Reflections on quotes from Frans Stiene

Summer busyness accompanied by dismantled routines distracts me. It is not easy to consistently follow the meditations I had intended to do. Today I begin again.  I remember not to judge myself but the tendency is there and it takes time to let that go and just accept and love who I am.

Frans Stiene’s latest book “Reiki Insights” (available on amazon .com) gives me some thoughts to remember. The Chapter on page 75 is titled “How  to Stop Being Uncomfortable with Ourselves” .  How true that the Reiki practices are not easy and can “stir up stuff”.  Generally we do not like looking deep within ourselves.  The process tends to be an up and down process for me. When I am uncomfortable with “the stuff” I dig up, I f ind myself slowing down my practice and even ‘accidentally’ forgetting about it.

Frans says “It is like trying to train a wild horse; the wild horse represents our confused mind. It takes a lot of effort and patience to train a wild horse and sometimes we fall off the horse and hurt ourselves. We stir up emotions , things we do not want to look at: fear, worry, anger, you name it. But if we want to help others, then it is of utmost importance that we start to tame our own confused mind first.”

It is when I do not want to look at myself that I tend to blame others, or circumstances, or life for what I see as my failings.  We do that, don’t we?  We blame others and/or ourselves, labelling ourselves and others in the process.  How can we get out of that pattern?  First we have to recognize what we are doing.  Oooooh that is a tough one!  How do we get out of this habit when we really don’t want to admit our shortcomings.

Frans tells us “It means that we start to accept ourselves for who we are with all our pain, discomfort, joy, issues and attachments. We start to become friends with ourselves again…  I call this ‘being naked’ with yourself.  Being naked is about accepting yourself completely, without judging or labeling.  It is letting go of criticizing ourselves.  The precept ‘show compassion to yourself’ is pointing this out.” 

This brings to mind the concept of the shadow self. I found reading Debbie Ford’s book “Dark Side of the Light Chasers” meaningful in helping me understand this concept.  Yet “getting it” intellectually does not mean that we are able to make it real for us.  I know in my head that when I see something I react to in another, there is a good chance I need to look at that within myself.  But oh how difficult that can be.  I resist.  And sometimes out of the blue one day, I realize at a deeper level that it is true within me and I need to accept it.  When I finally do that, does it ever change how I view the other.  Little by little, step by step,  I learn more about me and become just a bit more comfortable with myself.

This brings me to a question for you.  In one or two words, can you share with me/us what is the most challenging thing for you to accept about yourself?  Just acknowledging that can be a big step in your process

For me it is the “nastiness”.  You only need to give one word.

I can sometimes speak in a nasty tone with those I love the most.  I do not think of myself as a nasty person. But I am learning to accept that there are circumstances when that nasty side shows its face.  I don’t like it and I deny it but today I realize it is there, showing its face occasionally, but staying hidden from my self awareness.  In accepting it, perhaps it will be less hidden from me.

To end this reflection I quote Frans again: “When we stop labelling and judging ourselves, we reach a state of mind of stillness.”

The Reiki Precepts: Just for Today

Do not be angry
Do not worry
Be grateful
Be true to your way and your being
Show compassion to yourself and other.

Till next time,
Marie

marieknapp.com

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Reiki Heightens My Bruce Trail Experience

Please turn your tablet or phone sideways for a better view.

img_0754Have you noticed that as soon as you start on a hiking trail, as soon as your feet begin to feel the soft earth beneath them and your eyes spot the colours around you and you smell the freshness of the air, that you feel really good  inside? Your vitality begins to pick up, as your heart beats a little faster, your lungs breathe more fully and all your cells feel the improved nourishment from your enhanced circulation?  Being in nature invites my Reiki connection to strengthen. My energy flows more vibrantly and Reiki energy  heals.

With Reiki activated, walking through the trees helps clear the heaviness I may feel in my emotional body.  Worry, anger, jealousy or other heaviness I may feel in my gut, or heart, or across the shoulders begins to move through me. As the sole of my foot touches the earth, the earth draws the feelings out and relieves me of these anxieties.  Energy from the highest power guides the flow.

