Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reiki, TTouch and Play with Daisy at Bideawee Westhampton: Peacefulness to a Sensitive Cat

Daisy is a beautiful kitty at Bideawee in Westhampton.  She is friendly with people, but not so fond of other cats, so she is lucky enough to have her own room there.

Daisy wants to have connection and friendship with people, but she gets so overexcited that it can turn into overstimulated behavior, with tail twitching, sudden hissing or meowing, etc.  Some people would say this is "unpredictable" behavior, but to me it is actually expected, if you watch her very clear body language.

And I do not agree with people who think this type of behavior is set in stone and cannot change.  We cannot know what will happen, but I believe that improvement is always possible.  It is a type of behavior where one is likely to always have to be extra-mindful of the cat's body language, but I strongly believe that by sharing a calm space, we can help these animals to understand what being calm feels like.  And the more that they feel it, the more possible it can be for them to get to that place on their own.

I have been working with Daisy really slowly, and through this process and combination of Reiki, TTouch and play, we have established a lovely bond.

My cat Garbanzo had a somewhat similar pattern, though his was more extreme, as he could get very aggressive when he was in overstimulated mode.  He trained me well to learn how to stay calm and neutral, and how to go slowly and gradually, always aware of body language.

When I first met Daisy, I had worked with other cats first, so without even consciously thinking it, Reiki was flowing before I entered into the room.  I entered and sat down calmly.  Daisy ran up to me before I even sat down and started rubbing and rubbing against me.  This behavior alone made her so overstimulated that suddenly she hissed at me.  I had a wonderful toy with me ("Go Cat Cat Catcher" - basically a stick toy with a mouse on the end of a wire - most cats love it!) - so I started playing with her a bit with the toy - enough so she could get some of her energy out on the toy, but not so wildly that she got amped up even further.  At times I was able to stroke her with the stick end of the stick toy - just once or twice.  Mostly I was just sitting calmly and letting the Reiki flow.

Our first few sessions were brief, as I wanted to make sure that we had a positive interaction, and it was left at that.  With each session, Daisy responded to the Reiki more and started to recognize the calming energy.

And so after a little bit of play, I would just sit calmly, and she would end up laying right next to me, even falling asleep.
It was so relaxing in her beautiful room, with the light coming in the window.  The light from outside, the light from within both of us, the light of the Reiki energy, becoming one with the light.

At the end of our most recent session (actually part one of it!), when I ended the session and got up to go to the door (which I do gradually and calmly), Daisy came after me, as she often does, and she started getting back into a hectic mode.  I was feeling from her, "why are you leaving?  don't go! why are you leaving?".  When I end the sessions with her, I tell her that I love her always, and that I will be back, but still this is often what happens when I leave the room.

After I worked with a couple of other cats, it was getting near time for me to leave the shelter, but I really wanted to spend a few more minutes with Daisy.  I felt I had something more to share with her, and I wanted to see what would happen.

I went back in the room, letting the Reiki flow again, and she calmly settled on the floor across from where I was.  I started telling her silently, "You can always have the light in you.  You can always have the light all around you, protecting you.  I love you always, and always, and always.  Feel the light inside you, and the light all around you, protecting you." I started repeating these words, and variations, like a mantra, for a few minutes.  I may have said them quietly, in addition to silently, I am not sure.  I saw her looking so peaceful and happy and settled.  And when I got up to leave, I was still feeling these words in my head, and she stayed right where she was, at peace and very settled.

Later on, I heard from one of the shelter people that Daisy and some of the others were much calmer.  So lovely to hear!

Thank you so much, Daisy!  It is such an honor to learn from you, and to share this beautiful energy with you.  I look forward to seeing you soon:)

And thanks, as always, to the wonderful Bideawee people for all that you do for these sweet creatures. xxoo

Friday, March 10, 2017

My Journey with Peaches at Bideawee

Peaches was a dear, gentle, senior cat friend who I worked with at Bideawee in Westhampton starting in 2015, when I started coming to Westhampton to work with the kitties (and occasionally a dog).  I enjoyed each moment I spent working with him, and so was very sad to hear of his passing recently.  Following is a bit about how he came to Bideawee, and then about our journey and work together. 

