Learning to Trust Your Self

Trust. It’s as hard to give out as it is to accept, surprisingly. Many people who are in a position of trust self-sabotage themselves out of an innate fear they’re going to fail the people who are trusting them. Trust is a prickly thing and can be very difficult, or at least it seems that way.

But what if trust were actually something soft and gentle and glowing golden and pure?

I recently saw a saying about trust:

A relationship without trust is like having a phone with no service. And what do you do with a phone with no service? You play games!

A rather modern and poignant way to see it, to be sure, but is it any less true?

Trust is critical when it comes to people and the relationships we have or are seeking. In order to be trusted, we need to know what trust is, and to trust ourselves. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but is a big hurdle we must overcome on our path to being our best selves.

Never trust a naked man offering you a shirt – African saying

Out of hand we want to trust anybody. But how do you trust someone offering you something they do not have themselves? Thus it becomes obvious that if we want to trust others, we need to understand what it means to trust from the inside out. From inside of ourselves to the outside world.

Some would wonder what it means to not trust yourself. What does that look like for some people? Sometimes it’s giving in to vices, over indulging. We know what’s good for ourselves, but we don’t trust ourselves around temptation like sweets or alcohol. We avoid, we ignore, we put on blinders to the very things that challenge us, because we’re afraid to trust ourselves to be strong.

Sometimes a lack of self trust turns up as being submissive to the will and wants of others. We don’t trust ourselves when it comes to what we could or want to do, so we turn to others. We might over-extend ourselves in helping others, in an effort to ignore the fact we don’t trust ourselves with our own time. We might take on extra tasks, or do things only for the intent of pleasing others, because we don’t want to be left alone with what we fear will be an emptiness or void of ‘things’ in our own private lives.

Trusting ourselves is critical. It’s not easy, but it’s ever so important. How do we learn to trust ourselves though, when sometimes people have focused so much on others, on externalizing distrust or making it impossible for us to experience our own faith and trust in ourselves?

One of the first building blocks to self trust could be taking time to meditate, to sit alone with our thoughts, to be alone with ourselves. How can you trust yourself if you don’t ‘know’ yourself? And how can you know yourself if you’re always seeking the thoughts and opinions of others on the outside?

Getting to know ourselves can be frightening. But guess what? You really can’t hurt yourself. You really do have a natural state of bliss waiting for you to discover. And you really do have a lot of self love to give, even if you’re terribly afraid to do take a look.

It’s not easy to sit alone with yourself when you’ve been avoiding your own self for years, maybe even decades. But believe it or not, you can do it. And it all begins with simply sitting. You might need to find some time between chores or work you’ve taken on that you have decided is the most important thing in the world. It can wait. It might be taking a few minutes in between one load of laundry and another. The clothes can wait as well, and so can the dust and the dishes and the paperwork and the assignments.

Nothing is more important than you, than getting to know yourself. And when you’re ready to start to know that importance, you might just be ready to start developing self trust.

Get to know the wonderful person you are. See that there is NOTHING wrong with you, with the silence that comes from listening to yourself. And know that if anything comes up that does frighten you, that does scare or torment you, it’s a passing thought, a fly buzzing around your nose that will go away if you let it.

Relax. Breathe deeply. And trust yourself.

Out of all the people in the world, you are the one who wants what’s best for you the most, whether or not you believe it just yet. You will. So trust yourself. Trust your self. Then, when you have begun to trust yourself, you will find how much easier it is to trust other people.

Basic Reiki Supplies

When you’re going to offer Reiki to people, whether it’s in an office space or in the comfort of your home or theirs, you’re going to need a few supplies. Some supplies are going to be specific to each type of Reiki session you give, be it a short or long session, in a professional or less formal setting. Some of the supplies will stay standard for any sort of Reiki you want to give on a more professional level.

To begin with, you’re going to need a space. This space can be a small cubicle office that you might rent in a spa or massage therapy office from another health practitioner. The space can be big enough for a massage table, and needs to allow you access to the head, feet and at least one side of the client or person you’re going to be working on. Remember all of your hand positions as well as the need for space for prayer, for setting intention into the room or space, and for doing Byosen scanning; keep these things in mind when considering the space you will require.