My brain begins to clear as I breathe in the freshness of the seasons.  My mind gradually lets go of the troubling thoughts that were not solving anything and allows a clarity of “what is important anyways” to rise within. For me, hiking in the woods can be like a Reiki session.

I feel awe. Some places seem to have a richness in sensual experiences. I am grateful and connected to life.  I feel uplifted, inspired, and any emptiness begins to feel replenished. Reiki offers me this higher consciousness way of experiencing nature more fully.  This is why I love Reiki and why I love the Bruce Trail.

http://marieknapp.com

email:  livingreiki@rogers.com

What does daily Reiki look like?

meDid you know that you can create your own way to use Reiki daily? It is entirely up to you to decide how much time you can give it and what it actually looks like for you. Remember that you can activate Reiki simply by thinking it or saying it to yourself.

Some days you may have a fairly complicated practice that you find very helpful but there are also many days when you have a busy schedule and just can’t fit it in.  Then adjust it. Just ask Reiki energy to guide you through the day.  Or perhaps you would prefer to call it by a different name which means the same for you.  God, Universal Energy, Creator.  Make it work for you.  Add or subtract pieces of your Reiki self care practice so you are able to do something every day.  Make it longer or shorter in whatever way it best suits you. What is most important is that you connect with the Highest Power regularly.  It will make a big difference in your day.

Till next time,

Marie

 

Sparking Your Enthusiasm

It’s Friday August 21st — the start of Summerfolk weekend here in Owen Sound.  I am invigorated within, harbouring a sense of impending purposeful fall activity that sparks my enthusiasm and brightens my soul.  Those words feel good to me and I want to share them with you.  I feel inspired and want to share that with others.

The world in my small city is bursting with community spirit.  Perhaps it is the 40th celebration of Summerfolk, you might think.  But I know it is more than that. There is a bigger story emerging here.  Not even two weeks ago, 9 fires were lit by arsonists for no apparent reason (so far known) displacing 41 people from their homes, most losing everything they owned.  These were not people with a lot of money and several had no insurance coverage.  This was not in the higher end neighbourhoods.  “Why?” everyone asks. The affected people and in fact the entire city and surroundings were left in shock, fear and confusion.  There were many heroes.  Everyone got out without injury and ten had minor smoke inhalation problems which were treated.  The culprits were seen through the video surveillance of one of the properties where they ineffectively lit a bush on fire.  They were arrested within three days.

But our community did not stop with the arrest of the three alleged arsonists.   The news of their bail hearings is almost overwhelmed by the news of continuing fundraisers and donors. I love how the positive is almost overriding the negative. The United Way has already received over $200,000 to help the fire victims reestablish homes, belongings and life following the fire.  As soon as the day following the fires, the local Canadian Mental Health Association provided the service of reestablishing each person’s ID papers.  The fire victims were forced to run from their homes with wearing only pajamas, often barefoot with no time to grab even a purse or wallet but they were safe.

The why question is still not answered. I invite you to go to this link and read what Kelly Babcock has written.  The affected people are already in temporary quarters and out of motels.  They will be in their own rented apartment in early fall. I feel proud to be part of this community. We are all learning how good it feels to be able to help others. I have a feeling that this spirit will be present at Summerfolk too.  It just will.

Summerfolk is likely to be rain-less this year.  Hooray!! Though weather predictions are increasingly imperfect with climate change, this one looks very promising.  Cool but no rain.  It will be good.

Summer busyness increases at this time.  The week before Labour Day long weekend marks “Salmon Spectacular”.  Another group of people will arrive with their boats to fill the otherwise almost empty Bay.  The night view will show hundreds of lights out on the water as dedicated fisher-people attempt to catch the prize fish.  Meanwhile on the shore a massive tent will house nightly rockin’ entertainment.