Peaches had come to Bideawee in 2012 with mom Penelope and five siblings when their owner passed away.  They had been clearly loved and well cared for by their owner.  Bideawee gives all their animals such love and care, and the kitties were able to live in the spacious, lovely cat rooms they have.  These rooms are beautifully set up for the cats' comfort, with ramps, cat trees, cat beds, scratching posts, and toys.  All the kitties except for Penelope and Peaches were adopted.

Peaches was a very shy boy, and so of course I was eager to work with him.  He would run away when people approached him, and would usually go way up high in the room, or to the back of a crate in the room to get away from people.

I wanted to allow Peaches to slowly become accustomed to me in a way that would feel safe to him.  In my first sessions, I did Reiki with him from a short distance away.  If he was way up high, I would stand on a chair so I could see him, but still could be a good distance away.  I also did TTouches off the body, as you see here:

Feeling the gentle energy of the TTouches and Reiki from a distance helped him to feel more comfortable, and slowly he began to be more at ease in my presence.

The next wonderful discovery I made was that he liked treats.  Treats can be a wonderful way for a cat to learn that they can be safe near you, and they begin to associate you with something that they really enjoy.  Following is a video which shows how I incorporated treats with TTouch and Reiki to help dear Peaches feel more at ease. 

Now when he saw me coming into the room, he began running towards me instead of away.  Yes, it was for the treats, but later on, I was able to approach him for affection without the "bribery".  Also, in our sessions he was comfortable for longer and longer periods without using treats.

In the video above. you see me brushing him with a "mini jelly scrubber" brush - which is most often used for horses, but I found out about it in the TTouch training, as many cats enjoy being TTouched (or, I found out later, brushed) with it. You can see how he settles into touch for longer periods of time without the treats.
In the video below, you can see him enjoying contact more and more.  And in the last section, I had approached him quietly while he was cozy in the sun, and he relaxed into the TTouches with no treats being used.

The large room that he lived in (with some other cats) has big windows in the front that go over the top as well.  So on a sunny day, the light pours in, and there are cozy places for the cats to hang out in these sunny spots.
When I think of Peaches now, that moment we had of TTouch with the light shining on us comes back to me.  Truly a magical moment in time, a beautiful moment of inner and outer light and connection.
I looked forward to each time that I worked with dear Peaches, and felt our heart connection grow stronger each time.  I felt so honored that he felt safe with me, that he was enjoying these moments of closeness and contact.
And I heard that some other people were able to have more contact with Peaches as well, which was great to hear.
As we continued working, he continued making progress, and in this last session that I filmed, he realized he really enjoyed scratches and TTouches around his head.  He was purring and pushing into my hand.  Such a joyful session with him!

Not too long ago, I had noticed that Peaches was feeling more frail, and so I mentioned it to the Bideawee staff. Bideawee's vet checked him out completely with full bloodwork, etc and nothing showed up.  So it must have been a shock when Bideawee's Animal Care Supervisor Amy discovered that Peaches had passed away in his sleep. Amy has his ashes, and there is a photo of him up where his cage card used to be, to honor the sweet kitty.
Following is a strappo monotype I did of him a while ago.

I will always remember Peaches.  His gentle smile and sweet soul will live in my heart forever.

I will always picture him basking in the sun, with the sun coming in through the windows, with a beautiful smile on his face, glowing with light and joy.  Love you always, Peaches!  Thank you for all that you taught me, shared with me, and all that you gave to me.  xoxo

Friday, March 3, 2017

My Journey with Natalia and Lulu: Five Years Later

Lulu and Natalia

Natalia and Lulu are my two beautiful, formerly-feral cats who I adopted from BARC Shelter in 2012.  They came into BARC Shelter in December of 2011 – so I have known them for five years now (they are probably about six years old).
When they first came in to BARC Shelter, I had no idea that some months later I would be bringing them home.  They had different names at the shelter, but to avoid confusion I am using the names I gave them.  At that time, I had my 18 year old cat Garbanzo, who would not tolerate any other cats.  They originally were brought in to be spayed and put back outside.  When that plan fell through, they continued to stay at the shelter.  The shelter owners were considering sending them to a sanctuary.  Clearly they were not used to human interaction at all.  

Of course I began working with them once it was clear they were staying at the shelter.  Lulu hid under her cat bed, and Natalia stayed at the back of the cage, but I could tell early-on that they were not aggressive in the least  just scared.