You will want both you and your client to be comfortable. Remember to wear clothing that suits your spiritual nature as well as helps you maintain a good comfort level while practicing healing on another person. You may feel sweaty if you wear too heavy of clothing in a small space. You may feel cold if you wear too light of clothing in an unheated space. Keep in mind where you will be and consider dressing in layers so you can remove or add on when the temperature changes. Let your client know that they will be climbing onto a massage table or sitting in a chair that leans back, so they can prepare and be comfortable as well. Let them know if you intend to remove their footwear for certain hand positions. Giving them warning helps them feel more relaxed when they arrive, so the healing can begin.

It’s important to set intention not only spiritually but also physically too. Do you want candles? Do you want incense? Or do you want a scent free environment? Do you want soothing and low lighting? Do you want music? Decide these things before you offer Reiki, so you can be prepared to do Reiki whenever you are called. You may want to make a Reiki duffle bag that contains some candles, some incense cones or sticks, and a ceramic or stone incense holder. You’ll want a lighter or matches that don’t give off a smell and overpower the good aromas you’re trying to create. You may want to include a lamp in your bag; there are many small colour changing and softly lit battery operated lamps that easily fit into a bag.

The Reiki Ready-t0-Go Bag

These are items you might include in a bag that you keep prepared by your doorway, for when you are called to do Reiki:

  • A good canvas duffle bag that is water proof, slightly firm but also flexible, and light weight, with good supporting straps for the shoulder or good hand grips
  • Candles. Two pillar candles or four taper candles will do. Be thoughtful of the size, scent and type of light candles give off before choosing which to put into your bag
  • Candle holders. If your candles are pillars, small candle plates are best. If you are using tapers, choose taller candle holders and keep in mind that wax can stain. You don’t want to leave wax marks at a client’s house or in an office that isn’t yours.
  • Incense cones or sticks. Be mindful of fire alarms and the sensitivity of sprinkler systems, as well as what is allowed in any indoor building in your city or province. Small wisps of smoke usually do not set off fire alarms but speak to the other professionals in an office before lighting them to see if it’s an accepted practice or welcomed at least.
  • Incense holder. Try to choose a ceramic fire-proof holder that you can trust. Cones sit directly on the incense holder, unlike sticks, so the holder must be able to withstand the heat of an incense cone’s coal. Incense holders for sticks need to catch the ash or coal as it falls, so that no mess is left behind for others.
  • Lighter or matches. Some matches give off a scent, as do some lighters when they are lit. Be mindful of how these might overpower the scent of other nicer things.
  • Blankets. It’s been said that sometimes when people are getting healing Reiki energy, or having their chakras realigned or their chi lines cleared, they can take a chill. It’s important that a client be able to relax and feel as comfortable as possible while this is happening. Providing a blanket for over the table or chair is part of preparing a space, but also having a blanket to put over the client is nice too. Some healers like to wear a shawl or small shoulder blanket themselves to be comfortable. Blankets that are nice and soft are preferred, and it’s possible to wash them without fabric softener or overly fragrant detergents. The act of tucking a client’s blanket under their chin can be very comforting.
  • The bed or table. Not every practitioner has to purchase a massage table. There are many alternatives, from dentist chairs to arm chairs to ‘lazy boy’ overstuffed rocking chairs to various mats that can be laid out on the floor to create a comfortable space for a client to rest. Remember that Reiki is a Japanese stress relief technique, so you’ll want to provide the chance for your client to feel as comfortable as possible; you want their bodies to be supported, their head and limbs supported, and for them to be able to relax and lay flat and straight as possible so they can receive the Reiki that is coming to them in the best and most relaxed state. Remember your hand positions and that you need to be able to access the head, the feet and at least one side of your client.
  • Music. Setting the atmosphere of a room or space is critical. In order to provide the best and most relaxing space possible, you want to offer your client every chance to let go of their stress and their worries. Music can help take a person someplace else than where they are, which is what so many people need. The type of music you play for a client may change client to client, or may be specific to your style of spirituality and healing. You may enjoy drums from the Middle East, or the drumming from North American Indian powwows. You may prefer chanting or mantras with chimes or tones. You may purchase music that has a bell dinging every three to five minutes to help you remember when to change hand positions. Sometimes, natural sounds like ocean waves or bird or whale song can help transport a client to the place they need to go. Choose a good music that you feel comfortable with to put into your bag, but also consider creating a mix of songs that you can change according to the situation. Also keep in mind that a session can go from anywhere around thirty minutes to two hours, and you would hate to stop your healing or move a hand position because you have to adjust the music. Look for long playing melodies that transition smoothly from one song to the next.
  • Accessories and Decorations. While the least of things you may want to put into your bag, having a few token items that draw you towards them spiritually can help YOU set the right intention for your healing. Keep in mind that you want to be able to feel comfortable, safe and welcomed in any space you are going to practice Reiki and healing. Having an icon such as a fertility goddess, or a chakra chart, or a small gong with chimes can help you feel more at home. The more relaxed and natural you feel, the easier it will be to channel Reiki for your client.