All this nudges me to start bringing my fall programs to fruition — some for my learning, and some for my sharing.  I love it.  My heart sings with this kind of activity, like it is what I am hear for — to learn and to share and sometimes they seem to occur simultaneously.  I feel inspired and I love opportunities to guide the inspiration of others.

For my own learning I will refresh my knowledge and skills related to Leadership development as I create a leadership mentoring program combining the work of Lance Secretan (www.secretan.com) and Reiki.  I will retake Lance’s coaching course through teleseminar and I will look for another Reiki class.  I have already begun offering this program on an individual basis.  I will continue to develop it using Lance’s work as well as my own research in graduate school as the foundation I will interlace it with Reiki to help people release old patterns and be open to finding their sense of self and purpose. Watch how that emerges.

The Spring retreat was very successful and so I am offering a similar retreat in October.  Retreats are one of my favourite way to guide people to their place of inner wisdom and their connection with Spirit.  I love being part of the growth and transformative process that so often occurs in retreat participants.  The participants are always just the right mix.  Yes I facilitate the process but there is also learning from each other and a wonderful supportive and safe environment to explore thoughts, dreams, patterns, and change.

In addition to the retreat, I also like to offer half day workshops:  Intentions for the New Year and Staying On Track.   For some the workshops are nudges to get back on track.  For others it is an opportunity to get at taste of my approach and perhaps at a later date becoem more involved in the growth opportunities I offer.  I am offering two different Friday morning workshops this Fall.  I will decide on a location soon.

Reiki has been a very positive element in helping me move past old patterns and blocks so I continue to offer Reiki classes.  Taking the first two levels of Reiki is an excellent opportunity to learn some valuable self care strategies.  There are underlying principles that can be applied in many situations and help you through conflict situations.  This year I am planning to also offer the Advanced Reiki Techniques and Holy Fire Usui Reiki Master course as long as I have at least two interested people.  I may also offer the Holy Fire Karuna Reiki Master class if there is interest.  I incorporate Reiki in all individual sessions I offer, in the workshops in a smaller way, in the retreat and in the mentoring programs.  You do not have to have taken Reiki classes to attend these.

I look forward to attending Nia classes again starting in September with Wendy Roman.  I took part in one of the days of Wendy’s Nia Retreat this past week.  Wendy is a beautiful soul in all that she does.  I invite you to check out Wendy’s web site and all that she offers.  I feel so fortunate to have such gems here in our area.

This blog has covered a lot of territory.  Take time and I hope you will refer to it again.

Till next time,

Marie

Time away from mind chatter

IMG_0616What a beautiful morning!  I love the sounds of the birds, the glow of the sun through not-so-humid air, and the greenery dappled with bursts of multi-coloured blooms all over.  Ahhh summer!

Here we are in the peak weeks of summer vacation.  We look forward to time away from the usual.  While for some that time is still filled to the brim with to-do lists, for others it is truly a time to rest from the hassles of schedules, deadlines and technology.  Enjoy!  Remember what it means to experience peace of mind.  Let the crazy mind chatter that constantly invades your active brain slow down and subside gradually.  Allow yourself to rest in the beauty of nature, the closeness of loved ones, and the enjoyed activity of your body in an unscheduled but fruitful way.  Savour the moments.  Recall what is really important for you.

Soon enough you will be planning your fall activities.  Before long you will be scheduling for yourself and the family activities for fall.  This time, let that begin with a foundation of what is truly important and meaningful for you.   Let it arise from your vacation mind-set that recognizes, after all, what you really want, perhaps even what you see as your purpose unfolding as you move through life.  It is the time away that replenishes your soul and helps you rethink your direction.  Simply allow that to happen as you free yourself from the expectations of the life that awaits you when you return. Be in the present and breathe in the blessings of life around you.  Life is wonderful.  Enjoy!

Till next time,

Marie

Oh yes, I still have space in the fall retreat Self Care–Soul Care.  Another opportunity to reflect on what is important and meaningful for you.

Intentions and Self Care

I would like to share with you some intentions you may wish to make for the day today or any day.

