Baby’s First Reiki Circle

Yesterday, when i brought Bella to the pet blessing, I grabbed a pamphlet for the Center of Spiritual Living- Fort Lauderdale and noticed they offer Reiki circles for humans as well. In high school, my best friends mom did reiki on me once but i really didn’t understand it and had absolutely 0 connection with or belief in God (or universe, or source, or whatever I’m calling it today) so it seemed like a nice way to just relax. Now, being on a spiritual journey, it intrigued me because I knew I would likely have a different experience now than i did when my mind was completely closed off.

If you do not know what reiki is and would like to better understand before continuing, check out this article.

Now before i dive in, you might be thinking “Ashley, you just went to a Nichiren Buddhism meeting less than a week ago, said you loved it, and haven’t blogged about it yet. Wtf is up with that and why are you just moving on to the next thing?”

The thing is, im not trying to skip over the buddhist meeting and move on to the next thing, it’s just the way life is working out! I am a big believer in inspired action. When you feel compelled and inspired to do something and your soul is saying “do it now!!” you do it! Anything done in inspired action is a success, in my opinion, but it’s also the easiest way to do your best work. When I feel inspired to write about something, i get compliments about what a good read it was or how it made people feel. When I write something (or record, if we’re talking youtube) because it was on my to-do list and something i “need to get done” i can barely make it through editing myself and it’s not as stimulating to the reader or viewer either. I can be so in love with something, but if i am not inspired when i share it, it will come off as bullshit. At this time, I havent felt compelled to write that post yet. & i am also 1000% confident there is reason for that. I will be attending a study on Thursday night and the monthly prayer for world peace at the Florida Nature & Culture Center in a few weeks, and i feel pretty confident after one of those events i will have learned or felt whatever it is my soul wants to know or feel before it feel “right” to share.

But in the meantime… Let’s talk Reiki!!

So as you know from yesterday’s blog post I had one of the most incredible full moon experiences, ever. I was so high on life last night, I legit did not sleep. I was still awake at 4am, reading some study materials I got from the Buddhism meeting last week. I knew it was late and I wasn’t that sleepy, so I had to convince myself to lie in darkness for another 2 hours before i finally fell asleep. I fell asleep as the sun rose and then was awake at 10am. So, about 4 hours of sleep and miraculously, I didn’t even feel tired today. I didn’t take or even want to take a nap. As i drove home tonight and marvelled at how bright and powerful that moon still is, I kind of got the vibe I wont be sleeping much tonight either, and I am totally cool with that. If you know me personally, you know i dont fuck around with my sleep, so this is definitely worth noting. Some shit is happening i cannot explain!

So my day today was ehhh… i woke up in a great mood and surprised it wasnt 2pm and I wasn’t tired. But as I usually do, I checked my phone and reality smacked me in the face. I had kept my personal phone off since about 7pm yesterday because I wanted to enjoy my moon experience without interruption and when I saw it this morning, i had missed more than a handful of interruptions. I am still working on how to not be a slave to the phone, still be available for my family and friends, and how to check back into the electronic reality without allowing the bullshit i successfully avoided to then mess up my energy. This is hard AF and when i figure out the “secret” i will be sure to share it. But in the meantime, I am super energy sensitive and when others unload the drama of their lives on me, I feel it like I am going through it myself. This sucks because I spend so much time trying to make my own energy good. i need to learn to protect it and not be so easily influenced by the energy sent my way. In the meantime, i am attempting to set boundaries. Ive had success with some people and not so much with others, but i am trying and i am determined to figure it out.

So in short, my mood was altered pretty quickly this morning and I spent the bulk of the afternoon trying to shake it and trying to better understand how to improve on this skill. I can see i am getting somewhere because my mood doesnt shift to anger or annoyance like it would’ve in the past, but there is a still a shift that i can feel that tells me “you are not on your highest vibration right now.” At some point, i was at my desk working from my computer and noticed the pamphlet and that there was a reiki circle tonight. I was mentally asking for help balancing my energies and the reminder of the reiki circle showed up. Ask and you shall receive; if you’re looking for a sign this is it! I had to go.

I couldnt find the building as everything looks different in the dark, and I got there 8 minutes late. This stressed me out because growing up my mom was a super stickler for time and it’s something ive inherited and honestly, have always been very proud of. I am almost never late, and even if i am going to be 3 minutes later than anticipated, i will call or text whoever is waiting. Tonight I didn’t have a number, knew the center was technically “after hours” anyways so they prob dont have anyone answering the phone, and didnt seem worth it to put everyone on the road at risk to google another option while driving. so, i arrived 8 minutes late, fully expecting everyone to roll their eyes at me as “the late person” as i sat down.