There are lots of different extras that can go into your bag, like posters and notes on hand positions and things that are poignant and symbolic to you or to your clients. Choose the items carefully and remember that if they go into your Reiki bag, they may not be available at a more permanent space. They become part of your Reiki travel package, and may only be used for certain clients.

Remember that everything that happens is supposed to happen, everything is exactly as it is meant to be – and it is good!


Why You Need To Meditate

Meditation has been catching on more and more, and is steadily becoming more acceptable as a way to clear one’s mind and work on existing stress. However, there are so many different ways and methods to meditate that may be confusing people as to why they should even bother. When things get complicated, people often back away and look for something else to satisfy their itch or need or craving. The best thing to do with meditation education is to help people realize the WHY of meditation, rather than worry about the how. The HOW will come, as meditation begins and continues.

Why do people meditate? The answer can be very convoluted. Some are trying to clear their minds of thoughts that don’t suit their current lifestyle; old habits such as judgments of self and others, negative soundtracks that play over and over, and the daily grind of living in big cities, driving in heavy traffic and working with over stimulated people can cause the brain’s voice to go into overdrive. Taking a few moments each day to calm that voice down has been really helpful to people.

Another good reason to meditate is to begin the journey of seeking inwards. It is believed that every person has the answer to every question they might ever pose, spiritually, mentally or emotionally. Not everyone can calculate long formulas and equations, or decipher the legalese of politics and business or corporate law. Taking a moment to look inward though can be clarity to the external and internal details of any of these problems. A mathematician who is struggling with solving a problem might benefit from taking a break and looking inside at his or her own skillset, realizing and acknowledging what they already know, and learning to let go of what is on the outside that is preventing them from using their great skills towards the problem’s solution. A politician or business person might benefit from meditation by being able to exclude all the constant negative talk that happens in the board room, and giving up the power of their position or rank for but a few moments in order to sink inside of the ever-equalizing ‘self’.

Meditation can be all of these things, do all of these things; however, there is another very important reason to meditate that seems to be falling to the wayside. It’s simple, not complicated at all, and the more one studies this notion, the easier it becomes to meditate.

What if a person could meditate purely to experience a brief and pausing moment of peace in their life, each and every day? And what if, by dipping into that peaceful memory when life gets hectic, they were then more able and capable of surviving the harsher moments that seem to come with modern day living?

If people were able to spend thirty seconds in quietude each morning or each evening, sitting up with a straight back but with little tension to the body, and working not on clearing their minds or fighting off vicious bad thoughts but instead on letting things be – maybe they would be able to call upon that singular thirty second moment when the baby won’t stop crying or when the person driving the car behind theirs has found his hand glued to the horn. It could be the last little piece of peace they have had recently, and being allowed and able to recall that one little tiny moment of freedom, calm and serenity might be the escape in the moment that they require.

Meditation doesn’t have to be the chanting of a mantra or an affirmation over and over again until it has been hammered home. It also doesn’t have to be a conversation with the self about existentialist ideals and philosophies. It could be that meditation can merely be a moment of peace. Of quiet. Of serenity.

How is such a moment achieved? Easier than most people might believe, actually.

Meditation can be the tool used to achieve a state of blissful nirvana. It might be a method of regaining a sense of focus lost over years and decades of hard living. It can also be merely quiet.

In a darkened room, in a quiet place, try taking a few moments to simply sit. Allow the thoughts to come and to go, let them pass along on their own time, and have only gratitude for them. Try to avoid fighting or fending off what comes up, and simply accept that whatever that moment, those thirty seconds, are is exactly what they are.

There can be an ideal state reached via meditation. There can be great health and mindful benefits received by meditating regularly. However, the key purpose of meditation that seems to be getting lost is that when life gets really hard and difficult and is incredibly trying, the last meditation session is there as a reminder that yes, peace does exist, and will exist again – the next evening or morning in fact.

