joy

Reiki level I

Usui Reiki is an ancient hands-on healing technique that originated in Japan in the 1800’s. Reiki, also known as Universal Life Force Energy, is transmitted through the Reiki Practitioner’s hands and energy field which in turn effects change on the human energy fields of the recipient. Learning the different Levels of Reiki will provide you with detailed manuals covering the history of Reiki, Reiki uses and applications, the chakra systems, the auric field, sufficient practice time, Reiki mastery, and in-depth discussion of traditional Reiki combined with new ideas for everyday use in today’s society. This Reiki program is designed for accelerated transformation and may engage significant and profound changes in your life.  Successful completion of Reiki level 1 allows you to practice hands on healing for yourself and others.  The location is to be announced in the Pasadena California area.

There is a 48 hour cancellation policy for each Reiki course.  The purchase price is non-refundable the 48 hours before the course. Art by www.djembeandcanvas.com

Super Hero in My Mind

Super Hero in My Mind

It’s Just My Imagination
I have always had an “active” imagination. Anything I have ever done, I have spent hours on it in my mind first. It would appear that my personality dictate that I am impetuous and impulsive, but in fact I am not. The countless hours of daydreaming, now called visioning as I am a mature professional. Really it’s just daydreaming; sorting out every detail of an action and its consequences, or every word in a conversation to fully recognize my full meaning and intention so as to own every ripple I make. Daydreaming has even been the way I stay prepared for the world that I live in; picturing myself cleaning my house, dancing without care, and even warding off evil with complete and unequivocal success. It has also been the way I am able to tolerate witnessing for someone some of the most unimaginable sufferings that this world has to offer. My inner crime fighter is a combination of “Storm”, “Wonder woman”, and Bruce Lee. I always loved the way Wonder Woman stopped a speeding bullet, or Storm changed the entire environment with a little focus and arm swinging. Somehow I have always seen that as possible. Obviously, imagining having a better life is not necessarily a new theme but a recent trip and fall triggered a reflection on how many times my meanderings of the mind have prepared me to be safe, sane, courageous, physically adept, and joyful in the physical world.
Stop Drop and Roll, in My Mind
The other day, as I walked down the street to meet a friend at the local café, I tripped. Plunging forward somehow I caught myself, and kept walking. The trip made me realize that I forgot something at home, so I turned back. This time, in the exact same spot, I tripped again. This time I was going down. While on the way down, yes in that split second, I thought to myself…”I will not be hurt by this”. My shoulder automatically turned in and I tucked and rolled. If there had been a little more momentum I would have landed on my feet again. There I lay in the middle of the sidewalk in a little ball, without even a scratch, laughing. I easily got up, and surprisingly nothing hurt. As I walked to the café my heart swelled with joy. You see, I spend a lot of time wondering what I would do if I had to get out of the way of a speeding car, escape from a burning building, or fend off an attacker. So, I often visualize the dive and roll or the round house to the jaw. I imagine that my legs are strong and my form is impeccable. Of course, I don’t spend all day on these things but several times a day I catch myself in little 30 second snippets of what I would do if… I always visualize the answer, and that day I had proof that it is not time wasted.
Hip Hop in My Mind
