Tag Archives: First Degree Reiki

Birthday Eve

21 Nov

It’s about 10:30 pm Eastern Standard Time here in the US. I am (mostly) shamelessly listening to the Carpenters (among other tunes) on my Pandora radio.  I have my space heater cranking in my brisk third floor room and am reveling in the simple joys of some time alone… you know, organizing and throwing away old papers, doing a little yoga, drinking hot tea.  Ah, the good life!  In a few hours I will usher in the day of my birth, less formally known as my Birthday.  This year I celebrate 42 years of living.  I am thrilled.  It’s a good time to be alive.

About three hours ago I took my Reiki teacher, Elizabeth Ohmer Pellegrin, to the Philadelphia airport for her flight home to New Orleans.  She came to teach a First Degree Reiki class here in Philly and for a visit. Elizabeth first came to Philadelphia to teach about 6 month ago.  She has some family ties to the area.  She also has another Reiki student who lives full time in Philadelphia and coordinated a class for Elizabeth in June 2012.  She coordinated this most recent class as well.  There is now a budding community of Reiki students in the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition initiated by Elizabeth blooming and growing in Philadelphia.

It was a real pleasure to have Elizabeth here.  It was like a wonderful burst of “home.” Much of our time together was spent in the Reiki class that she taught all day on Saturday and Sunday.  It is typical for me to sit on Elizabeth’s Reiki class.  Elizabeth is a wonderful teacher and after practicing Reiki for about 8 years, I always find it rewarding and beneficial to sit in on a class.  It’s also fun to be able to contribute in small ways… sharing my experience with Reiki, answering a few student’s questions, and giving assistance as they are learning to give treatments.  It is also a gift to be a in a Reiki class because I get to bathe in the healing energy of Reiki all weekend long.  It feels sort of like taking a vacation … without having to leave the city.  Also Elizabeth is a great caretaker and, when she is not busy teaching or tending to her new students, she always seems to have time to give a little extra TLC my way and make me feel like I am cared for, which is a lovely feeling.

Elizabeth has been my friend and mentor since I first became her student 8 years ago.  She has been there for me persistently and with great care.  We went through the great challenge and new adventures of hurricane Katrina when we were both uprooted from our home for an extended period of time. She has been there to support me through hundreds of big and little triumphs and challenges, including many of the joys and challenge of my latest adventures in travel.  As she went on her way back to New Orleans I felt grateful to have spent time with her and also strong in my on two feet to continue on my journey.

Elizabeth suggested once that I celebrate my birthday one day for each year I have been alive.  I have adopted that philosophy, exploring little ways to celebrate each day.  Tomorrow I will begin my birthday celebration by attending a yoga class and listening to my body and being and see what else my heart desires on this day.

Thanksgiving will likely be a quiet respite for me.  My host family here is traveling to be with their family in New York State.  I was wholeheartedly invited to join them but I have opted for a few juicy days with some time to myself.

And so, on this Birthday Eve and nearly Thanksgiving Eve, I will leave with the spirit of thanks and gratitude… for all the lessons I have learned on this amazing journey I have been on, all of the people I have met along the way and those who have loved and supported me in taking risks and having new experiences of myself… that I would have never had if I hadn’t taken a risk and bought a ticket to Europe a year and a half ago.  Yes I am grateful for the simplicity of living out of a suitcase, taking it one day at a time, and exploring the possibility of new adventures.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Photo of stunning Fall Colors in my Mt. Airy neighborhood.

Adventures in Babysitting

10 Nov

It’s a cool Fall afternoon in Philly – threatening to act like winter.  Once again we had another prediction of a great storm this week and once again Philadelphia was left practically untouched.  We had just a few snow flurries earlier this week on Wednesday and by Thursday, while it was still chilly outside, the weather had us wondering what all the fuss was about.  And so, no snow and no great winter storm for the Philadelphia area.

It’s felt like a busy week for me.  This is a high energy household and often it feels like once I climb on board the wave of  activities for the day, it’s a wild ride.  I continue my new-found happiness… much to my surprise… in cooking and preparing evening meals for the family.  Last night I made homemade burritos served with fresh guacamole with organic cooked carrots on the side.  I have to say it was all really yummy!