We have been on, and continue to be on, a truly amazing journey.  The process is so heart-opening, and so humbling.  It is a lesson in patience, and in letting go.  It is about really quieting my own being so that I can listen to what they are ready to do.  It is about keeping my mind open, about constantly trying new things with them, and about figuring out how to break things down into smaller and smaller steps until you are just at the place that feels ok for them. I also have a number of ways of connecting with the cats: TTouch, Reiki, play, clicker training, Debono Moves, treats, etc. If one thing is not working that particular day, I try something else.
And all of those small steps really do add up.  Back then, I didn’t know that I would eventually be able to pick up Lulu and give her a good snuggle and head rub, or that Natalia would want me to climb up the stairs to the bed with her for Reiki, giving head butts to me the whole way.  That they would come to me to seek affection.  
Here is a photo of our Reiki routine.  Natalia and Lulu are always in the same configuration.  Most often Lulu will wait at the bottom of the stairs up to the bed.  She waits for my boyfriend to come into the room and tell her it's time for Reiki, but she starts running up the minute she hears him get up from his chair in the living room.  Such a funny routine!  Then she snuggles in next to me.

It is important to keep trying new things.  I think there is always progress that can be made when working with shy, fearful and feral cats.  And that it is always worthwhile to try. 

A recent example:  Natalia has always tended to be head-shy.  So I generally will stroke her on the back first, as that is where she is most comfortable.  To help her get accustomed to being touched on the head, I would just do a couple of TTouches on the head, and go back to the body, where she is comfortable.  I also found that using the Zigzag TTouches on her head (they are usually done on the body), has been helpful.  Above and below are videos showing some of the ways I have been able to work with her to help her be more comfortable.

Lulu is more comfortable than Natalia with handling in general.  But brushing is something that she has limited patience with, so I am experimenting with different types of brushes to see what works for her.  And I am still continuing to make progress with her as far as handling goes as well. Just to give you an idea of how far she has come from her initial fearfulness/feralness, here is a video I made of her recently, showing some TTouches that are helpful for cats who overgroom:

Moving forward with being able to touch and handle a cat has practical applications as well as being able to feel a closer bond with your animal spiritually as well as physically.  For example, helping an animal to be comfortable being touched on the head, body and extremities such as paws and tail is really helpful if you have to give them medication, or if you need to look at a bump or scrape or the like, or clean the ears, etc.  We have not been able to get to nail clipping, and I think something such as giving eye drops would be really hard, but being able to handle the cats better and better has been a huge help, and we are continually progressing, so that is great!
And keep in mind progress does not always take place in a straight line.  Sometimes there will be a real breakthrough with something, and then the next day you are still back where you were before.  That can happen at times, but don't be discouraged.  Continue to meet the cat where they are that particular day, and find where they are comfortable.  From that place you can gently see what little step you may be able to take that day.

A month or so ago I needed to get Lulu in a carrier to get her to the vet, which I had thought would be such an impossible task.  It did take two of us to do it, but I think she knew we were trying to help her, and it did not end up being such a big deal as I thought it might be.  For me, the best thing I did in that moment was take a deep breath, calm myself, and act as if this was just going to happen. Taking a few seconds even, just to look inward and calm oneself, especially before doing something challenging with an animal, is so valuable. And even when we are getting ready just to try some TTouches or spend a quiet moment with our animals, it is really of value to check in with ourselves first and let go of our tensions and worries as best we can.
Animals have so much to teach us.  We just have to quiet ourselves and listen to what they have to say.  I learn from them every day.  And am continually reminded too, of how valuable it is to start each session with an open mind and heart, releasing expectations.  It is when you can truly be in the moment with the animals that the most amazing things can happen.
Love you Natalia and Lulu!  and look forward to continuing our adventures together every single day. xoxo

Friday, February 24, 2017

Connecting with Pearlie: Increasing Comfort and Ease for a Sweet Senior Cat

Pearlie is a beautiful senior kitty who I have been working with for a couple of years.  I started out working with her dear sister Lucy (who sadly passed last year), who had arthritis (and later other issues), and soon began working with Pearlie as well.  Pearlie and Lucy's person Kate is a lovely person and an amazing cat guardian, giving them both the best of care - always so thoughtful and attentive to their every need.