I love to dance. I went to NYC and dancing was to be a part of my repertoire. I quickly learned that I was more of a choreographer than a dancer, and I definitely was not an athlete. I always held so much emotion in my gut that always found a way to come pouring out. That’s workable for yoga class, but definitely not ballet or even jazz. The thing that I got from dance was moving with the flow of the universe, bending, weaving, and being a conduit for universal life force. Thinking in this way brought to me an ultra awareness of the subtle influx of change and how to move with it instead of against it. To move towards the steps I could do, and do them well. Always seeing myself becoming good at the things I wasn’t good at just yet. Hip Hop dance was just blooming at the time and I was awful at it. You really need great balance to be good at Hip Hop, and imbalance is my specialty. However, in my mind, I am amazing. I can even do flip’s, get up with one leg, NO hands, and the ole slide and spin. I always feel invigorated after a 30 second Hip Hop session in my mind.
Now that brings me to the real world application. I was at the doctor’s office one morning, and walking out the door just before me was a lady who was clearly on her last appointment before the baby came. Her husband was about 20 feet away talking to the desk people when I opened the door for her and motioned her to go before me. She smiled and softly said thank you. Something was not right in her voice. Without thinking about it, my body began to drop to one knee about the same time that I realized that she was going to pass out. It was only a few seconds before I had the full weight of her sitting on the impromptu chair I had created with my knee. Her husband noticed at the point her head fell back on my shoulder. She was out. He and the nurse came running over and we shared an awkward glance, as if to say, “Is this your pregnant wife on my lap?” She came too; they got her some juice and helped her to a real chair. The husband said, “Thanks.” I said, “No problem” and walked out the door and moved on with the day. As I laughed to my car, I thought…”I really love Hip Hop.”
Bruce Lee in My Mind
I had a poster of Bruce Lee in my room literally all my child hood. I always felt a special connection to him and to the martial arts. The concept of using an opponent’s energy against them, or summoning and directing universal chi always resonated with me. However, like I said, I am only an athlete in my mind. So when I took those six months of Jiu Jitsu, it was a bit of a struggle. Sparring just for the sake of sparring did not make sense to me. My Kung Fu was definitely magical like the old Chinese martial arts movies. Flying through the air for a triple running kick… now how could that possibly help me in my future? Well, I found that warding off evil began with making some personal decisions. 1.) Deciding you’re not going to be a victim. 2.) Deciding that you will not be around violence or that violence cannot be within or around you. 3.)Knowing that Universal life force flows through you and aligning with it.
One dark Sunday evening walking down an old cobblestone street on the lower east side of NYC, I saw these two gentlemen walking on the other side of the street, they were eyeing me and I knew they weren’t gentlemen at all. Even though it was early the street was vacant and quiet. I had to cross to their side of the street to get to the train so just as they passed, I crossed diagonally to end up behind them on the same sidewalk. Just as I stepped into the street, so did they. They were causing me to directly confront them. Knowing that the meeting was inevitable, I said, in my mind, “I will not have this. Whatever this is, I will not have it.” Just as we crossed paths in the center of the street, the taller gentleman began to take something from the inside of his jacket, just as his armed raised up to come down on me…I raised two fingers to him…and said, “Uh Uh.” He and his friend were so befuddled by this that he mimicked me, in a fairly high tone for a man, he said, “Uh uh, and sort of waived his hands in confusion. I just kept going and did not look back. When I got to the next block I broke down in tears and cried and laughed all the way home. As it turns out, the two fingered Mudra (hand yoga) that I unknowingly used, means protection. It certainly was that night.
Day Dreaming: More than it’s Cracked Up to Be
Watching the evening news can be tumultuous, for some. Just getting through the day without worry in this sometimes desperate place that we all share is a feat. So, I recommend, once a day in your quiet time; answer just one of those…”What would I do if…?” And since it is your vision, it can only end well for everyone. You never know when it will come in handy.

