One of the five Reiki precepts is “Be compassionate to yourself and others.” For someone who loves herself a whole damn lot, I struggle with being compassionate to myself. I am really tough on myself—I haven’t accomplished this much by being lazy! I’m not one of those self-described perfectionists; I don’t need every line to be straight nor do I need everything to be polished at all times. There are always dirty dishes in our sink and that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me. This absence of compassion exists in a realm where I expect myself to go, to do, to create, to produce at full blast during every waking moment.

A benefit of this self-inflicted regime is that “bored” isn’t a feeling I know—ever. I remember my uncle saying when I was little, “If you’re bored, you’re boring” and that’s a rule of life to which I completely subscribe. There are mountains of books to read, plenty of people to connect or reconnect with, countless tasks to accomplish. Boredom isn’t a choice I ever make.

But on the flip side, I expect myself to never shut off. Sometimes to sit down and stop hurts.

Yet, I know compassion. I feel it in every cell. Animal rescue and Reiki (and even my “day job”…) are centralized on compassion for other living things, for our environments, for our community now and moving forward. But in all of this compassion-spreading, we can’t forget to spread it on ourselves too. And I am compassionate to myself sometimes—I take luxurious naps, I get regular massages, I indulge in material things. But I guess the feeling of not being compassionate enough to myself is sickly cyclical to the toughness I impose on myself.

Bottom line: I’m seeking a sense of compassion within myself that allows me to just be, that extracts the self-inflicted pressure to do, to go, to achieve. I want to share the joy with myself too. And I will.




I still remember the email our rescue group received when Priscilla was found. She was hopping through a residential backyard and the homeowner was able to approach her and bring her to safety indoors with ease—not surprising, as she turned out to be one of the more affectionate rabbits I’ve met in my rescue life! The striking thing about this initial email was that her finder thought he found an injured bunny; he was concerned about her “broken ear.” I get dozens of emails per month about injured and abandoned rabbits—but this was no injury, thankfully! Yes, rabbit friends, have a giggle… this unicorn-lop certainly doesn’t have a broken ear.

Priscilla was adopted a few months after her rescue and her forever-mom Katie has since become a volunteer with our group and a dear friend of mine. As affectionate as “Princess P” can be (her freely-given kisses rival those of our sanctuary bun Wednesday, who has been dubbed “the make-out queen”), she has taken to some intensely possessive behavior toward Katie when she returns home from a shift volunteering at our foster homes. I offered to share some Reiki with the Princess, foremost to soothe any anxiety or issues that might be affecting her behavior but also to get some of those legendary kisses!

Priscilla’s set up is perfect—a “puppy pen” filled with toys and plenty of carpeted space to play when mom is home. Before I began our session, I anointed myself with a few drops of Magnify Your Purpose oil on my wrists and third eye chakra. This oil blend helps me focus on the energies and open my communication channels with my furry clients. I rubbed 4 drops of lavender oil between my palms, inhaled deeply and got to work with the pretty little unicorn.

The first message that Priscilla shared with me is that she feels very strong and healthy! While I was treating her hands-on, she shared the color yellow with me. Yellow is often associated with the solar plexus chakra and with personal power. That makes a lot of sense as Priscilla has been asserting herself when her mom smells like other rabbits! I reassured her through touch and through thoughts that she is Katie’s one and only.

I then turned the focus of our session to letting go of anxieties associated with or manifesting in her behaviors. Like many rabbits that our group rescues, Priscilla’s specific origin is unknown. She gave me the sense that she “ran away” from her previous life, like she knew she would find better, which she absolutely did. I continued to tell her that her relationship with Katie is forever, that no running away would be necessary. Priscilla shared a feeling of sisterly energy with me, like she was saying she knows that Katie is her mom but she feels like they are bonded in more of a sisterly way (how freakin’ cute!).

When I was treating her lower body and focusing on her root chakra, Priscilla shared that she doesn’t mind when Katie goes to work or school for a few hours, that she’s comfortable with the solo time. She also told me that her favorite time of day is early morning and she likes laid-back energy, not a rush through the morning routine feeling!

