Tuesday, 09 August 2022 18:32

What Can Reiki Do For Me?

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What if I told you that as a Reiki Master Teacher, I couldn’t whole heartedly explain to you in words exactly what Reiki was and how it worked, but that it has yielded results that sometimes have taken even me by surprise.

The truth is, I’m not here to fix, heal, change or improve anyone. I am only here to help YOU restore balance to your own body, one session at a time; and that looks like different things to different people. 

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that holds people back from trying Reiki is that they think it is “woo woo” or some sort of a religious practice or cult, which I can assure you, it is not. Typically, the people (that I have come across) who believe this have not done their own research, but have taken someone else’s word for what they believe it to be, without ever learning or trying it for themselves.

If you were to ask Google to define Reiki, you might find something along the lines of it being a Japanese form of energy healing or type of alternative medicine, where Reiki practitioners use a hands-on healing method to connect to “universal energy” that moves from the practitioner to the client to facilitate healing on some level.

My opinion? I find most definitions of Reiki to be limiting, and barely scratch the surface of what it truly is and can do for people. But I can tell you it’s not a pill with a possible side effect, that society has taught most of us to seek out first.

I think many of us consciously or unconsciously bury traumatic events from our pasts that are too painful to deal with on a physical, mental, and or emotional level. And in those deep down  unhealed places where things go unaddressed, unseen, and unresolved, our bodies become weakened, and then start speaking to us through physical discomfort and dis ease, begging us to address what we have ignored our whole lives.

We are so quick to go outside of ourselves looking for help yet haven’t really learned how to be aware enough to go within. Reiki helps us do that. Reiki helps me pay deeper attention to what my body is saying with a much greater awareness

When asked if I can help them with something specific through a Reiki session, my standard answer, (which I was taught to say by one of my many wonderful Reiki teachers, “Libby Barnett,”) was, “Don’t know. It can’t hurt, but it might help.”

It’s always the case that I don’t know. I never know. And no one should ever claim to know. We are all so extremely different physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically.

I’ve had different situations where people have approached me after events where I had given mini Reiki sessions in small groups, that were in awe of their own experiences. One woman came up to me and told me her sciatic pain was completely gone in that moment and that she hadn’t experienced relief like that after sitting for that long in years. 

I had another woman tell me her wrist pain had melted away after her session, making her curious enough to want to learn how to perform it on herself and others. When she took one of my classes, she shared this with me 4 days later; 

“I also wanted to let you know directly that my knee pain has been GONE ever since you performed the Reiki session on me after the class on Saturday. It’s slowly starting to come back, as is expected as it is chronic pain having to do with weight gain, but the few days of relief was HUGE and much needed. Thank you truly for helping me!”

All types of people from many different professions and backgrounds have come to me for sessions. I’ve had stay at home moms, chiropractors, business owners, insurance brokers, therapists, teachers, social workers, other energy healers, martial artists, physical trainers, expecting moms, retirees, salesman, students and more. And it’s important to mention the fur babies who have benefitted from Reiki as well, such as guinea pigs, cats, dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and even horses.

How often do people come to me for Reiki sessions? That depends on a lot of things. Some come once a month, and some come once a year as a treat for themselves. I have other clients who come weekly for a period of time depending on what they are going through. And I’ve had many people gift their loved ones a Reiki session after experiencing it for themselves. I also have distant clients that book sessions for themselves who live in other countries seeking alternative ways to find balance in their own busy lives.