The door was already locked and to my surprise, a lady came right over and let me in. The circle was already made and they were just beginning. Members moved their chairs to make room for me and I thanked them over and realized the only one who cared about my tardiness was me. Although I like to give people the vibe i respect their time, loosening up on things like this, that dont really matter, is something i really want to do. This was a good “day 1.”

The circle had about 15-20 people sitting in it and another 8-10 practitioners standing outside of the circle. Elise, the same woman who performed reiki for Bella, was the group leader and i automatically felt comfortable. She explained we may feel the practitioners hands and to let them do the work rather than guiding them. She also explained that reiki is not a religion and you dont have to believe in it to get the benefits- kind of like gravity or the law of attraction. Whether you believe in them or not, they are always working (my words, not hers) She also explained that however, if you do have a spiritual connection, it’ll often make people feel closer to it.

We started with a guided meditation. She suggested we feel our muscles relax and our spine straighten as our bodies sat up right. She assured us we were safe on sturdy chairs and to allow ourselves to be at ease. She suggested we picture a bright gold ball of light directly in front of us and focus all of our attention on our breath. This is pretty much a loose variation of meditation 101.

When i first started meditating it was kind of like “am i doing it?” and I wasnt really sure. I could get myself to relax, but didn’t really feel like i was doing anything. Then one day, when I came to after meditating, I just KNEW i had meditated for real because when I “woke up” i felt like I had been somewhere else and was now back. It wasn’t just me opening my eyes and declaring “im done!” I was very aware that I had completely let go of my conscious thinking, not so much at the time, but as soon as i started consciously thinking again, i could feel the difference that a moment prior, I was not there. I dont know if this makes sense, especially if you havent experienced it. But just keep trying. I didnt do anything different, one day, it just clicked. Now, i’m no Buddha (pun intended toward my new study lol) and i cant yet sit in a room full of chaos and meditate, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can meditate at the end of a yoga class or in my apartment when my neighbors are noisy outside and fully feel myself going to this “other place” of clarity. I often call running my moving meditation, because I can get equally as in the zone where I all of a sudden have answers to my problems or great ideas come out of no wehere. Meditation is when you allow your mind to cease all conscious thinking and let your subconscious take over. There is so much we know, but don’t know we know it, simply because we spend so little time quieting the forefront thoughts of our brains.

Tonight, i got into a really deep meditation. I could see that gold ball of light so vividly. even with my eyes closed, i could see the brightness. Think, sunbathing on your back, without sunglasses. Your eyes are closed but you can still see how bright that damn sun is. That’s how real my subconscious made that gold ball of light, tonight. I also noticed tonight, for the first time, my eyes were flickering insanely for the first 15 minutes or so. I don’t know what that means or what to make of it, because it’s deff never happened before, but soon after they started the actual reiki practice, it subsided.

If i had to describe how reiki feels, it feels like someone is touching your head and shoulders and heart chakra; but so lightly, if they were to be any lighter, they wouldn’t be touching you at all. It feels like all the warm fuzzies and tinglies of cuddling with the best cuddler of your entire life, but with almost no touch. I’m pretty sure the practitioners moved around the circle, switching off the people on the receiving end because i could feel a slight difference in the energies. The good news is, theyre not giving you their energy, they’re just assisting you in raising your own vibration. It’s so cool because there are instances when you’re not being touched, but you can physically feel the presence of the person standing behind you. My back would feel warm and the tingles would go all the way down to my toes. And then finally, their hands would make the lightest possible contact and it’s like the angles freaking started singing. Such a beautiful experience.

For moments in between, you could feel the energy was less intense and at that moment, you werent being practiced on personally. In those moments I took myself back into deep meditation and focused on my breathing. At one point I was so deep into meditation and i actually woke up and shot my eyes open, because I had no idea where I was for a second. At another point, i felt like i was out of my body and observing the room  from the back. I know this sounds insane and because i used to judge people who said they experienced shit like this as whack jobs, I do have fear that sharing this will have some people looking at me like a whack job. The cool thing is, I dont care enough who thinks i am crazy to not share. I understand the oneness of all of us, and if most of the world is suffering, we’re all going to feel it. I feel like it’s my obligation to share my journey so people who are like i was, miserable and fucking suicidal for most of their life, will have the seeds planted and after enough exposure, will allow themselves to let go of the fear and the stereotypes and truly start practicing habits that could change their entire lives. The more of us that feel better, the better things get for everyone. I truly believe that.

