On Meditations and Reiki…

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Welcome to the latest Reiki blog hop where Joy Vernon asked us to:

Write out instructions for how to do whatever basic meditation or first meditation you teach in your classes or first learned to do.

Well… following instructions is not always my forte and certainly when teaching meditation, I have found that people who struggle with the concept of meditation can get more confuddled if given instructions. We live in an often stressful world and I think it’s easy to slip into seeing meditation as being a goal to achieve and by extension, something to fail at…

There are as many ways to meditate as leaves on a tree and my personal opinion is that if the thought of one technique stresses you out, then ditch it and find something else that will work for you. When I was first introduced to meditation, I found the situation to be farcical and tantamount to being trapped in a bad sitcom. An instructor asked the group to raise their hands if they had a daily meditation practice. Hands shot up in all direction and then followed a game of top trumps as people tried to out zen one another… I chewed the insides of my cheeks to try and contain the laughter that wanted to erupt as I heard the boasts around me. Oh… I meditate for an hour a day… Another voice smugly declared that they were now up to 90 mins a day… Another voice delivered a counter bid of an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening… I stared at the ceiling desperate to avoid making any eye contact as I was on the brink of a blooper reel type corpsing of maniacal laughter…the whole absurdity of being in this room with people who an hour or so before had been discussing the art of non-competitive practice…

The instructor landed on me… Tell me Karen, how do you meditate?

I confessed that I didn’t as I found it all quite boring…

I was then asked – do you do anything to clear your mind?

I thought about it and thought it was probably a dumb answer but said it anyway… Well… I go into the garden and when I first go out, I can hear all the noise from the traffic but I try to tweak my ear to the birdsong until all I can hear is chirping and the traffic noise disappears…

The instructor asked – do you think it’s possible that that could be described as a form or meditation?

I conceded that it may be possible…

I still do that many years later, I also thanks to my resident hedgehogs sit and listen to see where the rustles come from and let my eyes adjust to the dark until I see them clearly walking around… But mostly if I’m going to actively meditate then I do it with art as there’s something about using my hands that grounds me into being wholly present in the moment.

What does this have to do with Reiki? Ok… Reiki is practiced in a meditative frame of mind and I don’t think really that it matters that much how you get to that place… Let me explain with some art…

Inside the swirling mind, if you know where to go, there’s this sweet spot like the eye of the storm…

If you try too hard to find this place, or to slow your thoughts to silence, then they’ll just swirl faster and you might be fooled into thinking the sweet spot doesn’t exist… or that it’s only attainable to the special few…

Don’t worry… it is there for you… At first you might experience it for a fleeting split of a second… hold it… somewhere in your brain, a connection is made and a path laid down… you can find it again…

There’s no need to force yourself to sit for hours and will this into place… a brief pause often returned to will begin to take on a life of its own… the split seconds will grow longer of their own accord… This is your place to go to whenever you want… Learn to recognise how it feels and you will learn how to tap into that feeling wherever and whenever you are, no matter what you are doing…

And this has an interesting side effect… as you find the quite space in your mind, then over time that feeling/energy ripples out across your life and into the paths of others… Peace starts within but the effects are contagious…

And that pretty much is my ‘instruction’ for Reiki meditation… Click on my neighbour’s links to see their guidance.

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How to Practice and Share Reiki When Ill