How Feng Shui Happened to Me

How Feng Shui Happened to Me

Original Oil by Tashina Suzuki

How Feng Shui Happened to Me
Throughout my spiritual life, reflections of the creator have always been given to me in the way of signs, symbols, and messages. They have been the bread crumbs that I followed to get to the buried treasures awaiting me. The first time that stands out in my mind was being in the old East West bookstore in NYC. I had a book in my hand to purchase but was still looking, when almost simultaneously, the book dropped out of my hand and another fell out of the bookshelf right where I was standing. Now, I am not a rocket scientist, but I was certain there were no coincidences about this coincident. I promptly picked up both books and put back the one I dropped and bought the one that fell. Truly, that book changed my life. It was the beginning of the understanding and acceptance of my spiritual self. It was a game changer for me, and so it continued with every new yet familiar piece of information that came my way.
The Dying Tree
One day I came home and saw that my favorite potted tree that was housed on my eight foot altar looked to be in the last throws of its life. I was dismayed, I hadn’t seen it coming. My thumb isn’t exactly green, but I had been doing pretty well monitoring its sun and water intake so it did not make any sense. This time I set out on a quest, deliberately to find the reason for my dying tree and how I could help it. I went to my local spiritual book store and being a pro, I waited to see which book got my attention. The message I was getting was about direction which originally I was thinking about a verb instead of a noun, and then I saw a book on Feng Shui. The Chinese art of the placement of items to maximize the flow of chi in your environment; my tree was in the Eastern corner and it was the month of December. The Chinese New Year period began according to the Chinese Lunar calendar, in the middle of the 12th month and ended around the middle of the first month with the waxing of the full moon which falls on different days every year. This year the New Year came in February and it meant that the #5 flying star of disaster would be taking its place for the year in the direction of the East. Oh my! I promptly gave my beautiful dying tree to my neighbor whose western corner in her apartment got beautiful light, and west had good stars that year. Within in a couple of weeks the tree had taken back her health and I had embarked on the study of Feng Shui.
Getting Into the Flow
I have always had a deep reverence for ritual and have always had some sort of sacred place of worship in my home and I suppose that my environment, intuitively, has somehow instructed me on any changes that would support my well being. However, the study of Feng Shui from the original traditions even down to the many books of western interpretation has been an amazing journey of the realization of our daily relationship with our direct environment and the world around us and how important and fragile it is. Tapping into the subtle nuances of a change in direction and shift of energy can absolutely support and inhibit growth. Recognizing the energy of the natural elements and their relationship to one another can not only teach you about yourself but can offer understanding of how you relate to others.
Year of the Majestic Wood Horse 2014
December 31st, 2013 is the Chinese New Year commencing the Year of the Wood Horse. Great strides will be made through self acceptance and the acceptance of others this year. While the horse is always wildly independent and great strides of progress can be made in the solo journey, this year’s Horse will support great strides in transforming group efforts and democracy; the expansion of your own ideals and beliefs and the recognizing that some ways of thinking are just no longer helpful and to continue them is futile. This Horse year offers you courage and knowledge different than what you have. Evidently, “Great Strides” is the theme of the year, as I have unconsciously written it three times. So plan on making great strides in all ways in your life this year and if that makes you nervous, the energy of the Wood Horse will help you move through it.
Wanna Feng Shui?
I practice using two main tools of Feng Shui; one is setting up the space according to the Pa Kua which outlines the nature of the home itself and then adjusts it for those who dwell in it. Yearly, I implement Flying Star Feng Shui which recognizes the yearly movement of the 24 Mountains, which allows you to become aware of the influence of the world around you on your environment and then shows you how to flow with it for maximum; health, vitality, harmony, and prosperity. If you would like to set up an appointment for Feng Shui now is the time. Personally, I always reset before the Lunar New Year but really, anytime is good to call in fresh chi. Go to www.itztime.com and fill out the contact form with all of your details. Many great strides to you this year.