I can’t speak to what it may or may not do for you, but I can share with you, different types of things that people have come to me for when booking their own sessions; 

  • They want to boost their body’s ability to better handle and recover from an upcoming surgery
  • They just had surgery and want to help speed up their recovery
  • They want to reduce their side effects to the meds they are taking
  • They are seeking relief from anxiety or depression and have tried everything else and nothing has worked
  • They are trying to quit or get a better handle on some sort of a habit
  • They have sciatic pain, or back pain and are seeking some sort of relief 
  • They suffer from headaches
  • They want their chakras (energy systems) balanced
  • They have a lot of self judgement and are trying to lose weight
  • They have trouble relaxing or sleeping
  • They are stressed out in general and on the verge of a burn out or have already reached their burn out point.
  • They are just looking for something that will bring a sense of peace into their chaotic lives and want to tame their monkey mind
  • They are going through a divorce and seeking self care
  • They are grieving the loss of a loved one

For some, the level of relaxation reached during a Reiki session has been so deep that they have fallen asleep on the table or in the zero gravity chair. A few of my students who were once clients had such a moving Reiki experience of their own during a session, that they wanted to learn how to do it for themselves. I’ve had a few go through all the different levels of training with me because of how it has enhanced their own lives. 

For me, Reiki has become part of who I am and interwoven into the fabric of my daily life. I bring it into my daily mediations each morning to help start my day with a clear mind and sense of balance. I use the Reiki symbols, which I acquired in my Level 2 course in 2018, when I cook or eat a meal to enhance vitality, or when I drink a glass of water to invite cleansing energy, or when I get dressed in the morning for daily empowerment,  or when I prepare a room for a Reiki client for the highest healing, or when I have a situation in my life that I am trying to bring peace to. 

I have even used it to help heal events from my own childhood.  

In case you find that odd, let me explain further.  When you are a Level 2 practitioner, you can use the distant symbol, not only to send Reiki to someone across the world or anywhere that is not where you are, but you can send Reiki to a situation, any situation, to any point in time in your life. 

Time and space simply does not exist when you use the Distant Symbol. Some people use it to send Reiki to future things like job interviews they have a few days out, or upcoming surgeries, or upcoming exams to help affect the best possible outcomes. And in the same context, others use it to go backwards

Distant Reiki has helped me go back to those points of trauma in my own childhood to help me help the little girl that I was, which is the same little girl who lives deep down inside of the woman I am today.   

How amazing is it, to be given the opportunity to be who you are today, and go back to the little child you once were and look them in the eyes, giving them/yourself all the healing you needed and deserved?  I have been able to hug her, hold her, comfort her, love her, and make her feel safe again, validating her as a human being, and empowering her to confidently go after her dreams. 

There is no rule book for how to use Reiki, and how I use it, may not be how another practitioner uses it. There may never be any distant Reiki or inner child work done at all. Some people may use it to simply bring peace to family members or friends or even their pets who are going through a hard time. 

If you’re not sure when you should give Reiki a try, then I offer you some things to think about; 

Do you have a sense of just feeling “off” and want to restore balance and bring a sense of peace into your life? When was the last time you tried something new for yourself as a form of self-care? Have you tried other things that haven’t helped you in the past and are looking for an alternative way to try to help yourself? Or might Reiki be a complement to what you are already doing that could help enhance your own healing? 

If you are Reiki curious, and want to seek out your own Reiki Practitioner and/or even a teacher, I encourage you to do some homework first. Research the background of the person you are interested in having a session with. They should be more than happy to share their credentials and trainings with you. I also encourage you to read their reviews whether on a platform like google or their own website.   Being able to read what other people’s experiences have been with a practitioner is invaluable. Word of mouth is another great way to discover new people to try, so don’t be shy to ask around either. Ideally you want to feel comfortable with the practitioner with whom you are entrusting your energy.

I think it’s healthy and wise to be skeptical of anything you don’t understand, but before knocking it, I would encourage you to give it a try. We have to be our own laboratories before we can truly attest to something as being helpful to ourselves or not. 

Whatever your healing journey may entail in the future, or even the distant past, I hope it involves Reiki in some way or another. It can’t hurt and it just might help you too. 

For more information on how to schedule a Reiki session with Angela from Loving Karma, please click the following link below:

https://lovingkarma.com/work-with-angela/reiki-services

When I tell you I am about to be vulnerable, I’m about to be vulnerable with a capital V. We’re talking Vagina vulnerable. And if you are wondering WHY on earth I would be talking about my vagina so publicly, I would tell you it is because I want to help as many others who have suffered the most horrible pain you can possibly imagine on a multitude of levels when it comes to the “down there” parts of our bodies, which affect the up-here parts of our mentality and the everywhere else parts of our soul. 

