Unexpected Messages Of Love

Today (13 July 2017) I had the most beautiful experience.

Leilani, my sweet cat who is now in spirit, has been continuing to let her powerful presence be known and it has me (and now my neighbours!) in awe.

Today my neighbour asked if I could pop over to babysit quickly while she dashed to the local shops for something urgent. (I haven’t babysat for her before!)

I’m not that familiar with kids (more cats!), but was assured I just needed to sit and relax and only attend to the 3 kids (aged 5 and 2) if one of them started screaming- LOL!

I sat on the couch and a few minutes passed.  Then the kids approached me with a box.

The box had 3 cat puzzles, they wanted to do them with me.

As I helped them understand how a puzzle works, I was trying not to tear up at the puzzles they had chosen.

My neighbour Bec arrived home soon after and I showed her the puzzle, trying to stop it but I couldn’t, tears came to my eyes.

Bec was visibly taken aback at the significance… she hadn’t known they even still had that puzzle, and hadn’t seen it for over 6 months, having no idea where they had even got it from!

Expressing she was amazed that they hadn’t been playing with anything, but within minutes of me getting there they somehow found and brought this puzzle over… Bec had goosebumps!

Later that afternoon there was a knock on the door.  It was Bec and she had her daughter in her arms, who handed me a bag- with one of the puzzles as a gift- the grey cat.

More tears!

Even more beautiful, Bec shared she believed in the presence of people after their death, but had not thought about this with animals until today.

xx Carolyn

PS: Have your animals sent you messages to let you know they are with you and at peace?  Please chime in below in the comments- I would love to hear from you!

 

PHOTOS – TOP TO BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT

Photo 1: A pic Bec sent me of the puzzle box, as I’ve been documenting the messages from Leilani that continue happening in unexpected and beautiful ways.

Photo 2: Text from Bec.

Photo 3: Leilani in her younger days- tail up!  (2002/2003 in our first home together).  Leilani was forever walking over to us with her tail up, as soon as she saw us, so cute!

Photo 4: Leilani and I would often hold our foreheads together.  Such a beautiful memory to have.

Photo 5: The completed puzzle.

Photo 6: Chilling with my girl :)

*** If you have an elderly animal, or have even lost one of your beloved animals, you may find some comfort within ‘LEILANI’S LEGACY’ – Found under the RESOURCES tab of this website. ***

The significance of Dakota Avenue to Animal Reiki Western Australia

Occasionally life surprises you with synchronicities. 

Often they are easily disregarded as ‘coincidence’, and are soon behind us- we may forget they even happened. 

Sometimes though, there are too many indications of fate and you can’t help but pay attention. 

This story is undoubtedly one or those instances.

***Please NOTE: All SILVER WORDS appearing below are HYPERLINKS either to:

A page OUTSIDE the Pause website (will automatically open in a new tab);  OR

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2010

After offering Reiki to my mother and father in laws beautiful cat Xena (to help her arthritis) around Christmas 2010, and realising how much she enjoyed it, I was immediately inspired to google ‘Animal Reiki’.  I was amazed and excited to find Kathleen Prasad who I discovered attributed her work in the field of Animal Reiki to her beloved rescue dog Dakota, who had spent 16 years by Kathleen’s side.

I loved learning that Dakota, an Australian Shepherd mix, would sit at Kathleen’s feet each time she undertook her daily Reiki practice (meditation and contemplation practice) and helped her understand the ways in which animal’s sense, enjoy and draw upon the peaceful space created.  

As a result Kathleen then worked on transforming her life, from school teacher to a now world leader in the field of Animal Reiki, through her business Animal Reiki Source and later her non-profit (co-founded with Leah D’Ambrosio in 2008) Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA).  SARA is dedicated to the memory of Dakota and most recently SARA has commenced an annual celebration named ‘World Animal Reiki Day’ yearly on February 5- Dakota’s birthday.

