This photo always makes me smile. That's Reiki Sponge Syd and me, back in July 2007. I remember when he arrived at the League for Animal Welfare ... such a sweet, old gentleman. He would stand at the door to his room waiting for me. Had Camp Keefe not been at maximum cat-pacity with Garrett and Tansy, I would have taken him home myself. (Homeless senior pets are the most difficult for me to resist ... especially when their elderly owners pass away.) The good news is that his stay at the shelter was relatively short before he found his forever home. I like to believe that his eagerness for Reiki helped to expedite the process. It never seemed to fail that the cats who would jump in my lap for a lengthy hands-on Reiki treatment were usually adopted a week or two later.
If you dig through my blog archives around the summer of 2007, I had regular Reiki Tails posts with slide shows of the residents. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to volunteer at LFAW as frequently as I'd prefer, but I get out there for visits and Reiki whenever I can. I hope to return to weekly visits in 2011, because volunteering there lifts my spirits as much as it helps the kitties in residence.
What's really exciting right now is that, as a member of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association, I now have the opportunity to teach Reiki not only to volunteers and staff, but also vets and techs providing critical care in situations where Reiki can help the most. This is incredibly humbling. Even more so now that I've just been notified that there is a D.V.M. in this area with whom I will soon be connected. I'm excited. I'm honored. I'm nervous. I can embrace myself as a lot of things, but teacher feels like a huge leap ... and yet I know that I know what I need to know.
I've been a Reiki practitioner for ten years and the journey since I took Reiki I in October 2000 has been transformational. I hardly recognize the me I used to be before embarking on this path. Pared down to its most basic description, Reiki is a holistic technique that can relieve stress and promote relaxation for the recipient ... but it's also so much more. One really can't begin to grasp the scope of what it is and what it offers until one becomes a practitioner. Even then, there's always more to learn and room to grow. The first realization after training is what a blessing it is to be able to offer Reiki to yourself or another, especially when at a loss for what else to do. It increases compassion exponentially ... and might even break you wide open in the best possible way.
I have been certified to teach since April 2009, but have delayed the launch of classes for a number of reasons, large and small. The New Year beckons and has given fair warning that it's time for me to get off the fence and move forward with teaching those referred to me or otherwise find me. I do need to iron out the details with regard to the whens and wheres, but I look forward to offering Reiki I/Animal Reiki Basics classes sooner than later. If this is something that might be of interest to you next year, please let me know.