I’ve always told people I’m a delicate flower, and sensitive to most things. Since I was 18 I’ve had so many random, “what is that on my body,” or “where did that rash come from,” or “what did I just eat that is giving me a pounding headache,” types of experiences. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has ever come close to what I have been dealing with these last 6 months. 

I KNOW like I KNOW like I KNOW that this information is going to help at least one person out there who is suffering from something that doctors can’t seem to figure out or identify the cause, but have given a prescription to mask the symptoms. While it is all done in kindness to provide us some sort of relief, we are still sent on our merry way to continue to suffer, and be exposed to whatever it is that is causing us this unimaginable, and debilitating at times, sort of nightmare. 

So if it is you, the reader that I help, then all of this mortifying and embarrassing vagina talk will be worth it.

I can remember attending a workshop at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY, just weeks after my ex and I broke up last September, barely able to walk because it hurt so badly. Was it a yeast infection? Was it a bladder infection? God forbid was it an STD? I knew he sailed from our relationship straight to his next one, but did he cheat on me? This felt worse than anything I had ever experienced before. What the hell was wrong with me and why was this happening AGAIN?

The excruciating itch and extremely painful burn made me call my doctor on my way home from that retreat, because I was SURE it had to be a yeast infection. While I was relieved to get the prescription for Diflucan, I was disappointed when it didn’t help all that much. The symptoms had slightly faded but didn’t completely go away.

My life was becoming a daily cry-fest before leaving my room, or the house, or my car to go into anywhere. And then I would do what we all do when we are suffering, I pretended I was okay. I couldn’t let people know what was wrong because, well… it was about my vagina, and I was raised that it wasn’t proper to talk freely about that part of my body, but I’m SO FUCKING OVER the shame and the silent suffering. 

I had unfortunately been through this whole scenario the year before and been to doctor after doctor after doctor, only to be told, “You’re perfectly healthy Angela, we can’t find anything wrong, but try this prescription,” or, “there is this exploratory thing we can do with a camera where we would insert it into your – .” I would stop them with a hard fast “NO THANK YOU,” while waving my hands furiously back and forth. My previous experience has been that exploratory-anything hurts my sensitive-everything, and I didn’t want to deal with one more prolonged repercussion from something that was “exploratory.”

Any time doctors would offer me a prescription I would wince, telling them how sensitive my body was and how terrified I was to put something foreign and unnatural on or in it for fear of exacerbating my symptoms. Even though I had that little voice inside of my head saying “don’t do it don’t do it,” I still had the other unfortunate programming on repeat also in my head like a skipping record playing the number one hit, “doctors know best” track. 

Tuesday, 04 May 2021 13:10

Helping Animals Transition with Reiki

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I sat on the floor of my daughter’s room and  held his little frail body in between my hands. There wasn’t much warmth radiating from him and I knew he was dying. Wanting to ease his pain, I turned on the Reiki and felt the slightest bit of static emanating from his little body. Normally when I do Reiki on a healthy person or animal, I can sense a vitality that is palpable, strong and expansive, but with Keebler, it was hard to even sense. 

When I was little, my (typical) brothers used to use me as their 9 volt battery tester. The sensation from touching a new battery to my tongue would send me through the roof, but a 9 volt battery that was weak, would barely give a zing. Keebler had no zing.

I remember adopting him from the Humane Society when he was just six weeks old for my daughter. It was just days after her last guinea pig Rita had passed and she was devastated. Since the day we brought him home, he had such a presence and aliveness. Guinea pigs do this thing called “popcorning” where they bounce and jump and squeak when they are happy and excited. He was such a love bug.  I would listen from my bedroom while he and my daughter would have conversations through piggy squealing back and forth. And in the mornings when I would wake up my daughter and he would see me, he would get so excited and race around his cage making his little piggy sounds because he knew he was about to get carrots. It was our little morning ritual. 