2013

In August 2013 I fulfilled a dream to travel to the United States to meet and train with Kathleen.  The training was held at the most beautiful animal hospice and sanctuary named BrightHaven founded by husband and wife Gail and Richard Pope who have dedicated over 22 years of their lives to this mission..  

I left with my heart filled to the brim with gratitude for the experience and for the level of love, care and compassion provided to the animals that were lucky enough to have found their way to BrightHaven , where Reiki forms part of every animal’s treatment protocol.  (Alongside veterinary care). 

My commitment to helping animals was more than cemented!  As my husband Neil and I waited at the airport for our flight back to Jakarta, Indonesia (where we were living in 2013 for his work) I found myself constantly holding back tears as I didn’t want to leave – I wished that Kathleen and BrightHaven were not so far away.  

Poor Neil it must have looked like he had done something wrong- when we had shared the most amazing trip of our lives!!

Rewind to earlier in 2013, when I received shocking news (over the phone in Jakarta) from an Australian doctor I had only seen once for some simple blood tests.  I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure at age 34. 

After completing comprehensive research on this condition (aided greatly by my studies in complimentary/ holistic medicine) and travelling back to Australia for further testing, my diagnosis was confirmed.  Before Neil and I had even started trying to have children, we found ourselves being told it was likely that donor eggs might be our only option. 

Still digesting this news, in May 2013 we travelled for the first time to Hawaii to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  Enjoying the seclusion of Maui we were surprised to step out of a gift shop and practically straight into an old friend of ours, Eden. 

Eden and I had lost touch when I changed my email address around the same time Eden had lost her phone.  Eden was on her honeymoon and it was so great to reconnect with her and hubby Gianni over dinner at such a special time. 

2014

After moving back to Perth (Western Australia) we sorted a catch up with Eden & Gianni, planned 2 months in advance due to our conflicting weekend schedules!  When we finally caught up, mid 2014, we had our property on the market and they had just moved from one home in Maylands to another. 

Eden & Gianni shared how much they liked Maylands as a suburb leading us to think ‘maybe we should look at Maylands’.  A suburb we had not even thought to consider!  The next day we found a property online that had just come onto the market in Maylands.  It was on Dakota Avenue.

The following weekend as we were driving to the ‘home open’, along Peninsula Road and minutes away from the house, I glanced at our satellite navigation and saw Kathleen Avenue.  How funny- both Kathleen and Dakota in the one suburb and only streets away from each other!!

The second I stepped through the front door I knew it was our new home.  The few things we were looking for were all there (including the perfect space for my home office) and we were sure we could complete most renovations within our budget.  The only problem was that we hadn’t yet sold our existing home!

We placed a strong ‘subject to sale’ offer which was accepted, aside from a 48hr clause being added.  (This clause, should the seller receive a subsequent cash offer, would mean that we would have 48 business hours to decide to go ahead with the purchase unconditional, i.e. we would have to get a second mortgage and cross our fingers that our own home sold quickly – something we were not keen to do).

After a few weeks, on a Friday afternoon we got the call.  The 48 hour clause had been activated and if we didn’t sell our home that weekend, we would be forced to make a difficult decision.  Given the ‘Dakota’ and ‘Kathleen’ signs and the serendipitous meetings with Eden & Gianni I was sure the house was meant to be ours!  And then there was one more promising sign.

During that week our real estate agent reported he had found himself fielding calls from a couple who lived ‘up North’ and had seen our home on the internet and loved it!  They had been looking for a while and advised they would send their family through the home open that weekend and one of them would try to fly down for it too.

That Saturday was a beautiful day and we had something like 22 lots of people through our property, including the relatives of the couple- who we were informed took lots of photos and had been very impressed!   Unfortunately the potential owner’s flight had been cancelled, so they were relying on their family to help them decide what to do. 

We didn’t need to worry as no sooner was the home open finished than our agent received a call from the couple and by the end of the weekend we had accepted an unconditional/ cash offer, allowing us to confirm our purchase of Dakota Ave- yay!