Today is a day filled with possibilities for being the best it can be. For the most part, the biggest thing that keeps that from happening is the mind set you bring to it. I will suggest that you might wish to sit quietly and feel centered. Bring your attention to your breath. Breathe deeply 3 times feeling your abdomen and chest rise and fall. Now, in a place of quiet, simply notice your breath. Allow your breathing to be natural. Don’t change it but notice it. Notice how it feels in different parts of youir body: your nostrils, your chest, your shoulders, your abdomen, your cells. Allow yourself to feel the connection with your place of inner wisdom. In this place of calm and allowing, say your intention(s) for today. Just for today.  I have learned to use “Just for Today” from my Reiki practice and it always feels much more manageable for me.

Just for today, I ask you to say these intentions out loud and feel them in your body as you say them.

Just for today:

  • I am comfortable with who I am.
  • I am confident and capable.
  • I am loving and compassionate with those around me.
  • I am working with a calm efficiency and effectiveness.
  • I am appreciative of the differences in those around me.
  • I am open to learning.
  • I am noticing my thoughts and keeping them constructive.

 

Just be in this place for a moment.

When you are ready, please return your awareness to the room, feeling your body in contact with the chair and the floor, noticing the light and sounds.

I wish you a day filled with many blessings.

Till next time,

Marie

Self care – Soul care Retreat

I am very excited about the up coming retreat especially after my visit to the Russet Hill House facility and property last weekend.  Those who have signed up will be delighted with the warm, cosy, clean, spacious house and the 100 acres of rolling hills with a stream and trees.  WOW!!!  I can hardly wait.

Why did I select that theme for the retreat?  Often I select a focus because it is what I sense I need.  I often operate under the assumption that Carl Rogers was correct back in the late 60s when he said “What is most personal is most universal”.

Life is busy.  But it is also complex.  Even in retirement I find myself involved in a variety of things.  Often I am super busy with things I do enjoy but in the busyness of it, the soulfulness of it gets lost.  Hurry hurry means I begin to focus on getting it done rather than being  present in the moment, getting in touch with my inner self, my higher wisdom, my own self expression.

So self care helps me reduce the busyness.  It helps me set boundaries around my willingness to do things.  It helps me find more quiet time, connect with loved ones with intention, set a direction for myself.  But I always need reminders.

Sometimes I need to search for what I do love doing.  I may feel a longing or a yearning for something more but I don’t always know what it is.  Soul care brings us to that place and nourishes our soul.  And that feels really good.  Just writing about it, I feel my heart full and open.

Life has given me the opportunity to learn a great deal.  I feel a lot of gratitude for the opportunities and also I am very thankful for the opportunity to share it with others.

So here I am … doing what I love to do.

If you have not registered and would like to attend, I may be able to squeeze you in but I have to know right away.  Email me right now at dallacor@rogers.com.

I plan to offer this retreat again in the fall.  It will not be exactly the same as I know life will give me more opportunities to learn between now and then, but it will be equally valuable.  Tentatively I am looking at Oct 23, 24, 25 weekend.  Cost next October will be $260 for that weekend.  Includes food, accommodation and retreat experience.

Till next time

Marie

 

Courage: it is Heartfelt and Meaningful

I am fascinated by the book called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  I can’t even begin to capture all that she writes about in this short blog.  It obviously touches a deep place in me and my own growth over my long life span.  About me personally and my relationship with loved ones.  She tends to use the word “shame” a lot which makes me cringe a bit inside.

Do you pay attention to your response to words you don’t like?  I do.  But because Brown links her work to vulnerability and creativity, I have allowed my “cringing” to be patient.  The more I read the more I learn from her.

For sure this book will guide my facilitation at the retreat.  Combined with Dr Joe Dispenza’s book, we have powerful growth possibilities when we are ready to work with it.

Meanwhile, I searched for a quote from one of Brown’s books, that supports my deep feelings about courage and the heart.  Here is one I like:

Brene Brown

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.”
― Brené Brown, I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

If you haven’t registered for the retreat yet, ( Self Care — Soul Care) time is passing quickly.  Go to www.marieknapp.com and look for details about the retreat in the pull down menu under “Events”.