Make a Friend in Bear

Make a Friend in Bear

Photo by Stan Cunningham; Cunninghamoutdoors.com

I Have a Friend in Bear
Two times in my life during profound transformation, the Bear has come to me in a dream. The first, when I began working as a spiritual empath. The first three years were the most intense; I barely slept and rarely went outside. My inner world was rich with new knowledge and experience but my body was wrought with fatigue. I don’t suppose it helped that I was on the Carl’s Jr. Diet. You see, since about the age of 12 I had always been weight and health conscious, but after contracting an illness that required the adoption of extreme measures, I stopped eating sugar, drinking alcohol, and became vegan. I learned about supplements and herbs, and with these choices came a complete physical recovery and the beginning of an opportunity to heal myself emotionally, and then spiritually. The spiritual healing was a lengthy process that took several years of daily work. All of it awe inspiring. About the time I began working with clients I had been quite healthful for about a decade so I allowed myself to enjoy soda, burgers, and fries on occasion. My indulgence was only about once a month for about two years and the freedom alone to eat what I wanted when I wanted was invaluable but the physical fatigue from the spiritual and emotional transformation was mounting. One night, after several nights of very little sleep and extreme emotions, I prayed to the creator for some relief and a new strategy. That night I fell fast asleep and woke up in the middle of a dream sleeping in the warm clutches of a big Mama Bear.
Precious Sleep
For the first time in months I felt calm and at peace. Safety was truly not a feeling I had been accustomed too until that moment and it was overwhelming. I wept to create space to receive this feeling of safety and comfort for the first time in my life. That night Bear told me what was next. It was now time to eat only the things that brought nourishment to my body. That taking a leadership position in my life meant that it was time to walk through my fear of sharing who I really am, and not hiding any of my abilities. Finally, that compassion means setting boundaries with people instead of just understanding that they do not know the impact that they have on me and others.
The Freedom in Opinion
The second time Bear joined me in dream time was just a few months ago. This time it was Papa bear. He brought me the message of safety, comfort, and compassion as before, but this time was distinctly different. This time his message to me, as we sat face to face, was an enormous courage and strength with a physical vitality I haven’t experienced since I was a child. He told me that my opinion had value; which struck me funny as anyone who knows me, knows I am not necessarily “shy” about my opinion. It then became clear to me that my emphasis has always been on understanding and having compassion. That while having empathy for both sides of any situation is definitely a skill set, it was now time to truly cultivate my opinion. A freedom opened in my heart that day; a new level of trust in the Creator, myself, and others that took me deeply into the consciousness of safety.
Bear Ally
So, should you seek the assistance of Bear, a powerful ally you will have indeed. Bear brings a new comfort in the truth and an integration of understanding. Mama and Papa Bear have much to teach about leadership and its true meaning, self reflection and self love, joy in resurrecting a pure heart, and physical strategies to sustain a healthful and balanced way of life.
Prayer for Bear
Thank you Great Spirit for your powerful Bear warrior. May you teach us how to take care of him in the way he takes care of us, and may we always be mindful of the space he needs to live and grow and the connection he has to all of our relations. May our hearts be open to the message of strength and integrity that you offer us through him. Aho

Sad Eyes

Sad Eyes

I just heard that song from the 70’s,”Sad Eyes”, by Robert John. Part of the lyric in a nutshell is a dude who is having an affair with another woman before his wife comes home from where ever and he’s telling her he can’t see her any more, and he says…”sad eyes…look the other way…I don’t want to see you cry”. Whew, it made me sad. I won’t even get started on the actual crappy situation I will keep my commentary strictly to the, to cry or not to cry part.

Bridging the Gap

Of course it stirred the pot in me. I know there are quite a few of our brothers and sisters on the planet that have a difficult time watching someone cry, so I would like to be of service if I can. I would like to bridge the gap between those of us that cry at everything or at least important things and those of you who have a really uncomfortable time with it. I would like to give a quick tutorial on what to do if someone breaks down in tears in front of you. First of all, let’s discuss the different kinds of criers. In general profoundly empathetic and sensitive people have an enormous amount of compassion. Of course not in every case but for the most part. Usually there is at least one in every family and they have a very important role in their family and on the planet. Highly sensitive people often feel the grief of the planet. There are folks who will help to carry your grief or the grief of other family members. Sometimes there are those who feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Take the events of 9/11 for example. There were a lot of us that sat around for days after that, immersed in crying and sadness, and then there were others who kept the flow of the community going. Not taking the time to express that kind of emotion.

Emotion Takes Electricity and Gas

Emotion takes an enormous amount of energy and stamina. It also takes the right philosophy to accompany it. Many people don’t cry because they associate it with shame and weakness, others feel that if they give in to it they may never dig themselves out. The truth is if you or someone you know is experiencing grief and sadness but unable to express it, that energy goes somewhere. Most likely to the closest family member or friend who is willing to feel it. Or even someone like me who feels every ones grief. Now that we know; the who, what, and how; let’s organize the options for how to support these highly sensitive compassionate people.