What made it even more special, was when we found out our new owners were working away due to one of them being in the WA Police Service.  Neil had previously been in the police for a number of years and this seemed a fitting ending to the story of how we ended up living on Dakota Avenue.

Most of all, I am so very grateful that the universe even thought to look out for me, that it was able to somewhat miraculously place me on this path.  In the midst of my health challenges I connected with my passion and my lifes work.  

Trusting this journey, one step at a time, also allowed me to tap into the infinite gratitude I have for my many blessings in life, providing great comfort on the many numerous times I became disheartened, depressed and anxious about the future.  

Having the courage and faith to pursue the road that opened before me has helped me to heal on such a deep level.  

I could NEVER have got there without the compassionate and loving teachings, guidance and support provided by the traditional Japanese system of Reiki and my beautiful teachers Kathleen Prasad and Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki or the love and support of my husband Neil.  

Special mention goes to our two precious cats, Roger and Leilani who have travelled with us since they have been kittens, except for in 2013 when they lived with my mum Lesley (love you mum!) while we lived in Jakarta.  (This arrangement made due to the rabies risk in Indonesia and not wanting to put them through the experience of quarantine).

They have been our solace and wise teachers, bringing joy to our hearts for the past 15 years and we love them immensely. I am infinitely grateful to be able to support their health and wellbeing with integrative measures as they approach the later years of their lives.

Since then: 

In March 2014 I was blessed to have my request to share Animal Reiki as a volunteer at Cat Haven WA  (a cat shelter/ rescue organisation here in Perth) granted by CEO Roz Robinson.  I continue to volunteer weekly, sharing the gentle power of meditation with hundreds of shelter cats in need.

I am so grateful to every single one of the cats I have met along the way- they have taught me so much!  (Special mention to ‘Sir Binky’ and also ‘Scrappy’ and ‘Autumn’ who I will blog about in 2017).

2015/2016

In October 2015 I travelled to Sydney for the Australian Reiki Connection conference on the fantastic topic of The Future of Reiki.  There are so many misconceptions about what Reiki is and it is SO important- now more than ever– that those fears are allayed so that greater levels of peace can exist in this world.  Directing your energy towards your own healing first is the most powerful thing you can do and your efforts will flow out the longer you stay that path.  

In searching just now for the exact words of a particular quote that came to mind, I instead discovered Marc & Angel Chernoff’s website Hack Life and this great article 40 Quotes That Will Quiet Your Mind.  Numbers 3, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 30 and 40 are especially interesting.

In February 2016 I traveled again to the states (California & Florida) to complete further Animal Reiki teacher training with Kathleen and also a Reiki workshop with Frans (around his most recent book: The Inner Heart of Reiki Rediscovering Your True Self).  I brought with me a large framed picture of the image shown in this blog as a gift from my heart for Kathleen.  It took up almost half my suitcase with all the bubble wrap but made it there safely which was the main thing- though it took Kathleen a while to get to it- lol! 

After returning, I started teaching a class ‘5 Powerful Meditations To Help Heal Your Animals’ at Cat Haven, donating 25% of the course fee. (This donation element will continue to apply for all future Animal Reiki classes which will be held at various animal rescue and sanctuary organisations). Special discounts for taking the course are offered to shelter staff and volunteers in recognition of the selfless work they do everyday: caring for thousands of amazing animals each year.  Animals who, through no fault of their own, have discovered themselves without a loving home.

I also started the mobile Animal Reiki component of my business and have met some incredibly dedicated animal lovers through my work including a wonderful Veterinarian Michael Taylor, who is part of the amazing team at Your Pets Vet in Mount Lawley.  Michael volunteers every 2 years at an animal shelter in Rajasthan, India.

In July 2016 I finalised studies in Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine (for people) at the Australian Institue for Holistic Medicine.  Wellness consultations will commence 1 April 2017.

Nerium International and Pause

Most recently, my business Pause has become a rep for a fantastic American company Nerium International, that offers 2 innovative plant and research based anti-aging products.  Nerium opened in Australia on 20 October 2016 and have a bright future ahead of them.  

I am excited to announce that 30% of the dollar income generated by Pause through Nerium will be set aside to create an animal based non profit to provide much needed support for an issue that is very dear to my heart.

Currently available in Australia via this unique Pause link are the Nerium Optimera Age Defying Day Cream & Age Defying Night Cream. Sold with a 30 day money back guarantee.  

These 2 fantastic products are dermatologist tested, suited to ALL skin types, ALL ages and the same product applies for men/women.  These products contain:

  • NO parabens;
  • NO propylene glycol;
  • NO DEA;
  • NO fragrance;
  • NO colourants; and
  • Are not tested on animals.

Great skin care does NOT need to be complicated!!  Just wash your face as normal and then use these awesome creams.  GO PAUSE :)

(For more details please visit the ANTI-AGING tab).

 

I now feel ready to invite children into the life my husband Neil and I have worked so hard for.  I believe 2017 is going to be a very special year.

I would also like to acknowledge these 5 amazing people in the hope that these additional resources might help you on your journey.
1. Marie Forleo – an American “Multi-passionate Entrepreneur.” Marie says on her about page  “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been insatiably curious about human potential.  I wanted to know, what exactly is it that makes people genuinely happy, successsful and creatively fulfilled?”  I have learnt SO MUCH  from Marie’s You Tube Channel “Marie TV- THE place to be to create a business and a life you love”  and I know you will love it too!  Most of all- I LOVE Marie’s mantra: “The World Needs That Special Gift That Only YOU Have”.  Thank you Marie!!

2. Lissa Rankin – an American ‘physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute and mystic’ who I discovered online just before I moved to Jakarta .  Lissa’s books including Mind Over Medicine. Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself are supported by dedicated research, for example peer reviewed medical literature, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of The American Medical Association, and are invaluable resources.
2.  
Shola Richards – an American corporate trainer and incurable optimist. If you have ever experienced bullying and particularly workplace bullying, his blog The Positivity Solution is a great place to start.  Shola has also recently released his first book Making Work Work.  I so love this beautiful African Proverb Shola references: “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  Shola’s book trailer video which you can view here (it is just over 2 minutes long) is especially powerful – I look forward to reading his book!
3.  My brave friend Heather Jean, a spiritual teacher of sacred feminine wisdom who is passionate to reawaken and remind women of the power we have within, to bring new ways of living through the heart in peace, love and joy. Heather has also created a fantastic range of programs for sensitive children available through her website The Magic of You.
4.  Last but definitely not least, Kristie Dean. Kristie is an amazing friend and inspirational Leukaemia survivor who has a powerful message for this world.  Kristie has been medication free and in FULL remission for the past 10 years, following 5 years of drug treatment AND has the evidence to prove it.  Her book “I am Now. Listen. Act. Survive.” will be released in 2017. You can stay up to date with Kristie’s adventures via her Facebook page.

BRAND NEW: The 2017 Animal Reiki Perth educational program will be released SOON!!  Join the PAUSE MAILING LIST to stay up to date and to receive your FREE copy of the heart based e-book from Pause: TOP FIVE THINGS YOUR ANIMAL FRIENDS WANT YOU TO KNOW

Xx Carolyn

Photo credit: Marlies Loescher– of Animal Soul Photography

Lessons From Sir Binky Poodle Clip (THE CAT!)

Ok, so I’m not sure who named this handsome white pawed tabby fellow, but I do know that I was drawn to sit & share Reiki meditation with him in early August at Cat Haven WA.  (A cat shelter here in Western Australia).

Sir Binky was sitting huddled in the back corner of his condo, his bedding scrunched up so that only the front of his body benefited from its softness and warmth.  His eyes were questioning.  Wary.  Not happy.

