefulness.

Later that same evening I was blessed with a house full of Reiki friends as we shared our Reiki stories, new information and ideas, as well as some much needed healing sessions with eachother.  The love that I felt through that day and into the evening was indescribable.  Like my heart was going to burst open and fill the house with light.

Every moment this week was like that, whether I was shopping at the second hand store, having tea with a friend or spending time with my pastels; the feeling was there, embracing me and making me feel like I was right where I belong.

I experienced a whirlwind of encouragement this week, from students, friends, clients and strangers.

I even had a gentleman call me with regards to a drawing I did for him.  It was a gift from his wife.  He wanted to tell me how much he loved it, that it meant a lot to him and that he hoped "I take my gift to the moon"!

This was one of those dance around in the kitchen moments for me.

I've learned to breathe these compliments in (thanks to some very wise friends) and so I took this entire week and breathed it right into my heart.  Feeling the love and perfection with each and every moment.

And it seemed the more I did this the more confirmation I received from the Universe that I was on the right track.  It was like watching a beautiful story unfolding.

I'm hoping this blog inspires those of you who may be having the shittiest week of your life, to keep moving forward, keep moving towards your dreams and goals.  Don't stop to look back.  Don't worry whether you're doing the right thing or not, if it feels right in your heart then you are exactly where you need to be.

I also needed to write about this week as a reminder to myself when things aren't looking so wonderful, that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.  There will always be a moment put in my path that will give me the encouragement I need to keep me going in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ode to a Beautiful Pup

Yesterday I had (yet again) the unfortunate duty of making the decision to put a beloved pet to rest.

Willow was only a year old, a beautiful lab/sheppard mix that received many compliments from passersby on our daily walks.

When we brought her into our family, we were still dealing with the loss of my brother, and I knew in my heart that Willow was coming to us to bring us the love that we needed at the time.

Throughout the last 3 months we watched as her health steadily declined.  The vet had no answers for us, he was completely baffled over the mass of symptoms she was experiencing, that she responded to none of the treatments he tried made it that much harder.

While we were away on vacation last week, her health declined even further and we knew we would have to make a decision about her future when we returned home.

So, yesterday as I stood in the veterinarian's office, listening to the vet tell me that it was most likely a brain tumour causing all these odd symptoms.  I felt relieved to know that there was nothing more I could do for her and sad at the same time that the only thing left for me to do was to say good-bye.

I thought the sadness was going to overtake me, render me useless for days while I grieved her absence in our lives.

Then something happened....

I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and calm.  In fact it was the same sense of peace and calm that I felt when my father passed away.

Then a deep and profound sense of love and gratitude swept over me.  New tears began to puddle in my eyes as this love grew stronger and stronger.  I have never in my life felt so completely and utterly loved, as I did in that moment.

This feeling has lasted through last night and into today.  It's hard to explain with words, so I won't muck it up trying.

In my heart I know that Willow's spirit came to me, embraced me and thanked me for my love, time and attention.

I believe she chose our family to care for her because she knew she would be loved, understood and nurtured.  She knew that our hearts were big enough to handle the heartbreaking task of helping her to transition with dignity.

I will never forget what Willow did for me in my time of need.  And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I returned the favour.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Forgiveness....and then some

What is the most difficult thing you have ever had to forgive?

I was reading through a Reader's Digest magazine the other day and came across an article about the genocide in Rwanda.  The article described a woman and a man who had both been involved in the genocide and who were acting in a new play about the struggles of the people of that region.  The play is about a woman who forgives her sister's killer.

It got me thinking about the power of forgiveness.  As well as the many times I have forgiven others.

What I have come to realize is that ultimately the forgiveness comes around to me.  I willingly forgive someone for their "wrong doing" and then am faced with or find that I have forgiven myself for believing that someone would intentionally do something wrong towards me.

Here's where I'm getting at. 

Each and every act is an act towards the self.

Each and every situation, no matter what the circumstances and details is an act towards the self.

When we gossip about someone.  We are gossiping about ourselves.

When we hurt someone.  We are hurting ourselves.

When we criticize, judge and blame someone.  We are criticizing, judging and blaming ourselves.

The person whom we are directing all of this at is merely a visual substitute for ourselves.

It's an interesting experiment.  The next time you are in a foul mood and are projecting that in an outward direction, bring it back for a minute and ask yourself "is this how I feel about myself?"

9 times out of 10 you will find that the comments, attitude and negativity are truer when you relate them to yourself than they are when you relate them to someone else.

On the positive side.  The same is true for all the love that we give out in a day.  We are projecting all of that love out to others, and it really is how we feel about ourselves!

That was then... This is now!

one of the many roads it takes to get into the cottage 

A quiet, cozy cottage nestled deep in the forests of Northern Ontario, overlooking a serene lake where the only noise you can hear is the dropping of the leaves from the trees.  Smoke rising from the chimney throughout the day.  Warm tea, a snuggly blanket and a good book.

This is where I spent my time these last 7 days.

We finally decided this was the year we would do something we've been wanting to do for some time now, spend Thanksgiving weekend at the cottage.

the view from the canoe
The weather was absolutely perfect.  The boys caught tons of fish each night they went out and had a ton of fun hunting down unsuspecting wood grouse (only to either not get a shot in or miss them completely when they did get one).  They get their desire to hunt, as well as their complete lack of aiming skills from their father.  {smile}  I managed to digest 5 books in the 7 days I lounged under my cozy blanket, complete bliss in my world.

I remember a time when I didn't enjoy this space as much as I do now.

Actually, for much of 13 years I suffered severe anxiety about being in the fabulous North.  Weird...  But not really....

My anxiety had to do with a combination of things.  Mainly I didn't like being alone.  Let me correct that, because I wasn't "alone", I didn't like being with MYSELF.  There were many times that my husband would be off doing a chore or indulging in a bit of fishing and I would be left at the cottage by myself and I would literally panic.  It began to be a problem when I would anticipate being alone and my anxiety would grow before we even left our driveway at home!

I realized this week as I journalled about my feelings now versus my feelings then and I realized some of my anxiety was also about me wanting things to be different than they were.  The anxiety and panic were my way (subconsciously) of trying to change my situation through forcing it to change.

That didn't work out as well as I had "subconsciously" planned.

The panic got worse, spilled over into every day life and had me thinking I would need to be medicated in order to function as a "normal" person, especially if I was to go on vacation.

a yummy treat
3 years ago we ventured into the North for our family vacation and I spent an entire week without one panic attack.

I do remember how wonderful it felt to be able to enjoy such serenity and time with  my family without having to constantly cry or throw up!

I wish I knew what I did differently.  In reflection I don't think it's anything that can be written down or handed out as advice.  I think I just grew into a space of no longer needing to control life.  I know for certain in the past 3 years I finally started to love myself and I gave my permission to just be, whatever that looked like in the moment I promised myself I would be okay with it and stop judging myself for it.

It seemed the minute I came to those conclusions within myself the anxiety/panic was deflated.  It no longer held any power over me.

So this trip (as with each trip over the past 3 years) I was filled with an overflowing sense of gratitude.  Not only because am well enough to enjoy it all, also because I appreciate how wonderful it is to have what we have.

Life is good.