By the way, could you consider “liking” my FaceBook page.  And if you haven’t done so already, go to my web site and enter your email address to receive the blogs I write directly into your email.

thanks so much.

Till next time,

Marie

I need your response, please

Hi folks,

I have had a few quiet moments over the last week.  Hiking in the woods, and kayaking on Georgian Bay give me stillness to tap into my creative spirit.  I would really like to hear your input on my thoughts for future blogs.  Your response to the following is going to be very helpful to me in making the blogs I write most meaningful to you.

Chakras: a framework for self discovery and self care

There is value in learning more about the Chakras.  I see them as a possible framework for looking at different aspects of all that we are.   I believe that this perspective serves not only those who work with energy, and believe in the concepts of the energy field and universal energy, but also those who can approach the concept of the chakras as a metaphor, and thus a framework for learning more about ourselves in a holistic way.

So my proposal is to begin with an overview of the chakras.  I could follow this with writing about each chakra individually beginning with the root chakra.  I expect that I could write 3 or 4 blogs on each.  They could include the different aspects of each chakra, the possible shadow side of each, and in some cases relationships with the other chakras.  I would include practical examples that would draw your attention to their effect on daily life and for self-care.  I would like to make it usable and not simply theoretical.  You could send me personal emails about each one if you wish, or ask questions that could be answered either personally and confidentially or anonymously in the next blog.

I am feeling excited about this approach.   It offers many opportunities to bring in a variety of different authors too.  What are your thoughts?  Would this appeal to you?

You can reply below or send me a personal email at marieknapp@rogers.com

I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Short or long replies are welcome.

Other suggestions are welcome also.

Till next time,

Marie

Changing Old Habits is Tough Work

I awaken to sunshine and birds singing. The house may have a bit of a chill but I am not DSCF4080cold so getting out of bed does not pose the same challenge that it does in the winter. The view out the window is uplifting. Shrubs bursting in pinks and mauves. Each tree bearing multi shades of spring green. Growth abounds. It inspires me.

I breath deeply and quicken my pace to morning activities.We are getting closer to the summer solstice.  Time moves quickly in this voluptuous season.  I spend more time with friends going for walks and enjoying the outdoors.  I love it.  At the same time as I add more activities of a variety of sorts to my list for any one day, I still have some important items I want to move forward with … my long-term direction related to my health, my personal growth, the specific ways I can help others through teaching and healing.  Sometimes I get sidetracked …  by things I enjoy, by shorter term achievements, by life itself.

I wonder at the variety of choices I make each day.  While they don’t always feel like choices, I have control over them … when I think about it … when I am aware.  But how much of my day is passed in automatic pilot.  I pay attention to what I am eating, but not when I stuff my mouth with a sweet or salty snack.  What guides my actions when even though I know how I want to act, what I don’t or do want to do,  even what thoughts I want to hold,  I seem to totally ignore them and act as though I have two completely separate parts.  And I don’t!

Changing old habits is tough work.  It requires not only determination, but a lot more thought and diligence.  How does the action even begin?  How does a person make a change in well-practiced habits?  The term being in a rut may be the best image.  Each action happens because it has always happened that way.  Continually doing something in a certain way or thinking about something in a specific way creates something that is much like a rut in your neuropathways .  When you put your foot on the gas, you go to the rut you have created because that is the easiest way to go.

You may find it helpful to simply notice the ruts you are in.  Pay attention to what you think and do that is simply how you have always thought or done it.  Is there something different that might work better for you?

Actually if you are interested in learning more about this as well as some tips on how to change a habit, consider coming to my morning workshop on Friday June 21st at the Williamsford Book Store. The cost is only $25 if you register real soon. You can read more details if you click here.  Or view poster here

In the meantime, just take the time to notice your own feelings, thoughts and actions.  Awareness comes first,  Then noticing is the next step.

Till next time,

Marie