The 6 Pillars of the Let Animals Lead™ Method of Animal Reiki

1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.

In 2006, I read The Japanese Art of Reiki by Bronwen and Frans Stiene. This book opened my eyes 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. When I first trained with Frans in 2007, I was absolutely blown away by the simplicity and power of the Usui Reiki Ryoho meditation-based Reiki system. 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 with Frans to practice and develop my understanding of these traditional Japanese techniques. These techniques and philosophy are the foundation for my Let Animals Lead™ method, and I am so grateful to Frans for his research into the origins of the system of Reiki, and his generosity in sharing these techniques with his students.  

My Journey with Reiki

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.

The healthy foodie’s guide to eating vegan/gluten-free at Disneyland

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. 🙂

5 calming rituals for a happier spring

Goodbye, frosty mornings and puffy parkas. Hello, baby animals and blooms! To most of us, spring represents a time of new beginnings and optimism—a time for celebrating fresh, new starts. It’s also a powerful opportunity to recommit to those areas of our life that may have chilled over the bleak days of winter. Here are five ways to do just that:

1. Volunteer Reiki for the baby animals at your local shelter. Baby animals: Need I say more? Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon helping (and cuddling) these cuties? The spring season often leaves shelters coping with an overflow of kittens and puppies needing adoption. I have seen Reiki boost adoption rates time and again. Helping these kittens calm and find loving homes then opens much-needed space for older dogs and cats that take a bit longer to adopt out. This actually leads right into my next point …

5 goals for a happier 2017

Katze, Ktzchen im Sprung

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions—but a new year does always feel like a fresh start in some ways and an opportunity to check in with my big-picture goals: What do I want to achieve this year? Is there anything in my life I want to do differently? Am I as happy as I can be?

For me, happiness is intrinsically connected to living with purpose and meaning. I work with animals every single day because that adds value to my life. My dog, horses and even the shelter and sanctuary animals I encounter remind me the importance of kindness, of mindfulness, of compassion. And of the goodness in this world (which sometimes feels very hard to find). So with the animals as my guide, here are my five goals for a happier 2017: