Search

Gentle Hands Reiki

Jessica Sharp, TJT, RMT

In Which I Get It So Wrong. Like, So, So Wrong.

You know that feeling when your ass gets CALLED OUT and then you feel like you have to question everything?  And then the embarrassment creeps in, like “how could I have gotten it so wrong?”

Oh, honey.  Pull up a chair.

So, for the last year I’ve been teaching occasional workshops on Reiki for Self-Care.  I’ve even lectured at a university on this topic.  I should be an expert, right?  I mean…. right?

I prided myself on knowing that self-care doesn’t always mean buying myself expense soaps and coffees and stuff.  I prided myself on knowing that I don’t have to brand it on Instagram, like “pics or it didn’t happen.”  I do Reiki on myself throughout the day, a few seconds here and there, checking in to make sure I’m not holding tension in my stomach or shoulders or whatever.  When I feel myself getting sick I park myself right in bed, place those hands and let Reiki flow through me, pumping up that good old immune system.  SELF-CARE LEVEL: EXPERT.

Right?

Yeah, no.

I had the pleasure of receiving a surprise Reiki session from a gifted practitioner the other day and she was like, “You’re closed off.  What’s up with you not taking care of yourself?”  I’m thinking, “Uhh, I do take care of myself.  I work out.  And I spend lots of time reading.  And doing Reiki on myself.  And, like, going into nature and thinking and stuff.  Yeah.”

And then she’s like, “Why is the energy of your ego so big?  What are you trying to prove?”  And I’m like:

confused

But she was right.  She was so very right.

See, I’m a mom and wife.  Like everyone, I’ve got laundry and dishes and floors to clean.   I’m also SELF-employed.  And all that time that felt so indulgent because I was ignoring the chores and reading instead, I was reading books on how to be a better healer.  All that time I was spending in nature, I was putting pressure on myself to pay attention to signs, look for animals, look for interesting shapes in the trees, FORCING myself to MAKE SPIRITUAL MEANING and magic out of everything I did, to prove I was a healer.  All that time spend doing self-Reiki was time measuring my skills as a healer.  All that time I was sitting quietly and thinking, I was thinking about work.  How can I help more people?  What should my next blog be about?  Should I start a YouTube Channel?  Am I even good at this?

It all felt like self-care, because I was ignoring household responsibilities and spending time thinking about myself and my business and my bottom line.  In our culture, that’s considered indulgent!

But I was conflating self-care — doing something nice for myself “just because” I deserve it, without being attached to a goal or outcome — with personal growth work.  There was always a goal, a hidden agenda of betterment.  Self-care time had to result in some growth or outcome I could point to, in order to justify it.  Otherwise, there was a subconscious belief that I didn’t deserve it.  I had forgotten that I deserve time and space to just “be”, to do something fun without attaching meaning or pressure to it.

SO WRONG, you guys.

So the next day, I took her advice.  (Well, after reconciling my mortification about being THAT WRONG about self-care as a teacher of self-care, JEEEEZ.)  I set aside an hour to read a book that wasn’t about work.  I made fresh coffee instead of heating up yesterday’s dregs, and carried it over to the comfy chair instead of sitting at the kitchen table.  I even turned on the electric blanket.

And guess what I accomplished?  Guess what I could point to at the end of that hour as “justification”?  Nothing.  Sweet, sweet nothing.

Well, actually, that’s not true.  I could point to a feeling of peace and well-being and physical comfort that I hadn’t felt in a really long time.  It was nice to treat myself the way I wish people would treat each other all the time.  My heart and my core felt open and relaxed.  And that’s enough.

Funny story, the next day I took a short walk in the woods, determined not to think about work.  Determined to enjoy the view and the weather without forcing myself to make meaning of it or force myself to feel deeply, magically connected to the world around me.

And I failed.  I thought about work.  I actually, despite my best intentions, wrote this blog post in my head, the one you’re reading right now.  But….. that’s okay.  It’s really okay.  Just like I gave myself time and space to read a book the day before, this time I gave myself time and space to forgive myself for thinking about work.  I treated myself with compassion and respect instead of pressure.  And THAT is a huge part of self-care too.

lotus

 

 

Forgiveness as a F@%! You

A few weeks ago I wrote about refusing to be grateful for deep, traumatic abuses in our lives.  In that post I wrote that “forgiveness and acceptance are important.”  I don’t dispute the importance of forgiveness, but just like with gratitude, the actual definition of forgiveness needs to be completely re-worked as it relates to trauma.

The more I work with beautiful people who are doing the hard, beautiful work of processing their pasts, it’s clear that our English language is clunky and crude when it comes to helping people navigate their complicated emotions.  “Forgiveness” tends to bring to mind fluffy phrases like the following:

“Oh, it’s okay, it’s all okay.”