Pearlie has kidney issues, as well as arthritis, so whatever I can do to help her be more relaxed and comfortable is beneficial.  I have mostly been working with Reiki, and recently have been incorporating some TTouch and Debono Moves as well.  Reiki can help the body and mind to be as balanced as possible.  TTouch (developed by Linda Tellington-Jones) and Debono Moves (developed by Mary Debono) both grew out of the Feldenkrais Method.  These techniques are subtle, gentle, primarily hands-on techniques (they can also be done off the body).  I have found that these techniques complement each other really well.

Pearlie is a very sensitive cat, so she mostly prefers that I share Reiki with her from a short distance away.  As time has gone on, she has been more comfortable with me being closer, and I have also been able to slowly introduce the other techniques with her, always going with a pace she is comfortable with.

In the last couple of sessions, she has been getting progressively more at ease with this combination, so I wanted to share some of what I did in her most recent session:

Pearlie was settled on the couch comfortably, so I sat near her, said hello and let the Reiki start flowing.  Shortly after making the connection through Reiki, I sensed she was open to me making physical contact with her, so I gradually moved closer and started doing some gentle TTouches on her forehead with the back of one finger (the flat part of fingernail in contact).  She relaxed into this nicely.

She was on her left side, with her right side facing me, so I gently rested my left hand on her side, barely touching her.  I did a slow lift of her muscles, then an even slower release of the tissue (Debono muscle lifts).  I imagined each lift as a supportive movement, and each release creating more space and more relaxation. After each release I would have my hand slightly off her, then would put my hand gently back on her side, just a little further down her back than before.  As I slowly worked my way down her side, she grew more and more sleepy, and I felt her very peaceful. We were both completely one with the movement and the moment, and I felt more ease and relaxation after each release.

When my hand was down around where her hip is, I rested my whole hand over her hip area, and began to imagine my hand doing a very slow circle there (Debono hip circles, which are usually done in conjunction with shoulder circles).   After a while, I started moving my hand in a very subtle circle - barely a movement, done more with my intention than anything.  I did the circles in one direction for a while, then changed to the other direction.  Pearlie was now completely stretched out and relaxing into the movement. 

When I did this sequence the week before, she had begun purring.  At this moment, she didn't, but I felt her totally at ease. 

As she continued to lay in this position, I imagined doing this same sequence on the other side of her body. Then I slowly took my left hand slightly off her body and just let the Reiki flow with my hands still, one near her head and one near her tail.  There was a very sleepy, dreamlike feeling as we shared the energy quietly together.  I incorporate these still moments with the times where I am moving, to let the animal rest and process what we have done.  So we are not actually still - at least not still like a statue - the energy is flowing and the mind and body are processing information.

I then did some clouded leopard TTouches (circular TTouches with the pads of the fingers touching) on the toes on her back paws.  I was barely touching her toes - very light pressure.  Then I lightly held each of her toes, one by one, moving each one a little bit.  This was all to give her system more awareness in her feet, and to remind her feet and toes of the movement potential there.

After that, I paused, letting her system absorb all the work we had done.

Next, Pearlie got up and took a bit of a break, then walked towards the bedroom, checking to see if I would come with her, and settled in on top of the cover of the heater, where it was nice and toasty warm.  Interestingly enough, she laid on her right side this time, with her left side towards me.  As if to say, please work on this side now:)

I did the sequence of the muscle lifts, followed by the hip circles, on her left side.  When I got to the hip circles, she started purring, pretty loudly, which is unusual for her.  Kate told me that often one has to put their ear very close to hear Pearlie purr.  Pearlie stared at me as if to tell me how cozy she was.

Then, as an experiment, I put my other hand slightly above her shoulder, doing some slow circles there above her body as I continued the hip circles.  I had not done this earlier because I felt that putting both my hands on Pearlie's body would be too much.  However, Pearlie was completely comfortable with this and began purring again.  I put my hand lightly on her shoulder, continuing the slow circles for a short period of time with one hand over her shoulder area and one over her hip area.

At that point I let the movement go, and just kept still, continuing to let the Reiki flow.  Then I finished the session, thanking Pearlie, thanking Reiki, Debono Moves, and TTouch:)

Keep in mind that all of this took a bit over an hour, and all the movements were very slow.  If I had sensed Pearlie becoming uncomfortable in any way, I would have stopped the movement, given Pearlie a break and continued the session with my hands off, etc.  It is always important to go with what the animal is comfortable with, so that they feel it as a positive experience, and as something they enjoy and look forward to.