Enjoy meditation. Make it not work but relaxation. Find ways to simply be calm and at peace, with fresh or rejuvenating scents, a quiet space and no real stimulus for the ears and eyes. Allow the body to relax. Allow the mind to sink back a little. Then, when life gets harder later on, IF it gets harder later on, that moment of peace is there to recall and to remember.

Meditation can be many things, but it doesn’t ‘need’ to be anything more than a simple reminder that in everyone’s life, there is a moment of peace. Take that moment and own it, and use it as needed, several times a day.

Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Once upon a time, I saw this saying. It means a lot of things to different people. And this is what it means to me.

Faith. I have learned that faith can’t be found in a book, or in a building, or even in a congregation. It isn’t found in a leader, nor by being a steadfast follower. Faith comes from someplace else.

I have learned that Faith is an incredible lack of belief. It’s when you do not believe in something working out for the best, when you lack knowledge of the story’s ending, when you don’t know what is going to happen next, that you make the choice to have Faith. Faith is this incredible ability within beings, with all people, to ‘know’ something that you can’t possibly know. Without any education, scientific fact or previous information, a person can make a choice to believe.

Many make the choice to believe that what has happened before will happen again. They have had tough lives and expect that something bad will happen next, because that’s the way it has always been. They may have believed in something else, once upon a time, but now they’re afraid. They’ve been hurt and damaged by the past things that have happened to them, and it’s nearly impossible for them to let that go. I know that this is like. And I’ve made another choice, that being to have Faith.

Faith is knowing that when it’s dark outside, the light is coming. Faith is knowing that when a person keeps trying, eventually things are going to work out. Faith is knowing that one could sit and meditate and pray, and things would still work out. Faith and Fate are very much connected, and I’ve chosen to believe that Fate has kind eyes and looks on me lovingly. It’s from this belief that my Faith comes. Things will be alright. And when they aren’t, that’s only because I haven’t seen things the right way yet. And I can, if I wish to. That is Faith, to me.

Trust. It is a very hard and precious thing. Sadly, many people give it away only to have it crushed and crumpled before their eyes. And with every tear they shed, their Trust bleeds out a little more and a little more, every drop another bit of Trust lost to them. Eventually, people who feel they have trusted others too much become exhausted and afraid. They can’t trust anymore, they choose not to, and who could blame them? Distrusting others becomes a survival tactic, a strategy used to keep one from seeing repeated pain, over and over again.

Trust is to many something that has to be earned. I’ve learned that I am incredibly naive and gullible. I was born that way. We all were. It is our past living that has taught us to be anything but Trusting. And the lessons we pick up through childhood and adulthood together reinstated our distrust, made it clear that by not trusting others, we were doing the right thing. Trust is something we have learned to covet and keep close to ourselves, reserving only for those who we think are special. Subconsciously, we seem to say, if this person I now Trust out of love hurts me, it will be okay because I love them. If a strange hurts me and misuses my Trust, that’s different and that is on me.

I don’t see Trust this way. To me, Trust is indeed a precious gift. And it’s one I am happy to give away. To everyone and everyone, I give my Trust. Now, that doesn’t mean I Trust everyone with the whole of me, with the things most sacred inside of me. But I choose to believe that every person is working from a place of wisdom and love. It may be self-love, it may be coloured wisdom. But people are always doing exactly what they want to do AND the best they know to do in that moment. Yes, people make decisions that aren’t the greatest. And often, those decisions hurt others. But what happens when they fail to fulfill the covenant of Trust myself and others may have given them is on them, not me.

I am not wrong for Trusting. Nor is anyone wrong for distrusting. I choose to Trust. It’s what I want to see in the world. I want to treat the world the way it could be, so it will become what it might be. And to me, the world needs more Trust. So, I Trust. I Trust people, I Trust Spirit, and I Trust my Faith. Everything will and is working out for the best.

Pixie Dust. This is where things can get very simple or very complicated. It’s up to you. If you had the choice to add a little bit of magick to your life, wouldn’t you? I would. I do. I appreciate the mystical and the magickal and the spiritual and the ethereal. The things we cannot see are at work in my life. And I have Faith in that. I Trust that.

Faith. Trust. Pixie Dust. It’s what is at work in my life. And I couldn’t be happier with that.