I checked his information sheet and discovered that this sweet 2-year-old kitty had travelled to Perth from Broome- over 2,200 kilometres to find his forever home.  What a journey he must have had.

I said hello, let him know I was there to offer Reiki and gently offered him my hand to sniff, as a greeting gesture.  His eyes softened and he stood so I could pat him, but he was also unsure and his posture was not one of a confident cat.

I straightened his bedding and as he was clearly feeling a little more relaxed I brought over his food bowl and he ate some biscuits while I stood with him, my calm presence helping to confirm he was safe.

I closed the door to his condo leaving him be, sat just outside and entered meditation, dedicating my practice to Sir Binky.  After a few minutes, it came to me that this beautiful boy was desperately trying to make sense of his past experiences.  He was struggling to do so and this was troubling him.

I silently acknowledged that he had clearly already been through so much for his young age, that humans often do not make any sense and this is no reflection on him, as he was always doing his best.  Then I let that insight go and returned to my breath, to my connection to my centre.  To my meditation.

Sitting with Sir Binky this way, expecting nothing of him in return and perhaps offering him a different and more peaceful frame of reference for his future encounters with humans through Reiki is such a beautiful honour.

15 minutes later I opened my eyes to find Sir Binky sitting peacefully with his eyes closed.  I thanked him for his time and let him know I was going to sit with some other kitties in the same shed.

After finishing with the other cats, I returned to check on Sir Binky.  In this time others had been in and out of the shed, doors had banged open and shut and I could see Sir Binky was again feeling on edge.

Knowing that he was open to Reiki, I again sat outside his condo and Sir Binky responded almost immediately by softly closing his eyes.  I entered meditation and after another 10 or so minutes opened my eyes to find him having a huge drink of water.  He then sat peacefully and cleaned himself.

When he was finished, I opened the door to give Sir Binky a pat goodbye, and he rubbed all over my hand and arm, then using pressure leveraged himself to lay on his side; playful, happy and relaxed.  This moment was so beautiful.

Sir Binky had completely let go and was living in and enjoying the present moment.  I smiled and thanked him for sharing this precious side of himself with me, and yet almost instantaneously he realised what he was doing and quickly sat back up again with a look of surprise in his eyes.

Sir Binky appeared shocked that he had let his guard down and let me see who he really was- he had let me see his joyful heart!

It was almost as if Sir Binky suddenly thought, ‘oops, if I let my guard down like this, I might get hurt again like last time, what was I doing?!.’  Or possibly he even wondered on a deep level ‘is it really safe for me to be so free and happy, given my past? Is it really safe for me to shine my beautiful light?’

Is this not what we all do, to differing degrees?  Don’t we all wish to let go of our troubles and fears, to exist peacefully from our heart; to not worry that others will try to hurt (or direct anger and judgement at) us if we do shine our beautiful lights?

What a wise teacher Sir Binky is.

In form, Sir Binky may be a cat of only 2 years old.  Yet interestingly he had already learned to allow these types of considerations to limit him.  Who else would he have learnt these subliminal messages and ‘rules for existence’ from, than the humans he had previously come into contact with?

How interesting too that the most gentle, radiant and carefree part of Sir Binky, the sweet, soulful shining of his heart, was the part that he was most afraid to share with the world.  Yet the moment that he chose to do so, was also the moment that he felt immensely joyful, peaceful and free.

No wonder Sir Binky was struggling to make sense of our crazy human ways and fears- they are completely counter productive and nonsensical!!

The following week I returned to discover Sir Binky had been adopted, however just a few short weeks later he was returned for not settling in quickly enough.   Clearly it was not the right home for such a special and adorable kitty!  Sir Binky has since been placed in foster care, while he awaits the forever home that he has travelled so far to find.  Whoever his new person may be, I know they will be so lucky to have him and that he will be a caring and loyal companion.  Sir Binky: it was a privilege to meet you.

If you are interested in Sir Binky, please contact Cat Haven on (08) 9442 3600 to find out more.