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
Joy RBH logo
THEME: How to Practice and Share Reiki When Ill
Joy Vernon put forward this latest topic and it opened up quite a discussion within the Reiki Blog Hop group…
I think most people can decide quite easily whether to practise Reiki when a physical problem is present. Personally, I am quite blessed in the health department and it’s extremely rare for me to be physically ill. My eldest son has pointed that out on many occasions, usually when he comes down with flu and self-pity and he will ask – how come since you took up Reiki, you don’t get ill? I’m not so convinced of the correlation and I put it down to the combination of acquiring a pretty robust immune system over the years of raising snot-nosed kids alongside working in air-conditioned buildings filled with the general public who aren’t too fussy who they sneeze on… On the rare occasion that I am contagious or physically debilitated and unable to function then my diary does tend to magically clear itself for the length of time that I need to recover. So, on the whole, it’s not something that I have to think about too often but my main thoughts there are, if you are ill then, it’s a good time to dose up on your own self-healing practice… I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets complacent with that… But also, being contagious does not stop you from practising Reiki as you do not have to be physically present, so there are various ways to apply distant healing if you have the energy and inclination to send Reiki to somebody else.
I do have an ongoing back problem and that has caused me to modify my practice on occasion. At its worst, I have referred clients to other people but that was more down to the nature of the general problems of being a mobile therapist and not wanting to drag a couch around. I kept seeing the clients who had their own couches and rather than standing for the whole session, I would place a chair nearby so I could sit down if needed. Though I find that if I have back pain and I am working on someone else, then the pain will disappear whilst working and often I will feel heat and healing coming into where I need it, alongside the Reiki that comes through and goes to the person on the couch.
But when we are working Reiki, we know that there is more to health than the physical level and when you ask about illness in terms of mental health or emotional and spiritual wellbeing, well that’s when you may as well be asking how long is a piece of string…
When it comes to mental health, then I’m not qualified to comment on that, though I have many thoughts on that subject, none of which ever fully resolve as defining, in general, doesn’t really allow for the nuances of individuals… I could easily fractal out in all directions on this issue so in an attempt to follow just one coherent thought, I laid down some cards… What should I address here?

Rainbow Oracle – Kim Roberts & Lucy Byatt

Uncertainty… Ok, if you are uncertain as to whether or not you should be practising Reiki, then I would suggest taking a step back and seeing if you can ground and centre yourself. I think on mental and emotional levels, it not so much about how ‘well’ you are but about how aware you are of where you are at. Nobody has their shit together in all areas at all times… the question really is, can you put those things on hold in order to deliver a quality service?

As a slightly off tangent example… Ok, so I recognise that people are people and everybody has their own struggles going on BUT… if I am dealing with someone in a professional capacity then I have very little tolerance for poor performance… When I went to a parent’s evening and came away knowing all the ins and outs of a teacher’s child’s illness and all of her childcare problems, I made a complaint. Don’t get me wrong, on a personal level, I empathised but I went there to discuss my child and came away with zero input and my opinion was that that teacher should not have been working in that state of mind…

On the other end of the scale, I know people with fairly extreme mental health problems, who are self-aware and manage their health in a way that their work is not at all affected…

Spiritual Sensitivity… Ok, lots of Reiki practitioners speak at length of the need to protect their energies… often I feel that people are only considering half of the equation… I’m not going to argue that you don’t want to be picking up other people’s dodgy energy… BUT… also consider that your client, by very nature of coming for Reiki is likely to be spiritually sensitive… so, there is a very good chance, that if you are not on the ball and focused in the moment, then your client could very well end up feeling bummed out because they have picked up that you are distracted…

Many moons ago, I stopped going to a Reiki practitioner as I suddenly felt very angry mid-session and I heard a very loud sentence in my head… after the session, I repeated the sentence to them and watched the colour drain from their face to be replaced by a look of horror as they asked me how I knew about the argument they had had that morning…

Self Love… well this brings to mind a couple of old adages… prevention is better than cure and you can’t give from an empty cup…

So, I guess my answer to the question of how to practise and share Reiki when ill, is to know how and when to prioritise your own needs for healing, which I guess is another whole topic in itself… but ultimately, how you do that is entirely up to you to decide… I know what works and doesn’t work for me but there’s no such thing as one size fits all… you’ll have to tailor your own fitness 🙂

Click on a link to visit my neighbours…

Reiki for Beginners…

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
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THEME: Reiki Recommendations for beginners

 

Joy Vernon posed the question – “What do you recommend to beginners interested in Reiki?” This can be from the point of view of a teacher and how they start beginners out, or from the point of view of a student and what you found most helpful in getting started or wished you had known at the beginning.

reiki tuition beginners

When you start to learn anything new, then there are going to be lots of questions that pop up… When it comes to Reiki, then I think it is important for a student to consider how they want to get the answers to their questions…

I guess, my first piece of advice would be to find a teacher you are drawn to and then ask them how they teach and what is involved. There are many styles of Reiki and ultimately your choice will be your personal preference. No system is any better or any worse than any other and in the long-term, if you go down the Reiki path, you will find that you develop your own ways of doing things. There are as many ways of teaching as there are teachers so speak to teachers but I’m willing to bet that a key thing that all good teachers have in common is that they want you to find the right person and so they are happy to answer your questions to help you decide who to learn with… I do believe that a good teacher will signpost you to someone else if they feel that that teacher would be a better fit for you.