As we sat with him feeling heavy and sad knowing he was transitioning, I remembered one of my Reiki teachers, Kathleen Prasad, who taught me, and is the founder of, the “Let Animals Lead” method. We are all energetic beings and can feel one another’s emotions and state of mind. And the greatest gift we could give to Keebler in that moment was to put our feelings of sadness aside. The depths of pain we felt were likely overwhelming his already heavily and very little burdened body. 

“See him as a beautiful, radiating, ball of light Arianna.”That little baby we adopted almost five years ago was still the same soul whose energy filled our hearts and our home all that time. As we shifted into this new vibration of love and light, I began to feel what he was feeling. As a Reiki practitioner, this is a common occurrence for me. I tend to connect to the energies of those around me and start to sense things. I began to feel immense pain in my head and lower back. 

“You are so beautiful and handsome Keebler. We love you so so so much!  It’s okay to go honey. You are so safe and loved.” We repeatedly said these things to him until it was late into the night. I felt the energy flow like a river from my hands into his body. We placed him back into his cage with such grace and ease. He used to leap like superman into his cage and now couldn’t even see where he was. He waited until he felt the floor of his cage before he moved out of our hands. 

Later that night, I woke up to an electric buzzing sound in my head that also felt like harsh static in my body. At the same time my breathing became labored and I began have tiny fits of coughing spells. Within one minute I heard a loud pop, like a fuse being blown and I felt the release happen in my own body. At the same time in my minds eye, I saw and heard a violet flame flicker and go out. It was like the sound of a sterno can being covered. I knew immediately he was gone. 

As I went into Arianna’s room, my eyes confirmed what my soul already knew. Our sweet boy had transitioned and was finally at peace.   

I don’t think there is anything more humbling than to be part of someone’s transition in life. Reiki is forever my teacher and I am so grateful to have been part of, and witness to Keebler’s passing. I know that our ability to hold space for him emotionally, allowed for him to relax into the receiving of the Reiki energy. 

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do that for anyone, whether they are in transition or not. Thank you Dr. Mikao Usui, for bringing Reiki into my life. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 03:35

Re-Gifting: An Act of Self-Love

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Hi, my name is Angela. I’m a Feng Shui Consultant, and I have a confession to make: 

I’m a serial re-gifter. (Sorry Mom & Dad, Sister, Daughter, Boyfriend… everyone.)

Not all gifts though… just the ones I know I won’t use or don’t love. It’s a cardinal Feng Shui rule that was instilled in me by both of my teachers, “Tisha Morris" and “Karen Rauch Carter.”   

It doesn’t make a difference either, how close I am to the person giving me the gift. 

And I’m not done outing myself yet: sometimes I donate these gifts to people I don’t even know… and have been doing this for years. 

There. The cat’s out of the gift bag.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t ever open a gift in front of a person and actually say, “uh… totally not keeping THAT.” (Even though my inside voice may speak such words freely in my own head, I know better than to actually say it out loud.)

I truly am grateful and appreciative for the love that was put into picking out whatever was intended for me. However, I would rather see someone make good use of this thing that would otherwise just sit in a dark closet or drawer for the rest of it’s life, had I held onto it.  (And if you know Feng Shui, then you understand the thing that sits unused and unloved in your home may start to reflect the same kind of energy in your life somewhere; maybe it’s ‘you’ who ends up feeling unloved/unappreciated as a result of this, because our homes are a reflection of ourselves and that’s how energy works.)

Sometimes the gift goes to a church raffle, or to my daughter’s school fundraiser as a Bingo prize, or to an auction that raises money for a good cause. It has also simply just gone to the Salvation Army, or Big Brothers and Big Sisters, because I know at least there, it will become the true treasure it deserves to be for someone else. 