“I’m not that hurt, I’m fine.”

“I’m not angry at you anymore, I’ve let all my anger go.”

“You didn’t actually hurt me, I’m fine, it’s all good.”

“I love you and I’m grateful for you.”

“I was wrong to be so angry at you for hurting me, I’m sorry.”

“Wow, forgiving you makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!”

Now, if someone backs into your car by accident in a parking lot, this works.  If a cashier gives you the wrong change by accident, this works.  But when it comes to people overcoming deep trauma, it certainly does not work.  We need an entirely new vocabulary.

 

Deep forgiveness is an act of raw defiance.  Deep forgiveness is the act of wresting your power back from someone.  Deep forgiveness reclaims your energy and draws a distinct line in the sand.

The phrases of deep forgiveness (uttered internally or externally) are more like:

“You are a m——f——, an a——–, and a POS.  What you did will never be okay.  Yet despite that, I forgive you.”

“You no longer have power over me.”

“I’m still angry, but I’m releasing your hold on me.”

“I’m still angry, but I’m not allowing your energy to govern my life anymore.”

“I’m setting boundaries.”

“I’m a bigger person than you, destined for a bigger, richer life.  I won’t let you weigh me down anymore.”

“I am making the decision to break the cycle of trauma rather than continue it.”

Now, for an abuser, someone whose primary modus operandi in life is/was to exert control and steal power from other people, hearing this is a very big FU!  And it feels great!

And oh man, do the abusers hate it!  This is because they feel a sense of loss. They’ve spent years building a power dynamic in which they can enjoy taking energy and power from others to make themselves feel strong, and then suddenly…. they can’t.  They just can’t anymore.  And this is true either in life or death.  Even from the spirit realm, I have felt an abusive father try to reach out and wrestle power back from a son who had forgiven and released his abusive hold!  Together the son and I were able to negate this petulant power grab and relegate his deceased father’s energy back to the spirit realm.

Deep forgiveness is powerful, meaningful, hard and beautiful work.  And it is so worth it.

I often have conversations like this with my individual clients, but the idea as a whole has been feeling like it needs to be said to the wider world.  Thank you for reading, and please share with anyone in your life whom you think could benefit from learning the raw power of deep forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

The Art of Not Being Grateful

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude!

Be grateful for the challenges in your life!  They made you who you are today!

Gratitude is everything!

These phrases are, on face value, kind of true.  In most cases, we can be grateful for the surface-level challenges in our life and look back on them as character-building exercises.  For me, it was, strangely, a mildly abusive relationship – not violent enough to put me in the hospital, but enough to teach me a hard, in-person lesson about Narcissitic Personality Disorder.  Lesson learned, and now twenty years later I can be grateful it wasn’t worse, the end.

In our society and the subsequent multi-billion-dollar Wellness Industrial Complex™, we love gratitude.  How many Pintrest boards have you seen dedicated to memes on gratitude?  How often does it cross your newsfeed?  How often has a friend recommended “The Secret” and said something about how your outlook is preventing good things in your life?  Gratitude is a concept we tend to put on a pedestal – to the point that if we aren’t grateful for everything in our lives, the good and the bad, there is a problem with us.

However…. Sometimes gratitude for our challenges is just not in the cards.  For people who are the victims of indescribable trauma and abuse at the hands of others, arriving at gratefulness can be a bridge too far to cross.  And I am here to say:  That’s okay.  It is literally okay to never, ever be thankful for what happened to you.  Period, full stop.  And it doesn’t mean you are “less-than” all the other people with the Pintrest boards of gratitude memes.

Just yesterday I was working with a client who has years of traumatic family abuse in their past.  This person has been working to process and move beyond their trauma and The Divine was very clear in Its messaging.  It said, “Acceptance and gratitude are not the same thing.  You are 100% percent allowed to accept what happened to you, and still think of it as really crappy.  You are allowed to continue living without forcing yourself to gratefully accept it.  Forgiveness and acceptance are important for dis-engaging yourself from the power the trauma has over you, but gratitude is not necessary.”  So drop that expectation like it’s hot!

Basically, I care about you.  And if you are moving through life, carrying the load of trauma or abuse — or even if you are still going through it now! — please heed those words and consider laying your burden down, knowing that laying it down doesn’t mean having to hug it and love it too.

 

With all love and blessings,
Jessica

“The Moon Doesn’t Rush to Get Full”

A few weeks ago I was working with a client whose energy held a desire to just hurry up and get through an uncomfortable, sad process. We were both in awe-surprise when the Divine dropped this message into my brain: “The Moon doesn’t rush to get full.”

Meaning, be present through the tough process. Allow yourself to feel the discomfort as it comes, acknowledge and hold it, understand it as much as you can, and then let it go when you’re ready. Rushing through in an attempt to stave off pain will not “fix” things the way you think.  The pain can’t be lessened or avoided, and you’ll only lose the opportunity for deeper growth and understanding.

Not only that, but you can’t “escape” the pain by rushing.  It will be waiting for you in some different way, shape or form later on.  You will have to deal with this present discomfort somehow, some way.  So why not now?

Yes, grieving and change are painful.  Yes, they are unpleasant, and in a society which still (for now) promotes the toxic idea that constant happiness is ideal, leaning in to discomfort can be lonely.  But by remaining present through pain, by resisting the urge to close our eyes, fold our arms, put our heads down and just run through the storm, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow.

“The Moon doesn’t rush to get full.”  Wow.  I bow in deep gratitude to the Divine and Its wisdom.

 

*this story is shared with the permission of the client.

Untangling the Mystery of “Surrender”

What do you think about when you hear the word “surrender”?

For some, it is a scary word that conjures images of, say, being mugged and giving up your wallet to a robber with a gun.  In this context, it is the language of defeat.

For others the pendulum may swing hard the other way, and they see “surrender” as a giving-in to any and all desires, without regard for consequences.

In the center lies conscious surrender.  This is something I talk about with clients often — a conscious process of letting go, of giving up the idea that we have to consistently curate our lives to be perfect, or be in complete control of ourselves, our futures and everything around us all the time.  In our private conversations the sentences follow their own path relative to the client’s needs, which can make explaining surrender for the masses difficult.

However, I just found this wonderful list of steps written by Dr. Deepak Chopra that sums it up beautifully.  He writes,

  1.  You relax and relinquish the desire to control.
  2.  You trust that you are cherished in creation, and you act on that trust.
  3.  You accept your own being as a source of infinite intelligence.
  4. You approach every problem as having a level of solution that can be found.
  5. You focus on personal growth, which is eternal, and minimize personal setbacks, which are temporary.
  6. You ask for and receive support from Nature.
  7. You resist the endless demands and unceasing insecurity of the ego.

Could it be any more beautiful than that?

 

During sessions, I have sometimes seen visions of clients drowning in water, struggling to keep their chins or noses above the surface.  In these instances, the Divine regularly shows me the solution — stop struggling, lean back and just float.  Trust that the water can hold you up as easily as it can pull you downward.  Stop flailing, surrender and be supported.

I know it probably sounds bizarre to someone who hasn’t experienced a session with me yet, but the Divine Energy encourages me to share these visions with the client, and then we usually have a chat about surrender.  To me, surrender means trusting that life will be alright — not perfect, but alright — even if I don’t work to exert control and perfection over every aspect of my life (including other people!)

 

Happy back-floating,

Jessica xoxo

 

 

What Reiki Is, and What It Isn’t

Let me tell you a story.

 

Once upon a time, there was a struggling stay-at-home mom who wanted to feel better.  Her mind, emotions and even her body were ravaged by deep depression.  Most days she felt like a terrible mother, and sometimes like a monster.  Her future looked like 5 more dark, hard years of wiping noses and being sleepy all the time, and then…. what?  She didn’t know.  Probably more darkness.  She had no solid career prior to children, no job to return to, and very few marketable skills.

 

She had heard of a healing modality called Reiki and thought it could be a viable career.  She took to reading books about Reiki and finding a mentor.  From the outside, Reiki sounded like a magic bullet that was going to cure her depression and solve all of her problems.  It was going to give her a job, and also literally and figuratively fill all the holes in her psyche and turn her from a monster into a kind and gentle mother.  Maybe it would even create a beautiful energetic space around her, strong enough to bend other people’s energy into better patterns so they wouldn’t annoy her anymore.  Hallelujah!  She couldn’t wait to get started.

 

In case you haven’t figured it out, gentle reader, this person was me.  Energetically, I was like swiss cheese, and not even the fresh, yummy kind.  I was dried-up, moldy swiss cheese.  All the holes were leaking energy, and also trying desperately to grasp something, anything outside myself to fill the holes.  If we equate energy with personal power and contentment, I was severely lacking.

 

Reiki sounded like some kind of magical, invisible elixir that was going to pour into me and fill all of those holes.  I jumped into my training with a voracious appetite – I couldn’t wait to be cured and then learn how to cure others.  On the first day of class my mentor gave me my first attunement, a ritual meant to expand a person’s ability to feel and conduct Universal energy, and I considered myself fixed.  Done.  Cured.  Now I would never have a bad day, never yell at my children again.  I was no longer a monster, because I had this magic stuff inside me.  Again, hallelujah!