So, before you approach a teacher, think about how you like to learn and the environment that you want to be in. Think about the class size that you would be comfortable in, do you even want to be in a group or would you prefer 1:1 tuition. I think one of the things I wish I had known at the beginning was that there is much talk of Reiki Circles and I wish I had realised that being in a circle did not actually equate to standing in a circle and being with people… Being in a circle can be having lots of 1:1 connections with a network of people you meet but you do not all have to be in the same place at the same time… My circle is more of a web and not everybody on that web has yet met…

Think about your reasons for wanting to learn… for example if you are looking to go into business then it may be a good idea to see a teacher who is business minded and who can help you with that aspect as well… If you are focused on a spiritual journey then yes, the right teacher may just appear but exercise a little caution if there is too much talk of synchronicity… especially if it starts to sound like cliched patter… There are people out there who are solely interested in your money… a few questions will quickly reveal these people… In my opinion, there is a bigger risk of landing in a pitfall with a teacher who coaxes your into being taught by them for free… Yes. of course, there are people who teach for free because that is where their heart is truly at but there are also those who teach for free because they like to feel needed… they like to feel that they save people…

It is a potential minefield to find the right teacher as price offers no measure nor guarantee of quality plus what works well for one student does not always work well for another. I know many practitioners who have gone off and set up a good client base after a weekend of fast-track training… equally I know many who have come away from fast-track feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience, stepping back from the whole thing then returning to learn slowly and from scratch the whole thing so that they can build their confidence to work with others…

Personally, I prefer to teach one to one so the pace and content can be tailored to that particular student’s aims and objectives… My aim is to have my student leave feeling confident to work at the level they chose to work at.

My general approach is to have a lengthy chat with a potential student to discuss different ways to do things… Then I advise them to go away, think about it and also ask a few other teachers…

If they return, then I do tend to advise that they stay away from the books at this point and start by looking at their general lifestyle and how life is going for them. Books are there to be read but there are so many, that I think it’s best to see what questions naturally arise before opening the books. I think also, Reiki is by its nature very experiential so it can be disappointing to read about how others see visions etc… I think my least favourite question from a student is when they say something like X says that when you do this, this should happen, I don’t get that? Am I doing it wrong? When it comes to Reiki, comparison and competition are not your friends! You have to learn to feel and trust for yourself…

Most things are fluid with Reiki with no real hard definitions of this is right… The points that I do stress as being right and wrong are the mundane but very important matters of personal safety, getting insurance, being aware of where you place your hands so you don’t accidentally end up getting people mumbling #metoo when they leave your premises never to return again…

The other main concept that I like to stress and debate is the healing/curing dichotomy but I think I may leave that for another day as we wanted to think about beginners and so I want to boil it down to two points to think about…

  1. Take time to know yourself…
  2. Take time to get to know your teacher…

And on that note, I will signpost you towards the links and you can go learn more about Jay and Joy, both with their own ways and both people who I consider to be important elements of my Reiki Circle that is in no way round, today it’s a triangle… but we’re certainly never square yet these people are good to have in your corner 🙂

 