While this may seem harsh or extreme to some, I personally don’t see this as a problem… anymore. And when I say “anymore” I am admitting that I used to be mortified at the thought of doing such a thing. There was a time in my life where I found love in these gifts, believing that they represented and held the energy of the person that gave them to me. Even though I knew I would never use it, it stayed somewhere in my home, because getting rid of the gift felt like I was callously ‘getting rid of’ the person who gave it to me. 

Curious to know how others handled receiving these types of gifts, I posted this question on Facebook:

“When you receive a gift from a loved one, and you open it and it warms your heart that they thought of you and got you something, BUT, it’s not something  you would have picked out for yourself…..what do YOU do with the gift?  After you say thank you and your special occasion is over, what do you do with the gift that you KNOW you won’t use or don’t love? Keep it? Put it in a closet? Regift? Donate? Return?” 

Some posted their answers straight to my Facebook wall for the world to see, while others took the private message approach, not wanting their friends and loved ones to know what they actually did with their gifts. And to keep my friends from needing to join a Witness Protection Program over their answers, I am keeping everyone anonymous:

  • “I usually keep them but am about to clear them all out. They’ll be donated.”
  • “I may put it on a shelf or a hanger, but when I touch it again, I see the person who gave it to me and that is the true gift.”
  • “I donate it in loving kindness.” 
  • “Usually donate, never regift; that’s tacky.  And if it’s truly hideous I’ll toss it.” 
  • “It depends if the giver would notice if it was gone or not.”
  • “If someone thought of you, it’s worth keeping.”
  • “Donate it after thanking them profusely.  I love to see someone utilize something I can’t.”
  • “Why let the money go to waste! Regift!”
  • “I keep it until they block me on Facebook. Then I feel it’s okay to get rid of it lol.” 
  • “It depends on who gave you the gift.”
  • “Toss it.”
  • “Keep it but feel incredibly guilty about not using it.” 

Guilt. Oooooh. Insert <biting my fist>. Let’s dive deeper.

The things that we surround ourselves with either uplift us, or drain us; no matter who gave them to you. And when the gift you keep, that you don’t like but won’t get rid of, results in “incredible feelings of guilt,” then guess what? That feeling will start to expand because now it’s in your home. 

Have you ever heard of the word entrainment? It is when our biological and physiological bodies actually start synchronizing with external environmental cues around us. 

That means, when you hold onto a gift out of guilt, that gift becomes your new external environmental cue, a.k.a guilty-energy. In. Your. Living. Space. 

And then it happens; you entrain to the guilty-energy and your physical body starts manifesting symptoms as a result of this. I’m not sure about you, but a gift I know I won’t use or don’t love is not worth keeping in exchange for the excessive release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can weaken our immune systems, increase our heart rate & blood pressure, cause depression, and create anxiety. 

Entrainment is not biased though. The opposite is true for things we keep and love that make us smile. When we feel happy, our brain releases dopamine giving us all the warm and fuzzy feelings that make us feel good. This process actually strengthens our immune systems and reduces depression and anxiety in addition to lowering our heart rates. 

You may never have made these correlations before reading this, but everything that surrounds you truly affects you on the deepest of cellular levels. This is why we, as Feng Shui Consultants, do our best to encourage you, our clients, to keep only the things that you use or love.

We want to help you create a space that feels sacred, uplifting and encourages your body and mind to heal. Feng Shui is all about making these connections. 

For those of you who have relationships that prohibit you from re-gifting, I get it. My advice for you is this: pick your battles. In these situations, I recommend creating a sacred space for these gifts somewhere that feels right for you, keeping in mind they should be purposefully placed with intention, and in an organized fashion. 

While I’m not asking you to become a serial re-gifter like me, I do encourage you to consider how it can impact your health. There’s no right or wrong way to do this – it’s all about finding your own balance. That, in itself, is an act of self-love.

Thursday, 19 November 2020 12:15

Decorating for the Holidays with Feng Shui

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I used to work with a woman, who in her sixties and nearly retired, had given up on decorating for Christmas in her own home. She was divorced, her kids were grown, and she lived alone. Her life was mostly work and not much time for anything else.