 

Imagine my surprise when the very next day, I had a bad day.  I yelled at my kids.  I felt like a monster.  I’d been cheated!  I was supposed to be different now!  How dare Reiki not cure me!  I worried I was beyond fixing, that Reiki just couldn’t fix someone as bad off as me.  I spiraled into an even deeper depression, getting dangerously close to self-harm.  But deep down, I started to realize that maybe the problems I was having didn’t belong to Reiki to fix, but to me.

 

That is what Reiki, at its core, is meant to do.  Rather than stepping in and filling all of our holes, curing us of all of our defects and absolving us of any responsibility or accountability to ourselves, Reiki energy strips away the barriers we have created to self-awareness.  We all have ways in which we justify or rationalize our own unhappiness, illness or poor choices.   Whether it’s placing blame on outside forces, ignoring our emotions, or just throwing up our hands and saying, “I can’t ever change,” we block ourselves from truly and deeply becoming aware of ourselves.

 

Reiki is incredible in that it relaxes people while simultaneously holding up a mirror to what is causing them stress.  Reiki helps us to be better listeners, both to our own intuition and to other people.  Reiki creates space in our energy for more compassion, towards self and others.  It helps us see very clearly which behavior patterns and thought patterns are not serving us, so we can take charge of changing them.  It gently but firmly places responsibility for growth and change in our laps, rather than stepping in to cure or save us from anything.  It makes it harder and harder to ignore our own B.S.

 

Reiki can do the same for physical pain as well.  All physical pain has a mental/emotional component, and Reiki can open doors to understanding the links between the two as it lessens pain.

 

Looking back, I marvel at how ridiculous and backwards my thinking was when I began my Reiki training.  Desperately seeking a simple answer, I found a wellspring of hard questions.  However, by using Reiki as it is meant to be used – to strip away the barriers to self-awareness – I was able to finally help myself, which in my case meant being open to therapy and medication for the depression.  I’m no longer on meds or seeing a therapist, but they saved my life at the time.  I still use Reiki for self-care, especially when I’m stressed out and exploring different reasons why – rather than blaming the situation, I can usually find the source and the solution to my stress in my own thought patterns.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how Reiki can help you break through barriers and strip away energetic patterns that are no longer serving your true self, please get in touch!  You can also check out my Reiki for Self-Care workshops.

 

 

Hot Damn! These are some great testimonials!

I’m sharing some AMAZING testimonials I’ve received from previous attendees of my Reiki for Self-Care workshop.  Are you interested in attending the next one?  Register here!

“This was my first Reiki workshop and it was absolutely wonderful! As a client of Jessica’s, I was already exposed to the benefits of Reiki. Though at every session I found myself becoming more curious about the entire Reiki practice, especially from Jessica’s perspective. So I was very excited when she said that she would be offering a self care workshop! I did not leave disappointed, but even more enlightened and empowered! My favorite parts were the guided meditation, breakdown of the chakras, and working with plants. The setting of the workshop was very comfortable and had a relaxing, but also energetic feel so I felt safe to explore. If you are looking for a unique opportunity for self-development, you’ll definitely want to attend this workshop! I use the self-care techniques daily for anxiety and self-awareness and definitely will continue to do so. Can’t wait for more! Thank you Jessica for a great experience!”  ~ Khala S.

“I attended the Reiki Self-Care workshop presented by Jessica Sharp. I have completed Reiki 1 and 2. This workshop was very different as the focus was on self. I learned new techniques and had others re-enforced. Jessica allowed time to practice what we learned. We were also given the opportunity to go outdoors to discover another way to put Reiki into a self-care practice. My biggest take away was to learn how to protect myself from negative energy and clear it if necessary. I would recommend this workshop, regardless of your level of Reiki, even the novice!”  ~  Jennifer K.

Rate Increases Begin December 2017

Beginning December 1st, 2017, rates for regular sessions will be $90.00.

Current clients will be able to remain at the $75.00 rate, and any new clients that book before December 1st will also remain at $75/session.  

This change will not affect sliding scale clients, and I am always happy to work with my beloved clients if the regular rates present a financial hardship.  Let’s work something out!

Other rate changes effective December 1st:

Hospital visits will be $100/hour.

Birth Attendance will be $300/5 hours, and $75 each additional hour.

House calls will remain at $100/hour.

 

 

It’s Back! Reiki for Self-Care Workshop

Saturday, January 13th from 9 AM – 2 PM

In this 5-hour workshop you will:reikihandonheart

  • learn the basic principles of Reiki
  • learn about the chakra system
  • receive a basic Reiki attunement
  • learn how to send energy to points on your body for stress relief and pain management
  • learn how to shield and protect your own energy

 

You can use the skills learned in this workshop to help yourself, loved ones and pets.  The cost is $200.  This is not a certification-level course.  Space is limited so reserve your spot today!  A non-refundable $50.00 deposit is required to reserve your space.  Please register here.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