Reiki Guides and Other Asides…

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
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THEME: GUIDED BY REIKI?
Jay Cassels set the theme for this hop, he offered the following prompt:
How do you approach/answer or discuss the topic of Reiki Guides, is it something that you’ve encountered, do you believe that as masters or as students that we are guided when it comes to Reiki?
 When I decided to start teaching Reiki, I made a decision right from the off that I would only teach one to one… that I wouldn’t overtly advertise and that the people who I’m supposed to work with will find their way to me and that has been a decision that I have stuck by and have no plans to change in the foreseeable future…
Upon reflection, I think one of the main reasons for this choice was the subject of guides… the other main reason is that I like to have time to fully gauge someone’s level of understanding and background experiences… When I’ve been on the student ends of things, I’ve had too many experiences that I don’t want to inflict on other people… so when the subject of guides comes up with my students, they’re not overly surprised when I start to list all the things I don’t like about  the subject… things like when the dynamic of a room full of people takes a weird turn as some odd version of top trumps breaks out… someone proudly announcing that their guide is present gets interrupted by someone else saying that 2 of their guides are there… ah well… only 6 of mine came today, 3 of them brought gifts from Atlantis… I may or may not be embroidering a few poetic licenses here for the sake of storytelling… likewise I may or may not be embellishing the truth when I tell you that someone once stood in front of me and in all deadly seriousness told me that their Reiki guides were Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson…  Wow! That sounds incredible, but it’s not that impressive really when you realise, no… not that MJ… this MJ  is a deceased pet cat…
I mock slightly, but you know what – good for you! If that’s what you believe and you can use that to make the world a better place without causing harm to others, then you go knock yourself out… call your guides what you like.
The issue I have is with the one-upping… or the attitude of “I art more spiritual than thou” doubly so, if the best use you can put your guide to is saving you a parking space outside the supermarket door… I was brought up forced to eat meals and leave no waste because there were starving children in Africa…
Another issue I have is with sheer stupidity and taking leave of common sense… thankfully not from personal experience but witnessed first hand… let’s just say. if you ever start seeing golden flashes repeatedly in one eye, then get to the optician and confirm it’s not a detached retina rather than listen to your medically unqualified Master who advises you show gratitude for the clear signals your guide is sending…
So basically, I guess my approach is to roast the idea… because in finding humour, then it’s easier to drift into exchanging ideas openly, recognising that all beliefs have an inherent level of ideas that others would find crazy…  At the end of the day. it comes down to personal choice and personally, I tend to be falling on the side of thinking that your guides should be kept private… I’m not entirely sure why people need to talk about their guides with other people… I’m not entirely sure why saying you work with a guide would qualify your work as being any better than someone’s work who says they work do not work with a guide…
I was in a workshop recently and I wish I could tell you what it was about but unfortunately, the exercise was so confusingly explained that I have no idea other than it was something about connecting to guides… I queried the teacher, who reacted in a rather interesting way by saying that they didn’t know what I asking and that no-one was forcing me to stay in the room, so if I didn’t want to do the exercise then feel free to go… I told them that I wanted to do the exercise but that I was not clear on the aims or objectives or when/how this practice would be useful…  They shouted –
DO YOUR OWN THING!
Then marched off… There was a hushed silence that fell upon the room and all eyes were on me… A smile spread across my face… Ah! Yeah… fine, I’m an old hand at doing my own thing, now I get it! I picked up my pencil and doodled away… so… I know no more about guides than when I walked in here but hey ho that was an excellent demo on how not to teach… I thought long and hard about this odd reaction and I’m inclined to think that this person did understand my question but didn’t have an answer to it…
My belief is that when students ask questions, is it because they want to broaden their understanding… it’s not always about getting definite answers but about exploring ideas… and as a teacher, it’s ok to simply say – I don’t have an answer to that…
As a teacher, I don’t want you to slavishly follow my word… I want you to think and experience things for yourself… When I’m asked if I work with guides, well my answer is that for the sake of convenience I say that I do not work with guides…. but yeah… I have guides and I have no real interest in knowing their names… my intention that I set with guides is akin to the intention I set with people and all experiences in life… that the right things turn up, at the right time, in the way that it will be most useful to learn from them… When I try to nail down the details of guides, it only opens more questions… maybe they exist… or maybe they are the ramblings and outpourings of a bicameral mind attributing the inner workings of the brain to an external existence and connection to a sense of divinity…
Or briefly put and in a non-shouty and loving way…
Do your own thing…
Go study, explore, experiment… don’t stay in the echo chamber of ‘like-minded’ people… take your lessons where you find them… There is no great gain in devoting your time to trying to find guides if you blind yourself to the abundance of guidance that comes from day to day living… and if you are still seeking guidance then you could do far worse than return to the basics…