She didn’t bring up the issue of post-volunteer shift Katie—I guess another session is in order! Magnify Your Purpose… this is my Purpose. I feel electrified even reflecting on our hour together.

Katie, thank you for letting me share some Reiki energy with Princess P and for the beautiful flowers.


Olivia and Justine

Every Monday evening, I visit our special needs and sanctuary rabbits’ foster home and help with “bunny chores” like cleaning litter boxes, vacuuming, and rotating rabbits out for exercise time. With last week’s storm, I shifted my schedule to head over there on Tuesday evening; shifting my shift opened up time for me to give Reiki to two longtime residents, Olivia and Justine.

After I finished my typical “bunny chores,” I cleansed my hands and the area with a few light squirts from my Thieves spray. Although Olivia and Justine are used to the smells of other animals around, I wanted to give them clearest opportunity to receive the Reiki energy. Besides enjoying the smell, I use Thieves spray in the same way I used to use antibacterial gels and Lysol-type products—it’s a blessing to me to have an alternative to those products that just might contain some things I try to eliminate or at least limit in my life. Then, I put a drop of lavender oil on my third eye chakra, another on my throat chakra, and rubbed a few drops between my palms. Lavender oil is a staple in my Reiki sessions—great for relaxing, soothing and opening up the communication channels.

I started this treatment with Olivia, a big white bun who has developed arthritis in her hind quarters. One of the most important elements for animal Reiki is to recognize the animal’s signs and signals. Traditional hand positions for “people Reiki” are modified and some animals or some sessions involve no hands-on treatment at all. Olivia was open and comfortable right away, so I started with one hand on her brow and ears, my other hand upturned outside of her cage to receive the energy.

Yes, I “get messages” like many energy workers do but I can’t ask my rabbit clients for confirmation of these messages in the same way one can ask a human client. That said, Olivia and I communicated telepathically and she confirmed the “messages” by grooming her front right paw (a common confirmation in my bunny experience) and by eating. Olivia “told me” that she wants to play a game and needs some more mental stimulation; I should buy her one of those treat puzzles that she can share with her foster brothers and sisters. As I moved my hand positions down her furry white torso, she shared with me that her arthritis is a bit frustrating and, while she is not in pain, she does miss the mobility of her youth! Olivia was very receptive to the energies and confirmed with me via some gentle tooth-purring.

Justine was having one of those days where she didn’t want to be touched (not uncommon with this clientele) but she received the energy from a distance. I used similar hand positions as I did with Olivia but kept my hands a few inches from Justine—she settled in nicely, flopping down to confirm for me that she was readily receptive. Justine “showed” me a bouncing ball, indicating that she felt bounced around in never being officially adopted. She told me that she wants to stay with her foster mom for the rest of her life; she feels secure there and doesn’t want to be bounced around anymore. She also told me that she loves when her foster mom dances and twirls around the kitchen, which is adjacent to Justine and Olivia’s bunny condo. Keep those dance moves going, foster mom Mary Ann.

I am lucky to have so much “free practice” with the many rescue rabbits in our midst. The availability of so many different personalities, experiences and even aliments/issues, has amped up my practice and abilities. Olivia and Justine enjoyed the lavender and the energy and I radiate from the blessing of sharing love and light with them!


Serving Reiki Realness

I was first introduced to Reiki by my then massage therapist and now dear friend Louise (Sacred Self Wellness), who picked up on some very real “issues” I was feeling that were manifesting as physical pain. Massaging my neck, back and shoulders (she gives outstanding massages!), Louise shared with me some insight she perceived about blocks in my heart and throat chakras. At this point in our interactions, I shared only my physical symptoms, achy shoulder, tightness in the neck and lower back—but her feedback went deeper than “Be sure to stretch” or “Do something relaxing!” Louise, through her Reiki gift, helped me uncover the root of these aches and pains, finally breaking up knots that no massage could seem to release.

