Ownership and Victimhood

Nobody else is responsible for your feelings. This realization can end the blame game once and for all, and leave you standing in your true place of power – the present moment.

The energies alive in your body right now were not ’caused’ by anyone else, and nobody else can take them away.

Yes, others may trigger latent pain and sorrow and disappointment in you, they may contribute to the field in which your old, unresolved pain can resurface, but they cannot make you feel how you feel.

Nobody can make you happy, nobody can make you unhappy. You are only invited, constantly, to meet what remains unmet in yourself, to touch what you never wanted to touch, to explore the field.

Making others responsible for how we feel is the beginning of all violence, both internal and external, all conflict between people, and ultimately all wars between nations.

Let others off the hook. Honour what is alive in you right now. Learn to hold your own feelings like beloved children, however intensely they burn and scream for attention.

Celebrate the aliveness in your hurt, the vibrancy of your disappointment, the electricity of your sadness. Kneel before the power in your anger, honour its burning creativity.

From this place of deep acceptance, you do not become weak and passive. Quite the opposite. You simply enter the world from a place of non-violence, and therefore immense creative power, and you are open to the possibility of deep listening, honest dialogue, and unexpected change.

In suffering you become small. In love, anything is possible.

xoxo – Mel

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Vulnerability and Boundaries

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“Vulnerability is at the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences. ” ~ Brene Brown

Opening up can be difficult, especially if you’ve been burnt time and time again. Trust me. I get it. Sexually molested as a child. Growing up with an alcoholic, emotionally unavailable mother. Narcissistic boyfriends over and over.

You get burnt enough times, you want to close off. Become a hermit. Disappear.

I get it. And you’re not alone.

Like Danielle LaPorte has said, “Open, gentle heart. Big f*cking fence.” Don’t close off. Know your boundaries. Know YOURSELF.

When you know yourself, being vulnerable and open isn’t has hard as it looks. Start within.

xoxo ~ Mel

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Passion Over Perfection

It doesn’t have to be perfect to start.

When you come from a place of passion, the only thing that matters is to ask yourself, “What is the next best step?”

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Paying attention to your heart space and being guided by inward inspiration will suffice.

Not to say that plans aren’t important. But sometimes the belief that we have to have it planned out before we start can actually keep us from starting to begin with.

Movement over stagnation.

Passion over perfection.

What is the next best step?

xoxo ~ Mel

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Healing with Hands: Reiki in Our Hospitals

In today’s hospitals, we see a brilliant show of hands—from the dexterity of a finely trained surgeon to the strong and efficient handiwork of a nurse. Soon, more hospitals might be adding the balancing touch of a reiki practitioner to their ranks.

Pamela Miles, a reiki master with 27 years of experience, advises Western health care professionals on how they can use this Japanese practice of “laying-on hands” to help ease pain, relieve stress, and speed recovery.

“When the human system is balanced, its self-healing mechanisms function optimally,” she says, noting studies have found that in addition to reducing pain and anxiety, reiki can improve blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, and heart-rate variability.

Miles participated in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, in which reiki-trained nurses gave patients a 20-minute treatment within three days after a heart attack. The patients showed enhanced mood, and the improvement in heart-rate variability was comparable to beta blockers—an important indicator, since poor HRV is the most reliable predictor of death from another heart attack.

A growing number of physicians are recognizing the benefits of this healing practice, including cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum, the director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute, in New York City, and author of Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book. Steinbaum took Miles’ first-degree reiki training course, and approaches her work with the conviction that patients will heal best if their care is in line with their lifestyle and beliefs.

As an example, she recalls a female patient with irregular heartbeats caused by hyperthyroidism who had been advised to get a cardiac ablation (a corrective heart-rhythm procedure) or surgery on her thyroid. But the woman was reluctant to undergo surgery and sought to alleviate her condition with reiki, acupuncture and herbal medicine. So Steinbaum made a deal with the patient—she could try a holistic approach, but under her doctor’s supervision.

“After five to six months, we started to see improvements, and by eight months, her thyroid normalized,” says Steinbaum. “I knew that if I didn’t help her, she was going to do it anyway, so I decided it was a better option for her to at least be monitored.”

The results didn’t surprise Miles, who says, “Although people usually feel better quickly—no small thing when you are suffering—the balancing effects of Reiki practice often build slowly when there is a chronic condition. When there is trauma such as an injury or surgery, however, the effects of balancing the system can be quite dramatic.”

Reiki practitioner Nancy Arnott witnessed such improvement frequently during Miles’ 100-hour Reiki internship program on the general surgery floor of Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. There, Arnott treated a wide range of patients, from 19-year-olds with appendectomies to 85-year-olds recovering from cancer surgery, all in varying degrees of pain. Pre- and post-scores showed reduction in pain and anxiety with reiki treatment.

“Some people who are religious told me they saw Jesus Christ” during sessions, Arnott says. “They went deep within and connected to the spiritual part of them.”

Keely Garfield learned to practice reiki with Miles, and took her Medical Reiki Intensive. Garfield is now the clinical coordinator of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program at the Farber Center for Radiation Oncology.

Garfield saw reiki come to the rescue during the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, when she offered treatments to abandoned babies, orphans, doctors, nurses, and staff at the NPH St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital and Orphanage. Reiki’s calming effects were evident, including with an autistic toddler who was blind, partially deaf, and self-stimulating by rocking back and forth in her crib. Garfield recalls placing her hands on the girl’s chest and belly and feeling the girl became still, her frenetic breathing softening. When she sang to her, the girl turned her face in her direction, and Garfield felt a gentle connection.

In addition to her private classes, Miles also trains doctors and nurses to practice reiki, including staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, and Yale Medical School. “In the home or in health care, the care of others begins with the care of the caregiver,” Miles says. “Empowering professionals with a daily self-care practice naturally makes them better caregivers, and practicing reiki for just a few moments can help settle distressed patients.”

Studying Reiki

There are no standards for Reiki practice or education, and it is up to the students to identify a qualified Reiki teacher. Pamela Miles’ book, REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide (Tarcher/Penguin) explains what to look for. “It’s really a buyer beware situation, “ says Miles. “Look for a 10-12 hour in-person First Degree group class with a teacher who practices daily Reiki self-treatment.”

Here are some tips for locating a Reiki class and Reiki Master:

Competence: Make sure the teacher practices daily hands-on self-treatment and examine her training (it should take several years) and lineage.

Presence: Look for someone who is even-tempered, professional, articulate, and non-judgmental.

Relationship: Choose a teacher who is reputable and with whom you have a genuine rapport.

First-Degree: Give yourself the gift of the First Degree only class.

Time: 10-12 hours is appropriate for a group class, preferably given on two or more days.

Fee: Low fees can indicate lack of experience.

xoxo – Mel

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(Article By: Tess Ghilaga, originally posted in Spiritual Health and Wellness Magazine)