Be kind to others…
Click on a link to visit my neighbours…

Flying The Reiki Nest…

Welcome to the latest Reiki Blog Hop
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THEME: The Importance of Being Earnest
Jay Cassels set the theme for this hop, he offered the following prompt:
This month’s topic is about our relationship with Reiki, and also our relationships with clients, students and ourselves. Consider that for every fantastic experience there has been some not so fantastic, and for every amazing teacher there is one that hasn’t been, so reach into your heart/soul space and explore in your entry the relationship that you have with Reiki, where has it has taken you.
Ok… so let’s see where this takes me… I know it says ‘Reiki’ and this may be on topic or it could be wildly off as when I think of Reiki, the way that my brain hears that is universal life force and so although I’ve had the ups and downs in the Reiki community, I’m not really feeling the urge to go back and dissect old ground… and instead I’ll spread my wings into relationships with the world at large… because after all… aren’t we all supposed to be one big global community?
So… the importance of being earnest… I’m all for speaking your truth but over the last few years and it feels especially so over the last year or so… this speaking your truth feels to have been hijacked and perverted and become a phrase that’s bandied around as an excuse for abject rudeness… Let’s put aside all the fiascos in politics of late as hey man! I don’t have the mental real estate to deal with that right now… ok… I probably do but I’m using that as a segue to launch into just a few of my least favourite things… I’m constantly flabbergasted that never before have there been so many ways to communicate with so many people yet communication is done so badly… I’ve got a whole list of bugbears here but I’ll try and be mindful and try to avoid making my reader feel like they’re being held captive… though of course if I did ramble the whole list then you may fell victim to Stockholm syndrome and never want to leave… but bear with me… I’m writing this at 3:00 am so I’m just going to go with the first 3 things that come off the top of my head in what may end up as an incoherent ill thought out ramble but hey… let’s see what happens…
Radical self-care
Oh yes… now this one really takes the biscuit… I absolutely understand the need for self-care but hey! Ranty tirades and petulant stomping about asserting your personal boundaries and cries of puh-lease! do me the courtesy of respecting me and my space…
Well, sweety… your space ends where my nose begins… so do us all a favour and pull your crown chakra outta your base chakra and go do your self-care to your heart’s content… well out of my face…
Like-minded people
No! Just stop it! There’s nothing that hits my ears in a more shrill way than this phrase… this is beyond fingernails being dragged over chalkboards… Like minded people… isn’t it great to hang out with like- minded people? No, actually it sucks… I’m not an intentionally antagonistic person (except for the times when I am…) but I much prefer the company of people who can argue the toss without getting butthurt… Surrounding yourself in an echo chamber of like-minded people feels like a slow and stifling death… a desiccation of creativity sucked dry by excess positivity that bolsters the lacklustre and mediocre… This is why I quit teaching adult basic education… compulsory cheer-leading ignoring reality… expecting to be in collusion with unrealistic goals, and no recognition of limitations… The fact of the matter is that there are some things in life that require aptitude and talent and no amount of positive thinking and surrounding yourself with people who agree with your every word is going to change that… trust me… I’ve tried! I’ve been swimming lengths and focusing on getting gold at the next Olympics… the sad fact is the best I’m going to achieve is to manage to look as though I’m not drowning…
Oh… but if you disagree with one of the like-minded then you join the ranks of …
Haters
Oh well… obviously you are no-one until you have haters… Really? See from my cynical standpoint it often looks like an underhanded way to flog your shit… summon your minions… boost your sales without trying to look as though you are overtly selling… From another equally cynical standpoint… get over yourself! This phrase along with troll makes me gip… it seems that it’s often a lazy way to shut down a difference of opinion… I’m sure there are genuinely asshats out there who deserve the moniker but to start #hittingthehashtags like grannies with handbags trying to barge their way to the best pickings at the jumble sale… give me a break…
So where does all this take me with regards to Reiki… well there used to be a time when I would try to remember all 5 precepts… now I have them all condensed to one…
Ok… granted… today I’ve probably failed…
But tomorrow I’ll try to keep it peachy :*
Click on a link to visit my neighbours…

Reiki & New Year’s Resolutions…

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Joy RBH logo

Welcome to the 6th Reiki Blog Hop!

For the theme for the first Reiki Blog Hop of 2017, I decided to keep things simple and to follow the seasonal trend and ask my fellow hoppers their thoughts on New Year and how that relates to their Reiki practice.