Xx Carolyn @ Pause.

THE FUTURE OF REIKI

I recently returned from the Australian Reiki Connection (ARC) International Reiki conference in Sydney, on the fantastic topic ‘The future of Reiki’.  The ARC committee did an amazing job bringing the conference together; and I can only begin to imagine the efforts and time involved, for which I know all delegates are extremely grateful.

Seven presenters shared their perspectives on Reiki, including my Animal Reiki teacher Kathleen Prasad (travelled from California) and my Reiki teacher Frans Stiene (based in the Blue Mountains, teaches Reiki world-wide and is a Reiki researcher along with his wife Bronwen).  *The photograph above is of Frans in action at the conference

An eighth speaker Anthony Turner, who has podcasts available on his Business Success Radio, spoke about his ability to support business owners in creating a sustainable business.  Additionally, Malcolm J Hunt (who returned to Australia in 2014 after experiencing life as a Buddhist Monk in China) started the proceedings by speaking about mindfulness and leading us through a short meditation.  Tony S Carroll, ARC Treasurer and Administrator, was the event MC.

One of the most heartening discussions was around the different forms of Reiki practiced and the opinion that no matter our lineage (the path that can be traced from an individual to their teacher and then right back to the founder of the system of Reiki, Mikao Usui) we must be united, as the reason behind our interest in pursuing Reiki is always the same- the hope of becoming healed.

This viewpoint recognises that we are all unique and therefore different forms of Reiki (just like different forms of yoga for example) may appeal to us.  Neither is better or worse than the other, we are simply following our own path towards increasing the levels of peace and wellbeing we experience, amongst the stress of modern day living.  In my opinion, this can easily be applied to encompass all healing modalities we may choose to explore whether out of personal interest, when faced with illness/ dis-ease or when looking for more meaning in life.

The use of Reiki in healthcare was discussed, including the introduction of Reiki into some hospital cancer treatment regimes around the world.  Reiki is currently more accepted in this capacity in the United States (see below) and the United Kingdom, where the ‘Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust’ has been established to help fund Reiki treatments for cancer patients and is supported within the English National Healthcare System (NHS). (I would like to acknowledge the use of Reiki in the medical system here in Perth, as part of SolarisCare Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital- including their regional centres in Albany and Bunbury; and at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco).

Pamela Miles connected with the conference via live video link from New York.  Pamela has been influential in pioneering the use of Reiki within conventional medicine in the US and has been published in peer reviewed medical journals including the journal of the American College of Cardiology. Pamela attributes her success within the medical community, to the sharing of common values (between medical and reiki practitioners) such as a mutual aim to do no harm.

Pamela shared that within the healthcare system it is acknowledged that any patient facing illness who is able to draw on inner resources, including spirituality will experience better outcomes.  By being clear about what a Reiki treatment looks like and providing easily relatable information when answering questions we can work together to reduce scepticism around the benefits of Reiki.

Pamela also sees daily ‘self Reiki practice’ as a value Reiki practitioners around the world can share.  (We must first experience and maintain our own sense of balance before we can help others to do the same).

Paul Mitchell started his talk by asking the audience questions designed to connect us with our first experience of Reiki, the reasons we decided to become Reiki practitioners/ teachers and why we are still practicing today.  Motivations such as peace, bliss, curiosity, helping ourselves and others and (seeing the practice of Reiki as) an ongoing journey were common themes.  Paul spoke of his view that (an understanding of the system and practice of) Reiki can lead us to reach beyond ourselves to benefit the common good, via a continual process of awakening and letting go.

Frans shared his belief that the future of the world is compassion.  At the heart of all human beings exist our infinite beauty, warmth, compassion and expansiveness, yet as we face challenges in life feelings of worry, fear and anger may begin to grow inside us.  These feelings dim our inner light, our sense of peace and connection to the world around us, yet the more we practice Reiki (for example through meditation, contemplation of the Reiki precepts, breathing techniques, chanting, hands on healing etc.) the more we can clear these emotions away and return to a place of balance.

