In 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2013, I had a recurrence. The past 7+ years have been a long, difficult journey back to healing. Besides going through several surgeries and radiation, just last month I completed my course of daily medications, and I am in the process of coming off the meds (and their terrible side effects) and realizing that I am healed and that it’s time to put this chapter behind me. Whew! I am so grateful to be well this Christmas, and I wake up every day with a deep sense of thankfulness.
Almost all of us who have dogs have experienced working with them through orthopedic injuries or ailments at one time or another. Many of us have rescued dogs who may have come to us injured. Others of us may have dogs who have faced ordeals such as surgery or a long rehabilitation due to orthopedic issues. Healing can take a long time, and issues are often chronic and painful, which takes a toll on us as their loving caregivers, and can also cause stress in our dogs.
1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
Although I learned Reiki initially in 1998, in 2006, my eyes were opened to the ways Reiki complemented my martial arts practice. I was very excited to learn that Reiki was about meditation and an internal mindfulness practice, as I had originally learned it as an energy therapy using touch. I loved incorporating the simplicity and power of the Usui Reiki Ryoho meditation-based Reiki system into what I was already doing with animals. So many things I had experienced with animals wanting me to just sit still and hold the space, suddenly fell into place. Since then, I have done hundreds of professional training hours to practice and develop my understanding of these traditional Japanese techniques. These techniques and philosophy are the foundation for my Let Animals Lead™ method.
I learned to practice Reiki in 1998. When my dog Dakota came over and sat on top of my feet during my first Reiki self-treatment, I had two incredible realizations:
1) Dakota liked the feeling of Reiki so much that he couldn’t bear to be even one foot away from me as I practiced.
2) Dakota seemed to be able to tune into the healing power of Reiki, without my having to “give” it to him. It was as if he was already fluent in a language much too subtle for me to sense!
With these two realizations, I began a long, miraculous journey of discovery and healing in my life.
I recently came back from a very fun trip with my family to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland in Southern California. One of my goals on this trip was to find a way to eat delicious, healthy food and stay true to my diet of vegan/gluten-free (V/GF). I have to admit, eating V/GF while at Disneyland wasn’t a walk in the park (no pun intended). There were a few times where I realized the true meaning of the slang term “hangry.” (Definition: irritable or bad-tempered as a result of being hungry.) I even thought about calling this blog, “Woman cannot live on fruit cups alone” or “Starving with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,” but settled on a more positive choice. 🙂