I’ll be honest… I’m even less enthusiastic about New Year than I am about Christmas… ok admittedly there’s a bit of family history that casts a long shadow over it but that is fading nicely… My big bug bear really is that it’s a time of year that gets eNoisy… suddenly a LimpedIn Landslide of contact request from soulpreneurs I’ve never heard of but who want to flog their shit invite me to invest in myself for a year-long subscription costly a mere x-thousand or maybe a more affordable monthly option of 12  easy installments of x-thousand divided by 10 as hopefully, I’m too innumerate to calculate that that will cost me x-thousand plus 20%… And as for the general shouting about how this year is going to be the best year EVER… ha! no actually that one kind of appeals to my grimmest sense of humour as I imagine the best year EVER followed by an increasingly dreary and depressing decline to the grave… downhill all the way to the end of eternity…

Though maybe the Cosmos has my back this year and we’ve managed to manifest a mostly silent arrival into 2017… or more precisely, I received some unexpected good fortune in that facebook has decided that it doesn’t care for my old BlackBerry any longer and so now my smart phone has upped it’s I.Q. considerably as it’s not constantly being interrupted by notifications… And whilst I have no urge to do the – “hey! if you are reading this then you have survived the cull” type update as hey… there are many good folks on fb who I enjoy keeping up with… I must admit I am really enjoying the eSilence, particularly as on the back of this, I also decided that I’m not going to check email in the morning (and by morning I mean before 3.00 pm) anymore as hey… nobody is going to die if they have to wait a few hours…

So… what on earth has all this to do with Reiki and New Year’s resolutions? I hear you ask…

Well… simply put… I’ve decided to follow simplicity… I decided that maybe yes, I should formalise a Reiki resolution as hey, it’s good to define goals after all, but rather than wrack my brain I decided to dust off the Reiki Techniques Card Deck by Bronwen and Frans Steine and pull for inspiration…

rbh-jan-2017-a

So there we have it… Groundwork…

Now on the back of this card, there is written a rather lovely non-traditional Reiki method and it is suggested that you perform this practice as the sun rises…

But let’s get realistic here… My proclivity to owlish hours means that mostly if I’m seeing a sunrise then I’m on my way to bed rather than on my way out to face the world… and if, as on the odd rare occasion, I am actually getting up with the Larks, I’m pretty willing to lay a hefty bet that my mind will not be in any fit state to recite the Sun’s Mantra:

A ma te ra su Oo Mi Kami

And I really do get quite anxious about mis-chanting mantras… should a careless vowel slip take you from seeking enlightenment to summoning daemons… Though I’m not above mispronouncing Baphomet to rhyme with ballet just to annoy the long-suffering Mr S…and Hmmm… if I accidentally conjured up a Damon of the Matt variety…lalalala TMI alert!! make your own puns about exercising/exorcising demon/Damon… Oh… where was I? Ah…yes… that’s right… the pursuit of simplicity…

So… I thought to myself… ok, you know all the things you’re just not going to change anytime soon but what can you do to greet the day? And I remembered an old practice that I used to do daily a few years back and somehow let lapse…

rbh-jan-2017-b

Each day, no matter what time I got up, I would head straight downstairs and into the garden and raise my arms to sky and just breathe… breathe in the day… stretch…sometimes I’d let the Reiki precepts silently run through my mind and other days they gave way to the sound of birdsong… ah… breathe… stretch…breathe… feel the air upon my face and the ground beneath my feet and stay there until I decided to no longer stay there…

So… my resolution…

New Year! Old Practices!

Is that lazy?

I don’t know…

Though I’d somehow rather great each new day as it comes … to create tiny steps… than try to promise myself huge leaps (that will probably crash) once a year…

You can step, leap or hop or even hop, skip and jump over to my neighbours by clicking the links, but if you happen to be here before noon then shhhhhhh…. please keep the noise down! 😉

 

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2017 January Reiki Blog Hop Master List

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Today is our 6th Reiki Blog Hop!

The theme is:

New Year’s Resolutions

For the theme for the first Reiki Blog Hop of 2017, I decided to keep things simple and to follow the seasonal trend and ask my fellow hoppers their thoughts on New Year and how that relates to their Reiki practice.

Here is the list of participants:

Thank you and welcome to everyone who is joining us here!

The Reiki Blog Hop will happen once every two months–our next hop will be March 15, 2017.

For more info, or if you’d like to be a part of it, please check us out on Facebook.