Frans compares our inner light to that of a lamp.  If the lamp is switched on but is covered by a blanket (representative of worry, anger etc.) and we can no longer see the light being emitted, does it mean that it no longer exists?  He discussed that the reason most of us struggle to embrace the lightness within us is because it means embracing change, letting go (of what we ‘know’) and being open to, or rediscovering, different perspectives.  Frans teaches that we should not just practice Reiki we should BE Reiki.  After all, can we ever truly share kindness with others if we aren’t first kind to ourselves?

When Kathleen took the stage, speaking of the many animals that have shaped her journey and shared the lessons they have taught her, my heart exploded with joy and tears came to my eyes… and I know others attending felt the same way.  Kathleen is at the forefront of Animal Reiki education and speaks from her great love of all animals, emphasising the need for a very gentle approach when offering Reiki to our sensitive animal companions.  She teaches that the best way to share Reiki with animals is to meditate with them and invite them to share that space with us, dropping any and all expectations of the outcome.

Kathleen’s speech was illustrated with stories and pictures of animals including: her beloved horse Shawnee who was in a bad way when Kathleen first met him but flourished with Reiki and is now 28 years old; a paraplegic pig named Harley (from BrightHaven in California) who radiated joy and happiness and helped all Reiki practitioners who connected with him to do the same; and the beautiful black leopard Makoto (from the CARE foundation in Florida) who was able to release his anger at past human mistreatment thanks to the peacefulness of Reiki.

Kathleen spoke of her passion for her non-profit SARA- the Shelter Animal Reiki Association- which aims to get Reiki into animal shelters all over the world.  (I am a proud practitioner member of SARA and have facilitated Cat Haven joining SARA as an organisational member).

Kathleen also provided some tips for approaching veterinarians and animal caregivers, noting that we must be clear in stating that Reiki meditation is never a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment.  Most of all Kathleen urges us to be as present as possible and to see animals as our teachers in the journey.

Hyakuten Inamoto Sensei, a Japanese Buddhist Monk from Kyoto, explained that Reiki is an art of surrendering, or giving and letting go.  When asked what he teaches, he explained simply “Place your hands, surrender, smile”.  He went on to explain that surrender is the most difficult part, because it is impeded by our ego.  While our ego might serve us in our daily life, in spiritual practice we must learn how to set it aside by becoming increasingly more compassionate.

Sensei says the Reiki precepts are the foundation for our spiritual practice: Do not worry.  Do not anger.  Be thankful.  Be diligent.  Be kind.  Sensei asks us all to recognise and show gratitude towards Mikao Usui, as without him sharing his understanding of the gift of Reiki with others it would not exist today.  Sensei looks forward to seeing the presence of Reiki grow around the world including in hospitals (giving thanks to Pamela) and with animals (giving thanks to Kathleen).

William Rand shared his views of Reiki as a system that heals people and helps them to live better lives and expressed his gratitude that people are practicing Reiki in whatever form.  William explained he believes Reiki provides a way in which we can ‘refine’ our personality enabling traits such as acceptance, forgiveness, love, kindness, and openness to more easily shine through and this then helps to set us on our unique path in life.  He sees the future of Reiki being one where all Reiki practitioners work together to help bring peace to our planet.

Sue Lake Harris connected to the audience by sharing her own experiences of how Reiki has helped her to overcome various health concerns.  She shared that she initially came to Reiki as a sceptic, but after experiencing its benefits decided to learn and has now been a teacher for many years.  Sue has also been instrumental in developing (in Australia) a Certificate IV in Reiki which once attained will support existing Reiki practitioners to gain employment in hospice care.

It is my hope that this post has helped you to understand the many benefits and practical applications of Reiki in the world today and the great possibilities that exist for Reiki in the future.