Thank you so much Pearlie!  I love you and can't want to see you again and continue our explorations together:)

And please check out Mary Debono's website for more about her technique, and my youtube channel for some demos of TTouch, etc.:)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sharing a Calm Space with BJ


BJ is a beautiful black cat.  He lives with two wonderful people, Amy and Matthew, and kitty friend Ramona (Mona).  They recently moved, which is stressful for BJ, and he has been exhibiting signs of stress, including over-grooming.  This is something that happened with a previous move.  He is a very sensitive cat, and he needs some help in easing out of his anxiety. 
Mona and BJ
I started working with them about a month ago.  They had already been using a Thundershirt, which is great.  I showed them how to use a TTouch wrap, to have as an alternative to the Thundershirt.  I also showed them some basic TTouches, as TTouch is so helpful in calming the nervous system, and can help to remind him that he can feel calm. I have showed them some basic clicker training, as BJ is very food-motivated, and this activity can help him to be more focused and can distract him from the constant grooming. And I have encouraged them to meditate with BJ as well.  Perhaps because he is so sensitive, he has been very responsive to the Reiki sessions we have done. And so far he has been responsive when they have meditated with him.
He has been making progress, coming out into more of the space in the apartment and finding places where he enjoys relaxing, such as on the windowsill. And as of last week, he was grooming less, which is really good.

For the Reiki sessions, I just sit on the floor in a comfortable position with him in the room, and Amy and Matthew can sit quietly wherever they wish.  BJ is welcome to go wherever he pleases.  I am sharing the Reiki space with him, and it is his choice as to where he is comfortable receiving the energy.

In the first two sessions, he started out being very restless, but I just continued to let the energy flow, letting him know he was loved, he was safe, and he was welcome to take as much or little energy as he needed.  Both times he ended up settling into Amy's lap, and over some time stopped grooming and relaxed into a very peaceful sleeping position there. 

The third session was a distant session, as both Amy and Matthew were out of town.  I felt a very strong connection, and as you can see in the picture below, my cat Natalia was sending her own good vibes to him from nearby.  My other cat, Lulu, was also present on the other side of me, enjoying the relaxing energy.  The photo near my hand is a photo of BJ, as that helps me in connecting with him.

In the fourth session, Amy was not present. I shared with Matthew a meditation that I call the "healing bubble meditation", during which you create a space of healing and light, and invite the animal into the space.  As we did the meditation, BJ circled around Matthew, very interested in what was going on.  I know he could sense the calm energy around him.  And he looked at my lap as though he was thinking about sitting there, but not quite yet.
After that, I worked with BJ, and shortly after I began letting the energy flow, he went ahead and settle right on my lap.  He was not grooming for that entire time, was just absorbing the energy. As BJ is quite shy, that was a big show of trust on his part.
I felt him so peaceful and quiet, and it seemed like such a relief for him to feel such stillness.  And it seemed he was realizing that it was possible for him to feel this calmness.
I think the more often that he can be reminded of that feeling, the more easily he will be able to find it on his own.  So that is why TTouch and Reiki and meditation can be so helpful - to remind the body and mind that mental and physical peace is possible.
After a long while, he needed a break and went to go sit on an easy chair.  He started to groom himself.  I continued to let the energy flow, and he began to slowly calm down.  I very gradually began to move a bit closer to him, and followed my intuition to try a few TTouches with the back of one finger (flat part of fingernail) at a slow tempo.
I did just a few circular TTouches, and he stopped grooming.
Then he started up again a bit, and I did a few slow TTouches on his forehead with one finger.  I slowed down the TTouches as I went.  He stopped grooming and settled down.
I gave him breaks here and there as I continued working.  All the while I was letting the Reiki continue to flow.  I did some slow TTouches going down one side of his back, then the other with the back of my fingers with a snail's tail (after the circle and a quarter you pause, then release your hand back in the other direction a quarter circle).  The back of the fingers can feel more gentle and less invasive than the front surfaces, as there is less heat coming from the back of your hands.
BJ was getting very relaxed and sleepy by this point.  Sometimes I would just keep my hands still and let the Reiki flow, and other times I would be doing the TTouches with the Reiki flowing. Mona came over near where we were, as though she wanted to be a part of the energy.
Please see the video below for a demo of some of the TTouches I did with him (I made the video after the session, with my cat Lulu as the demo cat).