  1. Always look them in the eye. Ignoring them or showing them your discomfort can never help and usually supports the idea that somehow they are broken.
  2. If you don’t know what to do, ask. It is okay with most criers if you admit that you’re not sure what to do and ask. Ultimately it makes them feel better to be acknowledged rather than judged.
  3. Never yell and scream at someone who is experiencing extreme emotion. Not only will it escalate the situation but it will make both of you feel worse.
  4. Hugs are good for some and not for others, but always a good idea. Just ask if it will bring comfort to the one who is grieving. Just a little disclaimer: Usually the crying one will cry harder when hugged.
  5. Sometimes just sitting in silence with a friend is the best medicine.
  6. Always remember that grief is temporary. What you feel now you won’t feel later. So focus on getting through the moment. If you do, it will process more quickly.

A Loving Job

In the times in my life when my grief was the worst, somehow the people around me provided the least comfort, and it always seemed that it shouldn’t be that way. Living in New York City certainly made me durable, but there was a lot of grief. During those times it was often the homeless people on the street that were the only ones who would look me straight in the eye, and ask if I was ok. I always said that I was, and felt great relief and comfort because someone had the courage to look at me and ask. Ultimately someone who suffers doesn’t want you to take their suffering, they just want you to be nice, kind, and honest, and they definitely don’t want to have to help you deal with the fact that they suffer. That is your job…and a loving one should you decide to embrace it.

Television Is the New Daniel

Television Is the New Daniel

Television Is the New Daniel
I love the television shows from the70’s and 80’s. This morning I woke up to an episode of Highway to Heaven, the old show starring Michael Landen. Going there takes me all the way back to my first decade on the planet. I had such a crush on Patrick Duffy in The Man from Atlantis, and Lee Majors in The Six Million Dollar Man that I would go to bed early just so I could dream about marrying them. Not both of course, but either one was suitable. Something about those shows created a space for my young mind to fantasize and imagine what a world would be like where they could replace body parts with electronic ones, angels came in human form, and the story of Atlantis was no longer a mystery.
Utopia
Living in the future is not as interesting as fantasizing about it. In those old shows the idea was that the more we understood how much power we have and what we could accomplish, the more peaceful we would get. Ultimately living in a utopia where we all coexisted in joy and acceptance side by side. Another fascinating morsel about those shows is how slow they were by comparison to today’s line up. Dialogue centric and plenty of pauses that gave the viewer time to empathize with the characters. Now so much content on the airwaves is reality based and fast moving that our brains now enjoy and need the drone in the back ground. I even know people who actually watch two shows simultaneously so that boredom doesn’t set in. It is amazing to think that so much of what was prophesied in those shows has come true. A Bionic man is common place.
The Insatiable Human Spirit
Evidently conflict, struggle, and suffering are really more interesting than peacefulness will ever be. From the looks of our culture, it seems the general consensus. The wars keep getting bigger. The crimes more brutal, the pundits meaner, the greedy are definitely greedier. We all talk about a million dollars like it is easily within reach. So, really what’s the problem? None of these things are ever going to satisfy us. I guess it will be when we are willing to endure the boredom of self-acceptance and contentment, and we don’t care what other people think. Maybe that’s when peace will set in.