So, now I needed to know more and thus my Reiki journey began. Reiki means “spiritual energy” and is known as Universal Life Force Energy.   Is it some hippy-dippy stuff? Maybe. Hippy-dippy-slippy… whatever it is, it works and I’m all in. Reiki works with our natural energies and the energy in all things animate and inanimate. It works hands-on and can happen from a distance. Reiki, from its classic Japanese roots to our modern applications, works to release and to shift energy within to bring balance and flow.

The benefits I’ve reaped from receiving Reiki led me to dig deeper into the methodology of this healing wonder. I’ve been formally attuned to three levels of Reiki energy (one specific to animal healing) and am pursuing my Reiki Master level. After my first attunement, my first formal tap into my own healing energies, the idea to combine this gift with my passion for rabbits and rescue floated in to place. My first official rabbit client Malcolm is a sweet little lop boy who was experiencing some physical issues and I shared Reiki love and light with him and his bunny sister Sylvia. Part of my gift is getting messages, somewhat like Louise was able to read or see in the knots in my neck. I treasure my time with Malcolm and the fact that I was able “translate” his energy into messages for his mom and dad. Erin and Michael, I thank you for that opportunity.

Malcolm has since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge but I count him as one of my main Reiki guides and get messages from him often. He helps me “translate” messages from my own rabbits, whom I treat daily, from other furry clients and from the special needs rabbits at our Rescue group with whom I work every week.

So that, dears, is the origin story, somewhat abridged, of my Reiki rabbit journey.

Some Things Remain the Same

I’m Tampa-bound this morning, bound to visit a friend I’ve had and treasured since 2001. With all the upheaval in my life of late (I say UPheaval because these have been positive, UPlifting changes), I’m sitting in JFK Terminal 2 thinking about what hasn’t changed– those few people and things that still matter, that still warm my soul and inspire me.

So, what hasn’t changed in 15 years…

-a number of friends that I can count on one hand. I’m good at weeding the friendship garden.

-my love of reading and of high heels– two admittedly unrelated things, but things none the less. Not shockingly, I’ve packed seven books for a three day trip. Shockingly, I packed zero high heels. Well, I packed then unpacked several pairs. That’s growth.

-my determination and ability to make stuff happen. Not only has that persisted all these years, it’s borderline scary-good as I’m harnessing and expanding my gifts.

-my connection to the number 5, to butterflies, to all things purple. And now I’m learning (bonus!!) the meaning of these connections.

Tampa-bound and boarding shortly…

Impressed with the sense of joy and of peace I feel, simply sitting adjacent to Gate C67, headed to a golden friend, bringing with me the  most glowing self I’ve ever been.

My carry-on is kind of heavy… My spirit is the right kind of light.





I Believe in Bunnies

I believe in bunnies. And not just because I can walk into my living room right now and see two of them, hopping around, playing and munching on Timothy hay. I believe in bunnies because their presence in my life shifted my purpose, brought me to a sense of fulfillment that everything else through which I had been toiling could never fill—in fact, those “things” were just ripping the hole wider.

I yearned for “more” for as long as I can remember but could not achieve a feeling of fulfillment because I simply could not figure out what was missing, what my purpose was. But trust—I kept busy: full time career, Master’s degree, often a second job, exercise, friends, appointments, activities, travel, you get the picture. Yet the ache for something more, something authentic, something that quenched this drive to evoke change went unsatisfied. I can clearly connect with the memory of feeling unfulfilled, the physical ache it created. While I was successful in many conventional ways, I simply could not figure out what I wanted, what would fix this broken, empty feeling.

The greatest blessings in my life have furry paws. Some of those paws belong to me and many belong to no one yet, but we are working on that ( I found my purpose; I shifted the feeling of emptiness to a feeling of abundance. If you would have told me, even a few short years ago, that I would feel most alive and happy while cleaning litter boxes or coordinating a team to rescue abandoned rabbits in a muddy, wooded preserve… please. But I undoubtedly do.

The path I have walked thus far, doing all the “things” one should do has been a great success by everyone else’s standards. That path left me lost, feeling alone. When I changed my walk to a hop, I started to find my way. Bunnies saved me; that’s why I believe in them so deeply. I believe in me now too.