In last week's session, both Amy and Matthew were present.  I had spoken to them about positive visualization, and Amy said that they were focusing on that more.  And that things were going better in general with BJ.
Seeing an animal in a positive light can be so important.  When an animal has an ongoing issue, such as overgrooming, we can start to have a constant image of the animal overgrooming.  Instead, it is more useful to start seeing the animal as healed and whole - to start seeing him as strong, relaxed, and peaceful, for example.  I use a lot of visualization when I am working with an animal, and I did in the session that followed.
Again, in the beginning of the Reiki session, BJ was a bit restless, but before too long, he sat straight up on the arm of the couch (next to where Amy was sitting).
He sat there very still, as though he was sitting as still as he could to feel the energy.
I was seeing him as a much larger cat than he physically is.  I saw him strong and confident and larger than life. I connected with his inner light, and began to feel a connection between his inner light and the light that was surrounding him.  That it was all the same beautiful light.  He stayed in this still sitting position for a long, long time - most of the session.  It was not a stiff position though - it was a posture of just taking in the energy, and of being peaceful, and feeling what that peacefulness is. I could feel his inner beauty radiating.
At a couple of points, he started to do a few motions as though he would start grooming, and then he decided not to, and stayed still again.  A couple of times when he looked as though he was going to start grooming, Amy just touched him lightly and he became calm again.
Realizing, I don't have to do this, I can be peaceful.
Eventually, he settled into Amy's lap and got very peaceful there.  I slowly moved near him and was able to do some calming TTouches with him.  Hooray (I said that inside myself quietly!)!
Thank you BJ, Matthew, Amy, and Mona!  You are all doing a wonderful job. I look forward to seeing you all soon and to further work with BJ:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Riding the Ups and Downs with Mr. Ji

I have been working with Mr. Ji for some weeks now, and he has been responding so well.

Mr. Ji is a delightful senior Shitzu, a little dog with a big spirit.  He has musculoskeletal issues, apparently spinal stenosis.  He has some feeling in his back legs but they cannot support him, so Niseema (Mr. Ji's amazing person) has a customized cart for him which helps him get around very well.  He tends to twist to one side, and has a lot of tension in his upper body because it is working very hard to help the rest of his body get around.

But when I arrived at Niseema and Mr. Ji's place the week before last, he did not look good.  He was having spasms and seemed very uncomfortable.  Niseema said the trouble had started yesterday.

I sat down near him and set my intent to create as quiet and calm a space as I could for both Mr. Ji and Niseema.

As Mr. Ji was very sensitive, I kept my hands a short distance away from him for Reiki.  I started to let the energy flow, and pictured a healing bubble around us.  Niseema sat down and held Mr. Ji to help him feel more at ease as well.  If Mr. Ji cannot get comfortable on the couch, Niseema will hold him and usually he settles down.

As I continued, I slowly started to see Mr. Ji show some signs he was feeling more comfortable.

And then, Niseema began to do some slow TTouches down Mr. Ji's back.  I could see another level of relaxation begin to happen.

By the end of the session, Mr. Ji was definitely much more at ease.  And I was so happy to hear from Niseema later on that Mr. Ji seemed to have turned a corner - after the session he was more comfortable walking, and then he went to the vet for a cold laser treatment, which helped him feel even better.

This past week when I went to see him, I could see he was so much better, he had a lively energy to him and it felt like light was around him.  So beautiful to see.

This time, he was comfortable with my hands on. Which showed me he was more comfortable altogether.

Niseema held him for most of the session.  I began with Reiki with my hands around his lower back, then did some Debono Moves muscle lifts going down one side of his back, then the other.  Debono Moves is a very gentle modality, developed by Mary Debono, that is based on Feldenkrais work, as is TTouch, but I think it is even more subtle.  I did the muscle lifts extremely slowly, with the image that I was supporting his back, that he could breathe into my hands.  I felt him getting more and more comfortable as I worked.