I’m Expecting

I'm Expecting

Expect the Unexpected
A lot of folks out there are just plain fearful of responsibility, and it always amazes me. I think of expectations in my life and relationships much how I consider my lungs to breath for me. I wonder if my lungs feel overwhelmed and crowded. Insecure about whether they are breathing deeply enough as to not disappoint me. Or if they had more time, would they breathe more deeply. Relationships are our breath in life. The way we relate to the Creator; is the way we relate to ourselves; is the way we relate to others and to fear the responsibility of my relationship to my Creator, doesn’t occur to me.
The Light of A Loving Universe
No matter if you follow a religion or not you have a relationship with the most expanded part of yourself, the Creator. By nature we nurture that part of ourselves. I am always mindful of what I have, and what I want, and the daily practice of mindfulness it takes to get it. The focus is on keeping the peace in my mind body and spirit, and finally, to be peace. It is natural to expect the Creator to always reinforce my highest sentiment and to always be replenished with the light of a loving universe.
Every Part of My Heart
Every day I get up, I expect my body to work for me. I know that what I put into it, I get out of it. That how I take care of it and nurture it. Is how it takes care of me and nurtures me. That’s not to say that there aren’t days where I indulge my emotions and my spirit over my body, but guaranteed she always lets me know immediately. You see, we speak several times a day. It can get pretty busy in my head and it’s a lot to keep track of. “Hey, Liver, how you doin today? Kidneys? Heart? Ya, Heart, I know you really took one for the team yesterday, it’s ok, I know your sad. Cry it out. Would you like some more fish oils?” I believe that it is the natural expectation of consciousness that we will do all we can to take care of what we have been given, and that if we can’t take care of what we have, it’s best to not get more until we can. I know that when I can master what I have, more will come.
Meaners Not Doers
I believe that our relationships with others are attracted to us based on our alignment with our self and our needs, and then negotiated from there. Expectations are a natural part of any negotiation. If you mean well but don’t do well, then it makes sense that you would attract meaners and not doers. One of my favorite quotes is by Ben Franklin, “Well done is better than well said”. They say that when you truly love you don’t keep score in your relationships. I don’t know, my jury is still out on that. I think it is a part of the natural order to remember the things we like and the things we don’t. Remembering our traumas helps us to survive. Completely grieving our traumas, is different than remembering them. Grieving takes permission, patience, and work. Grieving the loss of power and then mourning; figuring out how you will go about things moving forward. The lowest thing that anyone can ever do to you, is to inspire you to do or be less then you are, and you are the perfect light of the Universe. Ultimately, you are the one that decides. Fighting fire with fire; creates a bigger fire. Today our culture is plagued with many ungrieved social traumas and it is time to give yourself permission to grieve the ones that you own, and let others grieve in their own time. Be who you are and not who others think you are. I expect it.

Longing For Loves Past

Longing For Loves past

Every year at this time, something really amazing happens for me. Actually, it is the first feeling of Autumn; but for me it always comes sometime in July. There is one moment in one day that the world opens up for me. In that moment I can see and feel every experience from my past and all the way through my future. It is like an energetic portal that allows me to see myself and my lives in such objectivity as to feel the sentiment and the love of past friends, lovers, and experiences without the pain of those who are no longer present. This year, as I basked in that moment, I heard the voice of my Grandmother, in her infinite wisdom,” I don’t know why you’d want to think about that… THAT doesn’t bring any comfort at all.” I had to laugh at the truth.

A True Overcomer

That’s not to say that Grandma wasn’t bitter, because she was. As a young woman in the great depression she lost and overcame so much over and over but always found a way to laugh at the harshness that life served up. She had a wicked sense of humor, her desires were simple, and she did not mince words. I am truly grateful to be made of her stock. Over my life time I really didn’t have too much face time with Grandma, but she would always write letters and cards for holidays and birthdays. Telling of the current weather forecast, who she saw that week, and her arthritis pain level. Always including the obligatory $5 dollar bill she would gift each of her grandchildren. I remember the last conversation I had with Grandma. It was about a week before she died, she was almost 98 years old, and I remember it as if it were yesterday. We spoke of life and love and not to take for granted every moment the Creator gifted us … NOT. Again, Grandma was not a sentimental lady, at least from my memory. What we did talk about was dinner. Grandma said, “I don’t know why you kids like to eat at restaurants. All you need is a meat and potato, and maybe some pie.” I have wracked my brain to remember, because I am sure there was no mention of a vegetable, and when I remember I always want to add the vegetable, but she just didn’t say that.

Listen to Your Grandmother She’s always Right

Although it is human to remember as we wish it were, the portal across time, in that one moment, will not allow it. Grandma is definitely kind of right most of the time. Focusing on the past, while serving a valuable purpose in helping us to diminish our attachment and supporting our healing, often times brings no comfort. Especially when you remember it as it was and not how you wish it to be. So this time, I am going to take Grandma’s advice. I am going to take this opportunity to bring the fullness of that moment in time, to empower this very moment in my life. Bringing with it all the love, joy, wisdom, and power that it brings to manifest and embellish the task at hand. Without all those pesky memories. Thanks Grandma.