She worked long hours at her job and was too tired and exhausted by the time she got home to even think about anything other than sleep. “It’s too much work,” she said, “to go into the attic, and drag out the tree, and pull all the ornaments out, and make space for everything, and rearrange furniture, and my kids are all grown and why bother, and and and..…”

It wasn’t even my home, but it literally hurt my heart to hear her go on and on about how she “just wasn’t going to do it.” As a Feng Shui Consultant, part of me wondered though, if it was too painful for her to pull out all the memories of the past.

Decorating for the holidays is for sure nostalgic for most of us, but for others, the pain of the memories and the process of taking everything out itself is unbearable.

I can totally relate to those feelings as well on a multitude of levels. The first Christmas after I was separated from my now ex husband, was probably one of the hardest for me. Even I didn’t want to unpack all of the Christmas memories. Why, would I want to voluntarily evoke those painful memories and be reminded of a time in my life that didn’t exist anymore. I get it. I TOTALLY get it. But then there is my daughter who was only 9 years old at the time. I had to keep the magic alive for her. It was one of her favorite times of the year, and I couldn’t let my pain rob her of her happiness.

I drudged through it, box after box. I literally had to push myself through, pick myself up off the floor, maybe even with a scraper at times. While pulling out the ornaments, I would secretly run to the bathroom to cry sometimes, not wanting her to see me, then come back out, and feel the raw emotions; ornament, after ornament, after ornament. I needed what felt hard to hurry up and move through me in order to be able move on from the pain.

But I slowed the hurrying and felt what was hard. I allowed the memories to sink in. I was setting time aside to do just this. Not only was it was sacred, but it was an important part of my healing. I was grieving and I was releasing. I didn’t just “let go.” I was letting go. This allowing of my emotions didn’t (and still doesn’t) always come easily. But without me going through the motions, I knew there was no moving forward.

Around the same time I was processing all of this, my sister talked me into attending a workshop at Omega up in Rhinebeck, NY, given by a man named Panache Desai. “It will change you,” she said.

She was right. My biggest takeaway, and there were MANY, was that our emotions are just energy in motion wanting to be expressed. When we don’t allow them to move through us fluidly, they cement themselves deep within our bodies creating sickness and dis-ease. Hmmmmmm…..feeling and releasing? (Healthy) Or neglecting and cementing? (Disease.)

Easy to see how powerful this lesson is right?

Now enter the Feng Shui part.

Feng Shui isn’t just about moving a piece of furniture and feeling better, or setting up the Christmas tree and feeling the magic in the air. (Although it can be!).

It’s about looking at things differently through the eyes of energy, and EVERYTHING is energy. The things we own are energy, the thoughts we think are energy, and the emotions we feel are all energy.

When you look at something in your space, does it uplift you? That is the ultimate Feng Shui goal, to uplift you. When you feel better in your space, it can be life changing, on a multitude of levels. Unfortunately though, many of us hold onto things that energetically, quite honestly, deplete and drain the life out of us. If there was an energy sucking vampire, we’d all be goners, but I’ll save that for another article.

When was the last time you took a good look around you and truly paid attention to the things you own? Is your basement or garage full of stuff? Are you closets and attics jam packed? Yes? With what? Are you at the point where you need to ask yourself if you are living in a home or a storage unit? (Thank one of my teachers, Tisha Morris, for that jewel of wisdom.). I don’t know about you, but I like living in my home. Forget the storage unit!

Out of sight may be out of mind for some people, but out of sight is never out of your energy field. And that’s where we need to start paying attention. If our homes are a mirror of ourselves, and this is a cardinal rule of Feng Shui, then what are we reflecting out into the world? What is our home reflecting onto us? Are we able to become who we want to be if much of what we hold onto is from a time in our life that we are trying to move on from? (Thank you both Karen Rauch Carter and Tisha Morris again for opening my eyes to this.)