After that, I had my hands on either side of his lower back, and had an image of him walking freely, with his legs moving comfortably.  I did not move my hands, but just imagined as I held my hands there that one hip and hind leg was moving forward, then the other - that he was walking.  As I continued working with him, sometimes my hands were on him and other times just off, as my intuition guided me.  And I kept seeing that mental image of him walking freely, without actually moving my hands on his body.  Continuing to let the Reiki flow throughout the session.

Niseema gently placed him down on the couch on his side next to me, and he settled in comfortably.  At that point I had one hand just off his chest and the other just off his lower back.  I felt the energy was traveling through his whole body.  He became so peaceful.  So lovely to see him so at ease, particularly when I thought about what the situation had been just the previous week.

Ups and downs are usually part of the territory when working with an animal with challenges such as Mr. Ji has, but fortunately Reiki and the other gentle modalities I use can often help the animal to be more comfortable and as much in balance as is possible, given the situation.  And Niseema is doing everything possible (and then some!) to help Mr. Ji to be as happy and healthy as possible.

Sending good vibes for continued comfort and health for dear Mr. Ji:)  xoxo  And thank you Niseema for giving this sweet dog so much love and care.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Distance Reiki with Willow: A Healing Circle

Willow is a beautiful grey kitten, about five months old.  When I first went to visit her, she was having trouble with upper respiratory infections, as well as intermittent related issues such as lack of appetite, lethargy and some wobbliness in her walking.  She is under veterinary care, and was taking medication for a period of time.  The doctors have not at the moment found the source of the wobbliness, but her balance has gotten better since it first appeared.

After I did an in-person Reiki session with Willow, Lee had a powerful Animal Communication session with the wonderful Sue Pike.  Sue recommended that Lee have me do daily 10-minute Reiki sessions with Willow for a month.
My two cats, Natalia and Lulu, usually receive Reiki twice a day, after their morning and evening meals, settling on either side of me on the bed.  I have been doing Willow’s sessions after our morning Reiki. 

Often I will place a photo of the animal in my lap for a distant session, and it helps me connect with the animal. 

As I started letting the Reiki flow to Willow, I closed my eyes for a bit and began to really feel she was there.  It was as though her spirit was with me, and she was larger than life.  I felt her nestle in my lap, and felt her fur on my arms.  I felt an intense light and energy around us. 

I opened my eyes and saw that Natalia was looking in my direction, as though she was watching what was happening, and that she was a part of the energy flow, offering some of her own energy to Willow.  It also seemed like she was feeling the relaxing vibes, just grooving on it with her eyes half closed.  Lulu was completely curled up asleep.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling stressed about something.  When I started the session with Willow, Natalia put her paws on my lap, right by Willow’s picture.  Suddenly I felt myself let go, becoming one with the energy from Natalia, Lulu, and Willow. I felt all three of them healing me.  I felt connected with them and with all of life, feeling the oneness of everything.  
Reiki energy goes where it is needed, which is why it is so important to keep an open mind and heart, and to release expectations about what may happen.  Some of the most amazing things can happen when one is truly open and in the moment.  Natalia reminded me to simply be there, in the moment, in the middle of all the beautiful, loving energy.

Since that session, Natalia will come and put her paws on me or on Willow’s picture, or sometimes just face in my direction, becoming part of the healing.

As I have continued the sessions, I have to felt Willow’s energy become stronger and stronger.  I began to feel that her internal light was becoming brighter.  And even when I look at the same photo I have been using of her, I feel her emanating light and energy.  Her eyes seem brighter, and generally she seems stronger physically and energeticallyAnd the stronger that I feel Willow's energy, the more casual Natalia seems in her connection - she will now most often just look in the direction of Willow's picture, rather than putting her paw directly on it. 
A couple of weeks ago, Lee had said Willow was doing much better, and when I checked in with him today, I was delighted to hear that she has been great, that she is doing really well now.
Willow has two handsome kitty brothers, Remington and Quinn.  I am doing distant Reiki sessions with them as well now - so I will look forward to sharing more about them another time:) 
Thank you Willow, and to my Natalia and Lulu.  
I am reminded of the Reiki precept "Be humble."  
Working with the animals can be one of the most beautiful and humbling experiences one can have.  I am honored to have these experiences, and thank the animals every day for sharing their love and wisdom with me. The animals have so much to teach us, if we can only quiet our own minds enough to listen.