From my wonderful teachers I have learnt that Reiki is a system of meditation and contemplation that practitioners can utilise as a healing tool to help first themselves and later others, including animals.  Reiki practice and treatments (whether ‘self’ treatment or provided as a service to benefit people or animals) promote relaxation and stress relief, inturn encouraging both activation of the bodies’ innate self-healing mechanisms and a state of balance in body and mind.  At its heart Reiki is a spiritual practice of compassion for all beings, and within the system exists a spiritual path that for dedicated practitioners becomes a lifelong journey.

I love Reiki and feel immensely blessed to have it in my life as a path that I can build on to increase my personal levels of peace, contentment, compassion, happiness and love (and to then expand that out via my business and volunteer work within the community).

Of course, everyone is free to choose for themselves the tools in life that work for them; my hope for each of you reading this is that you are able to find the solution that resonates for you.

Xxx Carolyn @ Pause

Photo credit: Vicki Huston – an amazing Reiki Teacher and Practitioner (and photographer!) based in Avalon, NSW

EVERYDAY CHALLENGES IN CALMING THE MIND

Take a moment to tap in to the beautiful feeling of true relaxation. You may have felt this way when returning from an amazing holiday, when out in nature, or after a catch up with a treasured friend.

Lets explore for a few minutes, why that feeling is often so fleeting and more importantly, how we can permanently integrate a feeling of relaxation, of peacefulness, into our everyday lives.

I’ll use a restorative holiday as an example. While away we start to let go of every day cares and worries; mix up our routines and connect to the enjoyment of life- simple pleasures like great company, a good book, beautiful scenery and wonderful food.

We become much less distracted by our to-do lists, or by situations that might cause us frustration. In some ways we become our best selves. As we release previous concerns we may even start to wonder why we let them bother us so much in the first place!

Because you are focusing on your holiday experiences (while on holiday- not now- keep that warm feeling with you!), to enjoying and ‘being’ in the present moment, any analytical parts of you automatically start to fall away and your body will respond by relaxing further.

Your breathing naturally becomes more fluid, less shallow. Your muscles start to relax. Your mind becomes more clear, more open. You may even start to notice thoughts arising yet find you can more easily release attachment to those thoughts- you become ‘mindful’.

If you continue to let go you might even discover that passing judgement becomes much less necessary, as you realise that it only serves to take you away from both your current experience and growing sense of peace and joy. Now that is something to think about! :)

So how do we bring this peaceful, connected feeling back with us to our everyday lives, especially when feelings of worry, disappointment and even anger can so quickly seep back in? The easiest way to do this is amazingly, by connecting to your breath and by employing concentrated focus in your current activity.

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” Zen Proverb.

Whether you are walking to your car or a meeting, driving to work or to visit a friend, waiting in line or to cross the road, writing a report or preparing your dinner- your breath is your constant companion. How beautiful is it that we have been given the ability, the power, to bring it under our conscious control -inturn increasing our ability to be calm and present in this moment?

By taking time to concentrate on the in and out cycle of breathing, by intentionally taking your breath deep within – right down to your belly – and then releasing it fully out, you repeatedly bring your focus inward.

As your energy is literally drawn back to you, away from the never ending distractions of life, your awareness can also find its way to the here and now.

Through focusing on this simple practice consistently every day, you will actively promote a familiarity between your breath and your association to the quiet source of peace, compassion and love that has always resided within you.  (In traditional Japanese Reiki meditation practice this place is known as the hara- or tanden- where our ‘true self’ resides, and is located 3 finger widths beneath the navel).

As a wonderful side effect, the relaxation invoked by deep breathing actually promotes efficiency of many internal bodily functions (i.e. slowing heart rate, increasing digestive ability, and activating self-repair mechanisms) further encouraging optimal health and well-being.

Happy practicing!

Xxx Carolyn @ Pause

Over to you. Do you have any questions? What is your experience with the benefits of breath work? Are there any tips you would like to share to encourage others? I would love to hear from you!