But what if what we are trying to move on from is heavier than a bunch of ornaments that remind someone of marriage gone bad? And I’m not making light of what divorce feels like, because that shit is hard. But there is harder. Wayyyyyy harder. I’m talking unfathomable hard.

I asked my friends through a Facebook post to share with me what it was they were dreading about this holiday season and why. It was specifically for the purpose of this article and to learn how people felt while unpacking the memories of their pasts. My initial thought was that everyone experiences a range of emotions when they hold an item from the past. How great would it be, if by sharing some of these answers, that other people who read this, could know that they are not alone in what they feel and face in their own lives. What if these answers could help facilitate other peoples healing when they pull out their own decorations, or recipe boxes, or holiday tablecloths?

The first answer I received was, “My mom died in early December, so that adds a layer of sadness to the holidays. She loved Christmas time and always decorated, made cookies and hosted the holiday dinners. I often stress myself out trying to live up to the holidays she created for my sister and I.”

And this next one I’m sure many people can relate to. “I have a personalized ornament with a photo of my dog, Marley, who passed last year, that will be tough.”

But then there are things we can’t all relate to. Bonnie, a friend I grew up with, lost everything when her house burned down two years ago. “Not having all my handmade ornaments and all the special ornaments the kids have made and collected over the years makes me really sad. I dread pulling out what little I have but we will work on making new memories.”

Another friend Lynn, who also went through a divorce wrote, “I miss not having my family together, especially during the holidays! It’s also hard not having the two most amazingly awesome supportive giving parents a girl could ask for around during the holidays.”

I was left speechless when I read what my childhood friend Tracy, mother of three beautiful sons, wrote. Before sharing what she wrote, I should mention that her first born, Cole, died by suicide just shy of his twenty first birthday two years ago. This will be her third Christmas without him.

She wrote, “For me, the holidays will never be the same. I used to love the songs. I’d start playing Christmas music in my car as soon as Thanksgiving was over. I can’t listen to it anymore. It’s way too painful. Instead of invoking sweet memories of Christmas past, it’s a stabbing reminder that the happy holidays enjoyed with my family will never be. That I no longer have an intact family, and that my sweet Coley will never celebrate another Christmas on this earth.” Tracy goes on to tell how she will never cut down another tree because Cole used to be the one who did that. She bought her first fake tree for her other two boys after Cole died. She goes on to say, “My tree used to be dressed in ornaments collected over the years – consisting primarily of ornaments the boys made and ornaments I bought for them or bought on our travels. I haven’t been able to take those out. Instead I bought a bunch of generic ornaments. I’m thinking of opening the old box this year. Feeling stronger than the past two Christmases.”

It would be wildly unfair for me, not only as a Feng Shui Consultant, but as a human being, to expect that a blanket “remedy” of doing something in your home could help everyone heal equally.

If the holidays for you are hard, and holding an object from a time in your life, that ceases to exist anymore, evokes your own “layer of sadness,” or causes a “pang,” or feels “tough,” or even resonates as your own “stabbing reminder,” then I offer you this;

Before pulling out your box of decorations, create a space for yourself that feels sacred. Set yourself up for success. Help yourself tune into the present moment. Breathe. It’s important for us to ground ourselves before doing this to anchor our own energy into the here and now. Objects from the past can pull you backwards, and if not careful, send you into a tailspin. (And for some, the tailspin happens just at the thought of taking the box out, and, that’s OKAY.). Even that is progress in my opinion.

If it all feels like too much, then stop. All I can ask is that you do is your best. Like Don Miguel Ruiz says in one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, “Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, sef-abuse, and regret.”

Try awakening your senses by adding life to your surroundings with plants, or fresh cut flowers. Do you have a favorite blanket you can open up and sit on for this process that feels soft to the touch? Lay it out. Do you have a favorite playlist you could listen to help you along? Listen to it. How about a candle to honor what you are doing. Light it with intention to honor yourself and your loved ones whom you are missing. Go slow. Surrender to your feelings and allow yourself to cry. Melt and release the cement inside of you. Heal and repeat. Ornament, after ornament, after ornament.

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