I had some new adventures in babysitting earlier this week with the four-year-old, the  youngest of the two boys here.  He had the day off from school on election day so he and I took off for the afternoon to give the work-from-home parents some refuge to get their work done.  We went to what must be the “latest” in parenting… a cafe-like place set up just for kids and parents (or parent-like folks).  You enter with a simple entrance fee and once inside the “gate” there is an indoor playground with an amazing spread of toys and indoor activities.. a slide, a clubhouse, and toy grocery store… you get the picture.  The other half of the place is a parent friendly cafe where one can lounge, do a little reading or computer work while the kids happily make a mess in the room created for the purpose of making messes!  Ah what a difference that makes!  Additionally they have kid-friendly meals and organic and healthy snacks.  You run a “tab” while you are there… so both child and in my case babysitter are free to snack and play and work and then pay the bill on the way out.

I have been somewhat hesitant with taking on childcare in the ensemble of services I offer within the agreement of my exchange here.  But I know full well that often this household really just needs someone willing to take the kids out of the house and give them some space to have a little fun.  The youngest when out of the house and on his own is really quite good and I know he gets a kick out the time and attention.  We had a fair amount of fun at our cafe outing.  I watched him play and when he seemed a bit sheepish on his own I joined him in playing.  We read a book together in the clubhouse and played tag in the tumbling room downstairs filled with mats and basic gymnastic equipment –  a room that it seems no matter how old you are invites you to play! At the very least I got to be a voyeur into contemporary motherhood for an afternoon and my hosts got a quiet afternoon to work.

The youngest and I took another little outing yesterday afternoon.  After the threat of the storm it was a gift to have a bright sunny blue-skied day that was brisk but still inviting to be outdoors.  The youngest gets home early from school on Fridays so I took him for a little outing that was a real treat – a trip to the Morris Arboretum.  It’s just up the street from their home and a favorite of the family’s to visit.  This was my first trip there.

The little one was my enthusiastic tour guide giving me clear directions once we pulled in past the ticket guard.  He let me know to follow the cars in front of me, that the cow-shaped creatures off in the hills were in fact not REAL cows, and led me safely to the parking lot.  It was such a beautiful day the hills just called to us.  He was off and I was not far behind him.

First stop was the tree house.  Wow, what a magical construction with fun inviting places to visit – like a giant bird’s nest and netted pavilion high up in trees.  Of course I did feel the panic of my fear of heights which I greeted lightly and tried not to take too seriously.  Luckily for me he didn’t want to stay up there too long and soon we were off.  We wandered next to the fernery, a steamy room filled with lush plants and fish.  Then to the log cabin and playing and visiting with the nearby stream.  His enthusiasm to be there leapt and peaked until… it was gone and the next question from him was… “can we go home now?”  Of course we can… although my spirit could have wandered through the Arboretum for hours!  Still, my first visit would not have been the same without him as my guide!

I stopped in on a little neighborhood Kirtan chanting session last night.  Led by a local man at the near-by Unitarian Church, it was a cozy and intimate event with just a few of us there to sing and chant.  His chants were beautiful and simple and he had an assortment of instruments for us to use.  It was fun for me to grab the tambourine or the rattle and join in.  Kirtan is a call and response style singing… so the leader sings and then the group responds.  With such a small group my voice was often the only one I heard when it was time to respond.  Sometimes it was fun to actually hear my voice in the midst of singing with others and other times it was daunting and I was sure nothing was going to come out when I opened my mouth.

Today is a laid back Saturday.  I have had a lazy extended morning and have taken advantage of not having much to do.  Tonight we go to a lantern ceremony for the oldest son, age 7,  who goes to the local Waldorf school.  All the kids make their own lanterns in school and tonight they will light them and do a silent procession on the school grounds.

My Reiki teacher, Elizabeth Ohmer Pellegrin, will be arriving next week to teach a first degree Reiki class here in Philadelphia.  How excited I am!  My friend and mentor and great guide on my journey, it will be wonderful to see her!  I haven’t seen her or anyone else “familiar” to me since I left to travel a year and a half ago.  If you are interested in being in the class or have questions you can contact me.

And for now, more of an extended laid back Saturday.  “Thriller” by Michael Jackson has made it’s way onto my Pandora station. Perhaps in a bit I will take a walk in the park.  It’s good to have some time on my own and time to the enjoy the brisk fall air.

Photo of the ever energetic blue-hooded boy and youngest son here in the home where I stay, skipping blissfully through the Arboretum on a beautiful Fall day.