Anyways, back to my crazy person story! It wasn’t that weird for me to feel like i was observing the room outside of my body because i’ve actually felt that 3x before. The first time was a few months ago when I was at an Art Walk in Wynwood (art district in Miami) and this random man was sitting on the ground with a sign that suggested people sit across from him and hold eye contact for 3 minutes straight. I was intrigued and decided to do it. I even shared a video on my personal instagram. It was way out of my comfort zone and a little scary since eyes are the gateway to the soul and all…. i didnt know if this dude was going to suck my soul right out of me or posses me or what. Trust me, those thoughts crossed my mind. But just like with the waves yesterday,  I surrendered. I let go and i trusted the universe to take care of me and not let something that felt so right and necessary to do, be harmful to me. So for 3 timed minutes I stared at this stranger. I saw flashing lights that I don’t believe existed and I felt immensely close to him, and I had my first out of body experience, where I felt like I was standing and watching us. As if i was not the one sitting on the ground, but rather just observing like my friends. When the timer dinged, we hugged and went on with our lives.

last month at full moon yoga the instructor paired us up with strangers and gave the same instructions. My stranger was mostly a stranger but someone I had met at one previous yoga class, but this was a level of intimacy we had yet to share. She didn’t time us and I am sure it was more than 3 minutes. It felt like 10, was probably 5. But I held eye contact with this guy for the longest time and at first we couldn’t stop smiling and giggling because no one expected her to have us do this but after a while, it became very comfortable and not at all awkward. It sounds weird because theres no touching or verbal communicating, but it seriously is so intimate. You start to feel warm and i’ve started to think that feeling is m the energy of love, in situations like this. Not romance love, but just pure love. That night, under the full moon while staring at Pedro, I also felt for a few moments, like i was watching us.

The third time it happened was just the other day. I made eye contact with myself in the bathroom mirror and for some reason was compelled to hold the gaze. I stared into my own eyes, which are crazy and green/blue with a yellow ring around my pupil, and before i knew it, i was in a meditative trance holding eye contact with my own self in the mirror. This was honestly the freakiest of all 3 experiences because i didnt feel like i was just observing a room or a group of people, i felt like i was seeing my face for the first time. When i would feel like i was outside my body in the past, I was seeing the whole scenario. In this situation, it was like i wasnt seeing my bathroom or anything, it was like i was standing right infront of myself. Physically, it felt like i was looking not at my reflection, but right through. but in my soul, i felt like i was truly seeing my own face for the first time. To better explain, we only see our own faces in reflections. This was not me seeing my reflection, it was as if my soul was seriously standing infront of myself, between my physical body and the mirror, and looking at my physical body. I snapped out of it and went back into it 3x before leaving the bathroom because I needed to double check this was really happening lol I still cant fully explain it and i dont know it can be explained with words, but I know what i felt and looking st my own human face in the flesh rather than a reflection was fucking weird. 

After the reiki was finished we were guided back into meditation and all came to, together. The room was silent with the exception of Elise. She asked if anyone wanted to share and no one spoke. I felt like i couldnt speak. and finally, someone spoke up and said that they were struggling to find words, as well. after being so zen and tranquil and out of your brain and possibly even body for an hour, it was almost undesirable to allow my brain to get back to normal thinking. finally, i spoke up as well and shared an analogy that I felt like id been hugged for the last hour. I truly did. 

when we left, one of the members came over and introduced himself and made me feel so super welcome. He explained to me that the church does teaching, not religion and I explained it was the first church i had ever stepped in that i didnt feel judged in. I had the same experience with the Buddhist meeting, but that was at someones home, not a church. it was even more weird to feel like this in an actual church, even if it didn’ belong to a particular religion. My longing for a sense of community withing a group of like minded people is so damn strong right now and I feel like between the two practices i’ve explored since returning from Mount Shasta really has me in the right direction.

i can feel i am going to be making some big life changes soon and i honestly feel so excited because it feels so right. previously i had so much anxiety about life. I spent most of my life on medication for it and many times manifested physical sickness because of it. However, i have learned anxiety is simply fear of the future. I feel like i am in such a good space with my mind and Source (or god, or whatever i want to call it at the moment) that i have nothing to fear.  How could i possibly be anxious?

a little about the church.

selfie from a red light on my way there!




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