Going back to basics

Tara and me

The start of this Summer had not been how I had expected, in April I had to have a major operation which took the wind out of my sails. For the first few weeks I was bed ridden which was something that I found very difficult to cope with. It was during this time that I was  able  to reflect on my own Reiki Practice. I decided to use my time in a positive way, I had all of the time in the world to read Reiki books and to do self healing. I started with The Reiki Sourcebook which I have to say is a good place to start for any Reiki beginner. I learnt so much more about Mikao Usui and the type of person he was, who he met and how his Reiki journey began. The Reiki Sourcebook chronological history of Reiki was fascinating and demystifying of so many misconceptions about Reiki. It explained beautifully how Reiki in the West was very different from the way Mikao first taught Reiki at the beginning of the centuary.

I have had a lot of time to reflect on the Five Precepts too and to think how I was living my life and how important it was to live ‘for today only; ‘ living in this very moment in time I  started not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. I was able to get through my days where the precepts became no longer targets to be reached but became absorbed into each of my actions, their influence on my thoughts becoming automatic. I made sure I had a copy of them, which I could meditate on and I also placed copies around my home so I could focus on them on a regular basis. The precept which I found hardest to meditate on was ‘for today only, I will not worry’ as I was worried about taking time off from my job. By living in this very moment in time I was able to let any memories or worries of work be a fleeting thought and let the worry float over me.

Having had my big operation, this was the perfect opportunity for  my self healing to be a big part of my life. To self heal I feel, is taking responsibility for everything that happens at all levels to my body, mind and heart. To self heal is my inborn ability which  should be an important part of any daily Reiki Practice. Each day since my operation I have spent half an hour daily giving myself a self treatment. It has also been a time when I have been able to look at what I eat, drink and how I live my life. I have enjoyed being reflective and having the time to spend being kind to  myself has been wonderful. I have also been lucky to receive Reiki which has been sent to me from other Reiki Practitioner.

My sister came to visit me too, which was lovely as she lives in Ireland and we usually only get to meet once a year. We had a lovely time and enjoyed lots of laughs and hugs. I used our time together to practice attunements. The energy created was beautiful. What I found most interesting was that my older dog Megan, who does not usually like reiki would not leave the room when I was practising my attunements. She infact sat under the chair soaking up as much energy as possible, my other dog Tara loves  Reiki and is definitely a Reiki sponge.

The weeks have flown by and I am due to go back to work soon, although having an operation had been a set back. Having the time at home with my dogs and family has been so precious to me. I feel so lucky to have been able to go back to the basics with  my Reiki and feel so much better for it. I went to Remus last week where I was able to offer Reiki to people at their open day to raise money for the animals. It was the final jigsaw in my Reiki Practice where I was able to get out and meet people and the animals and to feel part of the world around me. Reiki is an amazing gift which I am truly grateful for.

My relationship with Remus

…………….………… By Caroline Thomas

I am writing this blog from my sick bed. Unfortunately I have had to have an operation recently so I am feeling a little sorry for myself. I have had lots of lovely Reiki sent to me, which has really helped me to feel better and inspired me to write this blog as best I can. Whilst in hospital I received some beautiful texts from Sue at Remus, they really showed that she cared about my well being. I started to think about the relationship and bond I have formed with Sue over the last three years. It has been a wonderful adventure which has only got better since Remus and myself became members of SARA, my professional relationship has grown enormously.

A relationship can be termed as a association or connection, I definitely feel connected to all those at Remus. It has been a journey of respect and honesty in every sense. It is so important to have a good relationship with the staff at the Sanctuary you volunteer at, making sure there is no tension or misunderstanding; good communication is the key to a successful relationship.  Sue had not heard of Reiki when I first met her, I explained to her that it was a ‘spiritual energy’ which when an animal is sick or stressed can bring about healing. I think she  found  the concept of energy work very difficult to understand and I think she thought me a bit wacky.

Sue told me of past experiences she had had with holistic Practitioners and how controlling they had been at the Sanctuary, telling her what she could and could not do. Their ego’s too big to get through the stable door, this had put Sue off holistic Practitioners for a long time. I had agreed with Sue that I could commit 3-4 hours each week, Sunday being the best day for me.  Sue noticed changes in the animals that I worked with, so bit by bit I earned her respect. Each week we always meet together in her office and discuss the animals who need Reiki. During these meetings we would often talk about things that have  happened in our own lives, things happening in my family and my very boring job.  Sometimes the stories would be funny and we would both laugh but as is the purpose of a Sanctuary they would often be sad as they would be  about animals that have been mistreated. I am always in awe of the passion and love Sue has for animals who are in need.  I  love going to offer Reiki to the beautiful animals but also feel blessed to be part of the team, Sue is so knowledgeable and interesting, I always appreciate the time Sue has for me.

My relationship with the Staff at Remus has grown too, from the early days of me sitting in the middle of a field, the staff wondered what I could be doing, it was completely new to them. Creating a calm space in a busy Sanctuary can be sometimes difficult, filling of water buckets, movement of horses, cleaning of stables can and have distracted me in the past. I have noticed the staff now are very careful not to make any noise when I am working with an animal. I have never asked them to be quiet, yet some how over time they just knew. I feel respect is such an important part of this relationship.

On the upside, the relationship  I have with Remus has helped the start of my Reiki bussiness. I will be running SARA workshops from Remus soon where I will donate 50% of my profits back to them. It benefits both of us as I am helping the Sanctuary and also helping to get SARA on the map. Giving my time and skills for free, has come round in full circle as now I will be earning money!

Gratitude for All in 2009

2009 was a busy year for SARA. As Kathleen said in her blog, it was a year of change, new projects, new members and much growth!

SARA started off the year on wobbly legs and spent most of the year like all new businesses – trying to reach goals, find balance and maintain quality.  As the year ends, I feel I can safely say we have achieved all three.  And when I say “we ” I mean we as in me, Kathleen and each of you.  We would not be where we are today without the hard work and devotion each one of you has given to SARA.

As 2009 closes today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the help, guidance and encouragement we received from our members, friends, experts, animal lovers and of course, the animals themselves.   So many of you willing gave your time and expertise to help SARA not only become a professional non-profit but to be one of the first (if not the first!) organizations to create structured Reiki programs for shelters, rescues and sanctuaries here in the U.S. and abroad.   A big thank you to all who have helped us end 2009 on a successful note.

A word of gratitude and special thank yous are sent to our SARA shelter organizations and all other shelters and rescues who have opened their doors to the healing power of Reiki.  With your help, more and more animals are receiving the benefits of Reiki daily.

Each of you has shined your inner light on SARA and as we connect with others, our light grows brighter.  Thanks to you, SARA is starting 2010 with a very bright future!

With love and gratitude,

Leah D’Ambrosio

SARA Vice President